Clikalia Clicks on $86M to Expand Across Europe and Latin America

Clickalia is a strong player in the iBuyer space; recently raising $86 million to take the model to markets in Europe and Latin America. iBuyer space is a new way of buying and selling properties, which inserts a strong middle player to buy houses or apartments and develops them at scale with a view to sell onwards at a profit.

Clickalia is primarily active in Spain and Mexico, with a run rate of 2,400 properties acquired. To visualise the scale of the business, only a month ago the run rate was 1,800 and it just raised $518 million.

Softbank Vision Fund 2 and Fifth Wall are co-leading the round with participation form existing investors, Luxor Capital and Guillaume Pousaz. Whilst this is Softbank’s first property tech investment in Europe, it is no stranger to the iBuyer model. Alister Moreno the CEO and co-founder of Clikalia, said that Clikalia will be using the funds to expand the business by broadening into new cities in the main markets, and by entering new companies too.

Source: Statista, release date Feb 2020

Moreno, and co-founder Pablo Fernandez want to tackle what they estimate to be a $1 trillion market for second-hand homes, which in Europe, and in dense cities of Latin America are likely to come in the form of apartments as single unit structures. [1]

Carry Trade is Minting Big Returns in Latin America (Again!)

The carry trade is roaring back in Latin America which is home to some of the world’s most aggressive inflation fighting central banks. There has been a steep jump in interest rates across the region which stands in contrast to the United States and Europe, where policy makers are still holding key borrowing costs near zero, as they move closer towards raising rates.

As a result, big gains are delivered to a tactic which size on the disconnect – borrowing in the United States and Europe, after ploughing cash into countries where bond yields are significantly higher.

According to Bloomberg, the US-Brazil carry trade (borrowing US dollars to buy reals) has returned to approximately eight percent in the last month, as the Brazilian currency rallied more than any other emerging market world.

Andreas Koenig, London-based head of global foreign exchange at Amundi (Europe’s biggest asset manager) said he expects carry trades to keep paying off as global economic growth continues to rebound from the pandemic and currency-market volatility stays relatively low. [2]

E-commerce Never Stops Growing in Brazil

Over 95,000 retailers in Latin America currently use Nuvemshop’s platform – 50,000 in Brazil alone. Last year, these small and medium-sized businesses saw sales grow 77% over 2020, the year in which the pandemic had already caused an explosion in e-commerce.

The company’s CMO, Luiz Piovesana said that “We’ve never had a downturn [in the number of new stores]. The next month is always the best month”. Driven by the pandemic, e-commerce is estimated to have grown from around 5% to more than 10% of Brazilian retail, according to the Brazilian Electronic Commerce Association ABComm, and its consultancy partner, Neo Trust.

Nuvemshop is expanding all over Latin America. In 2020, the platform finished the year with 70,000 tenants in the region, but today it has over 95,000. “We’ve been in Mexico for just over a year, and the growth rate we’re achieving there, compared to Brazil, is impressive. We’ve also just started operations in Colombia and Chile; we’ll probably invest more in Colombia in the next two quarters, building a team there as well”. [3]

Note: Includes products or services ordered using the internet, regardless of the method of payment or fulfillment; excludes travel and event tickets, paymets such as bill pay, taxes, or money transfers food services and drinking place sales, gambling, and other vice goods sales. Source: eMarketer, May 2021

Latin America Lags Behind on Decarbonisation Financing

A report by Janus Henderson Investors found that decarbonization efforts in Latin America are being held back by lack of policy and private sector financing. The Janus Henderson Latin America Decarbonization Report found that climate bond issuance in Latin America, at $45 billion in 12 countries at the end of 2021, is relatively small compared to the size of the region and to the $1 trillion global climate bond market.

They also found that the market was fragmented due to divergent climate bond policies and frameworks in the individual countries, making it harder for international investors to participate. It also found that most Latin American countries are making commitments to be net-zero by 2050, although eight out of 43 countries analyzed have not, including Mexico and Venezuela. The commitments have not yet translated into significant use of climate related market financing instruments, such as green bonds. [4]

Source: Climate Bonds

Onshore Wind Capacity Spree in Latin America

According to information gathered by Windpower Intelligence, several large wind farms have recently been reported of reaching full commercial operations in Latin America. The newly online wind farms have added nearly 850MW of capacity in Brazil, Chile and Mexico.

Brazil saw the largest amount of capacity being brought online, at three projects: TotalEnergies’ 92.3MW Terra Santa and 67.5MW Maral, both in Rio Grande do Norte, and the final part of Neonergia’s 471MW Chafariz Complex, which started delivering to the grid last August.

In Chile, the 110MW Los Olmos wind farm, developed by a project company owned by AES Corporation (51%) and Global Infrastructure Partners (GIP, 49%), was commissioned earlier this month.

It is the largest of 12 online projects located in the Biobío region of central Chile, where another 16 wind farms, for a total capacity of 2.5GW, are currently under development.

In Mexico, IEnova and Saavi Energía’s 108MW Energía Sierra Juárez II began operations in Tecate, Baja California. It is the first cross-border renewable energy project between Mexico and the US, supplying electricity to the California electricity market. [5]

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