It is no secret that Silicon Valley is having big issues. In the last years retaining top talent has cost them millions in unnecessary incentvies. Dubbed as the center of innovation, it is now plagued with cultural wars in almost every big tech firm and skyrocketing living expenses. Is moving to Silicon Valley to pursue a career in tech still the way to go? People need a change, websites like LATAMTechJobs.com helps talent source companies to work in an industry they have been passionate about for so many years, but in Latin America.
Latin Americas growing tech ecosystem
Latin startups have been on the rise recently and they are beyond your arepa serving, salsa dancing, products. You see, every time a Latino enters a room, there are many stereotypes that come to mind, but entrepreneurship isn’t one of them. I should know, I was born in Colombia and every time I introduce myself and talk about my tech endeavors people are in awe. There are many diverse startup unicorns such as Colombian Rappi, Brazilian NuBank, and Argentinian Prisma. Opportunities can be seen everywhere and Latin entrepreneurs are taking advantage of the continents disadvantages.
Biggest Latin startups
- Rappi was founded by Colombians Felipe Villamarin, Sebastián Mejía, and Simón Borrero with an initial investment of $2 million in Bogota, Colombia. They launched a consumer tech startup looking to be the “everything store” of Latin America. Their rise to success started after their admission to YCombinator, a prestigious startup accelerator in Silicon Valley. Over the years Rappi saw massive growth for their delivery service bringing stellar VCs such as Andreessen Horowitz and Sequoia Capital to invest in later rounds. After reaching unicorn status, Softbank invested $1 Billion in 2019, making it one of the biggest investments in a Latin startup.
- NuBank is a Brazilian fintech startup valued at $4 Billion. They are leveraging the online banking transformation in their country by offering digital banking and no-fee credit card services to over 5 million customers. Founded by David Vélez, Cristina Junqueira, and Ed Wible in 2013 they became the third Brazilian unicorn five years after launch.
- Duolingo is the perfect way to start learning a new language. The free mobile app is used by 300 million people worldwide to learn 24 different languages. Duolingo was founded by Guatemalan professor Luis von Ahn at Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh with his Swiss-born student, Severin Hacker. Both founders were passionate about creating a platform that facilitates the way people learned languages for free.
- Grin is part of the popular scooter industry that has created the fastest unicorns ever with Bird reaching $1 Billion in only 18 months. Grin, the Mexican scooter startup has raised $72 million up to date and is sure to deliver the micro-mobility madness to Mexico, Colombian and Brazil after their merger with Yellow. Another Y Combinator startup founded by Bryan Zambrano and Sergio Romo, they operate more than 135,000 micro-mobility vehicles.
Funds investing in the ecosystem
Softbank launched a $5 Billion vision fund focused in Latin American startups. Led by Sprints CEO Marcelo Claure, they have invested in Rappi, Gympass, and Creditas to name a few. Another major fund on the block locally grown is Kaszek Ventures with their new $600 million fund. Founded by Hernan Kazah and Nicolas Szekasy, their portfolio includes NuBank, Konfio, and Loggi. There was a total of $1,9 Billion invested in the continent in 2018.
Silicon Valley and LATAM Similarities
Every Latin country is different in a cultural standpoint but their warmth, ambition to succeed, native Spanish language and soccer passion keep them together. Just like Silicon Valley, there is warm weather in the Northern countries year-round. There is a variety of food offering, from arepas, asado, ceviche, and bolo de queijo. You will learn a new language, salsa dance, meet new people, while still work for a tech company with a similar vision than in the Valley.
Companies looking for talent
There is opportunity in every continent. South America has had its political instabilities and economical downturns but it doesn’t mean people are not thriving there. You can still work at something you love while living elsewhere!