Solfácil in a never-before-seen Series C extension and this week’s early stage rounds
Bloomberg Line — Welcome to the rounds of the week. At a time when large venture capital rounds (from Series B upwards) are increasingly rare in Latin America, Brazilian fintech Solfácil went against the grain and four months after its $100 million Series C extended its round to USD 30 million (about R$ 157 million ) with the Fifth Wall fund. The company also recently undertook a debt transaction to fund its loans to those seeking credit to install solar panels.
Solfácil CEO Fábio Carrara says that with the war in Ukraine and rising energy prices, the fintech business has become more attractive to investors.
“We saw an opportunity to be prudent and raise a little more capital than we originally thought,” Carrara said in an interview with Bloomberg line.
The idea is to capitalize in order to cope with the scenario of the coming years in which the windows should be “a little more difficult” with high interest rates, according to the founder.
When interest rates rise, the cost of money becomes higher and cash flows discounted from future projections lose their value. Despite this, Carrara says Solfácil has been able to maintain its valuation – although it won’t disclose the value.
The company said it has grown eight times a year since its founding in 2018 and that has already financed more than BRL 1.5 billion in solar loans.
Last month, the company launched Loja Solfácil, its own solar marketplace that connects PV panel installers with distributors and brands, alongside the launch of Ampera, PV system monitoring hardware.
With the unprecedented extension of Serie C in the second half of the year, Seed stage rounds remain strong in the region. This time, the industries that attracted investment were: B2B markets, data analytics, climate technology, fintech and e-commerce.
Founders of early-stage startups argue that while times are tough to raise capital, innovative business models led by seasoned entrepreneurs are gaining ground.
These are the startups that raised this week:
Amicci, a Brazilian startup that develops white-label products for large companies, has raised R$40 million (about US$7.6 million) in an early-stage round led by Brazilian firm Astella Investments. DGF and Endeavor Scale-Up Ventures followed the round.
Sugo Company, a climate technology startup focused on creating value in the waste reduction and wastewater treatment sectors, has closed a $7 million pre-series A round led by NAZCA, with a contribution from the Mexican investment arm. FEMSA, FEMSA Ventures and Inter-IDB Laboratory of the American Development Bank.
Founded by Jean Pierre Azañedo, the company develops solutions to maximize impact on the global net-zero agenda. Sugo has customers in the United States and Mexico.
In 2020, the startup developed the first proprietary carbon quantification methodology based on waste reduction, and during 2021 it managed to complete the process of generating and trading carbon credits resulting from the purchase of products and food.
Proptech Naya Homes, a vacation and short-term rental property management company, has raised $5 million in a seed round as it continues its expansion in Mexico.
With a primary focus on creating value for investors, developers and homeowners, Naya Homes uses its technology to increase profitability and provide real-time insight into the financial performance of residences.
The round was led by Flybridge Capital Partners with participation from Primary Venture Partners, Clocktower Technology Ventures, K50 Ventures, Carao Ventures, Trip Ventures, Colibri Equity Ventures, Derive Ventures, as well as former Uber Latin American team executives. This round follows a $600,000 pre-seed round led by Primary Venture Partners in March 2022.
Peruvian education startup uDocz has raised a $2 million round led by GSV Ventures and Salkantay VC, which also joined Latitud, Crehan founders, Crosscut VC and other Latin American angel investors.
GSV is one of the largest investment funds in education, which has companies such as Coursera, Masterclass and Domestika in its portfolio.
In the first round, edtech was supported by local angel investors, friends and family, Utec Ventures and xEdu, a Finnish fund. Founded in 2018 by Carlos Effio and Ricardo García, uDocz is a learning platform that provides university students with access to educational resources such as lecture notes, handbooks, guides and books for all university careers.
Globant Ventures, the accelerator of the Argentine unicorn Globant, invested about one million US dollars in the Uruguayan startup Bunker DBdedicated to data analysis and automation of marketing processes.
According to a Globant statement published by Bloomberg News, the company will use the capital to expand operations in Mexico, Colombia and enter the United States and Europe.
The Uruguayan startup presents itself as a platform for improving the marketing departments of companies, in search of greater efficiency of implemented strategies. His clients include Unilever, Walmart, Ab Inbev, L’oreal, Nestlé, Scotiabank and KFC.
Bendo is a Mexican mobile application that allows anyone to start a business in 5 minutes. The startup closed a $1.1 million pre-seed investment round led by Canary and with participation from Seedstars, Angel Hub and select angel investors.
The company, founded by Agustín García and Miguel Navarro, began its activities in 2021. The new resources will be used to provide coverage throughout Mexico and allow people to launch sales on social networks.
HelloSafe, a fintech that develops solutions for comparing insurance, investment, savings, lending and telecommunications services, closed a seed funding of 60 million Mexican pesos led by OneRagtime and Kima Ventures (equivalent to just over 3 million USD).
With the round, HelloSafe intends to strengthen its teams, improve the user experience on its platforms and expand into new categories of financial products in Mexico.
Launched last year, HelloSafe offers more than 60 tools to compare financial products (such as loans, insurance and cryptocurrencies) and has more than a million users.
Mexican startup Heru has closed a $6 million seed round led by Gradient Ventures, Google’s AI-focused venture fund.
The round was joined by SOMA Capital, GFC, Moving Capital and Mike Shoemaker, Roofstock’s COO, as well as existing investors such as Flourish Ventures and Magma Partners. Heru previously received a $1.2 million pre-seed round led by Mexico’s Nazca fund.
An artificial intelligence (AI) based tax company addresses the need for digitization in tax payments. Founded by Colombians Steven Rodríguez and Mateo Jaramillo, the startup is present in Mexico and Colombia and has clients such as Uber, Rappi, Terapify, Borzo, UberEats, Mercado Envios do Mercado Livre operations, Cornershop and Beat.
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