Mexico leads, along with Brazil, Latin America’s and the Caribbean’s startup ecosystem, especially in sectors such as financial technology (fintech), electronic commerce or energy. With over 230 startups, Mexico is the largest fintech market in Latin America, surpassing other large niches such as Brazil (130 new companies) or Colombia (77 new companies). Most of these businesses focus on payments and remittances, personal financial management, crowdfunding and loans. Mexican startups obtained seventy-three financing agreements last year worth $ 130 million, the first time the country has the largest number of venture capital transactions in Latin America, according to the Latin American Association of Private Equity & Venture Capital. Brazil attracted more money, with 64 agreements worth 279 million.
This scenario has also boosted the number of companies that, thanks to an ambitious strategic vision and capacity to access capital, have scaled other markets in the region and even in Europe. Usually, Latin American entrepreneurs are criticized for their lack of interest in giving their companies a global dimension; however, in Mexico every day there are more startups that decide to explore new markets and even generate alliances to consolidate that growth. This has been influenced by the fact that the country is the most attractive Latin American destination for Fintech startups in Europe and the United States, according to the first edition of the Finnovista Fintech Radar Foreign Startups in Latin America, which also highlighted Brazil and Colombia, as countries that head the list of the region next to Mexico. That experience of those who come to open the eyes of many local companies and has generated new expectations of growth. The new Mexican technology companies are creating products and services that are on the radar of large startups in Silicon Valley. These are five examples of Mexican startups that have created a product capable of transcending the local market.
Capptu is a startup that allows amateur and professional photographers to upload their photos online and get profits for them. CEO Manual Villegas thought that connecting locals with companies and users looking for stock photos would be a good idea. This way, it would be able to offer the public more options and also more interesting choices to find that ideal picture. Capptu also has an intelligent function that allows to detail the type of photo that the client needs so that the photographers can enhance it according to that demand. A sort of UBER of photography.
It is a startup based in Mexico, that offers a solution capable of detecting and helping to prevent accidents in the workplace. Through Internet of Things, PRYSMEX allows a comprehensive analysis of data such as impacts, light and noise levels, locations, temperatures and the presence of toxic gases, among others. Placed in the workers’ helmets, the PRYSMEX devices monitor and communicate in real time the users’ conditions, alerting them about potential situations and high risk areas. In addition, its web application provides an analytical report of the conditions of the workers and the plant in which they carry out their activity, which allows a better decision making in the workplace and the prevention of accidents at all times.
Azap was born as a solution to the connectivity demands of the more than 36 million Mexican and Mexican American immigrants living in the United States. This startup based in Mexico, manages an e-commerce platform to send flowers and beautifully designed gifts. Its goal is to surprise the user and give a touch of luxury to the process of buying flowers. The team is currently in several cities in Mexico, with plans to expand in other major cities in Latin America in the coming years. AZAP was launched in 2013 for Mother’s Day, one of the most important dates for Mexicans, and since then it has grown to serve more than 100 users per day. Its founder, Lisa Milton, is an American entrepreneur who decided to make the opposite journey to that of many Mexicans and set up her business in Mexico.
Linio is one of the most successful e-commerce platforms in North America and its influence also extends to the United States. In Mexico it’s competing with giants such as AliBaba, Walmart or Amazon, and it does so presuming to be a 100% Mexican company. It’s one of the five largest sector in the country. Earlier this year, Linio raised 55 million dollars to support its growth plans. This startup opened its virtual store in 2012 after a first round of capital that was subsequently increased: 50 million in private capital in November 2013 and then 79 million in risk funds in July 2014, until reaching the total figure of 230 million. Linio already operates in Mexico, Colombia, Argentina, Chile, Peru, Venezuela, Panama and Ecuador. It has available about 8 million products and now hopes that the delivery would not exceed 24 hours, without requiring an extra cost. For this they work in the creation of their own fleet as well as alliances with logistics companies.
Flyr was born to democratize the production of television quality advertising for iPhone and iPad users worldwide. This startup, which has offices in Silicon Beach, initially obtained an investment of 5 million dollars to build a social network. But after an in-depth analysis of the market, they decided to change the focus of the company and dedicate themselves to the design of more than 10,000 video templates ready to be personalized and shared on social networks. This generation of templates was an achievement, since in four months they created television quality content equivalent in number to what the post-production industry in Mexico would create in a year. With Flyr, graphic designers can generate advertising with television quality 10 times faster than a professional video, and allows them to personalize without knowledge about video production, generating videos and images for the social networks of a brand. Flyr has signed a strategic partnership with Snapchat, with the aim of giving its users a specialized tool to create high quality advertising content.