Fast Track News This Thursday: Big Moves in Mobility, Foodtech, and Beyond

From acquisitions in mobility ecosystems to millions in foodtech startup funding, Latin America is buzzing with business dynamism across sectors such as energy transition and biotech.
FTN Thursday
FTN Thursday

In a day marked by significant business events across Latin America, CarroYa, the Colombian mobility ecosystem backed by Grupo Aval, has grabbed headlines by acquiring 100% of the shares of FacilPass for USD $21 million. This strategic acquisition will integrate electronic toll payments into CarroYa’s mobile application.

Meanwhile, the Brazilian foodtech startup Praso has announced a substantial investment of USD $9.5 million. With funding spearheaded by Valor Capital Group and NFX, the Recife-based startup aims to expand its services, which over 10,000 national clients already utilize. The investment will also bolster Praso’s expansion plans into other markets.

WhatsApp Business is another entity experiencing significant growth, especially in Latin American countries like Brazil and Mexico, where its usage rates surpassed 90% in 2022. This contrasts with the United States, where the app’s revenues have been comparatively lower.

Tech giant Intel has also announced a USD $1.2 billion investment in Costa Rica to develop next-generation technologies. The announcement coincided with the visit of Costa Rican President Rodrigo Chaves to the United States.

Chile’s Movener e-power project has clinched the 2023 Actitud Awards for converting diesel trucks into hybrids in the sustainability sector. Another Chilean venture, Fotortec, has partnered with Swedish firms for the scalable cultivation of fungi using food waste, which can then be transformed into various beneficial products.

Brazil’s Eurofarma aims to consolidate its pharmaceutical presence in Chile, targeting double-digit growth and leveraging its cutting-edge plant technology. The company has recently gained FDA approval for its Itapevi plant in Brazil and has strategic facilities in multiple Latin American countries.

Finally, Copel, a Brazilian energy company, has launched a new fund named Copel Ventures I. Created in partnership with Vox Capital, the fund aims to invest in startups focused on energy transition, including renewable energy and smart cities, with ticket sizes ranging from $410,000 to $2 million.

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