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The ecosystem of VCs and startups in LatAm have been constantly growing for a decade. This has shown the beginning of a different stage: that of consolidation.
2021 has been a year of extraordinary investment in the region. As of last August, there were $ 12 billion invested in 500 deals, of which $ 3.6 billion went only to fintech companies, according to data from Pitchbook and ALLVP.
However, these levels of capitalization have allowed several companies to expand in the region by acquiring small players in new markets.
It is a sign that the ecosystem is strengthening, since the focus is no longer so much the creation of new startups but its evolution towards local giants. Only in the second half of the year we have seen five important deals:
Ualá bought the Mexican bank ABC Capital
The Argentine unicorn seeks to position itself as a strong fintech competitor in Mexico. After raising an investment round of $ 350 million dollars (mdd), the fintech acquired the ABC Capital bank in Mexico, which was in financial trouble.
The acquisition of ABC Capital is a concrete bet for Ualá. This way, the startup can obtain all the regulatory requirements demanded by the Mexican financial market. If obtained, Ualá could gain an advantage in its competition with Brazil’s Nubank, which is also looking to grow in Mexico.
Yummy completed the acquisition of the Bolivian super app Yaigo
The acquisition of the Bolivian delivery company Yaigo is strategic for Yummy, a startup of Venezuelan origin. Yaigo, whose name is an acronym for “you ask I go”, is one of the first Bolivian technology exports with a profitable and scalable business model. Prior to the acquisition, Yaigo operated in Bolivia and Paraguay.
“We are happy to add Yaigo to the Yummy family and with this continue to grow exponentially in the region,” said Vicente Zavarce, Founding CEO and CEO of Yummy, in a statement. The plans of the Venezuelan company are to continue expanding throughout South America.
Delivery Hero acquired the Salvadoran super app Hugo
Hugo, the leading delivery, transportation and fintech company in Central America attracted the attention of the German giant Delivery Hero.
HugoApp is of Salvadoran origin but also operates in Guatemala, Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica, the Dominican Republic and Jamaica. Although Delivery Hero is a European company, it can give Hugo the fuel he needs to get out of South America and become a global super app.
Jüsto bought Freshmart, the main digital supermarket in Peru
Last October, the Mexican company Jüsto announced the acquisition of Freshmart, the main online supermarket in Peru. This operation will allow Jüsto to continue implementing fair practices without intermediaries for local suppliers.
Jüsto’s goal is to transform supermarket shopping throughout the region. With the $ 65 million investment it received in early 2021, the Mexican startup is capitalized enough to quickly become the favorite supermarket delivery app in Latin America through these types of acquisitions.
Konfío acquires Sr. Pago and expands its portfolio of services for SMEs
The Mexican fintech made a very strategic move by acquiring Mr. Pago, because with it Konfío can offer B2C payments. It’s the third acquisition that Konfío has made since 2020. It had previously acquired Astro, a digital operability platform for SMEs, and Gestionix, an ERP also for these types of companies.