During the week of September 16, Mexico’s independence day from Spain, Silicon Valley Bank hosted a delegation of international investors from the US and Europe with the goal to explore the growing innovation hubs of Mexico City and Guadalajara (#VC2Mexico). The week-long program was led by John China, President of SVB Capital and focused on interactive discussions with top Mexican investors, entrepreneurs, government officials, and industry thought leaders.
In partnership with ALLVP, Endeavor, ID345, StartupGDL, and, Wizeline, we hosted senior leadership from venture capital, corporate venture capital, family offices, and institutional investment firms, to give them a better understanding of the Mexican technology and innovation market and the opportunities available to foreign investors.
I was impressed at the level of traction across the ecosystem, especially the quality of founders and the growth in venture firms and available capital .— Scott Ford, EVP, Operations at Techstars
Over the course of the week, we had a packed agenda for our delegates. We started with an overview of the Mexican political and economic environment with the US Embassy, followed by a discussion on how to create a stronger tech ecosystem in the country with Mexican Minister Alfonso Romo Garza, President Lopez Obrador’s Chief of Staff.
We interacted with over 60 speakers featuring startup founders, VC funds, service providers, government officials, family offices, and corporate venture capital (CVC), who shared their experiences and insights in the Mexican market.
The technology ecosystem in Mexico is poised to take off. Currently, I am moving some hardware supply chains to Mexico. I was pleasantly surprised to see the number of high-quality software companies. — Arjun Gupta, Chief Believer, TeleSoft Partners.
There’s no doubt that this is the time to start investing in Mexico and Latin America. According to LAVCA data, VC investment in Latin American startups has quadrupled since 2016 to a record of $2b in 2018 and that number is already $2.6b just during the first semester of 2019.
VC investment in Mexican startups doubled from 2015 to 2018, with a record-breaking $310m invested in the first semester of 2019. More international investors are looking into the region with Sequoia, Andreessen, and Monashees, doing their first deals in Mexico over the past year. Moreover, Salesforce Ventures, Visa, GGV Capital, Walmart, Khosla Ventures, Monsanto Growth Ventures, and Krealo made their first-ever LATAM deals.
In March 2019, Softbank announced a $5 billion Latin America tech fund which has brought a lot of capital and attention to the tech landscape in the region. In addition, 6 of the 9 companies with $1B+ valuations in LATAM achieved unicorn status in 2019.
It has never been a better time to launch a tech company in Mexico. VC investors such as Andreessen Horowitz, Accel and Foundation Capital are collaborating with local VC firms to finance and provide support to a new crop of ambitious and high caliber entrepreneurs solving problems with tech in Mexican large internal markets. Federico Antoni — Co-founder and Managing Partner at ALLVP.
I’m excited to see what’s next for Mexico and Latin America, the ecosystem is maturing fast with a strong community of local entrepreneurs and VC funds, there is also an influx of experienced international investors who are accelerating the development of Mexico’s innovation hubs. The opportunity to invest and build valuable companies is huge and there are many industries that can still be disrupted with technology, for example, financial services, transportation, agriculture, and healthcare.
Silicon Valley Bank has been doing business development in LATAM for the past 7 years, with clients in Argentina, Brazil, Mexico, Chile, Colombia, Uruguay, and Peru. We are proud to be working with some of the best companies and funds in the industry:
My personal goal is to increase the probability of our clients, partners, and the region’s overall success. ¡Viva México!
These views are my own and not of my employer — Julia Figueiredo.
Big thanks to our delegates:
Adam Kelly, and Jared Beers—Knollwood, Alexandre Vilella —Qualcomm Ventures, Ryan Grammer — West River Group, Jonathan Ebinger — Blue Run Ventures, Alexander Munch Thore — AMT, Federico Storani — Riverwood Capital, Scott Ford — Techstars, Anders Lier — Katapult, Rodolfo Gonzales — Foundation Capital, Arjun Gupta — TeleSoft Partners, Angela Strange — Andreessen Horowitz, Roman Leal — Leap Global.