The Startups that Revolutionized Latin America and the Caribbean in 2017
In the early days of December, the 2017 Seedstars Latam Summit, one of the most important startup events in the world, a global contest in emerging markets originating in Switzerland that seeks to strengthen the growing ecosystems. The summit is based on the fact that startups contribute to improving the present and future of societies through technology. The work of hundreds of startups throughout Latin America and the Caribbean is analyzed under this premise. Seedstars is a group of companies based in Switzerland that share the objective of influencing the lives of people in emerging markets through technology and entrepreneurship. Seedstars connects stakeholders in these ecosystems, builds companies from scratch with public and private partners and invests in high growth companies. Through different activities of initial exploration, construction of companies and acceleration programs, the group has access to entrepreneurs, investors, incubators, corporations and government officials from more than 80 countries. In this edition, after a long selection process carried out in each Spanish-speaking country and Brazil, the twelve most outstanding Latin startups from Colombia, Mexico, Peru, Chile, Costa Rica, Uruguay and Brazil were summoned. The selection was made during the year in 21 cities in Latin America, where around 1116 startups participated. Juliane Butty, regional manager of Seedstars in Latin America and the Caribbean said, “the results are very positive, we organized more than a hundred meetings between our startups and investors. On the last day, we gathered 250 guests in the same room to foster connections and learning. Our community is growing and is getting stronger. ” With a great learning for entrepreneurs and an added value for invited investors, ambassadors, partners and key players guests in the continent, the 12 winning startups of each country should prepare for the next stop that is the Seedstars World 2018 to be held in Switzerland, where they will face startups from around the world.
The Mexican startup achieved the prize as a favorite of the public through the votes that were made by Twitter. It is a social payment network that was born to find a practical alternative to cash payment. That was the reason why Martín Mexia Pomce, CEO and founder of the startup, decided to start with a system that allowed the use of money electronically. Payit is used the same thing to make payments between friends as to pay for services like the telephone or internet. The fact is that in the last five years, online payments have grown 371% makes your business scalable. At the moment, this app has been downloaded 80,000 times and goes for more to anticipate its competitors Swap, UnDosTres, MoneyPool, other fintech that offer similar services to users.
It is the website that allows you to sell a smartphone and access a catalog of cheaper used cell phones for your legal purchase and sale. This platform has been well acclaimed, as it is common for many users to choose to change their cell phone to one with better features. In its catalog, Celucambio has about 180 references, of which people have their ‘favorites’. Now the platform allows people to change their cell phone, sell it or buy whatever is available. These changes are due to the same demand from users. Even, cell phones that were presented this year, such as the iPhone 8 and 8 Plus, are already available. Otherwise, the company expects to spread its operations to other Colombian cities, taking advantage of its digital presence.
Alquilando is an on-line platform that simplifies the long-term rents process, reduces risk and ensures payment on time. It could be said that this rental site reproduces the Uber model. We cannot talk about a real estate agency but a platform that integrates the services of brokers, insurers and banks to offer the rental solution according to the standards of the digital era. The startup has a help service for tenants and owners, with a visitor who evaluates and advises as a differential within the platform. In line with this, they also include a monthly collection service and deposit of the money in the owner’s bank. It is, as much as Uber, a technological mediator and facilitator.
TU RUTA (PERÚ)
TuRuta (formerly TuMicro), is the Peruvian startup that seeks to improve public transport in Lima and other cities in Latin America with the help of technology. This startup, accelerated by Wayra Peru, was recognized as one of the best in Latin America in the Seedstars international contest, which promotes digital entrepreneurship in developing countries. The traffic in Lima and the chaos of its public transport was the starting point to propose the creation of a digital platform that collects data and uses it in order to use this valuable information to order the system for the benefit of all. The app is already operating in several cities in Peru, Colombia and Bolivia.
RED CAPITAL (CHILE)
Red Capital is a web platform that connects investors with small and middle-sized businesses that need loans and do not have easy access to the banking market. The idea is that the investors to start lending from 1 million dollars and the enterprises do not ask for less than 5 million. In that way, the company has financed more than 100 small and middle-sized businesses in Chile, moving more than 12 million dollars in almost 200 operations. For example: if small and middle-sized businesses need money they can access and sign up for RedCapital. The information is validated by Red Capital, which also advises companies. Once the process of analyzing their needs is completed, the demand for financing is published on the page. Red Capital is the first Crowdfunding in Chile oriented exclusively to small and middle-sized businesses.
DIFACOM (COSTA RICA)
This Costa Rican startup is focused on the reconstruction of carbon fiber bicycle frames. It is incubated in the Business Incubation Center of the Technological Institute of Costa Rica. These bicycles tend to be more expensive than ordinary bicycles and are usually used by professional cyclists or amateurs who have no qualms about investing in more sophisticated equipment. Mariana Brenes and Greivin Fallas, founders of the startup, have designed an innovative method to fix these frequent breakdowns. When a fracture of some part of the frame occurs, the damaged area is removed and a mold is designed with the same shape and dimension as the segment they are going to manufacture. Once the mold is ready, they elaborate the required segment through different processes (vacuum and pressure) with their own autoclave. Later, when the piece is obtained, it is inserted into the frame and fixed with the help of structural adhesives specialized in carbon fiber.
This Uruguayan startup offers genomic studies as an input to medicine. The information that emerges from DNA sequencing is used to diagnose diseases. The main objective of the founders of this company is to generate a specific plan for each patient. The studies can also be used for the prevention or treatment of various diseases. The data obtained from the DNA is analyzed by a geneticist. The analysis also offers information that can be very useful in other areas of prevention. For example, people can know if there is any risk of genetic diseases that have not yet been diagnosed or the genetic predisposition to a disease. Also, it can be known if a couple is a carrier of a recessive disease, as is the case of cystic fibrosis-it occurs when both parents are carriers and thus be able to contribute to decision-making.
Notiplac is an application and hardware that provide solutions to automotive companies and focuses on improving the aftermarket. Through the application, customers of companies that use it can easily request their services with savings of up to 40% of the costs of the call center. At the Summit Seedstars Latam Summit 2017 held in December, Notiplac won the first prize in the Mobility category.
Ludibuk promotes understanding through an attractive digital experience that personalizes learning. Ludibuk turns regular books into more attractive experiences. Through its digital library, accessible through a desktop computer and mobile application, it offers a revolutionary reading experience for k-12 students in Spanish, working to improve their reading rates and level of comprehension. Through a game strategy and customizable effects, Ludibuk creates an immersive experience that helps bring the material to life. The pedagogical material is displayed in various formats, which helps to promote individual experiences for the reader, providing personalized feedback and reports on progress in real time for teachers, highlighting the strengths and weaknesses of each student. In the category Edtech (Education Technology), sponsored by Inicia Educación, “Ludibuk”, won the first prize in the Seedstars Latam Summit.
Multidoctores was created by three Ecuadorian entrepreneurs, who developed an online platform that makes it possible to access people to a consultation in real time with a first level physician. This system, that also has a mobile application, was developed for 6 months and is available since June 2015. The consultations can be done in two ways: the first is a paid version with password to be treated at the same time the consultation is made and the other, free, in which the shift doctor responds according to how they go arriving to the consultations.
MADISON (REPÚBLICA DOMINICANA)
Madison is artificial intelligence based on business resource planning for small and medium enterprises. Its objective is to help small and middle-sized businesses make better business decisions. The company incorporated in the Dominican Republic two years ago and founded by Pavel Pichardo, allows a company that is on the verge of bankruptcy to reactivate sales based on making better decisions. Madison loads the company’s data, learns, and generates specific models each month so that the entrepreneur knows what is happening in his company and makes decisions accordingly to change the direction of the company.
Celcoin is an application that offers financial services to those who do not have a bank account, it becomes a great ally to charge balance on mobile phones and stimulates sales in small commercial establishments. The number of prepaid cell phones exceeded the 163.8 million mark in Brazil. That is why the demand for top-ups has stimulated traders to create alternatives to meet that demand. The Celcoin application can be downloaded for free at the Google Play and App Store application stores. To offer the mobile credit recharge service for all operators, the small or micro entrepreneur needs only a telephone with an internet connection. The recharge of the desired credit can be done by means of a ticket, transfer or bank deposit. The deposited value remains in the entrepreneur’s balance within the Celcoin application and can be used to make cellular recharges for your customers, friends and contacts.
Samelogic provides an easy way for users who participate in a reputation survey on a product, send their comments and can share their feedback from their mobile devices. People who share their experiences through mobile videos have been one of the main reasons why Instagram and Snapchat have experienced significant growth in the last years. Taking into account that this is an important way to communicate, those responsible for Samelogic have wanted to transfer these same communication dynamics to on-line surveys. Last October, during Seedstars Kingston, Samelogic won the Jamaica round of Seedstars World and will represent the country at the Seedstars Summit in Switzerland to compete for the 1 million dollar prize in capital investments and prizes.