The LatAm startup scene is really heating up, with venture capital flowing to innovative startups throughout South and Central America. But of all the countries benefitting from the investment, Mexico seems to be hottest, especially since its economy grew even faster than Brazil last year. With all that in mind, Mexican VC firm Alta Ventures just closed on a new, $70 million fund which will be devoted to investing in startups throughout the country.
Founded in 2010 by serial entrepreneur Rogelio de los Santos and “Nail It Then Scale It” co-author Paul Ahlstrom, Alta Ventures has been instrumental in organizing events for entrepreneurs and for increasing deal flow in the country. Its events include the first Mexico Venture Capital Conference, the E|100 crowd-sourcing initiative, and the iTuesday monthly technology meet-up. It also founded the Kickstart Monterrey and Kickstart Guadalajara seed investment programs.
Based in Monterrey, the firm invests in tech companies in the SaaS, mobile, big data, healthcare, cleantech, consumer, non-banking finance, and education sectors. It’s made seven investments to date, and has already seen one exit — Rhomobile, which Motorola acquired in July 2011. Other investments include e-invoicing provider Diverza, renewable-energy developer Energryn Corp, social gaming startup Juxta Labs, web conversion optimizer Convert.com, boutique finance firm MFM, and online collaboration startup Tactivos.
With the close of the fund, it’s ready to start making more investments in Mexican startups. To do so, Alta Ventures has raised funds from a number of investors, including the International Finance Corporation (IFC), Fondo de Fondos (CMIC) and the Multilateral Investment Fund (MIF), which led the fund. Other investors include Dave McClure from 500 Startups (who’s got his own love affair with Mexico going on) and the Guadalajara Angel Investment Network (GAIN), among others.
The close of the fund comes as a number of VC and angel firms have taken a liking to the broader LatAm market, and Mexico in particular. There’s good reason for that: the Mexican economy is $1.15 trillion dollars and has been bolstered by a number of positive factors, including low country debt and political stability. Capital in Mexican startups continues to grow: According to the Latin America Venture Capital Association, Mexican startups raised $459 million in 22 deals in 2011, compared to $211 million through 19 deals in 2010.