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The talent pool in South America and Latin America is absolutely buzzing with potential. Businesses in the region are thriving, with many countries offering initiatives to develop talent, encourage innovation, and support business growth. To showcase the success of the region’s entrepreneurs, we’d like to highlight just a few of the top startup companies in South America and Latin America!
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Rappi is a delivery startup company that quickly blossomed into a super app that delivers nearly anything a consumer could possibly want. The app is available in more than 200 cities across nine countries in Latin and South America, boasting more than 7 million users. In 2020, the company was valued at $3.5 billion.
Three Colombian entrepreneurs founded the company in 2015: Felipe Villamarin, Simon Borrero, and Sebastian Mejia. The company began by designing software that transformed the online shopping experience at grocery stores, even winning awards for its work.
In 2019, Japan’s SoftBank gave Rappi a $1 billion innovation fund to accelerate the startup’s progress. While Rappi was originally known for delivering just food, meals, and beverages, they now do so much more. Touted as Colombia’s version of Amazon.com, Rappi delivers tech goods, medicine, entertainment, banking services, travel, live streaming, and more.
CargoX is often referred to as the “Uber for Cargo” in Brazil. The logistics company helps to match companies that have cargo with trucks that are available to transport that cargo. As one of the largest startup companies in Brazil, CargoX currently has 20,000 partner companies and 400,000 truck drivers on its platform. That’s nearly one-fifth of all the carriers located in Brazil!
In April of 2020, CargoX created a $5.7 million fund that seeks to help fleet owners and small truck carriers battle through the difficult coronavirus pandemic. Through the fund, the company pays 70% of every freight that contains essential products at loading time to help small companies keep up the transportation. The remainder of the freight is paid for once it reaches its final destination.
Emptor provides an automated platform for clients to conduct quick and reliable background checks and identity verifications. Founded in 2016, the company now offers products in six different countries. To date, Emptor has helped their clients conduct more than 2 million background checks.
Emptor’s services are especially important in the growing digital economy, as ridesharing services and other e-commerce marketplaces have a need to conduct reliable checks on vehicles and individuals. Some of the companies that work with Emptor include enterprise scale businesses like Kayak, Leasy, Rappi, DiDi, Smartlending, and Quipu.
Known as South America’s version of Amazon, MercadoLibre stands out as one of the largest financial services and e-commerce companies in the region.
Founded in a garage roughly 20 years ago, MercadoLibre has exploded onto the scene. Argentinian entrepreneur Marcos Galperin started the company out of a garage while he was studying for his MBA at Stanford University in the U.S. He wanted to replicate the business model that eBay was employing in the U.S. and take it back to Latin America.
The company went public back in 2007 and has expanded throughout South America. Today, MercadoLibre operates in more than 15 countries and employs more than 11,000 workers.
During the pandemic, the company experienced quite the boom, more than doubling the number of transactions it handled in 2020 alone. It is now the largest company in all of South America, boasting a market cap estimated at $82 billion.
The Not Company, more commonly known as NotCo, is one of the most innovative startups in the food industry today. The company uses artificial intelligence to recreate food products that originated from animals using only plant-based ingredients. The company’s slogan, “In Plants We Trust,” sums up their mission nicely. From meat alternatives to ice cream and mayonnaise, NotCo is radically rethinking the way we eat!
Backed by $30 million from Bezos Expeditions, three Chilean entrepreneurs—Pablo Zamora, Matias Muchnick, and Karim Pichara—founded the company in 2015.
In 2020, the company made its way into the American market, backed by a Series C funding round that totaled $85 million. NotCo doesn’t give away its revenue or sales numbers, but its founders have said it quintupled its sales in 2020 alone. Currently, the company is valued at a whopping $300 million, and it’s still growing.
Yet another grocery delivery startup, Justo has made sizeable waves in Mexico. Ricardo Weder, former president of Cabify, founded the company in 2019. Weder says he started the company to “disrupt the Latin American grocery industry.” And that’s exactly what Justo has done.
In early 2021, the company raised $65 million in Series A funding, which is the largest such funding raised within Latin America in the last 10 years.
The company has done quite well during the pandemic. In 2020, Justo increased its revenue by 1,600%. The company focuses on selling items from only local suppliers of products in personal beauty and hygiene, drinks, pet items, fish and meat, fruits and vegetables, and more.
Is South America Right for Your Business?
SERVIAP is a leading Professional Employer Organization (PEO) ready to help your business expand operations throughout the Western Hemisphere. PEO is a model of co-employment, where we assume total responsibility for your talent, allowing you to focus on the strategic activities of your organization. Contact us today to learn more about how you can expand your business in South America and Latin America.