August 29, 2019 / 4:45 PM / 3 months ago

Argentina's Kaszek Ventures raises $600 mln for LatAm startups

Aug 29 (Reuters) - Argentine venture capital group Kaszek Ventures said on Thursday that it had raised $600 million through two funds, adding to a wave of new money entering Latin America’s burgeoning startup scene.

Kaszek, which was founded by former executives of Argentine e-commerce site MercadoLibre, said in a statement that it had gathered $375 million for a fund for early-stage companies. Another $225 million will go to support companies that are further along in their development.

Latin American entrepreneurs have long struggled to raise money on the order of their peers in Silicon Valley, but that is starting to change.

Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp earlier this year launched a $5 billion fund focused on Latin America, prompting other venture capital firms to take a more serious look at the region.

“We initiated the process (of raising the funds) in mid-June and received massive demand from top-tier investors globally,” Nicolas Szekasy, a Kaszek co-founder, said in a statement.

Kaszek says it has invested in more than 70 companies, mostly in Brazil, Mexico, Colombia and Argentina.

In Brazil, they include fintech startup Nubank and a co-investment with SoftBank in used car platform Volanty.

In Mexico, SoftBank has been in talks to invest in used car platform Kavak and fintech firm Konfio, both of which have also been backed by Kaszek. (Reporting by Julia Love in Mexico City; Editing by Daina Beth Solomon and Rosalba O’Brien)

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