Argentina Venture Capital Overview

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Argentina is seemingly a paradox: How can one of the most economically unstable countries in Latin America produce so many great entrepreneurs and the only three public tech companies of the Internet age? On one hand, outcomes for startups have been way ahead of its neighbors, but, on the other hand, local businesses have suffered from the economic instability.

The recent passing of the Entrepreneurs Law by President Macri in April 2017 aims to empower Argentina to dominate the regional startup scene. The new law not only contributes seed funds to small businesses in Argentina, but it also makes it dramatically easier to start a business. As Macri opens up Argentina’s market to the global economy, we will likely see more and more startup success.

If you are seeking investment for a venture in Argentina, here are some of the major players in the venture capital ecosystem. For a more in depth look at Argentina’s ecosystem, see my post Doing Business in Argentina.

Government Initiatives

Argentine Association of Private Equity, Venture and Seed Capital (ARCAP): A nonprofit that supports the growth of the private equity industry in Argentina. It was inactive for several years and recently opened again at the start of 2017.

FONDCE: The Fiduciary Fund for the Development of Entrepreneurship Capital seeks to finance startups and small business with seed funds that help them grow. The initial investment by the government in this initiative is USD$600M.

FONTAR: The National Agency for the Promotion of Technology and Science advances technological innovation with this fund.

IncuBAte, and it is designed to support startups and help them proliferate. The incubator program is open to national and international entrepreneurs with high-impact ideas and those who are ready to make a difference. More info.

VC Firms

Kaszek Ventures: VC firm based in Sao Paulo with an office in Buenos Aires, Kaszek focuses on high-impact Latin American tech companies, providing mentorship, networking, product development, team-building, and plenty of resources to help entrepreneurs develop viable businesses.

CAP Ventures: A USD$16M fund that buys minority interests in mid-sized companies with high growth potential in Argentina.

Patagonia Ventures: A Buenos Aires-based private investment fund focused on high potential Latin American Internet businesses. They have already had eight successful exits out of 21 investments. The team is focused on active and global investments that bring investors and entrepreneurs together to nurture innovative ideas to success.

Quasar Ventures: A “company builder” with a portfolio valued at USD$180M that builds companies from the ground up – choosing the team, picking the industry, and investing the capital. It founds two or three companies per year and has created over 500 jobs since 2012 with offices in Sao Paulo, Buenos Aires, and San Mateo, CA.

Jaguar Ventures: An early-stage venture capital firm focused on Internet companies in Latin America. Listen to Managing Partner Cristobal Perdomo on the Crossing Borders Podcast.

Cygnus Ventures: A USD$76M fund intent on fostering innovation and talent in Latin America by investing in early-stage equity of disruptive startups and scale-up companies. The organization offers three kinds of funds: Cygnus Early Stage Fund, Cygnus Accelerate Program, and Cygnus Angel Club. Recently, Tim Draper and Cygnus capital partnered to launch the Draper Cygnus VC Fund to invest in Argentinian startups.

Pymar Fund: A seed-stage VC fund created by Fundación Empresa y Crecimiento (FEC) from Spain that is focused on investing in Argentine companies that serve the Latin American market. It has now moved on from early investments to only follow-on investments and exits.

Enzyme Venture Capital: An early-stage, tech-focused VC firm based in Buenos Aires and Boulder, Colorado. They have a strong emphasis on open and honest communication.

South Ventures: The first entirely online VC firm, currently working in 20 countries, including Argentina, to help secure startup funding from investors like Google, Harvard, and MIT.

Alaya Partners: An international venture capital fund with offices in Santiago and Buenos Aires focused on promoting social entrepreneurship through technology startups in Latin America. They are partnered with Sausalito Ventures in Silicon Valley.

B.A M&A Corporate Finance: A boutique investment bank based in Buenos Aires focused on mergers and acquisitions, divestitures, spin-offs, joint ventures, and management buyout advisory services.

NXTP Labs: The most active early-stage technology VC fund in Latin America, with operations in Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, and Uruguay. They have funded over 174 companies in the past five years and focus on creating a network of entrepreneurs, investors, and mentors that can promote entrepreneurship in the region.

Victoria Capital Partners: An independent investment firm that manages substantial funds worth around USD$1.7B. Victoria Capital Partners is focused on acquiring “significant capital appreciation through equity-related investments in leading, growth-oriented companies across its core markets in South America, mainly: Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Peru, and Chile.”

Linzor Capital Partners: With its third fund totaling around USD$621M, Linzor is a heavy hitter in Latin American middle market investments. The firm has offices in Buenos Aires, Santiago, Mexico City, and Bogota.

Humus Capital: A middle-market VC firm investing in the food and beverage industry in Brazil, Argentina, and Chile.

Alba Capital Partners: A middle market private equity firm investing in control and co-control opportunities in Argentina and Uruguay, with investments ranging from USD$10M to USD$50M.

Wayra: Wayra offers investment of up to USD$50K and an office space for innovative telecommunications startups in Latin America, including in Argentina.

Incutex: A seed-stage fund based in Cordoba, Argentina that invests up to USD$100K per company for three Argentine startups per year.

CITES: A high-powered incubator for fintech, health technology, biotech, and agtech startups in Argentina CITES provides up to USD$500K investment and opportunity to work from the office in Santa Fe, Argentina.

Xpand Ventures: An investment firm and startup accelerator with three offices across Argentina in Buenos Aires, Cordoba, and Mendoza. They provide between USD$50K to USD$250K to early-stage agtech, insurtech, and e-commerce startups in Argentina.

Accelerators

BA Accelerator: An early-stage startup accelerator in Buenos Aires that funds companies over the course of three rounds. Startups first receive USD$15K to create a Minimum Viable Product, then USD$30K to prepare the company for investment, then USD$100K to take the company internationally.

Eklos by ABInBev: Accelerator offering investment, residence, and mentorship in return for equity.

Glocal Agtech: The first Latin American accelerator dedicated exclusively to agtech that invests between USD$25-USD$50K in Argentine agricultural ventures.

Also of note is legendary investor George Soros is betting on Argentina, with a recent undisclosed investment in Argentina’s mobile bank Ualá.

If I’ve missed any valuable Argentine venture capital resources, please let me know in the comments.

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