Here are the highlights on Brazil’s tech and business scene in January:
Sapore, a Brazilian multinational of corporate restaurants, announced that it has acquired a majority stake in three startups: Lucco Fit, from frozen lunchboxes; Shipp, for delivery; and Zaitt, an autonomous supermarket.
Multiplan and brMalls invested R$ 69 million in Delivery Center, a delivery startup integrated with shopping malls.
Acesso Digital, pioneer IDTech and leader in facial recognition in Brazil, received its first investment of R$ 40 million from e.Bricks, a Brazilian venture capital platform.
iFood announced the acqui-hire of Hekima, an artificial intelligence (AI), data science and big data company to boost the skills needed for its data-driven business strategy. Under acqui-hire agreements, companies are bought for the primary purpose of obtaining access to their talent.
Zinier, AI-driven automation of field services operations, received US$ 90 million in a C series investment. The new investor ICONIQ Capital led the round, along with the first participation of Tiger Global Management and, once again, Accel, Founders Fund, NGP Capital, backed by Nokia, Newfund Capital, based in France, and Qualcomm Ventures LLC.
AppsFlyer has raised a Series D of US$210 million, led by General Atlantic. The company is best known for mobile ad attribution, AppsFlyer has expanded into other areas, like fraud prevention. Previous investors Qumra Capital, Goldman Sachs Growth, DTCP, Pitango Venture Capital and Magma Venture Partners also participated in the round, which brings the company’s total funding to US$294 million.
Startup Olivia raised R$25 million led by BV and released its app in Brazil. The Fintech is an artificial intelligence assistant that helps people manage their money, headquarters in California with Brazilian founders.
Brazilian startup Teravoz was acquired by Silicon Valley-based Twilio. With the sale, previous investors such as Canary and Wayra could make their exit.
Brazil ranked 40 out of 192 countries in artificial intelligence readiness index. The forecast is that AI technologies will add U$15 trillion to the global economy by 2030.
Kenoby, a digital recruitment company, has received an investment of R$ 20 million from the Brazilian investment fund Astella.
Brazilian home-flipping startup Loft is the first 2020 unicorn. It’s also the first investment in the country for prominent Silicon Valley firm Andreessen Horowitz. The $175 million Series C was co-led by Vulcan Capital.