The new regulation also orders insurance providers to cover cannabis products prescribed by doctors. Some of the strongest champions of the government’s move were mothers of sick children.
Their neighbors carried out crimes against humanity — and were exposed for it.
Joaquín Salvador Lavado drew the comic strip of the six-year-old Argentine girl, who was curious about the world and finely attuned to its injustices.
Europe’s biggest leagues have long looked to Argentina for young talent. But now the country’s exports are dwindling. What went wrong?
Schwartzman is among the shortest players in elite tennis, but at this unique French Open, he has become a brutal opponent.
The families had grown angry at the former government for delaying the search operation and giving them what turned out to be false hope. Now, the new government says spies tracked the families.
Extreme temperatures and more severe droughts, the result of human-caused climate change, have created a world that’s ready to burn.
Bringing back the top predator to Argentina’s wetlands could restore the health of an entire ecosystem. But inducing five felines with troubled pasts to hunt, and mate, is not easy.
While many fossils have been flattened by time and the elements, a titanosaur found in an egg was preserved in three dimensions.
A species of insect tags along with elephant seals as they spend months at sea, enduring the crushing pressure changes of the mammals’ dives.
Mr. Breitfeld was determined to attend this year’s antiquarian book fair in New York City. He began to sicken as he flew home, and died of the novel coronavirus.
Lana, a new startup based in Madrid, is looking to be the next big thing in Latin American fintech.
Founded by a serial entrepreneur Pablo Muniz, whose last business was backed by one of Spain’s largest financial services institutions, BBVA; Lana is looking to be the all-in-one financial services provider for Latin America’s gig economy workers.
Muniz’s last company, Denizen, was designed to provide expats in foreign and domestic markets with the financial services they would need as they began their new lives in a different country. While the target customer for Lana may not be the same middle to upper-middle-class international traveler that he had previously hoped to serve, the challenges gig economy workers face in Latin America are much the same.
Muniz actually had two revelations from his work at Denizen. The first — he would never try to launch a fintech company in conjunction with a big bank. And the second was that fintechs or neobanks that focus on a very niche segment will be successful — so long as they can find the right niche.
The biggest niche that Muniz saw that was underserved was actually in the gig economy space in Latin America. “I knew several people who worked at gig economy companies and I knew that their businesses were booming and the industry was growing,” he said. “[But] I was concerned about the inequalities.”
Workers in gig economy marketplaces in Latin America often don’t have bank accounts and are paid through the apps on which they list their services in siloed wallets that are exclusive to that particular app. What Lana is hoping to do is become the wallet of wallets for all of the different companies on which laborers list their services. Frequently, drivers will work for Uber or Cabify and deliver food for Rappi. Those workers have wallets for each service.
Lana wants to unify all of those disparate wallets into a single account that would operate like a payment account. These accounts can be opened at local merchant shops and, once opened, workers will have access to a debit card that they can use at other locations.
The Lana service also has a bill pay feature that it’s rolling out to users, in the first evolution of the product into a marketplace for financial services that would appeal to gig workers, Muniz said.
“We want to become that account in which they receive funds,” he said. “We are still iterating the value proposition to gig economy companies.”
Working with companies like Cabify, and other, undisclosed companies, Lana has plans to roll out in Mexico, Chile, Peru, and eventually Colombia and Argentina.
Eventually, Lana hopes to move beyond basic banking services like deposits and payments and into credit services. Already hundreds of customers are using the company’s service, through the distribution partnership with Cabify, which ran the initial pilot to determine the viability of the company’s offering.
“The idea of creating Lana was initially tested as an internal project at Cabify,” Muniz wrote in an email. “Soon Cabify and some potential investors saw that Lana could have a greater impact as an independent company, being able to serve gig economy workers from any industry and decided to start over a new entrepreneurial project.”
Through those connections with Cabify, Lana was able to bring in other investors like the Silicon Valley-based investment firm Base 10.
“One of the things we’ve been interested in is in inclusion generally and in fintech specifically,” said Adeyemi Ajao, the firm’s co-founder. “We had gotten very close to investing in a couple of fintech companies in Latin America and that is because the opportunity is huge. There are several million people going from unbanked to banked in the region.”
Along with a few other investors Base 10 put in $12.5 million to finance the Lana as it looks to expand. It’s a market that has few real competitors. Nubank, Latin America’s biggest fintech company, is offering credit services across the continent, but most of their end users already have an established financial history.
“Most of their end users are not unbanked,” said Ajao. “With Lana it is truly gig workers… They can start by being a wallet of wallets and then give customers products that help them finance their cars or their scooters.”
The ultimate idea is to get workers paid faster and provide a window into their financial history that can give them more opportunities at other gig economy companies, said Ajao. “The vision would be that someone can pug in their financial information for services. If they’re working for Rappi and have never been an Uber driver and they want to be an Uber driver, Lana can use their financial history with Rappi to offer a loan on a car,” he said.
That financial history is completely inaccessible to a traditional bank, and those established financial services don’t care about the history built in wallets that they can’t control or track. “Today if you’ve been a gig worker and you go to a bank, that’s worth nothing,” said Ajao.
After decades in captivity and a 1,700-mile road trip from Argentina into Brazil, an Asian elephant named Mara finally gained a chance to roam.
BlackRock, the world’s largest asset management company, is opposing a debt settlement deal with Argentina as the country grapples with soaring poverty and the pandemic.
The coolest reptiles on the planet occasionally freeze solid.
When mothers take to the streets — particularly those from privileged groups — governments take note. The “wall of moms” in Portland has taken up the cause against police violence.
The Not Company, Latin America’s leading contender in the plant-based meat and dairy substitute market, is about to close on an $85 million round of funding that would value it at $250 million, according to sources familiar with the company’s plans.
The latest round of funding comes on the heels of a series of successes for the Santiago-based business. In the two years since NotCo launched on the global stage, the company has expanded beyond its mayonnaise product into milk, ice cream, and hamburgers. Other products, including a chicken meat substitute are also on the product roadmap, according to people familiar with the company.
NotCo is already selling several products in Chile, Argentina and Latin America’s largest market — Brazil — and has signed a blockbuster deal with Burger King to be the chain’s supplier of plant-based burgers. It’s in this Burger King deal that NotCo’s approach to protein formulation is paying dividends, sources said. The company is responsible for selling 48 sandwiches per store per day in the locations where it’s supplying its products, according to one person familiar with the data. That figure outperforms Impossible Foods per-store sales, the person said.
NotCo is also now selling its burgers in grocery stores in Argentina and Chile. And while the company is not break even yet, sources said that by December 2021 it could be — or potentially even cash flow positive.
With the growth both in sales and its diversification into new products, it’s little wonder that investors have taken note.
Sources said that the consumer brand focused private equity firm L Catterton Partners and the Biz Stone-backed Future Positive were likely investors in the new financing round for the company. Previous investors in NotCo include Bezos Expeditions, the personal investment firm of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, the London-based CPG investment firm, The Craftory, IndieBio and SOS Ventures.
Alternatives to animal products are a huge (and still growing) category for venture investors. Earlier this month Perfect Day closed on a second tranche of $160 million for that company’s latest round of financing, bringing that company’s total capital raised to $361.5 million, according to Crunchbase. Perfect Day then turned around and launched a consumer food business called the Urgent Company.
These recent rounds confirm our reporting in Extra Crunch about where investors are focusing their time as they try to create a more sustainable future for the food industry. Read more about the path they’re charting.
Meanwhile large food chains continue to experiment with plant-based menu items and push even further afield into cell-based meat using cultures from animals. KFC recently announced that it would be expanding its experiment with Beyond Meat’s chicken substitute in the U.S. — and would also be experimenting with cultured meat in Moscow.
Behind all of this activity is an acknowledgement that consumer tastes are changing, interest in plant-based diets are growing, and animal agriculture is having profound effects on the world’s climate.
As the website ClimateNexus notes, animal agriculture is the second-largest contributor to human-made greenhouse gas emissions after fossil fuels. It’s also a leading cause of deforestation, water and air pollution, and biodiversity loss.
There are 70 billion animals raised annually for human consumption, which occupy one-third of the planet’s land arable and habitable land surface, and consume 16% of the world’s freshwater supply. Reducing meat consumption in the world’s diet could have huge implications for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. If Americans were to replace beef with plant-based substitutes, some studies suggest it would reduce emissions by 1,911 pounds of carbon dioxide.
The extinct South American animal made us believe it was as fierce as a saber-tooth cat, but a new study suggests it was a mere scavenger.
We’re excited to announce that Extra Crunch is now available to readers in Argentina, Brazil and Mexico. That adds to our existing support in the U.S., Canada, UK, and select European countries.
You can sign for Extra Crunch here.
Latin America has always caught the eye of big tech. For companies like Facebook, Amazon, and Uber, Latin America has represented a massive growth opportunity. But it’s not just big tech that’s investing in Latin America. The startup scene is booming. According to Crunchbase, VCs invested billions into Latin America in 2018 and 2019.
In 2018, the TechCrunch team took a trip to Sao Paulo, Brazil to host Startup Battlefield Latin America. We knew about the hot startup scene and massive investments, and wanted to meet the founders fueling the fire in person.
The excitement, wit, creativity, and energy of the entrepreneurs in Latin America was impressive. We were dazzled by the pitches from budding startup teams, and we were enlightened by the investors sharing their wealth of knowledge about the ecosystem. What we saw in person helped us tie the funding to the faces of the teams building the future. The entrepreneurial mentality of Silicon Valley doesn’t have borders; it’s alive and well across Latin America.
We wanted to bring Extra Crunch to Latin America to help support the startups and investors in this market because community has always been our top priority. We hope that Extra Crunch’s deep analysis and company building resources will help the Latin America tech community grow even stronger than it is today.
We’ve been polling our audience about expanded country support for over a year now, and Argentina, Brazil and Mexico have always been near the top of the list. Now, we’re delivering on the promise to bring Extra Crunch to everyone that asked for it.
We’re optimistic that Extra Crunch will be a big hit in Latin America, and we hope entrepreneurs and investors in the region who have not yet heard of TechCrunch will give it a try.
You can sign for Extra Crunch here.
What is Extra Crunch?
Extra Crunch is a membership program from TechCrunch that features research and reporting, reader utilities, and savings on software services and events. We deliver over 100 exclusive articles per month, with a focus on startup teams and investors.
Our weekly Extra Crunch investor surveys will help members find out where startup investors plan to write their next checks. Extra Crunch subscribers will be able to build a company better with how-tos and interviews from experts on fundraising, growth, monetization and other key work topics. Readers can also learn about the best startups through our IPO analysis, late-stage deep dives and other exclusive reporting delivered daily.
Here’s a taste of the articles you can expect to see in Extra Crunch:
- Women are the secret ingredient in Latin America’s outsized returns
- You need a minimum viable company, not a minimum viable product
- 6 strategic stages of seed fundraising in 2020
- Latin American startup deals see major drop in COVID-19 era
Beyond articles, Extra Crunch also features a series of reader utilities and discounts to help save time and money. This includes an exclusive newsletter, no banner ads on TechCrunch.com, Rapid Read mode, List Builder tool and more. Committing to an annual or two-year Extra Crunch membership will unlock discounts on TechCrunch events and access to Partner Perks. Our Partner Perks can help you save on services like AWS, Brex, Canva, DocSend, Zendesk and more.
Thanks to all of our readers who voted on where to expand support for Extra Crunch, and thanks to all that participated in the Extra Crunch Beta in Latin America. If you haven’t voted and you want to see Extra Crunch in your local country, let us know here. We’re actively working on expanding support to more countries, and input from readers is greatly appreciated.
You can sign up or learn more about Extra Crunch here.
An Argentine man stuck in Portugal because of the virus travels for 85 days the only way he could: in a small boat.
Remessa Online, the Brazilian money transfer service, said it has closed on $20 million in financing from one of the leading Latin American venture capital firms, Kaszek Ventures, and Accel Partners’ Kevin Efrusy, the architect of the famed venture capital firm’s Latin American investments.
Since its launch in 2016, Remessa Online has provided a pipeline for over $2 billion worth of international transfers for small and medium-sized businesses in the country. The company now boasts over 300,000 customers from 100 countries and says its fees are typically one eighth the cost of the local money transfer options.
“We understand that transferring money is just the beginning, and we are eager to build a global financial system that will make life easier for global citizens and businesses alike,” Liuzzi said.
Money transfer services are a huge business that startups have spent the last decade trying to improve in Europe and the U.S. European money transfer company, TransferWise has raised over $770 million alone in its bid to unseat the incumbents in the market. Meanwhile, the business-to-business cross-border payment gateway, Payoneer, has raised roughly $270 million to provide those services to small businesses.
Remessa Online already boasts a powerful group of investors and advisors including André Penha, the co-founder of apartment rental company QuintoAndar, and the former chief operating officer of Kraft Heinz USA, Fabio Armaganijan. With the new investment from Kaszek Ventures, firm co-founder Hernan Kazah, also the co-founder of the Latin American e-commerce giant MercadoLibre, will take a seat on the company’s board.
“We developed an online solution that is faster and substantially cheaper than traditional banking platforms, with digital and scalable processes and omnichannel customer support offered by a team of experts”, said Remessa Online’s co-founder and strategy director Alexandre Liuzzi, in a statement.
Last year, the company expanded its money transfer service to the U.K. and Europe, allowing Brazilians abroad to invest money, pay for education or rent housing without documentation or paperwork. The company’s accounts now come with an International Banking Account Number that allows its customers to receive money in nine currencies.
With the new year, Remessa has added additional services for small and medium-sized businesses and expanded its geographic footprint to include Argentina and Chile.
Latin American countries — especially Brazil — have been hit hard by the COVID-19 pandemic. While much of the economy is still reeling, the broad trends that are moving consumers and businesses to adopt e-commerce and mobile payment solutions are just as pronounced in the region as they are in the U.S., according to investors like Kazah.
“This crisis is accelerating the digitization process of several industries around the world and Remessa Online has taken the lead to transform the cross-border segment in Brazil, specially for SMBs,” he said in a statement.
Founded in 2016 by Fernando Pavani, Alexandre Liuzzi, Stefano Milo and Marcio William, Remessa Online was born from the founders own needs to find an easier way to send and receive money from abroad, according to the company.
In 2018, after a $4 million investment from Global Founders Capital and MAR Ventures, the company developed international processing capabilities and a more robust compliance tool kit to adhere to international anti-money laundering and know your customer standards. In the latter half of 2019, the company entered the SMB market with the launch of a toolkit for businesses that had been typically ignored by larger financial services institutions in Brazil.
“We believe in a world without physical borders. Our mission is to help our clients with their global financial needs, so that they can focus on what matters: their international dreams,” said Liuzzi.
Eleven foreign couples, previously barred by coronavirus restrictions, have entered the country to meet their newborns. But births are still outpacing pickups.
Dozens of countries that borrowed from private investors have debt payments coming due as their economies have crashed because of the coronavirus.
Belvo, a Latin American fintech startup which launched just 12 months ago, has already snagged funding from two of the biggest names in North and South American venture capital.
The company is aiming to expand the reach of its service that connects mobile applications in Mexico and Colombia to a customer’s banking information and now has some deep-pocketed investors to support its efforts.
If the business model sounds familiar, that’s because it is. Belvo is borrowing a page from the Plaid playbook. It’s a strategy that ultimately netted the U.S. startup and its investors $5.3 billion when it was acquired by Visa in January of this year.
Belvo and its backers, who funneled $10 million into the year-old company, want to replicate Plaid’s success and open up an entire new range of financial services companies in Latin America.
The round was co-led by Silicon Valley’s Founders Fund and Argentina’s Kaszek. With the new arsenal of capital complimented by the Founders Fund’s network and Kaszek’s deep knowledge of the Latin American market, Belvo hopes to triple its current team of 25 that is spread across operations in Mexico City and Barcelona.
Since its initial establishment in May 2019, the company has raised a total of $13 million from Y Combinator (W20) along with some of the biggest players in Latin America’s startup scene. Those investors include David Velez, the co-founder of Brazil’s multi-billion dollar lending startup, Nubank; MAYA Capital and Venture Friends.
The company’s co-founders, Pablo Viguera and Oriol Tintoré are no stranger to startups themselves. Viguera served as COO at European payments app Verse, and is a former general manager of one of the big European neo-banks, Revolut. Tintoré is a former NASA aerospace engineer, and while working for his Stanford MBA, founded Capella Space, an information collection startup that went on to raise over $50 million.
The company said it aims to work with leading fintechs in Latin America, spanning across verticals like the neobanks, credit providers and personal finance products Latin Americans use every day.
Belvo has built a developer-first API platform that can be used to access and interpret end-user financial data to build better, more efficient and more inclusive financial products in Latin America. Developers of popular neobank apps, credit providers and personal finance tools use Belvo’s API to connect bank accounts to their apps to unlock the power of open banking.
Viguera says the capital will be used to open a new office in Sao Paulo, and invest in new product and business development hires. Notably, Belvo is only one year old, having launched in January 2020 and operative in Mexico and Colombia.
Belvo’s latest funding also marks another instance of a U.S.-Latin America investment teamup for a Latin American company.
Nuvocargo, a logistics startup that wants to bolster the Mexico – U.S. trade lane with its freight transportation technology, also recently raised a round co-led by Mexico’s ALLVP and Silicon Valley-based NFX. American investors may be starting to take note of the co-investment opportunity of putting capital into startups serving the Latin American market in partnership with successful new wave domestic funds like Mexico’s ALLVP and Argentina’s Kaszek.
Governments won’t be able to contain the pandemic if they are forced to use scarce foreign currency to make unsustainable debt payments.
Even before the coronavirus deepened Argentina’s recession, the country was on track to default on $66 billion in debt.
A movement to make Spanish grammar less centered on male terms has gained broad adherence, including from President Alberto Fernández.