Maya Capital raises another US$ 100 million to invest in startups in Latin America

The market values ​​of public and private technology companies are undergoing corrections. But, at the same time, the funds that invest in the sector are capitalized and looking for opportunities. Proof of this is Maya Capital’s new fundraising.

The venture capital manager led by Lara Lemann and Mônica Saggioro announced this Wednesday (22) a new fund of US$ 100 million. In addition to Maya Capital’s first fund, worth US$41 million, the manager now manages US$141 million in total.

Maya Capital invests in early-stage startups across Latin America, leading pre-seed or seed rounds. The first fund invested in 29 startups, two of which reached a billion dollar market valuation and gained unicorn status: Chilean foodtech The Not Company and Mexican-Brazilian e-commerce company Merama.

“Our thesis continues to be that of leading the first round of the best teams in the region, regardless of the sector in which we operate”, says Lara Lemann, a partner at Maya Capital, when From Zero to Topentrepreneurship brand InfoMoney. Mônica, the other partner of Maya Capital, talks about what it means to be part of these best teams. “We are looking for founders who are passionate about problems rather than solutions. May they have grit and resilience. And, finally, that they are talent magnets.”

In return, Maya Capital offers investment and connections to talent, markets and new investors.

“We map, screen and present talents to our portfolio, totaling 400 mediations of this type so far. We also helped to assemble the commercial strategy and opened our network of contacts to present the startup to potential customers. We made 250 commercial presentations. One example was the connection between The Not Company and Starbucks. Finally, we are always helping entrepreneurs to think about their fundraising [captação de recursos] and promoting contacts. We made around 200 presentations to leading or strategic investors, local and international”, says Lara.

In addition to family offices and founders of large technology companies, with its second fund Maya Capital has now brought in institutional investors. Although the thesis remains the same, fund II has much more capital to be invested than fund I. “The first fund was important to validate our performance and gain trust from startup founders. Investors gave yet another vote of confidence to this second fund”, says Mônica.

Lara adds that the manager can now also define the terms of the round more, and “reach a more relevant participation in these businesses, justifying the efforts and time involved”. The objective is to invest the US$ 100 million in 25 to 30 startups, similar in scope to the first fund.

Maya Capital does not disclose the rate of return of its first fund, but claims that the performance is “twice the benchmark”. This standard is composed of Cambridge Associates’ analysis of the venture capital market, and knowledge of the performance of other managers in Latin America.

Robust capture at correction time

There was a brutal change of scenery for tech companies between 2021 and 2022. techs they lived with low interest rates and consumers very willing to try products and services, a context that also attracted investors. Several managers announced new funds between 2020 and 2021.

However, the siege tightened in 2022. Governments of several countries increased their interest rates, including Brazil. Fixed income has become a more attractive and safe investment for many investors, even more so in the face of instabilities such as the conflict between Ukraine and Russia. All other assets had to be repriced, including the tech companies.

Maya Capital’s partners recognize the moment of correction in valuations of techs, but affirm that the fundamentals to create exceptional businesses are still present in Latin America. “We have structural problems to be solved, talented entrepreneurs, reputable funds capitalized and exit opportunities [retorno sobre o investimento]. We are still at a good time to find startup founders”, says Mônica.

“We are optimistic, but rational. We recognize that it will be a tougher time in terms of fundraising for entrepreneurs, but, at the same time, we are always investing in those who are outside the curve. Our proposal to support talent acquisition and attracting future rounds comes as a risk reduction for them. These entrepreneurs will continue to exist, solving major problems in the region. Regardless of whether we have a crisis or not, there is no shortage of talent and problems in Latin America”, completes Lara.

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