The Puerto Rico’s Science, Technology and Research Trust will invest $225,000 through the follow-up fund parallel18 Ventures in four Puerto Rican and Latin American startups in exchange for stocks or convertible notes, as a match to private capital raised by the companies, the nonprofit announced.
The fund carries the name of accelerator parallel18 (P18), which is a Science Trust program, and is awarded to startups that were part of P18’s cohorts. This time, the companies were part of Generation 4, which completed the program in March of 2018.
StageBoom created the first digital platform where anyone can search, book and pay for live music, all in one place. It is currently available in Puerto Rico and looking to expand to other markets in the Americas.
BrainHi developed an automated receptionist for doctor and dentist offices that answers missed calls and chats with potential patients while increasing the efficiency of the office. This team is the first Puerto Rican based startup accepted to YCombinator, the top startup accelerator in the world, P18 executives said.
Workep is the most powerful project management platform for G Suite that completely centralizes and automates the team collaboration work powered by an Artificial Intelligence. Workep raised $500,000 in seed funding a month after the parallel18 program, and among their clients are top companies such as Vodafone, Norauto, Sheraton Hotels and more.
Workep has more than 70,000 users in 120 countries. Now, the company is raising another round of funding of $1.2 million to keep growing in the U.S. and European markets and launch a version for Office365, according to P18 officials.
Wisboo developed a SaaS solution that allows Education Businesses to create a digital version of their physical courses and sell them on their own online schools, helping them to grow their business. Think of ‘Shopify’ for digital products.
After graduating Parallel 18, Wisboo has been the only Latin American startup to be accepted to “Startupbootcamp Scale Program” in Silicon Valley, where they are raising their first $1 million seed funding round. Wisboo helps education business grow their Business.
Parallel18 Ventures is a follow-up fund designed to co-invest in promising startups that complete the acceleration curriculum. With the program, the PRSTRT matches private capital raised by the entrepreneurs in exchange for stocks or convertible notes.
As a condition to receive the funds, each startup is required to keep operations in Puerto Rico and hire at least three full-time employees in the Island in the next two years.
So far, parallel18 Ventures has invested $900,000 in 12 P18 alumni. Eleven of the companies are still in operations today, with several of them going on to raise additional investment to boost their continuous growth.
“We’re proud to continue supporting the growth of these parallel18 alumni. Their progress and ability to raise external capital from local and international investors is an indicator of maturity in Puerto Rico’s startup ecosystem,” said Science Trust CEO Lucy Crespo.
“As an organization focused on creating the optimal conditions to promote innovative entrepreneurship on the island, we are committed to maintaining this momentum so that it replicates more through our different programs and initiatives,” she said.
The Science Trust plans to keep its stocks in the startups for a limited time so that the funds can then be reinvested into other parallel18 Ventures startups to sustain the program.
Sebastian Vidal, Executive Director for the accelerator said investors in the U.S. and Latin America are starting to notice the island’s innovation scene as a result of the increased startup activity.
“In the past year, we’ve seen local funds lead investment rounds of more than $1 million in companies backed by parallel18 Ventures, which certainly raises the bar and represents a vote of confidence to the founders and teams working to create innovative companies in Puerto Rico to reach global markets,” said Lucas Arzola, director of operations at P18.