Franco-Brazil tech investment is innovative: early stage and ex-Sampa/Rio

Private equity-style investments continue to pile into Brazil. One new deal suggests there’s appetite for much smaller, off-the-radar screen kinds of investments.
The investment by French Truffle Capital in Confrapar, more of a seed capital player than a fully-fledged private equity firm, is compelling. Confrapar is small – it had just R$75m in investments last year - and it is based outside the main São Paulo-Rio axis in inland Minas Gerais. Actually, while the stereotype of the state is rustic/cow belt, capital Belo Horizonte is a city of 2.5m and Minas is arguably the second most important state in the Federation. Moreover, Confrapar has been successful in working with Brazil’s array of public companies that provide funding for small tech start-ups, giving it a safer profile than might be initially assumed.
The firm specializes in early stage venture capital and has tapped a range of funds. Initially, it attracted 40% of the monies from the Federal Ministry of Science and Technology’s Federal Innovation Agency (FINEP), whose INOVAR programme supports innovation and 30% from the state of Minas through Fapemig and the BDMG for its first fund, HorizonTI. The remaining 30% comes from 30 private Brazilian investors including Confrapar’s own partners, high net worth individuals, and family offices. HorizonTI typically invests about R$2m in its target companies. It has invested in eight companies
Carlos Eduardo Guillaume, the young CEO at Confrapar, is personable and intelligent and has been working hard to secure funds from Brazil. This new investment gives the firm a platform for much faster growth and kudos in winning international funds.

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I've been researching and writing on Brazilian financial markets, industry and economy since 2006 for a wide range of specialist media, consultancies and investors. Before that I spent over 10 years in London and New York writing for and editing magazines and journals dedicated to finance, investment and economics in developing markets, mostly for the Euromoney Institutional Investor group and Thomson Financial. Areas of coverage Below are samples of areas that I cover and some of the common themes that I investigate. Capital markets BM&FBovespa markets *capital raising trends: via equities (IPOs and secondary issuance), debt and loans *the asset management industry: legislation and coverage of the key hedge, pension and investment funds * corporate governance: how the regulator is seeking to strengthen best practice and limitations * debt markets: the nascent corporate markets, attempts to boost liquidity and new insturments. * private equity market: why this market has been so successful, who’s involved. *electronic, high frequency trading and alternative trading platforms: what does the future hold? Banking *credit: the growth of consumer and business credit and competition between banks and models *Public versus private: the role and market share of public and private sector banks and the politicization of the industry * internationalization: which Brazilian banks are expanding overseas and where * investment banking: the growth of the domestic market and who’s winning which mandates *regional banks and development banks: what role they play in the industry and how they compete Mining *licensing: the complex process of obtaining environmental, water, land and operating licenses at a state and federal level. * capacity: the feasibility and sustainability of capacity increases * financing: how miners are raising finance in Brazil and abroad *competition: the interplay Vale, MMX and junior miners *logistics: rail, road and port connections Oil and gas: the fund raising issues related to the massive of pre-salt (link) Multilatinas: Who are they and how and where they are expanding Meatpacking: Are debt burdens sustainable, what are the different business models for areas such as branding and distrbution Agriculture: How are farms consolidating, what are environmental risks, how can foreign investors be involved. IT and software: Can Brazil take on India and build a viable long-term IT industry? For more information on clients and work, please see the media and consultancy sections.
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