Kamay Ventures is in talks with fresh investors in the food and beverage sectors following Grupo Bimbo joining the Latin American VC fund as its latest LP.
The fund was created by Coca-Cola Latinoamerica and Argentinan food group Arcor in 2019. It is managed by VC veterans Gabriela Ruggeri and Antonio Peña.
Speaking to Just Food, Ruggeri said there was a gap in the ecosystem for SMEs and investors for Kamay Ventures to exploit in Latin America, a region where the capital market is not as deep as in Europe nor the US, and where huge exits were uncommon. Moreover, corporations in the region did not invest in start-ups as often as in Europe or the US.
“We realised by talking with different companies that they all had the same issues, starting with supply chain and infrastructure in rural areas [and] a direct sales channel composed of small stores, which all companies had to distribute to because they are crucial in the region’s framework. On the other hand, there were parts of the [supply] chain that were unattended, and were not going to incorporate technology nor modernise if that was not encouraged or helped by the larger players,” Ruggeri said.
In 2021, the Kamay Ventures fund was revamped to allow investors from the consumer goods sector to join, with the latest being Mexican bakery giant Grupo Bimbo.
After analysing over 600 projects, Kamay Ventures has already invested in 15 companies, of which only 12 have been publicly announced.
Among the businesses to have received investment are IoT business Wiagro and fellow Argentinian firm Auravant, centred on an app to help farmers improve yields. The fund has also backed Colombian restaurant chain Bacu and Ecuadorian drone delivery business Aerialoop.
The fund is aiming to invest in between 30 and 35 companies. Ruggeri believes the fund will now be able to put in more funding. Until now, its average investment was $300,000.
“We’ve been looking into startups in the packaging sector,” Ruggeri said. “Also some food tech and plant-based projects.”