With the recent acquisition of Cornershop, Rappi’s $200M round and Uber Eats continued expansion, Latin America’s last mile delivery market has heated up. In November, Movile’s iFood blew it out of the water by raising another $400M to continue to expand the business. In the past 10 years, over 50% of the region connected to the Internet, creating a booming market for e-commerce and other online businesses. The growth of food delivery startups, especially in Latin America’s biggest markets, has been propelled by this trend. The Brazilian market leader is iFood, with over 6 million users, 1000 employees, and 10,000 independent delivery drivers.
In this episode of Crossing Borders, I sat down with iFood CEO, Carlos Moyses, to talk to him about the delivery market opportunity, iFood’s growth through acquisitions in the early 2010s, building culture across borders, and Carlos’ personal story from finance to startups. Check out this episode to learn why some of the biggest players in Brazil’s startup ecosystem have backed this food delivery business.
If you don’t believe entrepreneurship is a grueling job, just ask Ignacio Guglielmetti. Ignacio says he has never worked harder than he does for his startup Cuida Mi Mascota, and he used to be a management consultant – one of the most demanding jobs out there. His path from consulting to building a pet-sitting startup was far from clear; it took him to the Netherlands, USA, Mexico, Argentina, Puerto Rico, and Brazil. One might say that Ignacio knows a thing or two about doing business across borders.
In this episode of Crossing Borders, I invited Ignacio to discuss his two startups, how he studied in Buenos Aires and Rotterdam, what it was like to merge with a competitor in Latin America, having a startup acquired, the difference between all the accelerators Ignacio has participated in (three, in three different countries!), and how Ignacio became an angel investor. Check out this episode to learn about doing business across Latin America’s biggest economies, including how to do business in Brazil as a Spanish-speaking entrepreneur.
Blockchain and cryptocurrency initiatives in Brazil are a double-edged sword. While startups and government agencies work to implement blockchain technologies to increase compliance and reduce corruption, Brazil’s 35th President, Lula da Silva, is on his way to prison in part for a Bitcoin-based money-laundering scandal.
Brazil, like the rest of the G20, sees cryptocurrencies as assets rather than legal tender. However, one of São Paulo’s most prestigious universities debuted a Cryptocurrencies Masters’ program this year, so it is unclear where Brazil will land on this contentious debate. What’s more, Brazil’s private and public sectors are rapidly adopting blockchain technology to manage the political and economic challenges of a population of 210 million people.
Here are some of the ways governments and businesses are implementing blockchain and cryptocurrencies in Brazil.
Blockchain and the Brazilian government
The Brazilian government already uses blockchain in a variety of ways for their operations. Two of the most prominent initiatives include a way to regulate land titles in the Amazon as well as a management system for Brazil’s ‘popular petition’ electoral process.
Brazil’s economy experienced ups and downs over the past decade. Almost immediately after Forbes published an article raving about Brazil’s entrepreneurial potential in 2012, Brazil entered one of the most disastrous economic crises in the region. Just this year, stories of political corruption, monetary deflation, and falling commodity prices have plagued Latin America’s largest country.
Brazil is a country of contradictions. In the first three months of 2018, Brazil produced three new startup unicorns. The first was 99, acquired by Didi Chuxing for a rumored US$1B. Then in quick succession, PagSeguro reached US$2.7B in its January 2018 IPO (the 5th highest IPO ever), and Nubank became the third unicorn of 2018 with a US$150M Series E round in March 2018.
As the largest market in Latin America, with a population of over 210 million people, Brazil is still the most attractive country for investment and growth in the region for many investors. Despite the economic downturn, international investors often look to Brazil first when they want to enter the Latin American market. Many tech giants, such as Google, Uber, Airbnb, and Amazon, have built offices in São Paulo before moving into other Latin American markets. Many entrepreneurs look to invest in Brazil for their long-term growth strategies, as well.