Since our earliest days, we’ve invested in founders around the globe - from São Paulo to Shenzhen, San Francisco to Stockholm. We’ve always believed that the most successful companies have global aspirations. We want to find the global visionaries who will change the world, and they’re not always in the obvious tech hubs. That’s why we first started looking at Brazil as an emerging tech hub over 10 years ago, and launched our first fund in the market in 2012. Since then, we’ve invested in Brazilian companies including Creditas, Gympass, Pismo, and Olist, to name a few.
As we arrive in Rio de Janeiro today for the country’s inaugural Web Summit conference this week, we wanted to share the story of Headline’s approach to investing in Brazil, our role in the globalization of venture capital, and some of the trends we’re seeing across the market.
Our global approach to investing in Brazil
Headline has a long history of investing globally. We never believed Silicon Valley was the end-all-be-all. Over the past 25 years, we’ve built “local to global” infrastructure: a network of investors on the ground on 4 continents and 8 cities around the world. This allows us to see local trends up close and identify winning founders with global aspirations from their earliest days by leveraging our proprietary technology, data-driven approach, and local relationships.
We launched our first fund in Brazil in 2012 in partnership with our friends at Redpoint under our previous name as "Redpoint eventures" (RPev). Headline Brazil is currently deploying from its third Early Stage fund, Headline Brazil III, now under the Headline global brand and umbrella. We’re proud to have been the first global fund on the ground in Brazil.
Investing locally from our Early Stage funds, while collaborating across markets at the Venture Growth stage like we have with Brazilian companies, Pismo and Creditas, allows us to support founders as their companies expand and evolve. Our extensive global network provides a playbook and unparalleled tools and contacts for expanding across borders. Sometimes this means identifying a team or an acquisition target to land in a new market. Sometimes it means making unique, cross-cultural introductions to expose a new perspective. We’ve been able to scale this approach globally by building an investment team connected by shared strategy, culture and technology.
The Brazilian Venture Ecosystem
In the past decade, Brazil has been established as the largest venture capital market in Latin America, with São Paulo as the main hub. Over the past few years, the venture capital ecosystem in Brazil has grown and developed, with a number of successful startups attracting significant investment and driving large exits. We’ve been impressed by the founders and engineering talent in the market, which has built global innovators such as Nubank, Creditas, Pismo, and Gympass.
Like much of the global venture ecosystem, Brazil also saw a dip in investments in 2022 compared to 2021. According to Crunchbase data, investors invested $8.3 billion in the region in 2022, down 79% from 2021. Despite the current environment, we remain steadfast long term believers in the potential of the Brazilian market. With over 200M people in Brazil alone, a rising middle class of young, tech-first consumers, we believe many global leaders will be built in Latin America.
By building bridges between LatAm and Silicon Valley, we want to create a more connected and collaborative global venture capital ecosystem. If you're a founder with global aspirations, come find us at Web Summit Rio where we’ll be sharing more thoughts on this topic today on the Venture Stage.