QED’s Gadala-Maria will lead a new fund to invest in fintech startups in Latin America

From our Women's PE Briefs - week commencing May 10, 2021

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Baban helps Audax Private Debt close its fifth mezzanine fund at $1.85B

Audax Private Debt, whose investor relations activities are led by managing director Bettina Baban, closes its fifth mezzanine fund. Audax exceeded its $1.5 billion target by raising $1.85 billion. The Audax Private Debt team includes senior associates Shally Madhok, Mary Drucker and Sydney Cantor.

Audax Private Debt is the debt financing unit of Audax Group, an alternative investment manager specializing in investments in North American middle market companies. It invests in established middle market companies through first lien, stretch senior, unitranche, second lien, junior debt, and equity co-investment solutions.

The new fund will be used to continue sourcing junior debt investments in private equity sponsor-backed companies in North America. Audax Private Debt has raised more than $17 billion in capital and invested more than $23 billion across 860 companies.

Gadala-Maria will lead QED’s new $12M Fontes fund

QED Investors Principal Ana Cristina Gadala-Maria will lead a new fund that the firm has raised to invest in seed and pre-seed fintech startups in Latin America. QED said it closed Fontes – the Latin word for foundations – at $12 million. The fund’s commitment largely came from QED’s network within Latin America.

In a statement, Ana Cristina said, “digital transformation is rapidly reaching threshold scale and we’re seeing new business models ready to thrive. There is so much talent waiting to be unleashed. There are opportunities from banking infrastructure to digital payments to embedded financial services. As more of the rails come together to allow people to build products in different ways that don’t depend on the big banks or the traditional financial service providers, that’s when it becomes incredibly exciting.”

Ana Cristina began consulting with QED last summer and joined full time in December. She is the founder of Mosaico, a content platform for LatAm entrepreneurs.

QED’s Latin America investments include Nubank, Creditas, QuintoAndar, Loft, KAVAK, Konafío and Bitso. Founded in 2007, QED is focused on investing in early stage, disruptive financial services companies in the United States, United Kingdom, Latin America and Southeast Asia.

Jones-led Sixty8 Capital holds a first close on its new $200M venture fund

Sixty8 Capital, which is led by managing director Kelli Jones, holds a first close on its new $20 million venture fund. Investors include The Indiana Next Level Fund, 50 South Capital, Bank of America, Eli Lilly and Company, First Internet Bank and the Central Indiana Community Foundation. The size of the closing was not disclosed.

Sixty8 is an Indianapolis-based, seed-stage venture capital firm supporting Black, Latinx, women and LGBTQ+ led startups. The firm is industry-agnostic and will focus initially on seed investments between the coasts, with an emphasis on the Midwest. The firm will seek to invest in 25 to 30 pre-seed and seed-stage companies with initial equity checks of $250,000 to $500,000 per company, reserving additional funds for follow-on rounds. Investments will focus on undercapitalized founders and innovators who too often miss out on critical funding. The firm’s investment thesis focuses on uncovering potential among diverse founders whose access to capital is limited by race, gender, sexual orientation, or proximity.

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