Chinese Venture Capitalists and Startups are Making a Splash in Latin America

Note: a version of this article was originally published in Venture Beat with the title Chinese Investors Target Latin American Startups as US Investors Shy Away. This version has more background and information about Magma Partners.

China, a country with deep roots as an industrial powerhouse, is now determined to center its economy around technological development and innovation. With government support and outward investments on the rise, China is positioning itself to have a much greater role in the global technology market.

According to Yilong Du, Managing Partner at Latham & Watkins, there are many factors stimulating the growth of the technology sector in China. Firstly, economic growth is driving the Internet market and an explosion of Internet-based companies. In China, 731 million people have access to the Internet and 95.1% of these people access the Internet via mobile devices, according to the China Internet Network Information Center. A budding, Internet-savvy middle class, coupled with a strong supply of talent, is driving China’s technology sector and increasing the demand for innovative products and services.

Shenzhen Capital Group Co Ltd, a State-owned venture capital firm, is just one example of a firm increasing its investments abroad to bring new technology to China. Through investments in innovative companies overseas, the firm hopes to strengthen China’s technology and industrial structure, said Ni Zewang, chairman of the SCGC. Zewang also stated that by connecting more Chinese startups with overseas resources, they can help local companies mature faster. While SCGC’s investments overseas account for only 6% of its current total, it plans to increase the figure to 15% by 2020. Continue reading…

Ep 35 Nestor de Haro: Building the Alibaba or MercadoLibre of Auto Parts in Mexico

Nestor de Haro grew up in Guadalajara, where he learned about the auto parts industry from his father. After obtaining a B.S. Degree in Industrial Engineering, Nestor co-founded Rigs Inc, an online marketplace for selling auto parts in Latin America. We talk about his inflection point from an underperforming business model to a new marketplace model and his advice for other entrepreneurs who are just getting started. If you speak Spanish, be sure to stay tuned after the normal outro, as I am testing a new segment where I put new content in Spanish after we finish the English section of the podcast. I hope you enjoy this conversation I have with Nestor de Haro.

Continue reading…

Complete Guide to Venture Capital in Latin America

venture capital latin america

According to LAVCA’s latest State of the Industry Report, Latin American startups received a total of USD$500M in all of 2016. In just the first 6 months of 2017, they received USD$477M.

It is clear that Latin America is experiencing a substantial uptick in venture capital activity. For one, Series C rounds in Latin America totaled USD$314M for the first half of 2017, compared to USD$208M raised in all of 2016.

Additionally, the investments in 99, Brazil’s largest rideshare service, by Didi, China’s largest ridesharing company, represented two of the top three largest investment rounds of all time in Latin America.

The report also uncovered that 93% of the funding that Latin American startups received this year in VC funding went to the IT sector. This is almost triple the amount that was invested in the fiscal year 2016 through the same number of deals.

vc in latin americaImage Source: LAVCA

Continue reading…

Argentina Venture Capital Overview

No Comments

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. Continue reading…