Here are the highlights on Brazil’s tech and business scene in February:
Five Brazilian startups to pitch at the 34th Y Combinator demo day next month. The event is the most desired program on the market to present startup business to hundreds of investors.
Former teammates at SofBank launch a new VC fund, Cloud9 Capital. The fund wants to invest in bootstrap startups, those companies founded and leveraged without backing from investment funds.
Foxbit, a Brazilian crypto-based solutions platform, announced a $21 million Series A round led by the Chinese OK Group. With the investment, OK Group takes a seat on the board and a minority stake in the startup.
Brazilian Sólides Tecnologia announced the largest round ever raised for an HR startup in LatAm. Warburg Pincus LLC invested $100 million in the company for an undisclosed minority stake.
Director Bruno Maimone said “startups serving mid-sized and small companies in Brazil are expected to have high growth rates despite challenges for economic growth.” The investment firm has stakes in similar HR management providers in the U.S, Europe and China.
The neobank Neon reached a valuation of more than US$1 billion and became a unicorn, after raising a US$300 million Series D financing led by the Spanish bank BBVA. The bank already had a stake in Neobank since 2018 through the venture capital fund Propel and increased its stake to 29.7%.
Brazil’s Space Agency signs cooperation agreement with Amazon Web Services aimed development of country’s space program.
Grupo Boticário acquire Equilibrium, a logistics startup from Santa Catarina that connects shippers with carriers. The cosmetics maker wants to create “an integrated platform for logistical management of deliveries across all its channels. Value has not been revealed.
Liquidity platform VELVET raises US$200 million. Headquartered in Miami and co-founded by Brazilian Edouard de Montmort and Peruvian Carlos E. Naupari, Velvet buys stakes in promising startups enabling their partners and employees to monetize their equity before IPO. Targeting companies with a minimum value of $500 million, the new funds will be used in 40 deals over the next 12 months, with 20 in Latin America, 10 in India, 8 in Southeast Asia and 5 in Africa.
After raising a $92 million round led by SoftBank and Riverwood, Brazil-based HRTech Gupy announced the acquisition of its main rival, Kenoby, for an undisclosed amount.
Digibee, a low-code integration platform, announced that it has raised a $25 million Series A round led by SoftBank Latin America Fund. Brazil-based Kinea and G2D Investments also participated in this round.
Insurtech 180° Seguros raises R$ 177 million led by 8VC and accompanied by Dragoneer, Monashees, and Atlantico, the investment is one of the largest Series A volumes ever received by an insurtech in Latin America.