VC Investors are Unaware of the Growth Opportunities for Tech Startups in Latin America

A Look at the Venture Capital Community’s View of Global Growth Markets

Click for Survey Results

Today, we’re excited to share the results from our latest survey on the venture capital community’s view of global growth markets. The survey reveals venture investors’ misperceptions on Latin America’s favorable fundamentals for startup expansion, with just eight percent viewing the region as the largest growth market behind China (37 percent), Western Europe (29 percent), Southeast Asia (13 percent) and India (12 percent).

At WIND Ventures, our mission is to support startups across the world accelerate growth, primarily within Latin America. This latest research confirms a broad misconception about Latin America as an attractive growth market for startups. With double the population and equal urbanization to the United States, Latin America has a large concentrated population that has quickly become highly connected and prolific users of smartphones and digital platforms. The region is experiencing a very rapid cultural shift towards digitization (which is only accelerating due to the COVID-19 pandemic), and is already a significant growth market for many tech companies, including Uber, Airbnb, Amazon, Facebook, Coursera, and others.

In July of 2020, WIND Ventures surveyed over 50 venture capitalists from a diverse cross-section of professionals including traditional VCs and Corporate VCs. While the majority (70 percent) of those surveyed were early-stage investors 19 percent were seed investors and 11 percent growth-stage investors. The research made clear that venture capitalists are largely unaware of the compelling fundamentals of the Latin American market, creating the significant opportunity to correct this misconception and infuse more innovation into the up and coming region. Some key findings from the survey results include:

Market size and rate of tech adoption are top considerations for growth markets but Latin America’s attributes are unrecognized.

When asked how venture investors typically measure attractive growth markets for startup expansion, 38 percent surveyed chose market size first, while 23 percent ranked a high-rate of tech adoption as most important. Other key attributes include:

  • Large and growing middle-class first (16 percent)

Despite having many of these attractive market attributes, Latin America is not viewed as having the important elements to drive startup expansion with just six percent of investors associating the region with the above.

The misconception of the Latin American market presents opportunity

While many venture capitalists did not understand the benefits of the region, a majority of those surveyed said they would view Latin America as an attractive growth market for startups if they knew it had all of the top attributes (100 percent of seed investors, 68 percent of early investors and 83 percent of growth investors surveyed).

The primary perceived challenge for business building is political

Investors surveyed ranked the political climate (90 percent) as the biggest challenge for building a business in Latin America, followed by economic (54 percent), cultural (48 percent) hurdles and the impact of COVID-19 (15 percent).

We’re proud to work with and support new mobility, energy and retail sector startups from around the globe tap into the Latin American market, and we look forward to continuing to invest in those promising companies.

If you have any questions or feedback on the survey results, please contact bwalsh@windventures.vc

About WIND Ventures

Based in San Francisco, WIND Ventures is the corporate venture capital (CVC) arm of Copec, one of the leading energy companies in Central and South America and one of the most valued brands throughout Latin America. WIND Ventures leverages Copec’s significant resources to accelerate growth, primarily within Latin America, for startups and scaleups across the world within the new mobility, energy and retail sectors. Visit www.windventures.vc or follow us on Linkedin and Twitter.

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WIND Ventures

WIND Ventures is the corporate venture capital arm of COPEC, a leading energy company with dominant market share throughout Latin America.