Unicorns hablan español e português: Startups in Latin American

The business and entrepreneurship world is evolving like fire and bringing large numbers and innovation. Latin American ventures and businesses have rapidly changed in the last few years, with venture capital investments totaling up to USD$4,100 in Latin America.1 Around 23% of the Latin American and Caribbean population has been embracing entrepreneurship and creating new businesses since 2020. Out of those entrepreneurs, most people identifying as women are engaging in the early stage of entrepreneurship in Colombia (30.2%), Panama (29.1), and Guatemala (25.5%).2 Not only that, the ease of creating and managing a business is pretty attainable. 

The unicorns and leaders

The feelings of risk and unfamiliar territory are no longer as present as before; therefore, over 23 unicorn companies and counting have emerged during the last few years. Latin American unicorns as of 2021 are as follows: financial services and insurance (5), transport and logistics (3), travel, tourism, and hospitality, real estate, e-commerce (2), and internet, tech, and telecoms (1) with market valuations from finance and insurance totaling USD$33.05 billion, travel, tourism and hospitality (USD$4.5 billion), etc.3

Some unicorn companies, such as Kavak from Mexico, have an incredible value of over USD$8.7 billion! Followed by Rappi from Colombia with USD$5.25, QuintoAndar from Brazil with USD$5.1, and counting.4 These companies are opening doors and contributing to the Latin American economy but also employing thousands of people. In 2020, Softtek in Mexico used over 10,001, Rappi in Colombia came in second with over 10,000, and Kio Networks also from Mexico totaled over 5,000.5 That being said, Brazil is also a highly valued place with many unicorn companies such as Gympass (USD$300 million), QuintoAndar (USD$250 million), and Loggi (USD$150 million).6

Outstanding countries

Brazil has a staggering number of startups from large cities such as Sāo Paulo, home to over 2,773, and Rio de Janeiro, with 726 startups in 2021. These startups are part of one of the most thriving economic sectors, such as education (8.28%), finances (5.55%), health and wellness (5.09%), internet (5.01), e-commerce (4.24%), and more.7 According to LinkedIn, within those economic sectors, some of the most thriving workforces places in 2020. Loggi leads with 1,600 employees, Neon (784), and Loft (680). On the other hand, doing business in Brazil is relatively easy and doable.8

Mexico is another colorful and wonderful country with a world of opportunities. Mexico is also home to a significant number of startups located in Mexico City (62), Guadalajara (43), Monterrey (31), Chihuahua, San Luis Potosí (10), and other cities (56). The cities that are home to some of the best unicorn companies in Mexico are Jüsto which brought in over USD$22 million, Worky (USD$3 million), and Heartbest Foods (USD$2) among others.9 The number of startups in Mexico is skyrocketing, with startups in sectors such as software and data with over 109 companies, Fintech (80), and e-commerce and retail (44). According to LinkedIn, some companies running the workforce in 2020 are Kavak.com, with over 587 employees, Konfio (341), Jüsto (282), and others.10 There is selected funding in BioTech companies like Unima, Cuidate, and Microendo, and artificial intelligence companies like Nowport, Sensai, Docademic, and TheGuruCompany

On the other hand, people who identify as women (52.09%) have considered making their businesses their career goals. And rightfully so, the ease of doing business in Mexico is at 86.1%.11

Colombia is another powerful country to be reckoned with. The cities with the most startups are Bogotá by 102, Medellín (50), Cali (18), and a few more.12 One of the most famous startups in Colombia is Rappi, funded to the tune of USD$2.2 billion and valued at USD$5.25 billion in 2022.13 Fintech startups in lending, payments, and enterprise tech for financial institutions are some of the most popular. However, the ease of doing business is lower than in other countries mentioned above, with only a score of 70.1%.14

Lastly, while other countries are not considered as ground-shaking as Brazil, Mexico, or Colombia, they deserve to be considered for their open doors and ease of business doing. In 2022, Santiago in Chile has over 332 startups, followed by Valparaiso with 5 and Concepcion and Viña de Mar with 4. Buenos Aires had around 248 startups in Argentina, while Lima, Peru, had over 26, and Arequipa had 2 startups.15


According to CB Insights, “Latin America has been experiencing a boom in venture capital deals after it created several high-return startups. Funding rounds soared to $14.8 billion in the first nine months of this year, nearly tripling from 2020.” 

Latin America keeps on having record years of increased numbers and opportunities! LAVCA and CB Insights state that these startup companies from Latin America have raised over USD$6 billion just in venture capital investments. LATAM region is quickly and steadily gaining market maturity and longevity while helping every entrepreneur’s dreams come true.

Leveraging our partners in the Worldcom network, we offer companies the option to outsource their international marketing communications strategy and execution to our team of Advisors. To learn more about how we companies go global and reach their goals, feel free to contact our team of trusted advisors.

This blog post was written by Antonio Duarte, Chief Marketing Advisor at DuartePino, in collaboration with Eduardo Avella from Worldcom’s partner firm Grupo Albion in Colombia.


1.   LAVCA; CrunchBase; LABS; ID 1001007

2. GEM; ID 315375

3. CrunchBase; CB Insights; Hurun Research Institute; Tracxn Technologies; HolonIQ; ID 1095155

4. CB Insights; ID 1028116

5. CrunchBase; Statista; ID 881918

6. Polymath Ventures; ID 1130425

7. Associação Brasileira de Startups; ID 1049543

8. World Bank; Doing Business; ID 1048966

9. CrunchBase; ID 1050647

10. LinkedIn; ID 1048872, StartupBlink; ID 877609

11. World Bank; Doing Business; ID 1048991

12. Statista; StartupBlink; ID 804222

13. CrunchBase; ID 1049595

14. World Bank; Doing Business; ID 1049025

15. Statista; StartupBlink; ID 80421