Crypto VC Investments in Latin America Grew Almost Tenfold in 2021 to $653M

Consumer-facing crypto exchanges and retail trading platforms received the majority of funding, according to the Association for Private Capital Investment in Latin America.

Feb 16, 2022 at 3:09 p.m. UTC
Updated Feb 16, 2022 at 5:40 p.m. UTC

Andrés Engler is a CoinDesk editor based in Argentina, where he covers the Latin American crypto ecosystem. He holds BTC and ETH.

Venture capital investments in crypto and blockchain firms in Latin America reached $653 million in 2021, almost 10 times more than was invested in 2020, according to a report published by the Association for Private Capital Investment in Latin America (LAVCA).

Investments were concentrated in consumer-facing asset exchanges and retail trading platforms, which together captured $607 million.

Crypto investment in Latin America continued to boom compared with VC investments in crypto in the region that totaled just $68 million in 2020.

Globally, VC funding for blockchain startups reached $25.2 billion last year, up 713% from $3.1 billion in 2020, according to CB Insights’ “2021 State of Blockchain” report.

Bitso, a Mexican crypto exchange with operations in Argentina and Colombia, raised $250 million in May 2021 and became the first crypto unicorn in Latin America. The leading Brazilian crypto exchange, Mercado Bitcoin, raised a total of $290 million across three rounds and reached a $2.2 billion valuation.

Three Argentinian crypto exchanges also raised VC funding in 2021. In September, Ripio raised $50 million in a Series B funding round. And in August, Lemon Cash and Buenbit raised $16 million and $11 million, respectively.

Also in August, Kaszek, a leading Latin American venture capital fund, made its first decentralized finance (DeFi) investment, leading a $3 million round in Exactly, a startup that is building an open-source, noncustodial credit protocol on the Ethereum platform.

Overall, Latin American venture investments reached $15.7 billion in 2021, compared to $4.1 billion invested in 2020, according to LAVCA.

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Andrés Engler is a CoinDesk editor based in Argentina, where he covers the Latin American crypto ecosystem. He holds BTC and ETH.

CoinDesk - Unknown

Andrés Engler is a CoinDesk editor based in Argentina, where he covers the Latin American crypto ecosystem. He holds BTC and ETH.

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