Thousands of LatAm Startups Boosted Along by Large Corporations: Study

Large organizations tend to look for small but prospective, innovative players in their respective sectors before making an investment.

startups

More than 2,000 startups across Latin America are experiencing growth thanks to the support of large corporations, according to a study by Prodem, a regional center for innovation and entrepreneurship.

The support comes in many forms, including investment, incubation, acceleration, or collaboration, says the report.

Prodem claims it identified 155 financial investments in Latin American startups. Brazil leads the region with 64 such investments by large corporations, followed by Chile with 28, Mexico with 24, and Argentina with 23.

Most of these large companies belong to the e-commerce, information technology, banking, or telecom sectors, where innovation is the new currency.

Considering the report, large organizations tend to look for small but prospective, innovative players in their respective sectors before making an investment.

There are also companies investing in startups as a means to fulfill their social obligations, although such cases are very few and far between, says the report.

“The Latin American ecosystem is still very young, but it has grown rapidly in recent years, and we detect that this phenomenon is not only linked to the big international technology firms, but that there are also large local companies that are linking up with digital companies in the early stages,” says Hugo Kantis, Director of Prodem and author of the study.

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Prodem has cited the example of Telefonica, whose business accelerator Wayra has supported 429 startups so far.

“Our strategy aims to link with innovative startups that have digital solutions that can generate internal efficiencies for the company or become new Telefonica products that can positively impact our customers…,” says Claudio Barahona, Wayra’s Country Manager in Chile.

“We accompany the business alliance with an investment in the startup,” Barahona added.

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