The number of startup unicorns, young enterprises with more than US$1 billion in valuation, is growing like never before in Latin America, with the fintech sector winning the lion’s share of the venture capital pouring in from around the world.
Today, there are at least 23 unicorns in the region, according to data released by Crunchbase. “Collectively, they’ve raised over $15 billion,” stated the San Francisco, Calif-based business information services provider.
The financial technology sector accounted for more than 40% of venture capital in 2020, with e-commerce and transportation services providers being the other large winners of foreign funds.
Brazil’s fastest-growing fintech firm Nubank created a record of sorts this year by raising US$750 million in a single fundraising round. Colombia’s delivery app Rappi and Brazil’s food delivery platform iFood raised money almost at a similar rate.
Payment solutions vendors EBANX and Neon are also growing at a rapid pace. Cryptocurrency exchange Mercado Bitcoin also became a unicorn after receiving $200 million in investment from Softbank.
Among the startups making headlines in recent days include QuitoAndar, a web-based real estate broker, which raised $300 million, and Chile’s alternative protein producer NotCo, which landed $235 million.