Mexico’s Startup Ecosystem: Mexico City, Monterrey, and Guadalajara

mexico city startups

With startup hubs across Latin America vying to become the next Silicon Valley, Mexico may be ahead of the game, and carving out its own niche south of the border. In 2015, TechCrunch published an article that argued that Mexico’s transition over to the innovation economy might just turn it into one of the world’s biggest economies in the next decade. Bismarck Lepe, a Mexican-American entrepreneur who pioneered Mexico-Silicon Valley cross border companies with Ooyala and now Wizeline, contends that Mexico is one of, if not the most interesting country in the world over the next decade.

Mexico’s unique geographic and cultural positioning allows it to capture both the US and the Latin American markets, while its size and natural resources allow it to compete with South American giants like Brazil.

Three major cities in Mexico – Mexico City, Monterrey, and Guadalajara – are at the forefront of the innovative movement and each city is contributing intensely to the growth of the startup ecosystem in Mexico.

While Mexico City is the most powerful due to its size and the availability of private and federal capital, Guadalajara and Monterrey are important second cities that are vying for technology and startup leadership. Here’s a deeper look at the startup ecosystems in each of these Mexican cities. Continue reading…

The Colombian Startup Ecosystem: Bogota, Medellin, Cali, and Barranquilla

The Colombian entrepreneurial ecosystem has grown quickly the past few years. While the two most prominent cities, Bogota and Medellin, are often in the spotlight for their startup successes like Rappi or Fitpal, the third and fourth largest cities, Cali and Barranquilla respectively, are edging their way into the ring as well. These two strategically-placed cities – Cali near the Pacific and Barranquilla on the Caribbean Coast – are drawing attention from investors and beginning to develop the infrastructure they need to start to compete alongside Bogota and Medellin.

Looking deeper into the Colombian startup scene, you’ll notice many differences between the cities. Here’s a look at what each has to offer and how they contribute to Colombia’s growing entrepreneurial spirit.

Bogota

As the political and economic powerhouse that drives the Andean nation, Bogota is also the headquarters for many of Colombia’s fastest growing startups – as well as a significant hub for investment. Two of Colombia’s top three universities are located in Bogota, leading to a highly educated local talent pool for growing companies.

The growth of innovation in Bogota has primarily surged as a result of the Colombian government’s efforts to revitalize the country and the capital through the innovation economy. For example, in 2012, the National Government founded INNPulsa to promote business development in Colombia, with the goal of putting Colombia in the top three most innovative economies of Latin America. Continue reading…

Chinese Venture Capitalists and Startups are Making a Splash in Latin America

Note: a version of this article was originally published in Venture Beat with the title Chinese Investors Target Latin American Startups as US Investors Shy Away. This version has more background and information about Magma Partners.

China, a country with deep roots as an industrial powerhouse, is now determined to center its economy around technological development and innovation. With government support and outward investments on the rise, China is positioning itself to have a much greater role in the global technology market.

According to Yilong Du, Managing Partner at Latham & Watkins, there are many factors stimulating the growth of the technology sector in China. Firstly, economic growth is driving the Internet market and an explosion of Internet-based companies. In China, 731 million people have access to the Internet and 95.1% of these people access the Internet via mobile devices, according to the China Internet Network Information Center. A budding, Internet-savvy middle class, coupled with a strong supply of talent, is driving China’s technology sector and increasing the demand for innovative products and services.

Shenzhen Capital Group Co Ltd, a State-owned venture capital firm, is just one example of a firm increasing its investments abroad to bring new technology to China. Through investments in innovative companies overseas, the firm hopes to strengthen China’s technology and industrial structure, said Ni Zewang, chairman of the SCGC. Zewang also stated that by connecting more Chinese startups with overseas resources, they can help local companies mature faster. While SCGC’s investments overseas account for only 6% of its current total, it plans to increase the figure to 15% by 2020. Continue reading…

Complete Guide to Venture Capital in Latin America

venture capital latin america

According to LAVCA’s latest State of the Industry Report, Latin American startups received a total of USD$500M in all of 2016. In just the first 6 months of 2017, they received USD$477M.

It is clear that Latin America is experiencing a substantial uptick in venture capital activity. For one, Series C rounds in Latin America totaled USD$314M for the first half of 2017, compared to USD$208M raised in all of 2016.

Additionally, the investments in 99, Brazil’s largest rideshare service, by Didi, China’s largest ridesharing company, represented two of the top three largest investment rounds of all time in Latin America.

The report also uncovered that 93% of the funding that Latin American startups received this year in VC funding went to the IT sector. This is almost triple the amount that was invested in the fiscal year 2016 through the same number of deals.

vc in latin americaImage Source: LAVCA

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