Mexico’s NewPorts gains Unicorn status after funding round led by SoftBank

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MEXICO CITY – Logistics startup Nowports became Mexico’s newest “unicorn” when it announced on Tuesday that its valuation had risen to $ 1.1 billion following a recent investment round led by Softbank’s Latin America Fund.

The startup, founded in 2019, closed the $ 150 million Series C round with investors, whose supporters included Softbank, Tiger Global, Foundation Capital and Monashis.

Nowports, which acts as a digital cargo agent and aims to facilitate international trade, plans to use the capital for its planned expansion in Latin America at a time when markets are still battling supply-chain disruptions and currency instability due to the coronavirus epidemic and the Ukraine war. .

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Alfonso de los Rios, co-founder of Nowports, 23, said: “Companies are suffering from uncertainty about how much it will cost them to carry loads from point A to point B, especially because of the use of multiple currencies in international operations.”

“We have worked on about 14 currencies so far. We try to make sure that the exchange rate does not harm or benefit the companies we work with or for ourselves, ”he added.

Brazil, where Nowports began work on a three-person team in December, will be the main focus of startups for the rest of 2022. It will open an office in the southern port city of Itazai and another at an undisclosed location. The number of workers in the country has increased to more than 100.

“Brazil is the largest economy in Latin America and very attractive in terms of foreign trade agreements,” he said. “It’s a country that not only imports, but also exports a lot.”

Newports also opened offices in Panama, Chile and Colombia in the first quarter.

Nowports is the first Mexican startup of the year to join the Unicorn Club Other Mexican unicorns include small business lender Confio, payment clips and used car platform Kavak, also softbank-financed. (Reporting by Valentine Hiller in Mexico City, edited by Christian Plumb and Matthew Lewis)

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