Dealflow.la #67 - Guyana 🇬🇾 denies plans for a U.S. 🇺🇸 military base, Conta Simples 🇧🇷 raises a $40.3M Series B, & Mines in 🇵🇦 and 🇨🇱 struggle.
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LINA 🇧🇷 raised a $1.5 Million Seed round led by MSW Capital 🇧🇷 to build a financial infrastructure intended to transform open banking, finance, and insurance data. The company focuses on the secure and intelligent sharing of data and services across different segments and industries through its technology, enabling clients to transform their digital journey and foster their development.
SPOT 🇨🇱 raised a $2 Million Seed round led by FEMSA Ventures 🇲🇽 with funding from Kuiper 🇲🇽, Daedalus Ventures 🇨🇱, and Bridge LatAm 🇲🇽 to build a video analytics platform intended to make cloud computing accessible and practical through simplicity and technical resources. The company's platform uses artificial intelligence to capture, analyze and measure the pulse of inflation daily and the data of the real world through video to predict and establish precise marketing strategies, enabling clients to deliver instantaneous updates, take decisions, optimize processes and gain competitive advantage.
Deco.cx 🇧🇷 raised a $2.2 Million Seed round led by MAYA Capital 🇧🇷 with funding from Lanx Capital 🇧🇷, FJ Labs 🇺🇸, and Crivo Ventures 🇧🇷 to a digital experience platform intended to offer combined performance and personalization of sales. The company's platform is a front-end-as-a-service platform that is designed for business users and developers to create exceptional e-commerce experiences, its features include a built-in CMS, A/B testing, audience personalization, campaigns, and analytics, enabling businesses to increase revenue and ROI with performance-optimized storefronts, personalized experiences, and a conversion-driven approach.
Vixtra 🇧🇷 raised $6.1 Million Venture round led by NXTP 🇦🇷, with funding from Valor Capital Group 🇺🇸 and Actyus 🇪🇸 to build a payment gateway platform designed to simplify international transactions. The company's gateway offers instant payment, and bank account verification as well as facilitates transactions via several methods including credit and debit cards, enabling businesses to do bulk outbound payments to multinational suppliers in a hassle-free manner.
Pomelo 🇦🇷 raised a $40 Million Series B round led by Kaszek 🇦🇷 with funding from Index Ventures 🇺🇸, Insight Partners 🇺🇸, Endeavor Catalyst 🇺🇸, Alter Global 🇺🇸, Monashees 🇧🇷, Section 32 🇺🇸, and TQ Ventures 🇺🇸 to build a digital processing platform intended to redefine the possibilities in payment services. The company's platform allows the launch of virtual accounts and issuing prepaid and credit cards via compliant onboarding processes, enabling fintech and embedded finance players to get the exact customization they need for their program.
Conta Simples 🇧🇷 raised a $40.3 Million Series B round led by Base10 Partners 🇺🇸 with funding from Y Combinator 🇺🇸, Valor 🇺🇸, JAM FUND 🇺🇸, DOMO.VC 🇧🇷, Broadhaven Capital Partners 🇺🇸, and Big_bets 🇧🇷 to build a digital bank accounts intended to make financial transactions more agile and secure. The company's platform allows small and medium-sized companies to carry out everything from transfers, withdrawals, and payments while also offering digital accounts with multiple corporate cards and Internet banking facilities, enabling businesses to make financial transactions more organized and accessible from a mobile app or a computer.
Argentina's President Milei's bill scraps YPF privatization; U.S. court complicates with $16 billion ruling; shares fluctuate in New York. (Bloomberg)
Context: How Milei plans to fix Argentina’s economy. (Axios)
Hundreds of thousands of Argentine workers, led by union leader Gerardo Martínez, are striking against President Javier Milei's economic reforms. These reforms include cutting worker protections, deregulating industries, and privatizing state companies. Unions, representing about 40% of the workforce, argue the reforms disproportionately impact workers and the middle class amid high inflation and poverty. The strike, historic in its timing early in Milei's term, challenges the government's policies, with unions seeking to block these reforms through congressional action and negotiation. (FT)
Brazil commemorates the anniversary of the anti-democratic uprising where Bolsonaro supporters stormed government buildings, demanding a military intervention to remove President Lula. Pro-democracy demonstrations occur nationwide, contrasting with ongoing prosecutions and Bolsonaro's political ban. (NBC)
Torrential rains in Brazil's Rio de Janeiro state cause extensive flooding, resulting in at least 12 deaths and impacting many neighborhoods. (ABC)
In a chilling event, prominent NYC art dealer Brent Sikkema was brutally stabbed to death in his Rio de Janeiro apartment, with the alleged killer arrested at a gas station. (CBS)
Brazil's real drops as investors react fearfully to President Lula's ambitious 're-industrialization' plan, worrying about the country's fiscal health. (Reuters)
JBS's bid to join the New York Stock Exchange faces opposition due to its role in Amazon deforestation, raising concerns about further environmental harm. (AP)
Brazil's Finance Minister Fernando Haddad aims to reach a deal with Congress on the payroll tax bill within a week to help achieve a zero fiscal deficit in 2024. (Bloomberg)
Mexico and Chile request the International Criminal Court to investigate potential crimes against civilians in Gaza and Israel's response to a Hamas attack. (AP)
Chile's SQM, a major lithium producer, halts operations at the Atacama salt flats due to road blockades by indigenous groups. (Reuters)
Indigenous communities in northern Chile agree to end roadblocks at major lithium operations, following disputes over a production increase deal between SQM and Codelco. (Bloomberg)
Chile’s Finance Minister Mario Marcel introduces an anti-tax evasion plan to increase government income by 1.5% of GDP, supporting President Boric's social programs. (Bloomberg)
Chile's lower house Finance Committee approves President Gabriel Boric's pension reform, aimed at overhauling the privately-run system, setting up a key vote. (Bloomberg)
A landslide in an indigenous community in northwestern Colombia kills at least 33 people, with rescue efforts underway to find survivors amid challenging conditions. (CBS)
Piedad Córdoba, a prominent Colombian lawmaker known for her activism for Afro-Colombians and engagements with rebel groups, dies at 68. (AP)
Wall Street reacts with skepticism to S&P's decision to change Colombia's credit outlook to negative, viewing it as unexpected and inconsistent with economic indicators. (Reuters/US News)
🇨🇷 Costa Rica
A Nicaraguan opposition member exiled in Costa Rica, Joao Maldonado, is seriously wounded after being shot seven times in an attack still under investigation. (ABC)
🇩🇴 Dominican Republic
U.S. rapper Tekashi 6ix9ine is arrested in the Dominican Republic on domestic violence charges and awaits a court appearance. (ABC)
The Dominican Republic pilots a four-day work week, following global trends to improve work-life balance, without reducing employee pay. (Al Jazeera)
Masked gunmen storm an Ecuadorian TV studio during a live broadcast, escalating violence in a country now declared in an "internal armed conflict" by the president. (AP)
Forty-three prisoners escape from an Ecuadorian jail amidst a security crisis, with President Noboa declaring a state of emergency and intensifying military operations. (Reuters)
Ecuador's police capture the leader of Colombian armed group Oliver Sinisterra, a faction of dissident rebels, amid a national security crackdown and state of emergency. (Reuters)
Ecuador's President Daniel Noboa seeks U.S. and European financial support to combat organized crime amid a 60-day state of emergency and military offensive against terrorist-designated gangs. (NBC)
🇸🇻 El Salvador
Lionel Messi and Inter Miami CF are set to play their preseason opener in El Salvador. The team, featuring former Barcelona stars like Messi, Busquets, Alba, and Suarez, will face El Salvador's national team. Messi, recently recovered from a leg injury, is a highlight, but his participation depends on coach Martino's decision. The match, part of a seven-game tour, is eagerly anticipated, with high ticket demand and a sellout expected. (CBS)
Bernardo Arévalo faces significant challenges after being sworn in as Guatemala's president, including opposition in Congress and efforts to derail his inauguration. (AP)
The U.S. bars former Guatemalan President Alejandro Giammattei from entry, citing "significant corruption" just days after his office term ended. (AP)
Guatemala's new President Bernardo Arévalo prioritizes combating widespread extortion, a crime mostly originating from prisons and often executed by non-gang criminals. (ABC)
Guatemalan police arrest former Interior Minister Napoléon Barrientos for not using force against protesters, as ordered by a court, opting instead for dialogue. (AP)
Juan Orlando Hernandez, ex-President of Honduras, gets a new lawyer and a delayed trial after claiming a rabbi, allegedly working with the DEA, infiltrated his defense team. (Reuters)
The U.S. Supreme Court permits Border Patrol to remove razor wire installed by Texas at the Mexico border, amidst disputes over immigration control between the state and the Biden administration. (NBC)
Mexico urgently requests an investigation into U.S. military-grade weapons increasingly found with Mexican drug cartels, posing challenges to national security. (AP)
In Mexico, at least three transgender people were killed in early 2024, sparking protests and demands for justice from the LGBTQ+ community against the backdrop of widespread targeted violence. (AP)
The Biden administration seeks Mexico's help to curb migration, while Mexico demands the U.S. address root causes of migration and provide financial aid for border policing. (NBC)
Despite Mexico deploying 25,000 troops to Acapulco post-Hurricane Otis, violence continues with gang threats and attacks disrupting the city's main transportation and forcing businesses to close early. (AP)
A U.S. appeals court has revived Mexico's $10 billion lawsuit against American gun manufacturers, holding them responsible for weapon trafficking to drug cartels across the U.S.-Mexico border. (Reuters)
An Atlas Air Boeing 747 cargo plane made an emergency landing in Miami after experiencing an engine malfunction, emitting flames. The FAA, already probing Boeing, will investigate. The plane, bound for Puerto Rico, returned safely to Miami International Airport. The incident adds to Boeing's recent troubles, including an FAA grounding of some 737 Max 9 planes. (NBC)
Nicaragua's government released Bishop Rolando Álvarez and 18 other clergy, previously jailed in a crackdown by President Daniel Ortega. Accused of supporting opposition protests in 2018, they were imprisoned for over a year. Released as part of negotiations with the Vatican, they arrived in Rome as guests of the Holy See. This move follows a pattern of the Nicaraguan government targeting the church and opposition since 2018. (AP)
A severe drought in Panama has drastically reduced ship crossings in the Panama Canal by 36%, potentially costing $500-$700 million in 2024. The drought, one of the worst in the nation's history, disrupts a key global trade route and raises concerns about its impact on international shipping and trade. Canal authorities, attributing the drought to El Niño and climate change, have reduced daily crossings to 24 from the usual 38, significantly affecting Panama's economy and stressing the need for new water sources. (AP)
First Quantum Minerals, hit by Panama's closure of its Cobre Panama copper mine, suspends dividend, plans to sell smaller mines, and cuts capital spending to address financial challenges. (Bloomberg)
Regulating trade in Ciudad del Este, Paraguay, has harmed informal vendors and traders who contributed to the city's growth. The informal sector is crucial for income and economic circulation. (Yahoo)
Paraguay's central bank slowed its easing pace by cutting the benchmark interest rate to 6.5% from 6.75%. Policymakers mentioned that the key rate is approaching a neutral range. (Bloomberg)
Peru's prosecutors have requested a 34-year prison sentence for former President Pedro Castillo, accusing him of "carrying out a coup" after his attempt to dissolve Congress in 2022. Castillo remains in pre-trial detention. (Al Jazeera)
Canadian miner American Lithium has seen the estimated value of its Falchani lithium project in Peru triple to $5.11 billion. The project, located in southern Peru, is awaiting government approval of an early environmental permit study. (Reuters)
China is building a $3.5 billion deep water port in Chancay, Peru, set to start operations late this year. It will be the first controlled by China in South America, enabling direct trade routes to Asia and boosting its influence in the region. (Reuters)
Repsol SA faces a $1 billion class action lawsuit in The Hague, representing around 35,000 victims of Peru's largest oil spill in 2022. The spill had a significant impact on fishing communities. Repsol has appealed the fines imposed by the Peruvian government, which labeled it the worst ecological disaster in its history. Pogust Goodhead, the law firm representing the victims, is seeking compensation for those affected. (Bloomberg)
Uruguay, a pioneer in green finance, plans to secure at least one multilateral loan linked to environmental targets in 2024. The country is negotiating a loan with the Inter-American Development Bank tied to energy efficiency targets and preparing to sign a $350 million World Bank loan linked to reducing methane emissions from livestock. Uruguay aims to advance its climate goals and attract trade and foreign investment through sustainable finance initiatives. (Bloomberg)
Uruguayan fintech startup Prometeo plans to expand its team by 50% and launch payment services in Brazil and Mexico after securing $13 million in venture capital funding, with investors including PayPal Ventures and Samsung Next. The company's series A round, which closed recently, exceeded its initial target of $10 million. Prometeo's banking software platform connects corporate clients with over 283 financial institutions across Latin America. The funding will help the company grow its team to 60 people by the end of the year, with expectations of tripling revenue in 2024 and aiming for profitability by 2025. (Bloomberg)
Guyana denies plans for a U.S. military base amid tensions with Venezuela over the disputed Essequibo region. Venezuelan President Maduro raised concerns, but Guyanese officials reject the claims. (AP)
Venezuela arrests 32 individuals, accusing them of involvement in a US-backed plot to assassinate President Nicolas Maduro. Arrest warrants have been issued for 11 others, including rights activists and journalists. (France 24)
Venezuela's economy grew over 5% in 2023 and is projected to reach 8% growth in 2024, according to President Nicolas Maduro. Inflation eased to just under 190% in the previous year. (Reuters)
Public sector workers in Venezuela, including teachers and nurses, have staged protests demanding higher salaries as the rapid depreciation of the local currency erodes their wages. They are calling for better pay to keep up with rising living costs. (Bloomberg)
Venezuela increased its monthly minimum wage by over 40%, adding $60 as a supplement along with $40 in food stamps, addressing growing protests by public sector workers ahead of presidential elections. (Bloomberg)
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