Here are the highlights on Brazil’s tech and business scene from the end of Jan through Feb 26:
Embrapa and Cedro Capital selected seven agritechs to receive up to R$ 5 million each. The total amount invested in the companies could reach R$ 35 million. Some startups selected: Gira, Agronow, Agrorobótica, Agrosmart, C4 Científica, Horus. They are now in the process of negotiating investments by the Venture Central Brazil fund, managed by Cedro Capital. (article in Portuguese)
Brazilian banks started using blockchain technology. Transaction are in OTC derivative contract negotiations and will soon be able to streamline international bank transfers within the same bank. (article in Portuguese)
Qualcomm announced a joint venture to install a unit in Brazil for designing and manufacturing of components that can be used in the production of smartphones and IoT equipment. The estimated investment is US$ 200 million over five years. (article in Portuguese)
IFC, a member of the World Bank Group, has launched TechEmerge Health Brazil, a matchmaking program offering market access and funding to global technology startups with proven health innovations relevant to Brazil. IFC is seeking applications from technology companies interested in scaling their business in this market.
Grupo Garantia, a holding company that invests in startups such as DocWay, HelpRemédio, and HubMoney, has acquired BestPay, a Brazilian payment solutions company (POS), focusing on expansion in Latin America, Europe, and the United States. The value of the business was not disclosed. (article in Portuguese)
Former CEO of BNDES to assume Goldman Sachs in Brazil next April. She is the bank’s first female CEO.
Klabin, Brazil’s largest packaging paper maker, bought a 12.5% stake in the Melodea Bio Base Solutions start-up in Israel for US$ 2.5 million. The investment is aligned with the strategy of focusing on research, development, and innovation. (article in Portuguese)
The e-commerce Meu Móvel de Madeira bought the Brazilian brand of Oppa furniture. The value of the business was not disclosed. Oppa was created in 2011 by the German Max Reichel, with funds from Monashees and Kaszek. (article in Portuguese)
Gofind.Online, a platform for product search and price comparison using Artificial Intelligence, received an investment of R$ 2 million from Fir Capital BZPlan. The startup platform shows the availability of products at points of sale without the need for integration with physical stores. (article in Portuguese)
Online startup Ingresse received R$ 20 million from Confrapar, Qualcomm Ventures, Mercado Livre and FJ Labs in its fourth round of investment. Part of the capital will be used for acquisitions and partnerships – the company signed in February a merger of operations with the competitor Total Access. (article in Portuguese)
The startup Virtual Avionics (VA) has received an investment from the Aerospace Fund to manufacture and market cockpits for pilot training – known as Flight Training Devices (FTDs). The startup was one of only two start-ups selected by Embraer in 2017 to receive funding. (article in Portuguese)
Brazilian steakhouse chain Fogo de Chao Inc. agreed to be acquired by private equity firm Rhone Capital for $560 million, to be paid in cash. It represents a 25% premium over the restaurant company’s closing price on Feb. 16. The deal, expected to close in the second quarter, was unanimously approved by the board of Dallas-based Fogo de Chao.
RecargaPay, the mobile payments platform, and wallet for Brazil announced it has raised US$22 million in Series B. New investors include IFC, TheVentureCity, and Ventech. Notable entrepreneurs Fabrice Grinda and Martin Varsavsky and +100 angel investors, as well as existing investors DN Capital and FJlabs, also participated in the round.