BNPL leader, Addi, raises $75M in Series b extension

Addi announced a $75 million extension to its Series B, bringing the total round size to $140 million. In late May the startup announced it had raised $35 million in an equity round led by Union Square’s Opportunity Fund, and $30 million in debt funding from Architect Capital.

The company, which has dual headquarters in Bogota, Colombia, and São Paulo, Brazil, declined to reveal its new valuation other than to say it is “nearly triple” what it was 90 days ago when it closed on the first tranche of its Series B, and that it is now in the “hundreds of millions” of dollars range.

Addi, the fintech and digital commerce startup, is a leading “Buy Now Pay Later” player in Latin America. In 2020, Latin America led the world in e-commerce sales growth (36.7%). With e-commerce transactions in the region projected to exceed $160 billion by 2024, the market is well poised for online and digital BNPL purchases to explode in popularity. Addi is currently available for e-commerce, mobile, and brick-and-mortar purchases in Brazil and Colombia, with plans to expand across Latin America in the coming years.

With the latest financing, Addi has now raised a total of $220 million in debt and equity since its September 2018 inception — $140 million of that in equity and over $80 million in debt. (TechCrunch)

Source: LAVCA Tech Report 2021

Chile copper exports soar in August on high prices

Chilean copper exports soared 40.5% in value in August from a year earlier amid high global prices for the red metal, the central bank said on Tuesday.

The price of copper – a key metal in construction and electric vehicle manufacturing – hit record highs earlier this year and has remained higher than long-term averages, bringing a windfall to Chile, the world’s top copper producer.

Total exports of copper jumped to $4.383-billion last month, more than half the value of the country’s overall exports, which hit $7.822-billion in August.

Chile reported a trade surplus of $6-million, the bank said, as imports in August also soared 73%, to $7.816-billion.

Chile’s state miner Codelco is the world’s largest copper producer and global miners BHP, Anglo American and Antofagasta, among others, also have operations in the country. (Bloomberg)

Source: London Metal Exchange, Bloomberg

Medellin strives to become Latin America’s first ‘eco-city’

Colombia will invest US$1bn in a program for the development of smart cities and one for the deployment of digital educational centers according to ICT ministry, Jorge Barrera Medina The official said 63 cities are now mapped with potential to become “intelligent.” Speaking at the GSMA Thrive event, Barrera Medina said the program has a budget of US$342mn for this year. The second project, dubbed Proyecto 10k, involves installing 10,000 digital centers in 2021 and 2022, mostly in rural educational institutions, benefitting over 1mn students.

With a budget of US$575mn, it is considered the “largest project in the ministry’s history,” Barrera Medina said during the event. The two initiatives fall under a broader set of programs being championed by the government with the ambition of, in President Iván Duque’s words, transforming Colombia into a “digital hub” in Latin America. They also include a plan to activate 16 digital transformation centers for small enterprises and entrepreneurs, through which the government expects to provide support to 2,000 companies by year-end, Barrera Medina said. “It’s not easy for certain companies to work totally remotely. We have to facilitate their digital transformation.” The government also launched, in partnership with export development bank Bancóldex and backed by the national guarantee fund, a credit line with US$25mn in resources destined to the “economic reactivation” of IT micro, small and mid-sized enterprises. Another already announced program involves training 100,000 Colombians in software and IT programming by 2022. (Bnamericas, GSMA Thrive)

Source: ACI Medellín – Agencia de Cooperación e Inversión de Medellín y el área Metropolitiana

Visa reportedly aims to integrate Bitcoin payments in Brazil

This week Visa revealed it’s intentions to integrate crypto assets onto its platform for both payments and as a store of value, including the leading cryptocurrency, Bitcoin (BTC).

Back in March 2021, Visa’s CEO of Brazil, Fernando Teles, introduced the concept of adopting tokenized payments, as well as an application programming interface, or API, designed to bridge the gap between traditional financial institutions and crypto services.

In the interview, Teles shared his belief that greater adoption will require the integration of traditional banking activity within the cryptocurrency ecosystem so that customers can transact with fiat and crypto within the same environment.

Visa already offers 180 currencies on its platform and will look to leverage its 170 million global customer base and established fintech relationships with national banks Alterbank, Ripio and Zro in maximizing adoption in the region.

There was no specific announcement as to the date of the launch, but it is widely expected in the coming months.

“The great advantage of adopting Bitcoin is, without a doubt, its ease. Without needing to exchange a fiat currency, there is an optimization of exchanges when using Bitcoin,” said Teles.

Alongside this service, Teles also suggested the possibility of customers receiving cashback in crypto:

“Brazilians already have the culture of receiving card points, miles, discounts, etc. Why not receive cryptocurrencies with their credit card as well?”

Visa is no stranger to making headlines in the cryptocurrency space. In a bid to portray its pioneer status as a cultural intermediary of traditional and modern finance, Visa last month purchased a CryptoPunk nonfungible token avatar for 50 Ether (ETH) — $150,000 at the time of sale. (CoinTelegraph)

Source: CBInsights, LatamList, Statista, Crunchbase, PayspaceMagazine

Compound Foods raises $4.5M for sustainable coffee

Compound Foods, a foodtech creating a more sustainable way for coffee lovers to enjoy their brew, recently raised $4.5M in seed funding. This round brings their total raised to $5.3M. The startup is backed by Chris Sacca’s climate fund Lowercarbon Capital, SVLC, Humboldt Fund, Magma Partners, Collaborative Fund, Maple VC, Petri Bio, and angel investors like Nick Green, CEO of Thrive Market.

Founded in 2020 by Costa Rican-born entrepreneur Maricel Saenz, Compound Foods uses synthetic biology to create coffee without the beans. Saenz saw how climate change was affecting coffee growers around the world.

With coffee being the fifth most polluting crop in the value chain, Compound Foods uses food science to recreate a base formula using sustainable ingredients and reducing the amount of water needed to produce. According to Saenz, it takes 140 liters of water along the coffee growth chain to make one cup of coffee.

The company seeks to create a product that is sustainable but also tastes good, recreating coffee inspired by flavors from different parts of the world like chocolate notes found in a cup of Brazilian coffee.

With the new funding, Compound Foods aims to improve the formulation and scale up the brand as the company works toward a soft launch by the end of the year. The company is also hiring coffee lovers to help build out its technology and to expand its marketing, product, and business teams. (LatamList, TechCrunch)

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