Shortages of Talent and Financing Slowing AI Growth in LatAm: Study

AI companies in Latin America are struggling to grow as they face a serious shortage of talent, lack of financing, and insufficient knowledge of the technology among their potential clients.

AI Latin America

Artificial intelligence (AI) companies in Latin America are struggling to grow as they face a serious shortage of talent, lack of financing, and insufficient knowledge of the technology among their potential clients.

Unlike in the United States, raising money has proved to be an uphill task for AI companies in the region, according to a joint study by Everis and startup accelerator Endeavor.

Argentine AI startups have made US$3.67 million so far this year, followed by Peruvian companies with US$ 2.79 million, nearly twice the sum of last year (US$1.45 million). Brazilian and Colombian startups have earned US$2.28 million and US$1.19 million, respectively.

Most AI companies in Latin America were established between 2012 and 2016, with those in Argentina making significant progress in terms of sales and revenue generation. Chilean companies, in particular, are lagging behind, as their income totals at around US$1 million.

“The Chilean companies that are oriented to develop and offer AI solutions have great growth potential, given that it is a market in full expansion and there is still a low adoption of these solutions by large companies,” says José Manuel Correa, Executive Director of Endeavor in Chile.

The road ahead for AI companies in the region is bumpy, largely because their potential clients still doubt the benefits that the technology can generate, but also because there isn’t enough specialized talent to develop new solutions.

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“In Latin America, investors are adverse to risk and are used to investing in traditional industries, so they have traditional evaluation methods, which does not fit the technological industry,” says Juan José Besa, Founder and CTO of Wholemeaning.

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