Here are the highlights on Brazil’s tech and business scene in January 2018:
First Brazilian unicorn: Didi acquired 99, Uber competitor in Brazil, as part of the plans to expand its service into Latin America. The acquisition gave the company a valuation of U$1 billion – U$600 million to buy out investors, plus an additional U$300 million of further investment and the previously U$100 million investment in 99.
Brazilian fintech Koin received R$15 million in an investment round led by International Financial Corporation (IFC). The investment is part of the project to raise R$ 300 million, by the end of 2018. The funds raised will be used for company expansion, including personnel hiring and data intelligence.
In Brazil, stocks are hitting new records almost daily, business confidence is at the highest since 2014 and, adding to the buoyant mood, the economy’s long-awaited rebound is starting to materialize. “Brazilian companies are in great shape,” says BlackRock.
FIP Inseed FIMA, a BNDES fund, has invested R$7.5 million in local car-sharing company Zazcar in exchange for a minority participation in the company. The fund will be used to expand the company’s vehicles in São Paulo, invested in marketing and hiring the team.
RigNet, Inc acquired Intelie Soluções em Informática SA, a real-time, predictive analytics company. The Brazilian company optimizes critical operations through technological solutions specialized in stream data analytics with high data volumes.
Valor Capital’s Fund II received a US$7 million investment from the IFC. The fund’s target size is US$100 million.
China invested $20.9 billion in Brazil in 2017, and the Brazilian government expects Chinese investment to continue increasing in 2018.
After PagSeguro, another Brazilian card processing company is planning initial public offering. Stone Pagamentos is planning its IPO in New York by the second half of the year to raise funds to compete with larger rivals.
Mandae Technologies, e-logistics software company, received an investment of US$2.5 million from the IFC for a minority stake to support Mandae’s expansion to other cities across Brazil.
The number of investors in bitcoin surpassed the number of investors in the stock exchange in Brazil. Despite the popularization of Bitcoin, the investment is not recommended by the Central Bank of Brazil.
President Michel Temer has authorized Nubank to have a banking operation. As a result, the startup no longer needs partnerships with banks to raise funds and offer credit.
SP Ventures, a capital manager focused on agribusiness innovation companies, invested R$ 6 million in Gênica. It was the highest value ever made by investors in an agriculture startup.
Supermarket Now, an online supermarket startup has just received a new round of investment. The R$3.2 million investment came through current investors – financial market executives and business owners – who had already invested in early 2017, and new supporters from Family Offices.
DogHero, a platform that connects dog parents to people that host pets at home, has just raised R$8 million in investment. Led by the Global Founders Capital and IGNIA Partners funds, the new round had the participation of former investors Monashees and Kaszek Ventures. The investment is amid in accelerating growth and consolidating DogHero as a hub for pet services in Latin America.
The Brazilian Fintech PagSeguro raised U$2.27 billion and became NYSE’s Biggest IPO since Snap, in March 2017. PagSeguro’s IPO is part of a flurry of equity deals in Brazil slated for the first few months of 2018. Pharmaceutical company Blau, sports retailer Grupo SBF, mid-size lender Banco Inter and Toy retailer Ri Happy have all filed requests to go public.
PagSeguro, the second Brazilian unicorn in the first month of the year. 2018 can be marked by the appearance of several unicorns as Movile, PSafe, VivaReal, and NuBank.
BizCapital, a Brazilian startup focused on credit to small business has received an investment of R$15 million led by Chromo Invest and 42K Investimentos. The company informed that the agreement also counts on an additional investment of R$20 million still in 2018.
Clínica SIM, the largest network of popular clinics in the Brazil’s Northeast, received an undisclosed investment from Temasek. Previous investors include angels and VC firm Monashees.
WhatsApp Business launches in Brazil aiming to make it easier for companies to connect with their customers.
EBANX, a Brazilian cross-border payment processing company, raised a $30 million investment from FTV Capital, with participation from Endeavor Catalyst Fund. EBANX will benefit from FTV’s strategic financial services network and experience scaling global, high growth companies across the fintech and payments ecosystem.