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LatAm ICT investment, financing watch

Bnamericas Published: Friday, October 07, 2022
LatAm ICT investment, financing watch

California-based cloud communications company Twilio, focused on customer engagement solutions, is looking at other startups in Latin America following its equity investment in Colombia-based CRM solutions provider Treble.ai, Diego Palmieri, Twilio’s VP for Latin America and the Caribbean, told BNamericas.

Twilio Ventures, the company’s investment arm, was one of the participants in the US$15mn series A round led by Tiger Global in Treble.ai. That deal was Twilio Ventures’ first investment in the region.

"Startups are a very interesting market for us, with great potential, and they are also companies that can later become very important clients of Twilio," Palmieri said.

Twilio has been growing rapidly in Latin America, nearly doubling its revenues year-on-year despite regional macroeconomic challenges, he said without providing further details. 

The US firm is a specialist in customer engagement solutions, corporate messaging and cloud marketing tools. its chief clients in the region are unicorns and digital multilatinas such as MercadoLibre, iFood (Movile), Nubank, Kavak, Docway, QuintoAndar and Rappi. Global clients include Dell, VMware, Salesforce, Uber and Airbnb.

The company operates in different markets, with commercial and sales teams in Brazil, Colombia and Mexico.

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Brazil’s Petrobras selected 23 startups for the fourth round of Its Connections for Innovation Program’s Startups Module.

The oil company received proposals in the fields of robotics, carbon reduction, digital technologies, corrosion, geological modeling and inspection technologies.

The winning companies receive up to 500,000 reais (US$96,000) for soft tech, based on software eventually integrated into mature hardware platforms, or up to 1.5mn reais for deep tech, which involves advanced research, including high-performance software, new hardware platforms and new materials.

In addition to financing, the selected startups receive mentoring to ramp up their solutions and evolve their business models. At the end of the development of the projects, they may become Petrobras suppliers and scale up in the national and international O&G industry.

In the last three years, Petrobras said it has invested around 36mn reais in the Startups Module of its innovations program, through 37 companies.

The 23 selected startups can be seen here, in Portuguese.

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Nine Chilean fintech companies have held a meeting with more than 30 Ecuadoran companies to present their solutions and identify business opportunities. 

The meeting took place during the Pitch Comercial Fintech Ecuador 2022 event, held on Thursday by the commercial office of Chile’s investment promotion agency ProChile in Ecuador.

On the Ecuadoran side, with the support of the Ecuadoran chamber of innovation and technology (CITEC) and the association of banks of Ecuador (Asobanca), the country's top private banks and companies operating in innovation, software and information technology were invited to participate.

ProChile said that the fintech startup ecosystem has gained importance in recent years and that Chile currently ranks fifth in Latin America, behind Brazil, Mexico, Colombia and Argentina, in terms of the number of companies in this sector, with 170 to date.

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Global financial risk assessment group LexisNexis Risk Solutions has invested 420mn reais to become a shareholder in Quod, a Brazilian company providing management, modeling and analysis solutions for the financial industry.

Created in June 2017 by Brazilian banks to implement Cadastro Positivo, a database of non-defaulter credit-takers, and to provide credit risk analysis solutions, Quod has expanded its operations beyond this niche. 

Its portfolio currently includes fraud prevention, compliance and billing solutions for companies of different sizes in the financial, retail, e-commerce and telecoms segments.

Quod and LexisNexis Risk Solutions have been partners since 2017. 

The transaction is subject to regulatory approvals.

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Argentine unicorn Globant plans to invest US$90mn this year to strengthen its presence in Mexico, Diego Fabani, managing director of Globant Mexico, was quoted as saying by local daily El Economista.

With operations in Guadalajara, Mexico City and Monterrey, the company is preparing to open offices in Aguascalientes, Querétaro and Yucatán, according to the report.

Globant recently led a US$3.5mn investment round in Uruguayan marketing data startup Bunker DB through its VC arm Globant Ventures.

Earlier this year, Globant also acquired Uruguay’s traditional low-code and programming company Genexus.

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Brazil's corporate and ERP software company Senior Sistemas has spent an undisclosed sum to acquire Globaltec, a developer of software for the construction sector.

Globaltec’s solutions are used by developers, designers, builders and urban planners. With the acquisition, Senior will add over 1,000 enterprises, comprising 35,000 users, to its customer base, the company stated.

This is Senior’s 26th M&A and the fourth in the construction industry. The group posted net revenues of 342mn reais in 1H22, up 26.8% year-on-year.

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Telecom Argentina is looking to attract new digital talent to develop businesses based on IoT, fintech, cybersecurity and entertainment solutions, the company said in a statement.

Partly because of that, the Argentinian telco is one of the main sponsors of and presenters at Campus Summit, the new version of the innovation event Campus Party in Latin America.

The event will be launched in Buenos Aires on October 12.

Telecom Argentina said it invested US$5bn in digital transformation between 2017 and 2021, with the aim of transforming from a telco into a technology company. The company also plans to activate 170 5G sites by the end of this year.

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