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LatAm ICT financing, investment watch

Bnamericas Published: Saturday, November 05, 2022
LatAm ICT financing, investment watch

Mexican startup Quinio raised US$40mn in a new funding round entailing equity and debt, adding to US$20mn it collected in a seed round in 2021.

Launched in 2020, the company is an e-commerce aggregator that acquires, operates and builds e-commerce brands across Latin America. Quinio owns brands in Mexico, Colombia, Chile and the US, in segments such as home, beauty, and health.

The equity tranche of the new funding was led by Northgate Capital, and joined by new and existing investors such as Cometa, Dila Capital, AlleyCorp, Western Technology Investment, Alchimia Investments, in addition to a group of individual investors.

The company will use proceeds mostly to grow its brands, expand its geographical footprint, enhance product portfolios and ramp up operational efficiency and technology capabilities.

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New York-based insurtech Cover Genius, with operations in Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Colombia, Chile and Peru, cashed in US$70mn in a series D round led by Dawn Capital.

The investment also had the participation of Atlas Merchant Capital and existing investors such as GSquared and King River Capital. 

This latest round represents a significant increase in the valuation of Cover Genius after its series C investment, in 2021, the company said in a statement.

Resources will be used to support growth of the insurtech business and the expansion of its global insurance distribution platform, XCover. The XCover API enables companies to deliver a customer experience from policy creation to claims management, according to Cover Genius.

One client in Latin America is travel company Despegar. 

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Colombian startup Minka, focused on financial services interoperability, is expanding to Peru.

The move comes after the Peruvian central bank ordered that all digital wallets in the country must allow transactions among their users from March 31, 2023. 

The startup recently raised US$24mn in a financing round led by investment funds Tiger Global Management and Kaszek Ventures.

In Colombia, its solution is connected to more than 16 banks and 20 fintechs, and continues to expand to other countries in the region, according to Minka.

“This is a great opportunity because Minka has the technology to provide a solution that enables interoperability, not only for major banks, but for slightly smaller participants in the financial system, which today are connected to a single wallet,” CEO Domagoj Rozic was quoted as saying by Peruvian media.

“The idea is to create an ecosystem and provide an interoperable solution so that real-time transfers can be made without major friction and regardless of where the user has an account.”

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Brazil's national educational and research network, RNP, launched a public call to expand its ecosystem of tech providers, betting on partnerships with startups and on open innovation.

“RNP wants to find good partners within this very peculiar universe of small specialized companies. Once approved in the qualification process, they will become part of a database and be able to develop several ICT solutions together with RNP,” the company said in a statement.

RNP is responsible, among others, for the first stretch of a milestone subfluvial fiber backbone in the Amazon region. The entity also operates a fixed network connecting federal universities, R&D centers and educational institutes.

RNP is looking for more than 20 possible applications, such as interoperability, automation, cloud computing, mobile, data science, big data, and internet of things.

Interested companies need to indicate their experience. Startups will receive scores that feed into a ranking among suppliers. Once approved, these startups and companies become part of RNP's register of qualified suppliers for 24 months, extendable to up to 60 months.

Further details can be found here

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Brazilian telco TIM opened a call to select startups and companies with agribusiness solutions that can be leveraged on 5G, according to a press release.

TIM is seeking solutions that mainly deal with real-time data processing, mechanisms for mitigating errors in the agribusiness production chain and solutions that offer an end-to-end view of all stages of the production cycle.

Applications are open for startups associated with Itaú's innovation hub Cubo until November 11, directly via Cubo's website.

The selection of projects will take place during November. In December, the first tests and minimum viable product applications will be sought. Results will be announced in January.

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Aegea Saneamento, Brazil's largest private sanitation company, launched its second Inova Saneamento startup challenge cycle.

In partnership with Innovation Latam, the acceleration program seeks solutions and projects that help mitigate sector problems, according to the company.

Aegea is presenting four challenges, focused on analytics, customer experience, billing and charging solutions and leak and loss detection (sensing, AI imaging, satellite solutions, among others).

“Innovation and technology are fundamental for the company, as it is through them that we can improve the services offered to the population while maintaining our operational efficiency,” said Eduardo Mendes, technology director and member of Aegea's innovation committee.

Startups can apply until November 24, here.

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WeFin, the technology arm of credit operations company SRM Asset, is investing in the expansion of its network of partners.

Aimed at serving mainly factoring and securitization companies, WeFin uses AI and integration with several data sources in a single interface to provide its services. 

It also relies on its own database, with claims to have more than 20 years of information on credit markets and more than 20bn reais transacted on the platform, according to the company.

The company has 15 partners and expects to end the year with 35 customers. Next year, it wants to close 150 contracts.

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