Cargamos, the last-mile delivery platform, raises $11M seed round

Mexico City-based last-mile logistics platform announced a $7 million raise in follow-on funding, bringing its total seed round to $11 million. It will use the capital to create a nationwide distributed warehouse network so regional retailers can compete with giants like Amazon.

Cargamos intends to use the funding to build a large fulfilment facility and expand its network of mini distribution centers or “pods,” where packages are sorted and sent out for final delivery. The company currently has about 50 pods which I seeks to double in six months so that it can cover a service area around Mexico City of up to 75 additional cities, according to Ivan Ariza, founder and CEO of Cargamos.

Currently, Cargamos works with three of Mexico’s largest retailers, including Liverpool, Mexico’s largest chain of department stores, as well the top 50 companies with an e-commerce channel in the country, according to the company. When it builds its fulfilment facility, it will be able to expand its service to smaller and medium-sized businesses that don’t have their own fulfilment centers, opening the door for expanded e-commerce in Mexico.

Retailers can access Cargamos’ pod network via its cloud-based software platform, which includes smart routing and an ability to get a bird’s eye view of the different points of logistics, from fulfilment to pod to front door.

Cargamos’ pods are created out of unused spaces in parking garages and shopping malls and are strategically located in urban areas to shorten the distance to the end-customer, allowing for what Ariza calls “quick commerce” or delivery in around two hours. Cargamos has its own fleet of delivery vehicles and drivers, but its platform allows for third-party carriers to connect to the network, as well.

The company says 25% of its delivery fleet is made up of zero emissions vehicles like electric cars, bicycles and electric motorcycles. Eco-friendly transport and multiple pod locations allow Cargamos to reduce the carbon footprint of each package by 80%, according to the company. (TechCrunch)

Image note: Includes products or services ordered using the internet, regardless of the method of payment or fulfillment; excludes travel and event tickets, payments such as bill pay, taxes or money transfers, food services and drinking place sales, gambling and other vice goods sales. Source: eMarketer, Dec 2, 2020

Atlantico Latin America State of Venture 2021

Highlights:

– The Atlantico Digital Transformation Index, which measures tech penetration by tracking the value of public technology companies as a percentage of GDP, rose to 3.4% in 2021 from 2.3% in 2020 for LatAm as of August.

-According to Atlantico’s analysis of private company data, we estimate that the value of regional unicorns reached $105 billion, more than double last year’s figure of $46 billion. Eight new unicorns have already been minted this year, nearly reaching 2020’s rate by midyear. (Atlantico, Techcrunch)

*Definition of technology companies excludes telecom; Company location is defined as its physical HQ location. **Tech market cap for all public companies as of August 2021 and forecasted GDP for Q3-2021. Source: Capital IQ and Bloomberg for market capitalization data, World Bank and ECLAC for GDP data, Atlantico analysis.

*Includes all companies that were at any point between 2018 and 2021 considered a unicorn; “Unicorn” is defined as a private tech company valued at $1Bn or more. Source: Crunchbase, Expert Interviews, Pitchbook and Atlantico analysis

Venezuela Debt Swap Breathes Life Into All-But-Dead Bond Market

The market for Venezuela’s defaulted bonds is coming back to life as traders bet that the government’s move to swap a stake in a Caribbean refinery to settle some of its obligations could portend more deals to come.

Volumes are still small, limited by sanctions that prevent U.S. investors from buying the notes. But when securities come up for sale they’re almost immediately snapped up, mostly by European funds with a significant tolerance for risk. Prices of bonds from state-owned oil producer Petroleos de Venezuela have climbed as much as 17% over the past month — though they remain deep in distressed levels at about 5.25 cents on the dollar. Sovereign bonds are up about 20% to 11 cents, according to brokers and term sheets seen by Bloomberg.

It’s a turnaround from recent years, when the debt was basically left to rot on balance sheets amid sanctions imposed by the Trump administration in 2018 that prevented any kind of traditional restructuring. Now hopes have been revived with the swap for the refinery, called Refidomsa, the first tangible evidence that President Nicolas Maduro’s government is prepared to start chipping away at the delinquent bonds — which, at $80 billion with interest, is among the world’s biggest piles of defaulted obligations.

Recent bond trading volumes are the highest since sanctions were imposed as buyers built up positions ahead of the political negotiations. “The Refidomsa swap helped to stimulate demand as it underscored Venezuela’s willingness to engage,” he said. 

Under the deal completed in August, the government gave investors its 49% stake in the Dominican refinery — valued at about $88 million — to settle about $361 million of old government and Pdvsa bonds. The so-called debt-for-equity swap effectively priced the bonds near 24 cents on the dollar. (Bloomberg)

Five Highlights From Clocktower Ventures Book on LATAM Payments

(Digitization Payments in Latin America playbook).

Kavak becomes the second most valuable startup in Latin America

This week Mexican unicorn Kavak raised an impressive $ 700 million to reach a valuation of 8.7 billion. The makes Kavak the second most valuable startup in Latin America, surpassed only by the Brazilian fintech NuBank.

The used car buying and selling platform has had a very busy 2021. After rethinking its strategy at the beginning of the pandemic to serve users who wanted to sell their vehicle to face the crisis, or who, on the contrary, wanted to buy a used car to have a part-time business and strengthen their income in the Uncertainty, Kavak not only reached the degree of unicorn – a startup valued at a billion dollars – but also opened operations in Brazil.

“We were born almost 5 years ago with the desire to solve a very big problem in a very informal market. As you know, in Mexico 90% of used car sales are done informally and 40% lead to fraud ranging from lose your money in a transaction to murders, “said Carlos García Ottati, CEO and Co-founder of Kavak in an interview with Entrepreneur en Español. “There is a huge opportunity to formalize this market and also to grow it so that people can have access to cars. (Reuters, Entrepeneur)

Source: LAVCA data.

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