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Latin America Roundup: Uber acquires Cornershop, Softbank invests in Buser and Olist

Brazil continued to churn out unicorns this month, with Curitiba-based Ebanx becoming the first startup from the southern part of the country to top a $1 billion valuation.

Their clients include Airbnb, AliExpress, Pipedrive, Spotify, Uber and Wish, and more than 50 million Latin Americans have conducted transactions with more than 1,000 companies through the Ebanx platform.

Brazil’s PagSeguro and StoneCo had successful IPOs last year, while Mexico’s Conekta and Ecuador’s Kushki have raised large rounds to try to unite the region under a single processor as Latin America rapidly adopts e-commerce.

The acquisition of the Chilean-Mexican grocery delivery startup Cornershop has been an emotional roller coaster for Latin American entrepreneurs and investors throughout 2019.

Colombia’s Rappi raised $1 billion from SoftBank in early 2019, breaking records for startup investment for the region.

In early October 2019, the Japanese investor led an undisclosed Series B round for Brazilian collaborative bus chartering startup Buser.

Startups in Brazil, Colombia and Argentina raised several rounds this month, ranging from $1.5 million to $13 million.

Brazilian human resource management platform Xerpa raised $13 million from Vostok Emerging Finance to continue to help companies like MercadoLibre, iFood and QuintoAndar provide benefits for their employees.

Sempli, an online lending platform for small businesses in Colombia, raised an $8 million Series A from new investors Oikocredit and Incofin CVSO, as well as previous investors BID LAB, XTPI Fund, Generación Exponencial, and Impulsum Ventures.

Brazil’s Quicko, an alternative mobility startup that uses big data, raised $10 million in October from Brazilian transport company CCR.

Also in Brazil, startup Gorilla Invest raised $8.4 million from Ribbit Capital, Monashees and Iporanga.

We may well see a similar uptick this year as mega-funds like SoftBank have been consistently investing multi-million dollar rounds since June.

There is no sign international investment in Latin America will slow through the end of the year, so we can likely look forward to several more growth-stage rounds before the year is out.

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