Contxto – The legendary Argentine fund Kaszek Ventures has some exciting news to share with the regional startup ecosystem. We might be a little late to the party, but hey, news like these are still worth covering.
Earlier this week, news broke that Kaszek has raised over US$600 million across two new funds. With this milestone, it’s the first early-stage local fund to exceed US$1 billion of capital raised.
The more funds, the merrier
Days ago, the VC firm closed its fundraising process for Kaszek Ventures IV and Kaszek Ventures Opportunity I. These two VC funds are worth US$375 million and US$225 million, respectively. As usual, the former will continue focusing on early-stage companies while the second will target later-stage rounds.
What’s both interesting and encouraging is the subscription rate and massive demand from LPs for both funds.
Some of the funds LPs include institutions and individuals. These involve large U.S. university endowments, global foundations, well-known tech investors, as well as local and global entrepreneurs.
“Kaszek has been a top performer while building a great platform with talented individuals. They have the right combination of investing and operating experience to help the best entrepreneurs in Latin America build world-class companies.”
Kaszek Ventures IV will keep its core business. Specifically, the former fund invests in early-staged, impactful Latin American startups raising rounds between seed and Series B.
On the other hand, Kaszek Ventures Opportunity I will fund noticeably upcoming rockstars in the ecosystem. In other words, this means later-stage rounds for portfolio companies worthy of follow-up investments.
“Our mission is to expand first-rate innovation throughout Latin America by partnering with extraordinary entrepreneurs who are building the next generation of iconic companies, using technology to positively reshape all types of industries and markets,” said Hernan Kazah, general partner and co-founder at Kaszek Ventures.
Currently, Kaszek boasts more than 70 portfolio companies. Most are from Brazil, Mexico, Colombia and Argentina, as well as other countries. Together, these startups have raised more than US$4 billion from a handful of international investors.
Kaszek was born in 2011, and since then it hasn’t stopped developing the ecosystem with no industry preference. As long as startups leverage technology, they’re game.
As a founding team of MercadoLibre, Kaszek has more than 20 years of experience. Some of its specialties include business strategy, operations and investing, particularly, in the tech industry.
Strategy = increase in participation
Kaszek’s strategy isn’t necessarily to increase the number of investments but to increase their participation in the same number of startups by injecting larger tickets. Between 25 to 30 companies are their target goal.
The increased flow of LP interest in Latin American VC and technology represents the potential upside this specific niche and region provides. This is particularly true with business returns and socio-economic development.
A variety of successful Latin American companies have received Kaszek’s blessings. Some of these include Nubank, Kavak, TheNotCompany, Konfio, Gympasss, Loggi, Creditas, and most recently, Urbvan.
“Kaszek has added and continues to add significant value to Nubank,” said David Velez, co-founder and CEO at Nubank. “They invested when we were a PowerPoint presentation. During our initial days, they even rolled up their sleeves and worked with us to help us find product-market fit and define and implement our distribution strategy.”
“Kaszek is led by successful and visionary entrepreneurs who continue shaping the ecosystem,” said Carlos Garcia, co-founder and CEO at Kavak.
“Having them as investors provide us with execution support, recruiting assistance, leadership experience, and an unparalleled network. Their impact has been material and has proven to be a key differentiator for our company.”
Kaszek Ventures, along with monashees from Brazil, are my go-to choices when it comes to the most active local funds. They’ve helped build the ecosystem the way it currently is, so this announcement is certainly exciting to see.
The increased flow of LP interest in Latin American VC and technology accurately represents the potential upside of this specific niche and region. It is appealing, not only in terms of investment returns, but the socio-economic development behind it, too.