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Brazilian startup Yellow raises $63M — the largest Series A ever for a Latin American startup

After selling their ridesharing startup, 99, to Didi Chuxing for $1 billion last year, Ariel Lambrecht and Renato Freitas didn’t waste any time throwing their hats back in the ring. Months after their big exit, the pair joined forces with Eduardo Musa, who spent two decades in the bicycle industry, to start another São Paulo-based mobility startup. Yellow, a bike- and scooter-sharing service, quickly captured the attention of venture capitalists, raising a $12.3 million seed round in April and now, the company is announcing the close of a $63 million Series A. The round is the largest Series A financing ever for a startup in Latin America, where tech investment, especially from U.S.-based firms, has historically remained low. 2017, however, was a banner year for Latin American startups; 2018, it seems, is following suit. More than $600 million was invested in the first quarter of 2018, partly as a result of increased activity from international investors. And just last month, on-demand delivery startup Rappi brought in $200 million to become the second Latin American company to garner a billion-dollar valuation. GGV Capital has led the round for Yellow . The Silicon Valley firm is a backer of several other mobility companies, including Grab, Lime, Hellobike and Didi Chuxing. Yellow represents the firm’s first foray into the Latin American tech ecosystem. Brazilian VC firm Monashees, Grishin Robotics, Base10 Partners and Class 5 also participated. “We think there’s a new economy emerging in Latin America,” GGV managing partner Hans Tung told TechCrunch. “A lot of people are more cautious but what we’ve seen with our experience in China, when internet penetration started to happen, a new economy started to emerge that’s more efficient.” The tech investment wave has reached Latin America Yellow’s bikes and e-scooters are only available in São Paulo. With the investment, the startup plans to expand to Mexico City, Colombia, Chile and Argentina, as well as add e-bikes to its portfolio of micro-mobility options. The company also plans to tap into local resources by building a scooter manufacturing facility in the region. Yellow CEO Eduardo Musa told me the company doesn’t want to be reliant…

Traits that Spell Success

With the Rio Summer Olympic Games just around the corner, we thought we’d look at an uncommon, yet exceptional, group of business owners for our answer: Olympian small business owners. As it turns out, many of them start a second career by running a business of their own bringing the same spirit of passion, perseverance, and ingenuity from their athletic careers. PassionJudy Geer and Dick Dreissigacker – two USA Olympic rowers from the 70s and 80s – came to Vermont because it allowed them to combine their passion for active living and the natural environment into what is now known as the Craftsbury Outdoor Center. As Judy puts it, “It’s great that we help train Olympic athletes at our center, but it’s bigger than that. For me, it’s all about helping more people have great experiences, whether they’re getting exercise or just enjoying our surroundings.” Despite its remote location, Judy’s deep commitment to sustainability and lifelong sports practice keeps both local residents and aspiring athletes from across the country coming back. Customers can tell when business owners get out of bed in the morning because they love what they do. PerseveranceSetbacks are common parts of the journey for any athlete or small business owner. The important thing isn’t the number of obstacles you avoid, it’s the way you bounce back from the ones you can’t miss. When four-time kayaking world champion Eric ‘EJ’ Jackson found his kayak designs rejected by manufacturers across the country, he didn’t give up – and his motto is “no compromising,” so buckling to tradition wasn’t an option. Instead, EJ’s relentless drive to create on his own terms resulted in Jackson Kayak, now a leading manufacturer within the industry. Jackson Kayak now sells products online and through dealers across the country. IngenuitySince the beginning, four-time track and field Olympian and world record holder Michael Johnson has experimented with new ways to tell the story of his performance training center, Michael Johnson Performance. Because he wanted to attract local customers, moving some of his advertising budget online made sense so he could reach them with geo-targeted ads.…

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