Argentinean home-services startup IguanaFix has raised $16 million from Temasek Holdings, an investment company in Singapore, and Qualcomm Ventures.
The Buenos Aires-based firm, which helps people locate plumbers, mechanics, and electricians in their area, says it would use the proceeds to expand operations to more countries in Latin America. Currently, IguanaFix’s service is only available in Brazil, Uruguay, Mexico, and Argentina.
This is the second major investment by Temaseks in Latin America after it led an $86 million equity capital funding round for Virgin Mobile Latin America in 2014.
Launched in 2013, IguanaFix says it has about 15,000 professional service providers on its network and claims to be fulfilling over 20,000 service requests per month. Today, nearly 70% of its revenue comes from Argentina.
Latin American economies may be in doldrums, largely due to weak global demand for commodities, but technology startups are growing in number and are increasingly attracting investment from international venture capital funds.
According to LAVCA’s 2016 Mid-Year Data & Analysis, as much as $218 million was deployed across 104 venture capital transactions in the first half of 2016, a 46% increase year- over-year.
Qualcomm Ventures alone has financed 16 companies in Latin America, according to The New York Times. The fund closed “five new investments and four follow-on ones in the region, an increase from the three new investments and three follow-on ones in 2015,” the paper reported, citing Carlos Kokron, vice-president and managing director for Latin America at Qualcomm Ventures.
The growing number of Internet users in the region is the most important factor driving these investments. Many of these investment firms are hopeful that they will be able to reap high dividends once the technology-based service providers gain traction in the coming years.