Everything you need to know about Colombia’s startup scene

Community-driven Colombia Startup Guide

Photo by Flavia Carpio

Brazil’s startup scene was incredible, and now it’s off to Colombia. So, in this community-driven post, you will find everything you need to know about Colombia’s startup scene.

If something is missing, leave a reply, and I’ll update the post periodically.

What everyone needs to know about Colombia’s startup scene

Latin America has been producing unicorns left and right. Rappi and Habi are Colombia’s two unicorns. And this is just the start.

Source: Endeavor Review 2022

Startup investment growth in deal number and dollars deployed has grown from 6 deals and $188M deployed in Q1’18 to 29 deals and $457M deployed in Q1’22. There’s been an increase of almost 5x in the number of deals done and 2xs in capital deployed. The breakdown of deal stage in Q1’22 was 66% early-stage and 24% mid-stage.

Source: CBInsights Q1’22

Top deals in Q1’22 include Tul, Bold, Laika, Robinfood, and UBITs. Deals totaled $290M in deployed capital.

Source: CBInsights Q1’22

According to Techcrunch, in Q1’22, $3 billion was deployed into startup investments and the breakdown included: Brazil at $1.5 billion, Mexico at $258 million, and Colombia at $457 million.

Source: Endeavor Review 2022

Colombia ranks third in top total number of deals and dollars deployed.

In 2019 to 2021, Colombia grew 111% in the number of deals and 230% in dollars invested year over year.

💰 Interested in learning more about the startup-VC opportunity that lies in LATAM? Read this post.

🗞 Want to follow or join my journey through LATAM’s hottest startup hubs? Subscribe to my newsletter here.

🗓 Want to meet-up with the Colombia startup community for coffee in Bogota? RSVP here.

Why Colombia will attract investors and founders alike

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

So, let’s change that with some facts that will absolutely attract investors and founders alike to Colombia.

Source: LivingCost.org

*Underestimated founders: founders who can build unicorns but are looked over because they don’t fit the stereotypical Silicon Valley mold

**Underestimated GPs: Underestimated GPs are those who can build funds that will return alpha but are looked over because they don’t fit the stereotypical Silicon Valley mold (or the equivalent in other geographies).

***Underestimated markets: underestimated markets tend to be markets that are not the US or of the original colonizer countries but have the potential to become the world’s startup-VC leaders.

Alright. From here on, I share interesting data for you to fall in love with, move to, and invest in Colombia. Enjoy!

Colombia founders and startups to watch

Founders to watch

🤩 For other Colombian women founders to watch, check out this thread.

Startups to watch

Here are the 100 best startups in Colombia 2021.

Colombia investors

Top VCs in Colombia

International VC

New VCs on the LATAM block include Anthemis, Picus Capital, Flash Ventures, Maya Capital, Kayak Ventures, and MGV Capital.

CVCs

Colombia Angel groups

Colombia accelerators

Colombia co-working spaces

Additional reading

About author and contributors

Lolita Taub is a GP at Ganas Ventures where she invests in pre-seed and seed community-driven companies in the US and Latin America. With 15 years working within the Silicon Valley ecosystem, she has accomplished $70M+ in sales and made 90+ investments as an angel investor, Scout at Lightspeed Venture Partners, and VC at Backstage Capital and The Community Fund. Lolita is also a Co-Founder of proprietary matching tools Startup-Investor Matching Tool, the GP-LP Matching Tool, and the LaaS community which brings along a community of over 4K+ founders, funders, and ecosystem friends. Forbes and Inc Magazine have featured her as a woman promoting investment in underestimated founders and funders. She has a BA from the University of Southern California and an MBA from the IE Business School. Lolita is currently in LATAM, hunting for unicorns, and most importantly, she is a dog mom to the cutest Dachshund mix, Choco.

Thank you to all contributors and supporters: Josh Taub, Steven A. Rodriguez, Alvaro Bueno, Pedro Muller, Camilo Tobacia, Alex González Ormerod, Michelle Arevalo, Pedro Muller, Fer Díaz, Funke, Tony Murillo, Darius Gant, Laura Gomez, Camilo Tobacia and more!

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Lolita Taub

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