As an investor in tech, I am always on the lookout for the next big thing in the industry. And in my opinion, chatGPT is definitely worth paying attention to.
ChatGPT, or “Chat Generative Pretrained Transformer,” is a powerful natural language processing tool that allows users to generate human-like text based on a given prompt. It has been making waves in the tech industry due to its impressive ability to mimic human conversation and generate coherent responses to a wide range of topics.
The COP27 has just finished, with disappointing results. On the positive side, for the first time, the concept of compensation for loss & damage for developing countries has been included.
On the negative side, two big disappointments. First, there was no clear commitment to phase out all fossil fuels at some point in the future. Second, the gap between what is needed in greenhouse gas emission reductions to contain temperature increase to 1.5℃ – the level agreed upon by world governments in the Paris Agreement – and the current policies in place is huge. The planet needs a reduction of 45% in GHG emissions by 2030 compared to 2010 levels to maintain the temperature increase below 1.5°. However, as the chart below shows, with the current policies announced so far, the world is instead on a trajectory to increase GHG emissions by 11% compared to 2010.
On this trajectory, the world will end up with a temperature increase way higher than the critical but manageable 1.5° level, which would have dramatic consequences on climate and therefore on humanity. Scientists are certain that temperature increases higher than 1.5° would create an existential risk for humanity.
We all need to understand this reality and, individually and as a society, urgently pressure governments and corporations to accelerate the decarbonization of the economy that would reduce GHG emissions.
I want to share a fantastic podcast – A Matter of Degrees by Dr. Leah Stokes and Dr. Katharine Wilkinson – that discusses very clearly the terrible environmental impact of the crypto sector.
By definition, most crypto tokens use a proof-of-work system that essentially consumes (and wastes) excessive amounts of energy in resolving cryptographic problems. The energy required is being generated using fossil fuels directly, or by renewable sources, but in the latter case, forcing other energy users to revert to electricity generated by fossil fuels. Estimations put energy consumption by the crypto sector at 1% of the total global consumption.
Not surprisingly, crypto fans (especially bitcoin maxis) argue that crypto is using unused excess capacity, therefore making the whole energy system more efficient. Obviously, this is incorrect, and the podcast talks about this.
The figures for venture capital funding in Latin America during the third quarter have come out and confirmed the slowdown during the first half of the year has continued. The investment in Q3 was still a large $1.1 billion dollars, which is higher than the amounts we used to see before 2019. This is the fifth decreasing consecutive quarter since peaking in Q2 2021.
Based on market sentiment, I expect funding to stay around this level for the next 2-3 quarters, but this will depend on how inflation, interest rates, and the general economy evolves. Time will tell.
I’m humbled and thankful to be on Bloomberg’s list of “The 500 most influential people in Latin America” for a second consecutive year. Happy and proud to share this recognition with my business partner Rogelio de los Santos, and some of the amazing entrepreneurs we have supported – Myriam Cosío, Adolfo Babatz, and Vicent Fenoll – as well as many other incredible people in the region.
LAVCA – the Latin America Venture Capital Association – just reported venture capital investment data for the first half of 2022. The results are in line with what anyone can perceive in the market. Fundraising has slowed down, impacted by 1) the steep adjustment in valuations of public tech companies, especially in the US market, and 2) many VC investors are on the sidelines as they wait for the market uncertainty to pass while concentrating their attention and resources on their existing portfolio companies.
I am happy to share several resources we put together at Dalus Capital for the Climate Innovation space in Latin America. This is an emerging ecosystem and we hope these initiatives will help its development.
The first Climate Innovation Startup Radar for Latin America. This is the first version with the startups in the region we have identified. Feel free to download and distribute this startup radar. If you know of other startups in Latin America that we should include, please share them with us here.
We also created a collaborative Latam Climate wiki that you can check out here: latamclimatewiki.com. Also open to all collaborations and suggestions on what to include.
A few weeks ago, I was invited by Jason Rissman to participate in his podcast Invested in Climate, together with two climate tech entrepreneurs – José Manuel Moller and Fernando Ocaña. José Manuel is the founder and CEO of Algramo, one of the circular economy startups in which we have invested from Dalus. Fernando is developing an electric Tuk Tuk for Mexico City.