Everything you need to know about Argentina’s startup scene

Source: Lonely Planet
  • Why Argentina will attract investors and founders alike
  • Argentina founders and startups to watch
  • Argentina startups with exits
  • Argentina investors
  • Argentina accelerators
  • Argentina co-working spaces

What everyone needs to know about Argentina’s startup scene

You definitely need to know that by mid February 2022, there were 42 unicorns in Latin America. 8 of them are in Argentina. They include: Mural, Auth0, Despegar, Globant, MercadoLibre, OLX, Prisma Medios de Pago, Tiendanube/Nuvemshop and Ualá. Auth0 was acquired by Okta. Despegar and Globant trade in the NYSE. MercadoLibre trades on NASDAQ.

  • In February 2022, it was announced that Technisis was being acquired by Sofi at a $1.1B. Sofi completed the acquisition in March.

Trends

2022 research of tech trends in Latin America by LAVCA point to a huge opportunity in startup-VC investment in the region. To begin, there’s been a large increase in later-stage rounds. In 2019, there was only one (Rappi’s) but the latest report in LAVCA points to 12 deals over $250M. Two of these late stage deals were in Argentina: Tiendanube (Series E, $500M) and Ualá (Series D, $350K).

Source: LAVCA
Source: LAVCA
Source: Statista

Why Argentina will attract investors and founders alike

You may be wondering why you haven’t heard more about Argentina’s startups and VCs. I wondered that too for a quick minute and then I realized it’s because Argentina is an underestimated market. Yeah, much like there are underestimated founders* & GPs**, there are also underestimated markets***.

  • Location / Time zone — Buenos Aires may be over 7K miles from the United States, but there is only a one to two-hour time difference with the US East Coast depending on the time of year. And ten non-stop flights from the US daily.
  • Entrepreneurs are very resilient — Argentina has been through many different crises for the last 20 years. And in order to manage high-levels of uncertainty, survive and thrive, Argentine founders have developed resiliency and creative problem solving skills.
  • Web3 — Buenos Aires is thought by many to perhaps be the ethereum hub of the world given the number of important ethereum companies started here — and the more general Web3 talent is on fire.

Argentina founders and startups to watch

Last year’s Argentine darling and a startup was Ualá! The company raised $350M at a $2.5B valuation for their Series D from Endeavor, Monashees+, Ribbit, and more. This year, Technisis was bought by SoFi!

Founders to watch

Startups to watch

  • Ualá is a fintech company that offers a financial ecosystem through an app, linked to a free international Mastercard card.
  • Tiendanube/Nuvemshop provides SMBs in Latin America with the tools to setup, manage, and promote their online business.
  • Satellogic is making Earth Observation imagery accessible and affordable to solve the world’s most pressing problems.
  • Onapsis provides cybersecurity and compliance solutions for cloud and on-premise ERP and business-critical applications.
  • Turismocity is the largest travel search engine for Latin America.
  • Agrofy is a global pure agriculture e-commerce ecosystem.
  • Technisys offers digital banking technologies for the financial services industry.
  • VU Security is a global company focused on fraud prevention and identity protection.
  • Etermax is an international tech company, specialized on developing global video games.
  • Lemon Cash focuses on wallet, payments and crypto.
  • Pomelo provides fintech infrastructure and financial services. The platform of the company enables fintech and embedded finance players to launch virtual accounts as well as issue prepaid and credit cards.
  • Belo is the app in which you can move in pesos and cryptocurrencies so that your money is worth more every day.
  • Exactly is building an open source, non-custodial protocol on Ethereum, that will bring fixed-income solutions for lenders and borrowers.
  • Egg is a company that enhances human cooperation.
  • Skyloom is developing a spaceborne infrastructure based on optical communications technology & relay satellites.
  • Nubimetrics provides big data and business intelligence for vendors using MercadoLibre.
  • Beeflow increases crop yields to farmers by applying scientific knowledge and technologies into bee pollination.
  • Agrofy is a global pure agriculture e-commerce ecosystem.
  • Ripio is a bitcoin and digital payments company that provides electronic payment solutions for businesses in Latin America.
  • RSK is the first open-source smart contract platform.
  • Increase is a world class FinTech company that empowers businesses with a wide group of solutions.
  • Kilimo is a Big Data solution for water management in agriculture.
  • Zolvers allows people to find qualified and reliable persons to help them on household tasks.
  • Coderhouse offers live online courses in programming, design, data and marketing for professionals in LatAm.
  • Digital House is a coding school where new generations of coders and digital professionals are trained.
  • Moova is the last mile digital platform for urban logistics providers. We are reimagining last-mile logistics for a sustainable world.
  • Puramente is a meditation app in Spanish.
  • Nilus is a social enterprise that applies crowdsourcing technology and AI to create healthy food markets for low-income people.
  • Agrotoken is a grain-backed, transactional digital asset used to save or exchange for supplies, services, and other assets.
  • Aument is a SaaS platform that generates marketing automations to help ecommerce stores acquire and retain customers.
  • Qurable is a marketplace for blockchain-based physical and digital assets.
  • Kitchenita is foodtech delivery for native brands.
  • Waterplan is a SaaS platform for companies to manage water availability in their facilities.
  • Nulinga is an e-learning platform for language learning by employees of different companies.
  • Quiena is the investment advisor for all retail investors from Latin America.
  • Let’sBit offers a digital banking alternative to local and cross-border payments, investments, savings, and trading.
  • Payhaus is a financial wellbeing app for employees. Started with a salary-on-demand product and developing all kinds of financial benefits while helping companies to build a strong employer brand.
  • Henry is a tech & data academy that forms people with no initial investment and a shared income agreement where students pay once they get a job.
  • Calm es simple is a bed-in-box startup that offers a completely digital experience to buy a new bed.

Argentina startups with exits

Source: LAVCA
  • MercadoLibre, Post-IPO Equity — MercadoLibre
  • Auth0 (acq by Okta)
  • Wolox (acq by Accenture)
  • Glamit (acq by Accenture)
  • Despegar, Post-IPO Equity — Despegar
  • Sirena APP (acq by Zenvia)
  • Checkars (acq by Kavak)
  • Lagash (acq by MercadoLibre)

Argentina investors

Argentina-based VCs

  • *Kaszek is a venture capital firm that partners with exceptional entrepreneurs to build lasting, high-impact technology-based companies whose main focus is Latin America. In addition to capital, Kaszek offers significant strategic guidance, hands-on operational support, and access to local and international networks. The firm is industry and stage agnostic, investing mainly in seed, series A, and series B.
  • MrPink VC is VC seed fund that invests in Founders located in Colombia, Peru, Chile, Argentina, and Uruguay, that address large regional or global challenges.
  • Troopa — is an investment fund based in Buenos Aires.
  • Patagonia Ventures — is a private investment fund focused on early-stage startups. The sectors they focus on are e-commerce, marketplace , mobile, Software/SaaS, among others.
  • Oikos — is a venture capital fund that invests in agtech and foodtech sectors.
  • NXTP Ventures — This VC fund focuses on early-stage startups. It has a portfolio distributed in more than 10 industries, including fintech, logistics and SaaS.
  • Alaya Capital Partners — fund based in Argentina, Chile and the United States. They invest in early-stage startups and focus on e-commerce and adtech startups.
  • Draper Cygnus — invests in Deep Tech and Decentralization global companies led by Latino founders.
  • Kalei Ventures — is a Latin American venture capital firm on a mission to find outstanding entrepreneurs building global category leaders within the region.
  • Newtopia — is a VC firm founded by entrepreneurs that invests in Latin American founders.
Source: CBInsights
  • Softbank Latin America Fund focuses on investing in companies utilizing technologies like artificial intelligence and scout deals in e-commerce and digital financial services as well as blockchain projects.
  • ACCION is a fund focused on fintech seed investing. ACCION invests across Emerging Markets and looks for startups that promote positive impact in society. Some of their portfolio companies are Konfio, Clip, and Henry.
  • Endeavor Catalyst is a co-investment fund that invests in qualifying rounds of $5M+ raised by Endeavor Entrepreneurs.
  • Softbank Latin America Fund focuses on investing in companies utilizing technologies like artificial intelligence and scout deals in e-commerce and digital financial services as well as blockchain projects.
  • Rally Cap Ventures is a fund based on a community of over 240 fintech operators across the world that invest in fintech, mostly infrastructure. Focused on emerging markets pre-seed and seed, and with portfolio companies such as Belvo, Pomelo, and Dinie.
  • *Magma Partners is a seed & early-stage micro venture capital fund that invests across Latin America. Best known for Fintech, Proptech, and insurtech, Magma is a generalist firm investing $50,000 to $5M from pre-seed to series A. Notable portfolio companies include Kushki, Albo, Nuvocargo, Billpocket, Fanatiz, Houm, Yana, and more.
  • *Monashees is a Brazilian venture capital firm active globally that invests in entrepreneurs committed to creating innovative solutions for a new world. Investing in the beginning stages and following alongside the companies that are revolutionizing markets, creating value, and improving people’s lives through technology.
  • Latitud Fund is a pre-seed & seed rolling fund born in 2021 investing across all sectors and geographies in Latin America. Latitud is targeting 15 quarterly investments, the majority of which are coming from the Latitud community of entrepreneurs. Notable investments include Pomelo, BHub, Dinie, Kocomo, Reworth, Clubbi, Finkargo, and many more!

CVCs

  • ArFintech — is an investment fund made up of the main institutions of the Argentine banking system, which invests in early-stage fintech startups.
  • Eklos — is the startup accelerator of Cervecería y Maltería Quilmes (part of AB InBev), one of the most important beverage companies in the region.
  • Globant Ventures — It is the startup accelerator of Globant . They invest in high-impact emerging technology startups and offer an acceleration program with mentorships and co-working spaces, as well as financial support in the form of equity or convertible debt.
  • Grupo Supervielle — Supervielle Fintech SUPV1 is the venture capital fund of Grupo Supervielle.
  • Latin American Insurance Fund — specializes in startups in the insurance sector.
  • Mercado Libre Fund — Mercado Libre’s corporate venture capital fund and invests in early-stage startups in sectors such as logistics, mass consumption, fintech and insurtech.
  • Wayra — Movistar’s investment and open innovation arm, at a regional level, and operates through 11 hubs in 10 countries.
  • Sancor Seguros Ventures — backs tech entrepreneurs that are looking to grow.
  • Primary ventures — CVC arm of Rofex invests in fintech.

Angel investors

  • Cygnus Angel Club — is a network that connects startups with angel investors. In addition, it is in charge of accompanying them in their first phases of growth and provides contacts both local and from the United States.
  • EMPREAR Business Angels — EMPREAR Business Angels (EBA) is a network of angel investors who meet periodically to listen to the investment proposals of entrepreneurs who have been pre-selected.
  • Adventure Club — is an angel investor club based in Cordoba, Argentina.

Argentina accelerators

  • Embarca — is an accelerator for startups that have an MVP with users or first sales. It has a Pre-Acceleration program, another Acceleration program and 2 Investor Days a year. Mainly, they invest in sectors such as edtech, fintech, insurtech and blockchain.
  • Glocal — It is the first accelerator in Latin America for startups and medium-sized companies in the agtech sector.
  • GRIDX — is a business accelerator that selects biotechnology projects to turn them into startups.
  • Litoral — is an accelerator of scientific-technological based companies, emerged from the union of the National University of the Litoral, the Technological Park of the Litoral Center, the Santa Fe Stock Exchange and the Santa Fe Industrial Union. It focuses on startups biotechnology, human and animal health, agribusiness, medical devices and equipment, digital health, nanotechnology.
  • The Yield Lab — It is an acceleration fund for companies that has its Latam headquarters in Argentina. It invests in Agtech.
  • Xpand Ventures — Accelerator of Grupo Clarín
  • Yavu Ventures — is an accelerator and venture studio that invests in early stage startups in sectors such as fintech, healthcare, blockchain, urban logistics, IoT, among others. It has a hands-on acceleration model in which companies receive strategic advice, office space, a network of mentors, among others.
  • Cites — is an accelerator for scientific projects.

Argentina co-working spaces

Additional reading

  • Latitud | YC Companies in LATAM by batches
  • EBANX | Beyond Borders 2020/2021 Study
  • GSMA | The Mobile Economy Latin America
  • AMI | Latin America Market Intelligence Research
  • Cepal | Enabling Latin America and the Caribbean to better harness e-Commerce and digital trade
  • Contxto | Latin American tech, VC, and startup news outlet
  • Tracción | Podcast about all-things growth and startups in LatAm

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About investing in community-driven cos + supporting our underestimated founder/investor fam. @lolitataub

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Lolita Taub

Lolita Taub

About investing in community-driven cos + supporting our underestimated founder/investor fam. @lolitataub