Lots of entrepreneurs ask me about Chilean investors and venture capital firms. Here’s my list that I usually send them. Hopefully it’s helpful.
Magma Partners – We’re the only fully private investment fund in Chile. We invest early stage and like to be first investors into companies. We’ll do initial investments of $25-$75k and can follow on with up to $250,000 per company. We like two niches: B2B businesses in Latin America and companies that have their back office in Latin America, but whose primary market is in the US or Europe. 26 investments in 2.5 years. $5m fund. Presence in Colombia, Mexico, USA.
The Chilean government, via CORFO, offers venture capital funds incentives to invest in Chile. For every $1 funds invest, CORFO can match an additional $2 or $3 with low interest debt that they forgive if you fail, but you must repay if you’re successful. Here’s the full fund list across all industries. These are the more startup focused funds.
– In 2015, Nazca was acquired
by Mountain Partners
, a successful German/Swiss VC and company builder. They generally invest $200k-$500k in companies that can scale regionally and potentially expand to other mountain offices in Europe, Asia and Africa. Nazca has offices in Argentina, Chile, Brazil, Colombia and Mexico. Mountain has offices in multiple countries across Asia, Africa and Europe.
– Early stage seed accelerator with offices across Latin America. Their standard deal is that NXTP has a $25,000 option to invest via a SAFE with a $250,000 cap that’s exercisable for one year. This means that if you accept the NXTP acceleration program, you go through the program without receiving money, then, over the next year, NXTP decides if they want to invest $25k in your company. NXTP also has significant funds to do follow on in their portfolio. NXTP regional portfolio.
– Biotech focused fund scheduled to launch in late 2016.
– Operations in Latin America, office in Chile. Website doesn’t list active investments.
– Private equity fund with a new fund launching for venture capital. One tech investment in their portfolio.
At least $250k ticket sizes, likely higher.
– A new fund that’s launching in 2017 with tickets of at least $200k.
– Wayra Chile is part of the investment arm of Telefonica/Movistar. They invest in startups generally with $50k + $25k of services for 5-10% equity on convertible notes. Wayra can be flexible for startups with significant traction. They seem to prefer B2B companies that can be Telefonica clients or have products that they can sell to their clients. We’ve done two coinvestments with Wayra. and they have offices regionally in Latin America and Spain.
The Chilean government, via CORFO, sponsors Chilean incubators. These incubators receive up to CLP$200m (US$310k) in grants for operations each year. The administrator needs to spend 25% of the grant from their own pocket. Incubators don’t invest their own money. The award CORFO’s $60m (US$90k) SSAF grants. In exchange, they (generally) receive 7% equity in the startup. CORFO receives nothing.
Each incubator has slightly different selection processes, funding stages, incubation (or lack thereof) and potential buyback clauses. You can find the list of 18 incubators on CORFO’s site
. These incubators have their positives and negatives
. Make sure to do your due diligence before signing anything, as some have fairly entrepreneur unfriendly terms.
Equity Free Government Grants
– Startup Chile is the flagship program from CORFO and the Chilean government. It has financed more than 1300 Chilean and foreign startups since 2010 with its Seed program: CLP$20m pesos (US$30k) equity free grants. In 2015, Startup chile added Scale, a CLP$60m pesos (US$90k) equity free follow on, and S-Factory
, a CLP$10m, US$15k pre-accelerator for female entrepreneurs.
– Chilean government program that gives Chilean startups grants to expand abroad. Offices all over the world.
– You can apply for government grants from startups, to salmon to other strategic industries direct via CORFO’s website.
– Equity crowdfunding platform for Chilean startups. Each backer buys direct equity in the company. . $3.5m invested in 16 startups since 2012. Like equity crowdfunding sites in the US, valuations here are high, in my opinion. Successful Investments
– Founderlist is modeled after AngelList but for Latin America. They also run Emprendedores Anónimas, the largest meetup group in Latin America. (Disclosure, I’m an investor via Magma).
– Organization that helps social entrepreneurs with training and small, equity free grants.
Chilean family offices have not made many startup investments so far, as most don’t understand how VC is different from private equity or don’t see the value in startups yet.