Lara Lemann and Monica Saggioro of Sao Paulo–based mostly MAYA Capital take a regional strategy to investing, and their technique is paying off. The buyers raised $40 million for his or her first fund after beginning the agency in 2018 and have now closed on $100 million in capital commitments for MAYA’s second fund.
With their first fund, they backed over 29 firms in 12 sectors throughout Brazil, Mexico, Colombia and Chile. Two of these investments grew to become unicorns — meals tech firm NotCo and e-commerce aggregator Merama.
This new fund triples the agency’s belongings beneath administration and can allow the pair to put money into one other 25 to 30 firms, with 50% reserved for follow-in funding, Lemann, co-founder and managing companion, informed TechCrunch. MAYA may even double down on its deal with main the primary test into firms and is increasing its attain amongst Spanish-speaking founders throughout Latin America.
Its first fund was cut up 65% in Brazil and 35% in the remainder of the area, and Lemann expects to do a extra even cut up of round 50% in Brazil and 50% in Spanish-speaking LatAm. That strategy has enabled Lemann, Saggioro and their group to assist the MAYANs — their title for the businesses of their portfolio — scale from Latin America into Brazil and vice versa.
“The concept is we need to be investing within the prime founders and within the firms which are going to be the winners within the area,” she added. “We see that the winner has historically been pan-regional, in order that’s what we consider MAYA additionally must do.”
MAYA has “made just a few investments” from the brand new fund already, Lemann stated, however didn’t disclose any firm names.
Lemann and Saggioro met in 2016 when Lemann was an angel investor and Saggioro was testing totally different enterprise fashions at Harvard. What united them was the conclusion that not solely was know-how going to be a disruptor and innovator in Latin America, but additionally that there was not a lot capital dedicated to finance firms within the early phases.
They created MAYA to launch their first fund with the thesis of “main the primary enterprise spherical of one of the best groups in Latin America,” and convey extra to the ecosystem than simply capital, Lemann stated.
“That’s why we’ve taken this strategy of actually getting our fingers soiled with the portfolio,” she added.
MAYA helps firms primarily from seed to Collection A in just a few methods: hiring, go-to-market and fundraising. The agency helps supply, interview and join portfolio firms with potential expertise. Final 12 months, the agency revamped 400 introductions to potential hires. It additionally made 200 vetted business connections and 250 introductions to top-tier funds for fundraising.
Moreover, the agency created its Feminine Power initiative to attach and mentor feminine founders, who proceed to be underrepresented in Latin America.
Women make up just 2.4% of partners at venture firms, as nicely. We’ve seen many ladies bucking this development, although, like True Wealth Ventures, which simply closed on $35 million for its second fund.
Nevertheless, whereas Lemann notes that fundraising was more durable as girls, as was breaking into the enterprise capital community, hers and Saggioro’s “diversified backgrounds make them a non-obvious group,” and that their distinction is certainly one of their strengths.
“We’ve got immediately diversified entry to deal movement, and a big majority of our deal movement is feminine founders,” Lemann added. “The way in which that we analyze firms could be totally different due to our totally different views. We’re additionally very hands-on, which is totally different from all the opposite early-stage funds within the area. Being totally different is definitely obtained as a really constructive factor.”
Saggioro defined that restricted companions favored that distinction as nicely. Buyers into MAYA’s second fund embody fund of funds, like Cendana Capital, institutional buyers, household workplaces and founders from Latin America, Europe and the U.S.
Whereas there was proof of pulling again in each enterprise capital investments and LP commitments to funds, MAYA’s “stable efficiency” helped them have the ability to launch a brand new fund on this atmosphere, she stated.
“Most of our capital got here from re-ups from our present buyers,” Saggioro added. “We additionally introduced in a variety of institutional buyers who’re used to working in cycles and had been in a position to present the dry powder wanted to provide a bonus to VC funds. Those that select to start out firms in moments like these are essentially the most resilient ones, so we’re excited to proceed to find out about those that are working arduous to unravel Latin America’s largest issues.”
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