Latin America is an emerging startup ecosystem region, home to some of the world’s largest cities and emerging tech hubs. The region is home to over 9k+ funded startups which raised a combined $3.4B in VC investment in 2022.
Within the region, in recent years there has been a rapid uptake of digital economy products and services. From fintech to e-commerce and beyond, the region’s consumers are increasingly turning to digital platforms for their everyday needs.
This surge in digital adoption is driving the growth of startups, which are catering to the evolving preferences of a digitally connected population. This has also contributed in the rapid growth in new unicorns over the past decade, with over 60 unicorns now originating from the Latin America.
This guide runs through the need-to-know stats and trends in technology, innovation and entrepreneurship for the Latin American startup ecosystem.
For the purpose of this guide, Latin America includes: Brazil, Mexico, Chile, Colombia, Argentina, Uruguay, Puerto Rico, Guatemala, Costa Rica, Peru, Panama, El Salvador, Ecuador and Bolivia
Paraguay, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, Dominican Republic and Cuba are considered low VC activity regions, hence details of their respective VC investment is not provided.
State of VC
VC by region
VC investment across Latin America is on a general upward trajectory, with many key ecosystems driving innovation and attracting significant investment.
These maps showcase the recent trend of VC investment on a country level as well as highlight the leading tech startup ecosystems across the region.
Brazil is the region’s leader in terms of VC investment with rapidly growing ecosystem hubs found in Sao Paulo, Belo Horizonte and Rio De Janeiro.
Brazil ranks first in Latin America and within the top 15 globally for VC investment in recent years, alongside the likes of Australia, Netherlands and Indonesia.
México is one of the most attractive markets in Latin America due to its proximity to the US market, well developed industrial sector and growing young population.
Bogotá is the main hub for VC activity in Colombia, but there are also active startup scenes in other cities, such as Medellín, Cali, and Barranquilla
Chile is one of the most developed and mature ecosystems in the region with it’s capital, Santiago its leading hub for VC activity.
Over the past half decade, Latin America has seen a rapid growth in unicorns created, with many of these startups coming from the likes of Brazil and México as seen below.
Explore over 60+ LATAM unicorns by geography, industry, technologies amongst other filters here on the Dealroom platform.
Explore the data for the most active investors into the Latin American startups as well as the most active Latin American investors here on the Dealroom platform.
The below table showcases the leading Latin American based investors investing into the Latin American startup ecosystem.
The below table showcases the most active 250 non Latin American investors who invest into Latin American startups.
High growth startup hubs
In Dealroom's most recent tech ecosystem benchmarking report, where over 200 tech ecosystems worldwide were set actionable benchmarks for future successes, four Latin American hubs ranked within the top 20 tech ecosystems worldwide for the Rising Star category.
This Rising Star category looked at startup ecosystems in emerging economies which have benefited from the globalization of venture capital and distributed teams.
Curitiba, Bogotá, Belo Horizonte and Mexico City all ranked within the top 10% of global hubs in this ranking as can be seen below.
Top 100 LATAM startups to watch
We’ve identified the top 100 startups to watch in LATAM based on Dealroom Signal.
As opposed to thinking about these lists as ranking the “best startups” in each industry, they can be viewed as the top startups to watch based on their fundraising timeline, growth indicators, founding team, and a number of other factors.
This list is purely data-driven based on Dealroom Signal, which you can learn more about here.