Mexico Hosts Meeting to Address Issues with the USBy Sofía Hanna | Thu, 05/20/2021 - 11:21
Early-stage startups in Latin America are sometimes unable to attract the capital that would propel them to the big leagues. Enzo Cavalie, Founder of Startupeable, has built a tool to solve this issue by connecting companies and investors. Pablo Ricard Arriola, President of Rising Farms, adds that the biggest challenges come from a lack of information and geographical disadvantages. How is a company going to receive capital when investors do not even know it exists? “The problem is that funding is almost completely concentrated in Mexico City, with the remaining chunk going to Guadalajara and Monterrey, leaving medium-large cities like Queretaro, Merida, Oaxaca and Leon dry,” explained Ricard. However, this is a problem Startupeable aims to address with Semillas, a matchmaking tool that connects startup founders from Latin America with active angel investors worldwide through a “tinder-like” process. Up to this point, according to Semilla’s website, it has already made over 100 matches and has more than 120 participating companies.
Interested in more? Here are the week’s major headlines in Finance!
- Traders from Goldman Sachs Group are butting heads with Mexico’s state-owned utility company CFE, the latter backed by President Andrés Manuel López Obrador. The issue is rooted in payment for gas during February’s freak weather conditions, which caused Texas’ pipelines to freeze and disrupted natural gas imports. Mexico relies strongly on natural gas imports to feed the country’s main power plants. CFE was forced to deal with harsh price hikes during the freeze that reached almost 100 times their usual daily rate. The current dispute occurred because the contract anchored Goldman Sachs’s own obligations in a standard monthly index of gas prices. In contrast, CFE was chained to daily rates, including the immensely inflated rates at the Waha hub in Texas. As a result, Goldman Sachs argues it is owed roughly US$400 million from CFE. With this, the CFE risks becoming a persona non grata in Wall Street by refusing to pay, which would severely complicate its possibilities to do business in the future.
- After receiving a labor complaint involving union issues, Mexico held the first meeting of the USMCA Free Trade Commission. Among other issues, the meeting addressed the alleged serious labor violations against the rights of Mexican workers at a General Motors plant in Silao, Guanajuato. Before the meeting, the Mexican Embassy in Washington sent a letter to the Department of Labor last Wednesday to denounce “the lack of labor law enforcement” in the US’s agricultural and protein processing and packaging industries. The meeting also outlined the long-term objectives of each of the countries in the region, established a work plan and addressed the “irritants” that have arisen during the last ten months. “This meeting is for the secretaries to get to know each other, discuss their long-term vision of the USMCA. How they see, not only the technical part and the irritating aspects, but also to know the vision that each country has of the North American region,” said Kenneth Smith, NAFTA Chief Negotiator
- Lisset May Cervantes, Sr. Director of Sales at Kueski and an MBN Startup Contributor, shared information on “How to Prevent Chargebacks at Your Online Store.” A chargeback is generated when cardholders communicate to their bank that they do not recognize the charge made to their card by an online store. A straightforward way to avoid chargebacks is through a solution like Kueski Pay, says May. This payment method validates the buyer and their details, ensuring payments are secure so businesses can forget about this part of the process. She also shared other platforms that companies can use and the types of chargebacks people should be on the lookout for.