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18 investors fueling Latin America’s SaaS superstars

As we showed you in the list of SaaS companies coming out of Latin America, the region has no shortage of SaaS superstars. How did this come about, though? What are the ingredients required to help foster such an ecosystem?

A healthy availability of capital is one. We looked at the data and discovered a few vital moments in the funding history of the region. Starting from 2001 with the establishment of DGF Investimentos, there has been a steady addition to the roster of funds, with key periods where a few were started around the same time. One of those was 2008/2009 when 5 funds were started. Another was 2011/2012 where not only were another 5 VC firms started but it’s also when international ones set their eyes on this vast market.

Most well-known funds experimented with funding Brazilian and Latin American B2C ventures. Unfortunately, not many bets paid off as the economy crashed in 2015 and stayed in turmoil for another 2 years. By 2017 as things stabilized, VC firms such as Accell and Tiger came back, while a new breed of local Seed stage ones was established. This time around, though, they were not focusing as much on e-commerce. It was SaaS that they were looking at. Since then, Sequoia and Andreessen Horowitz have followed suit and are active global funds in the region.

Now that the brief history lesson is over, here is a list of 18 regional funds, mostly based in or with offices in Brazil. We have also included a couple of the most active corporate investors. 

See it as preparation for the thrilling three days at SaaStock LatAm taking place April 23rd – 25th at Maksoud Plaza, São Paulo, where one of our key objectives is to raise even more awareness of the strength of the existing superstars and the up and coming upstarts of SaaS in Latin America. Grab an early bird ticket for SaaStock LatAm before February 15th to get the best possible price.

Brazil

Undoubtedly, Brazil is the most mature market for VC funding in Latin America – with both a diverse pool of venture companies and a range of promising SaaS businesses to attract funding. Here is our selection of top funds according to the predominant stage they are financing.

Seed

ONEVC

ONEVC is a relatively new star on the Latin American VC scene. It is a venture capital firm based in Brazil and Silicon Valley. Its partners boast diverse venture experience and have previously invested in more than 70 companies. The focus of ONEVC is on early stage and seed financing for entrepreneurs with high promise to create businesses that turn into leaders in their markets. The firm looks for business ideas that can lead to world-famous, transformational products.

Founded: 2017
Size of fund: $20M
Stage: Early Stage Venture, Seed
SaaS Investments: Pipefy, HeyDoctor

Canary

Canary invests in Brazilian startups, aiming to transform the country’s startup ecosystem by filling an early stage funding gap that it has identified. The VC firm focuses on ensuring entrepreneurs the right conditions for developing a winning business. Its approach is hands-off, while at the same time, the partners provide much-needed help at important points such as funding rounds and tackling challenges. Canary offers access to its extensive network for its portfolio companies.

Founded: 2016
Size of fund: $7.6M
Stage: Early Stage Venture, Late Stage Venture, Seed
SaaS Investments: Gupy, idwall, meetime, Qulture rocks, Social Miner, and Teravoz

A.B.Seed Ventures

A.B.Seed Ventures is a VC fully focused on B2B SaaS investments. The firm is financing companies at the seed stage independently or with qualifying partners. A.B.Seed provides businesses with the basics they need for fast growth. It supports them with their go-to market strategy, marketing, sales, customer success, and business development. The partners and mentors also assist portfolio companies with legal counselling and financial guidance.

Founded: 2017
Size of fund: N/A
Stage: Seed
SaaS Investments: Meetime, Aegro, GoCache, and Movidesk

Series A

DGF Investimentos

DGF Investimentos is a Brazilian VC company financing SaaS businesses. With more than 18 years of experience in investments, it’s one of the leading investment groups in the country today. DGF operates six funds and distributes them among small and medium-sized tech companies in Brazil. It has financed more than 40 companies, a few of which have also completed successful exits. The DGF team provides valuable support to businesses in crafting their strategy, operations, governance, and finance.

Founded: 2001
Size of fund: $305.8M
Stage: Early Stage Venture, Late Stage Venture, Private Equity
SaaS Investments: Resultados Digitais, Mercado Electronico, and others

Redpoint eventures

Redpoint eventures is the first  Brazilian VC fund financed by Silicon Valley. It works with Redpoint Ventures and e.ventures, the U.S. partner funds, as well as with a worldwide network of sister funds. Its focus is on early-stage Brazilian startups, with about half of its investments targeted at SaaS businesses. The company provides entrepreneurs with assistance from both national and international partners and mentors. They provide portfolio companies with insights into business development, financing, and exit strategies.

Founded: 2012
Size of fund: $130M
Stage: Early Stage Venture, Seed
SaaS Investments: Pipefy, Resultados Digitais, Qulture Rocks, and others

Kaszek Ventures

Kaszek Ventures is among the biggest venture capital firms in Latin America. Its partners are renowned entrepreneurs from the continent who have led their company to a successful exit. The VC invests in high-impact tech companies from the region. Kaszek provides portfolio businesses with guidance in terms of strategy, operations, growth, HR and networking, among others. It has invested in 58 companies across seven countries. While it is industry agnostic, Kaszek has a track record of investing in SaaS.

Founded: 2011
Size of fund: $430M
Stage: Early Stage Venture, Late Stage Venture, Seed
SaaS Investments: Delivery Direto, Xerpa, and others

Monashees Capital

Monashees Capital is the largest Brazilian VC that makes investments in innovative solutions worldwide, but with a strong focus on Latin America. It recently raised its eighth fund, which is also its largest one ever. Early stage companies that show the necessary potential receive not only financing, but also practical support with growth and development. The target fields include logistics and transportation, finance, and healthcare. Monashees has a bold manifesto: to invest in entrepreneurs who are ready to change the current reality for the better.

Founded: 2005
Size of fund: $477.1M
Stage: Early Stage Venture, Seed
SaaS Investments: ContaAzul, Pipedrive, 99, and others

Astella Investimentos

Astella Investimentos is a venture capital firm based in São Paulo. It finances promising tech companies, helping develop the startup ecosystem in Brazil. The focus of its partners is on entrepreneurs and their difficult but exhilarating journey to success. To help out founders on the way, Astella Investimentos’ mentors provide guidance in the most crucial areas, such as customer acquisition, product development, and company training, as well as creating a roadmap for scalability and all stages of business development.

Founded: 2008
Size of fund: R$65M
Stage: Early Stage Venture, Seed
SaaS Investments: Resultados Digitais, Omie and others

Valor Capital Group

Valor Capital Group’s activities bridge the U.S. and Brazil technology markets. It is the first cross-border venture fund that operates between the two countries, with offices in New York, San Francisco and São Paulo. Valor Capital provides growth equity and venture capital to visionary entrepreneurs in Brazil, as well as U.S. companies looking to expand there. With the VC’s support, its portfolio companies have managed to obtain $1.9 billion in follow-on capital.

Founded: 2011
Size of fund: $56.8M
Stage: Early Stage Venture, Late Stage Venture, Seed
SaaS Investments: Arquivei, Gupy, and others

e.Bricks Ventures

e.Bricks Ventures is a venture capital platform founded by the Sirotsky and Szajman entrepreneurial families in Brazil that invests in early-stage tech startups. The company boasts high-level investors and advisors who assist portfolio businesses with their extensive know-how in sales, technology, business development, entrepreneurship, as well as with networking connections. Funding small and mid-sized SaaS companies is one of e.Bricks’ main investment goals.

Founded: 2013
Size of fund: N/A
Stage: Early Stage Venture
SaaS Investments: Rock Content, Contabilizei, and others

SP Ventures

SP Ventures is one of the pioneers in venture capital investment in Brazil. It was launched in 2007 to operate the Criatec I Fund’s investments in São Paulo. Currently, it manages the São Paulo Innovation Fund (FIP), focusing on funding agriculture, IT, health tech and FinTech companies in the state. Target companies should have proprietary technology with high scalability potential, as well as annual revenue below R$18 million.

Founded: 2007
Size of fund: $66M
Stage: Early Stage Venture, Seed
SaaS Investments: Aegro, and others

Growth

Growth-stage VCs that have either started from Brazil and have expanded or international ones that have an established office in Brazil. 

General Atlantic

Founded in 1980, General Atlantic is one of the top global growth equity companies. Among its 13 offices spread across five regions is one in São Paulo, which manages its operations in Brazil. General Atlantic provides entrepreneurs with thorough expertise and valuable connections, enabling them to fuel their business development. It invests in four sectors: consumer, financial services, healthcare and technology. General Atlantic currently has more than 100 portfolio companies, including Airbnb and Squarespace, among others.

Founded: 1980
Size of fund: $3.3B
Stage: Early Stage Venture, Late Stage Venture, Private Equity
SaaS Investments: Gympass and others

Oria Capital

In 2016, Oria Capital launched a tech investment fund in Brazil and raised a second fund for $72 million in 2018. Its current focus is on B2B tech companies, with more than 40 transactions in Latin America to date. Oria has funded ten high-growth SaaS businesses with more than $47 million, which have gone through more than 10 M&As. Areas of particular interest for the VC are logistics, cybersecurity, human capital management, FinTech, healthcare and advertising tech.

Founded: 2009
Size of fund: N/A
Stage: Growth stage
SaaS Investments: Argo, Geofusion, Sofit, and others

Riverwood Capital

Riverwood Capital is one of the leaders in growth stage tech investments. It is based in Silicon Valley but has a particular flair for Latin American companies. Riverwood provides late stage venture and private equity funding for companies with high potential from a number of industries, including IT, hardware, consumer electronics, IT services, B2B software, and digital and consumer internet. The focus of the company is nurturing scalability, profitable growth, culture and teamwork within its portfolio businesses.

Founded: 2008
Size of fund: $3.3B
Stage: Late Stage Venture, Private Equity
SaaS Investments: 99, and others

Corporate investors

Venture divisions of large corporations that are particularly active in Brazil.

Qualcomm Ventures

Qualcomm Ventures is the VC branch of the tech giant Qualcomm. It invests in companies that are working on next-generation tech which holds potential for Qualcomm’s growth. Since 2000, it has financed more than 140 companies with a couple of billion-dollar exits, including the Brazilian app 99. The sectors of interest for Qualcomm Ventures include AI, automotive, data center, digital health, IoT, and mobile.

Founded: 2000
Size of fund: $100M
Stage: Early Stage Venture, Late Stage Venture, Seed
SaaS Investments: 99, and others

Intel Capital

Intel Capital is Intel’s division dedicated to handling its venture capital, global investments and M&As. Among its numerous activities, it funds SaaS businesses from Latin America as well. Intel Capital invests in AI, autonomous tech, software and security and IoT, among other sectors. To date, it has supported 1,544 innovative companies in 57 countries.

Founded: 1991
Size of fund: $1.3B
Stage: Corporate Venture

Mexico

ALLVP

ALLVP is a notable and active Mexican VCs, investing in national businesses, as well as in foreign companies with exposure in Latin America. It’s the first institutional fund seed and early venture capital in the country. ALLVP invests in the healthcare, FinTech, smart cities, and consumer internet sectors, with a strong focus on digital. It seeks companies holding potential for high impact and growth and are based on new tech that provides broader access to services.

Founded: 2012
Size of fund: $115M
Stage: Early Stage Venture, Seed
SaaS Investments: Alkanza, and others

Chile

Aurus Capital

Aurus Capital is an investment company that handles venture capital, real estate and capital markets. It is one of the pioneers in venture capital in Chile, as well as Latin America, investing in the development of the local entrepreneurial ecosystem. Aurus Capital provides its portfolio companies with extensive support and mentoring in best business practices and networking opportunities. Its priority sectors in HealthTech include biotech, speciality pharmaceuticals, and diagnostics and MedTech. It also invests in various other industries, such as digital marketing and e-commerce, as well as in industrial tech such as mining.

Founded: 2008
Size of fund: $80M
Stage: Early Stage Venture, Seed

Now that you know who the most important investors in the region are, grab an early bird ticket before February 15th so you can come and meet them in person.