Five Latin American Startups on the Rise in 2015
The enterprising activity in Latin America is unstoppable. Although we are in the home straight of 2015, the future and balance of many startups of the region will be decided over the upcoming months; however, some of these projects look like interesting and innovative stars of the year:
Headed by Venezuelan Juan Andres Lagrange Delfino, the company aims at compensating the communicational, technological and administrative backward state of educational entities in an effort to improve the future of education.
In 2012 the company gave birth to a platform devoted to optimize and improve the management of administrative and communicational processes in schools; it’s useful in terms of online grade management, visualization of diverse graphic reports and activity schedules, virtual classroom, massive communications, interaction between students and professors by means of the wall, and its app keeps parents posted on their children’s grades and assignments, among other important pieces of information. Its’ presently used in 20 schools based in 6 cities of both Peru and Venezuela, which entails 14,000 students, nearly 28,000 parents and 600 professors benefiting from this system. The company is planning to expand to Colombia.
Why did it stand out in 2015? After the acceleration process in Wayra this year, Lagrande Delfino was invited to become a member of the Agora social entrepreneur network and he was chosen among the 100 most influential leaders of the world in terms of education-oriented technology. In 2015, the company was handpicked to join Techstars’ acceleration program and it was ranked among the most innovative startups of the year, according to Idear Soluciones, IDB’s initiative.
Argentinean entrepreneurs Lucas Glustman and Shniur Kiesel took the usefulness of famous Twitter’s hashtags to the next level. While carrying out their social network management work, they realized that they could extract even more information from these tagged conversations and give to the proper companies. They devised a platform that allows companies to create different advertising campaigns by means of hashtags, and the tool identifies references related to such campaigns, thus giving companies the opportunity to have another contact way when it comes to fostering sales and prospects. The startup was funded by both private contributors and NXTP Labs and ANII (Uruguay). Its offices as based in Buenos Aires, Montevideo and Bogota.
Why did it stand out in 2015? Seedstars World – global competition of startups in emerging markets and fast-growing enterprising ecosystems – labeled Flimper the best Argentinean startup among 12 finalists and, in March 2016, it’ll be in Switzerland so as to represent the country in the final round, where it could win a capital investment of up to USD 500,000.
The founders of Kueski, Mexican Adalberto Flores and Leonardo de la Cerda, met when they were working for Ooyala, but they later decided to use their contacts in Silicon Valley and create a tool aimed at improving the efficiency of the loan-granting process in Mexico. They founded the company in 2013, financed by two of the most prestigious funds in the Valley, Core Ventures Group and Crunchfund, among other renowned investors. The platform’s proposal is disruptive as such: up to 2,000 pesos are loaned in 35 minutes based on an algorithm that investigates and assesses digital and social network profiles of applicants (friends, labor records, networks, interests, etc.)
Why did it stand out in 2015? In just three years it became a benchmark for fintech companies in the region and it successfully had its market increased in over 10 times in this period. The USD 1.3 M investment in 2014 allowed it to hire over 20 people and the company is looking forward to diversifying the business model.
Paraguayan Gabriela Galilea’s creation is one of its kind. Behind the online game platform, it targets ophthalmologic health, specifically visual therapy techniques or visual training. According to estimates, 2 – 4 percent of the population suffers from some disorder related to ocular muscles (strabismus or crossed eyes) and visual therapies aimed at improving this condition are expensive and exhausting for patients, most of which give up. The gaming techniques proposed by Mr. Patch have patients doing exercises in an enjoyable way, thus saving time and money. The progress can be measured in real time, online, and it doesn’t stop patients from doing other activities.
Why did it stand out in 2015? She was the only Paraguayan entrepreneur chosen among 600 participants to join Tech Peaks, a startup accelerator based in Trento (Italy), and she was later taken among the 50 finalists. Galilea is presently working on a tracking technology by means of computer webcams and mobile devices.
Foto: El Observador
Uruguayan Alejandro Esperanza and Andres Israel devoted their efforts in 2013 to increase the logistic efficiency of foreign trade, since they created the first online platform that optimizes the relationship among importers, exporters and freight agents. Once again, entrepreneurs are the ones to go deep into an industry and modify its bases. When it comes to hiring sea, land or air cargo transportation, companies can choose among available suppliers with the best prices or services. On this platform, both importers and exporters can establish comparisons among suppliers, value, handpick and manage the cargo, meaning a saving of 12 percent in expenses, according to the company.
Why did it stand out in 2015? Within the framework of its international expansion (the startup operates in Uruguay, Chile and Panama) it’s now present in Mexico, which entails a significant challenge for the company as a significant transportation activity is carried out between that country and the United States. Gurucargo was also described as one of the 25 most promising startups on Earth and its creators participated in the Collision Conference with their own booth.
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