This is the third round for the fund, created to support the growth of parallel18’s alumni
San Juan Puerto Rico (May 3, 2018)- The Puerto Rico’s Science, Technology and Research Trust (PRSTRT) will invest US$225,000 through the follow-up fund Parallel18 Ventures in InsureTech startup Abartys Health and FinTech startup Quiena. Each will receive up to $150,000 in exchange for stocks or convertible notes, as a match to private capital raised by the companies. The fund carries the name of accelerator parallel18 (P18), which is a program of the PRSTRT, and is awarded to startups that were part of P18’s cohorts.
Abartys Health is an insurance technology company based in Puerto Rico that was part of the accelerator’s second generation. The 2 year-old startup, founded by Dolmarie Mendez and Lauren Cascio, has created a system that allows seamless data flow and communication between insurers, doctors, and patients -working to reduce the US$750B annual loss in the US healthcare market. The company is positioned to be a major player in the insurance technology revolution and provides service to global health insurers, pharmaceutical companies, and large employers. Abartys’ raised $1.45M in from Parallel18 Ventures, Parliament Capital — a Puerto Rico based Private Equity Fund Manager-, and individual investors.
“Abartys Health is creating products that the insurance industry is asking for, and we’re aligned to what they’ll need for the next 15 to 20 years. With this transaction we have obtained the capital necessary to accelerate our expansion plans throughout the US and Latin America,” said Cascio, COO of Abartys Health.
Since entering the market two years ago, Abartys has developed InsureLynk for insurance companies, ProviderLynk for healthcare providers, and PatientLynk for patients. Abartys Health’s founders (both female) are also very active in the technology community in Puerto Rico, hiring local talent and mentoring other young entrepreneurs.
While Quiena, founded by Nicolas Galarza in Argentina and part of P18’s third generation, built an automated investment advisory system that allows small and medium investors around the world to create and manage a personalized portfolio online. The company’s technology analyzes 50 years of stock market history in seconds; generates an investment plan that fits perfectly the risk profile and personal goals of the client; and manages the account 24/7. Quiena recently closed a US$750,0000 round, to speed up the growth of their automated management model in Latin America, an industry that already amounts to $1.5 trillion in global investments and that only recently has entered the region. The round was led by ItalBank International and Alaya Capital Partners, and besides Parallel18 Ventures, included funds such as Incutex and La Turbina Ventures.
“We are committed to help people have access to the best investment options available in the international financial market in a way that is simple yet effective to make their savings grow. We are proud of the confidence the new investors have put in us, and that will put us on-track to introduce new products for our clients,” said Galarza, Quiena’s CEO.
Parallel18 Ventures is a follow-up fund designed to co-invest in promising startups that complete the acceleration program. 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, 3 full-time employees in the Island in the next 2 years.
“It’s exciting to see the progress these startups make as they go through the accelerator, and then have the opportunity to partner with other investors to support their future growth,” said Lucy Crespo, Chief Executive Officer of the PRSTRT.
Crespo also mentioned that the PRSTRT plans to keep its stocks in the startups for a limited time. “Parallel18 Ventures’ target is to achieve liquidity so that funds can then be reinvested into other Parallel18 Ventures startups to sustain the program,” said the CEO.
Sebastian Vidal, Executive Director for the accelerator, explained that Parallel18 Ventures was created to address 4 main objectives: foster retention of the entrepreneurial talent attracted and developed by parallel18; incentivize the investment of local capital in startups; educate the local community about best practices related to investment in high-impact startups; and generate direct and measurable economic impact by enabling the hiring of talent in Puerto Rico.
“With our third round we’re seeing a maturity in Puerto Rico’s community of high-impact investors,” Vidal pointed out.
Other companies in Parallel18 Ventures portfolio are: Burea, Cinemad, Be Better Hotels, Brands Of, and Timokids.
Lucas Arzola, Director of Operations of Parallel18, added “We are proud to see these companies’ continuous growth and commitment with the startup ecosystem in Puerto Rico and Latin America. We feel confident that these founders and teams have the necessary skills to progress their companies into a world class platforms.”
About Parallel18 and the Puerto Rico Science Trust
Parallel18 is a startup accelerator in Puerto Rico that helps build and scale local and international companies while also spurring innovation and economic development on the island. Parallel18 is an economic development initiative operated by the Puerto Rico Science, Technology and Research Trust in collaboration with Puerto Rico’s Department of Economic Development and Commerce, and the Puerto Rico Industrial Development Company (Pridco). For more information visit: www.parallel18.com.
The Puerto Rico Science, Technology and Research Trust, as described in Public Law 214, is a private nonprofit organization created in 2004 to maximize Puerto Rico’s participation and creation of jobs in the global knowledge economy by promoting the investment and financing of science and technology research and development. By investing in research and the commercialization of technology, the Trust serves as a catalyst for creating and retaining the Island’s highly qualified, well educated, and often bilingual residents. The Trust is also responsible for Puerto Rico’s public policy for science, technology, research and development. For more information log onto http://www.prsciencetrust.org.