By Nancy Dahlberg
An important player in the Miami tech and venture ecosystem has formed a partnership to jointly invest in Latin American startups, deepening the ties between the LatAm and Miami regions as well as their commitment to growing the Miami/LatAm ecosystems.
TheVentureCity, the global accelerator of technological ecosystems with headquarters in Miami and Madrid, and Wayra, the open innovation hub network by Telefonica, have signed a global deal to jointly invest in Latin American startups focused on the Internet of Things, Video, Cybersecurity, Artificial Intelligence or Machine Learning. The announcement took place during the LAVCA Summit and Investor Roundtable in New York.
Both companies have pledged to co-invest up to $250K in startups from Mexico, Argentina, Colombia, Venezuela, Peru and Chile, countries where Wayra is present through its innovation hubs. I Apart from working on the deal flow, the focus will be set on boosting the business development of the investment portfolio, as well as events organization.
“From its foundation, TheVentureCity has had a strategic position inside the Venture Capital industry in relevant geographies for both Wayra and Telefonica such as Spain and Latin America. The deep commitment with the companies they invest and the valuable support they provide in the development and scaling of businesses make TheVentureCity a key partner,” said Agustín Moro, Global Head of Partnerships at Telefonica Open Innovation, in the announcement.
Founded by Laura Gonzalez-Estefani and Clara Bullrich and launched just over two years ago, TheVentureCity has already invested in 26 companies through its Growth Program, including Daycation, Erudit, Fastmind, Epica.ai and Reloadly, all based in from Miami, and LatAm-based Eventtia, Stayfilm, Alba, CityCopy, Instafit and Oempo, said Rosa Jimenez Cano of TheVentureCity. Through its venture fund, it has also invested in Fort Lauderdale-based Boatsetter.
Wayra Spain and TheVentureCity have already started working together and in May they made their first co-investment partnership in Reloadly, a startup that is building the future through cross-border digital mobile payments in emerging markets. Through a Cloud API platform, Reloadly allows taking a step further in the payments and transactions segments, removing borders and allowing these processes to take place from any website or mobile device.
“Wayra’s experience in the region, its network and technical knowledge become the perfect partner to boost the startups in Latin-America that want to have a greater impact. The joint investment and the union of strength will take these startups to the next level,” says Ricardo Sangion, TheVentureCity's VP of the Growth Accelerator Americas.
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