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Latin America’s Kaszek Ventures Closes on $600M Funds, Underscoring Region’s Growing Appeal

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Kaszek Ventures has closed on two funds totaling $600 million to continue, and ramp up, its investing in Latin American startups, TechCrunch reported this morning.

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The funds marks the eight-year-old firm’s fourth and fifth, according to its Crunchbase profile, and combined are triple the amount of the $200 million fund it last closed in July 2017. Kaszek raised its first fund in September 2011. That totaled $95 million and was backed by Sequoia Capital. The firm then closed a $135 million fund in 2014.

Kaszek, which is based in Buenos Aires, Argentina and has offices in Sao Paulo, Brazil and Mexico City, gets its name from a combination of its co-founders Hernan Kazah and Nicolas Szekasy.  

According to TC, the new commitments were raised in about a two-month time period and “put Kaszek’s total capital under management at roughly $1 billion, making the firm the first local early stage investor to hit that milestone.”

The firm has had 10 known exits and has made nearly 90 investments over its lifetime, according to its Crunchbase profile. Some of its more high-profile portfolio companies include a number of fast-growing Brazilian companies: fintech startup Creditas, digital bank Nubank, Gympass, and Loggi, a shipping logistics platform.

The news is further evidence that the Latin American startup scene is hotter than ever. Earlier this year, I reported on how data from LAVCA, the Association for Private Capital Investment in Latin America, found that VC funding into the region nearly doubled in 2018 to a record $1.98 billion compared to $1.14 billion over 2017.

At that time, Gabriel Braga, the CEO of another Brazilian startup, QuintoAndar, told me how Kaszek took a chance on his company years ago. With these new funds, I expect we’ll be seeing even more investments in the region in the coming years.

Julie Ruvolo, director of venture capital strategy at LAVCA, agrees. She told me via email this morning that in the wake of recent announcements of large global funds (such as SoftBank) investing in the region, “it’s an important benchmark to see one of the key local players raise such a significant fund, and a bellwether for the growing trend of co-investments between local and global venture investors.”

Illustration: Li-Anne Dias

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