500 Startups launches fund to invest $10M for entrepreneurship in Latin America
Seed funding and networking guru 500 Startups launches its second Latin American Regional fund to bring $10 million in commitment to Spanish-speaking startups.
The fund, Luchadores II, will be first anchored by the World Bank’s International Finance Corporation (IFC), and has plans to invest in over 120 companies through the Mexico City-based LatAm 500 Seed Program over the next 2 years.
Luchadores II will be looking to invest in Education, Health, Financial Technologies, Software as a Service, E-commerce, Health Technologies, and Tourism, among others in Latin America.
“The support of the IFC, their experience and influence across multiple industries and sectors is clearly an inflection point that will contribute to the startups in the #500Strong family,” said Santiago Zavala, Partner at 500 Startups and Managing Partner of Luchadores I & II.
“Partnering with one of the largest global development institutions focused exclusively on the private sector in developing countries will give our portfolio even more access than before,” he added.
Luchadores, which means “fighters” in Spanish, was first launched in November, 2012 and came to an end in 2015 with “with investments in 79 startups in the region through 5 cycles of its acceleration program,” according to Publicize editor George Chilton writing for Geektime.
Luchadores I’s portfolio companies have generated over 650 jobs in Latin America and have gone on to raise over $95M to date.
Luchadores II is expected to continue the pace and invest in more companies generating even more jobs in the region alongside continued ecosystem development.
“As testament to the continuing success of the 500 Luchadores portfolio companies, more than $20 million in follow-on capital has been raised from a number of funds in the region, including investments from Verizon Ventures, Axon Partners, and Angel Ventures Mexico, among others,” Chilton explained, adding, “moreover, the portfolio startups collectively bill over $18 million and employ more than 500 people. These figures hint at a bright future.”
500 Startups is the most active early stage investor in the Latin American & Spanish-speaking market with over 100 companies and over $8M invested in the region since 2013.