Technology

LatAm Tech Weekly: 2024 Tech Trends Report

This article is part of the LatAm Tech Weekly Series, written by Julia De Luca and powered by Nasdaq. Through Nasdaq’s global network, we partner with Latin American companies to support their entire business lifecycle to elevate their brand and access the global markets. Learn more about Latin American Listings here.

I'm super excited to share that next week, I'll be joining the incredible South Summit event. I've got a couple of awesome panels lined up that I can't wait to dive into.

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First off, I'm honored to be part of a discussion on how diversity and technology can drive innovative disruptions that enhance life quality on our planet. I'll be sharing the stage with Fersen Lambranho, the Chairman of the Board at GP Investimentos, and Patricia Moraes, Founding Partner at Unbox Capital. It promises to be an insightful conversation, and I'm thrilled to be a part of it.

Next up, I'll be delving into the world of SaaS, chatting with partners from SaaSHolic, DGF, and Bridgeone. This is a topic close to my heart, and I'm eager to explore it further with fellow enthusiasts.

I'm buzzing with anticipation for these discussions and can't wait to be there. If you're planning to attend, don't hesitate to stop by and say hi! Click here if you're interested in joining us at the summit. Hope to see some familiar faces there! 

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Opinions expressed here are solely my own and does not represent those of people, institutions, organizations that I may or may not be associated with in any capacity, unless explicitly stated.

This week, I had the pleasure of diving into an exceptionally insightful report by the Future Today Institute, and I'm eager to share its findings with you. The 2024 Tech Trends Report offers a deep dive into what they term the "technology supercycle" - a period marked by explosive demand that's fundamentally reshaping multiple sectors. Driven by groundbreaking advancements in artificial intelligence, biotechnology, and interconnected wearable devices, this wave of innovation promises to redefine everything from global supply chains to the very fabric of social norms.

Comprehensively analyzing nearly 700 trends across a wide range of industries, the report demonstrates the interconnected nature of these developments and their cumulative impact. It underscores the critical concept of convergence: while individual trends may seem insignificant in isolation, their collective interaction opens a window into profound, long-term shifts.

We're seeing monumental transformations in industries as diverse as agriculture, automotive, education, health care, and financial services, all propelled by these technological breakthroughs. Artificial intelligence, far from being mere hype, emerges as a truly transformative force. We need to be ready for the myriad opportunities and challenges it brings. In the realm of augmented realities, we're reaching a pivotal moment. Innovations like Apple's new AI-powered headset are erasing the boundaries between our digital and physical worlds. In the same vein, bioengineering is having a watershed year, with AI-enhanced generative biology paving the way for new materials and living organisms.

The report doesn't stop there. It delves into how these trends impact sectors like energy, climate, and mobility, shedding light on emerging technologies like solar geoengineering, smart grids, and autonomous vehicles, all aimed at tackling today's pressing challenges. The influence of AI on computing architecture and human-computer interaction is particularly striking, as is the transformation sweeping through industries like news, sports, and entertainment, driven by AI and other cutting-edge technologies.

Moreover, the report explores the uncertainties we face - the trajectory and nature of AI's disruption in business, the global issues bioengineering could solve, and how countries and businesses might embrace decarbonization. These are not mere academic considerations; they represent strategic challenges and opportunities for industries and policymakers.

In summary, the Future Today Institute's report is a thought-provoking journey through the current and future states of technology across various sectors. It highlights the paramount importance of strategic foresight and adaptability in navigating our rapidly evolving technological world.

Future uncertainties

Monday

 General news:

  • Reddit targets up to $6.4 billion valuation in much-awaited US IPO. Reddit is aiming for a valuation of up to $6.4 billion in its U.S. initial public offering (IPO), the social media platform said on Monday, as it nears one of the most-anticipated stock market debuts of the last few years.

  • Healthtech Livance, which manages spaces and clinics for doctors and healthcare professionals, announced the hiring of executive Cauhana Pinheiro for the newly created position of CHRO (Chief Human Resources Officer). With experience at MadeiraMadeira and insurtech Pier, the professional's mission will be to consolidate the startup's personnel area, which received an investment of R$ 65 million last November.

  • Celcoin, a financial infratech specialized in empowering businesses, has expanded its presence in the credit market. The company is now investing in strengthening this vertical with a definitive Lending as a Service (LaaS) solution aimed at lenders, fintechs, and players in the capital market, such as FIDCs and securitization companies.

  • Telegram reaches 900 million users, approaches profitability, and founder considers IPO. Pavel Durov, the sole owner of Telegram, stated that the company has received estimates of values "above $30 billion" from potential investors.

  • Woovi, a comprehensive platform for instant payment management that utilizes cutting-edge technology to enable both merchants and consumers to conduct transactions more efficiently, has reached the milestone of processing R$ 1 billion and has sealed a strategic partnership worth R$ 150 million with Wabiz, a platform for restaurants to create their own delivery app.

  • Banco do Brasil (BB) and technology company Giesecke+Devrient Currency Technology (G+D) are set to experiment with an offline payment solution within the pilot of Drex, the Central Bank's (BC) digital currency. In practice, the aim is to test payments using the Brazilian CBDC without requiring internet access.

Deals:

  • Nayax Expands Latin American Footprint, acquiring Brazil’s VMtecnologia. VMtecnologia’s robust network, serving over 2,400 retailers across Brazil’s 27 states and more than 466 cities, now brings an additional 18,300 unattended points of sale under Nayax’s umbrella, diversifying its portfolio across various sectors including vending, laundry, and electronic entertainment.

Tuesday

General news:

  • Skyone aims to lead the consolidation movement among cloud computing and data management providers. The company has just invested more than half of a R$ 60 million check raised with Bewater about a month ago in two M&As that incorporate smaller regional competitors. The company negotiated the purchase of DB Master for R$ 6 million and SkyDB for R$ 30 million.

  • Intelipost Group, a technology company connecting logistics operators with clients, has been using artificial intelligence to map data from orders placed with the company over the past ten years. The tool helped the startup grow 30% and reach a revenue of BRL 200mm.

Deals:

  • In its seventh deal, Headline invests in the consórcio fintech Turn2C, which addresses the main pain point of the sector: the high contract cancellation rate.

  • Startup Visio.AI received R$ 12 million in a seed investment round to focus on expansion, with the goal of serving and supporting 1,200 establishments by 2025. The round was led by DGF Investimentos and included participation from other investors, such as Alexia Ventures and Scale-Up Ventures.

  • Airnguru, developer of airline platform designed to focus on pricing intelligence and price automation from Chile, raised $1M in Angel (individual) funding.

Wednesday

General news:

  • MadeiraMadeira adjusts strategy, focuses on efficiency, and gets ready for an IPO. The CEO discusses in an interview about the period of layoffs and adjustments, as well as plans for IPO, internationalization, and profitability. Read more here.

  • Spectra, an alternative asset manager with R$ 7 billion under management, has already made 13 investments in search funds and has 27 searchers actively seeking an asset to acquire.

  • Nu Account announces cash deposit network for Mexico in collaboration with Arcus. In the coming weeks, Nu Account holders will gain the ability to deposit cash at 700 Soriana’s supermarket stores, expanding access to financial services.

  • The international payments and receivables fintech TransferBank has been diversifying its operations. One of its focuses is its white-label platform (branded with the client's name), primarily targeted at banks, currency exchange brokers, and offices of independent investment agents.

Deals:

  • IBBX, a startup that captures wasted energy in an environment to charge devices without the need for cables or wires, has just received an investment of R$ 8 million from Finep, an agency linked to the federal government for research and innovation funding. The money will help them in a project to expand the applications of their proprietary technology.

  • Avancargo, operator of an intelligent ground freight platform intended to enhance land transport logistics and connect freight forwarders, raised $0,5M in Later Stage VC with Globant Ventures.

Thursday

General News:

  • Hotmart, the national giant of the creator economy, is making a new move: after years focused on trading digital content from influencers, the platform is now opening up to sell physical products from these creators. CEO JP Resende spoke about how this has the potential to boost the company's revenue - according to him, it could even become a "new Hotmart" in terms of revenue.

  • The technology group Stefanini is expanding its cybersecurity area, which is expected to generate over R$ 200 million in revenue this year. While this amount may seem small compared to the total revenue of R$ 7 billion in 2023, with an expected increase to R$ 8.4 billion by December, it is likely to grow in the coming years, driven by acquisitions.

  • Wallib Launches Colombia’s First Hybrid Currency VISA Debit Card. This card, which permits transactions in Bitcoin, US dollars, and Colombian pesos, represents a forward-thinking approach to financial inclusivity and the broader acceptance of cryptocurrencies.

Deals:

  • Seven months ago, foodtech NUU announced a fundraising of R$ 20 million, led by the impact fund EcoEnterprises Fund with participation from CamelFarm Capital, Newlin, MadFish, Bioma Food Hub, GVAngels, and Gávea Angels. However, the startup still had room left in this Series A round, and now officially concludes the round with the entry of Investidores.vc and FDC Angels.

  • InDrive raises $150M to boost their global expansion. General Catalyst fuels InDrive’s growth for a second time, following a previous $150 million from the same firm, totaling $300 million in debt financing. InDrive is already operating in Latin America.

  • Grupago raises a $4.3M seed round for SMB Credit in LatAm. This round saw participation from Deciens Capital, alongside Precursor Ventures, Clocktower Ventures, Twine Ventures, and contributions from high-profile individuals such as Zac Bookman (OpenGov), Oso Trava (Cracks Fund), Pepe Shabot (ION Mexico), and Paul Sawaya (Human Interest).

  • Wekall, developer of a contact center platform designed to help clients communicate from Colombia raised an undisclosed amount in Later Stage VC funding Carao Ventures, Imagine Ventures Management, LLYC, Prodigio Capital, Rockstart.

Friday

Deals:

  • The artificial intelligence startup Fintalk conducted a seed round with a new investment from the Revolution fund, managed by Volt Investments. The investment amount was not disclosed. In August 2023, the fund had already made the first investment in the startup, totaling R$ 6 million.

What did I learn from readers?

A reader sent me a ranking made by CB Insights on top VC Players. Here you go!

VC investments

What am I reading?

What am I listening to? What am I watching?

  • Nothing worth mentioning this week… just random music while running.

Quote of the week:

“While plenty of smart people advocate AI for the public good, we are not yet discussing artificial intelligence as a public good. This is a mistake.”
― Amy Webb CEO Future Institute

Originally published on my Substack.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

Julia De Luca

Julia De Luca is part of the investment banking team focused on tech coverage at Itau BBA. With more than 10 years of experience in finance, her focus is to connect global players to the Latin American tech ecosystem – with content, intel and opportunities. Julia co-authored the book Brazil Fintech and constantly writes columns on the topics of open banking, venture capital investment, regulation and LatAm tech trends. Julia started her career as Global Investor Relations at Gávea Investimentos and also spent a couple of years at Stone Co. She holds a degree in Economics from Pontificia Universidade Católica (PUC-Rio). She is also a columnist at MIT Tech Review, ION and Inteligencia Financeira.

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