Three Mexican companies were selected to participate in the first program of 2022 of 500 Latin American Startupsthe regional venture capital fund that in each process selects only 10 companies from among more than 1,000 applications from various Latin American countries and that it has invested in early stages of companies such as the Mexican unicorns clips Y Konfio.
Of the 1,040 companies that applied to the first 500 Startups program of 2022, only 89 or 8.55% went on to the individual interview round and of these, less than half (42) reached the group interview stage with the members of the group. Investment Committee of the fund, among which the 10 were selected to receive an investment of $60,000 and participate in a 16-week acceleration program.
There are three reasons why most entrepreneurs who apply to 500 Startups it does not go to the stage of individual interviews, according to Guillermo Guadarrama, director of Startup 500 Programs in Latin America.
The first is that many of the entrepreneurs who apply to the program stay with their business idea and do not have the motivation to bring it to market. As much as an innovative solution is presented, if it has not been validated by clients and consumers, it poses greater risks for investors.
The second are those startups whose business model, although it has traction, that is, it has been tested before, is not easily scalable.
Each program has many applications of a Rappi, for example, within a small town. That it is already very difficult to enter such a mature market with similar solutions”, says Guadarrama in an interview.
The third reason over 90% of applications are rejected is lack of focus. Many of the startups that apply to the program do too many things at once, either targeting many different clients at the same time or trying to launch too many products in a short time.
500 Startups, says Guadarrama, looks for companies that have founders with a lot of attitude and knowledge of the market they want to attack. In addition to the fact that they have already been encouraged to launch their product and are validating their business model, by experimenting with growth. “Let your idea be to attack multi-billion dollar markets,” he says.
Artificial Nerds, Koltin and Scorce
Although the investment thesis of 500 Startups is agnostic to the industry to which the companies that apply to its programs belong, the fund observes among its investment possibilities trends that go beyond electronic commerce, financial technology (fintech) or logistics ─The big winners of the Venture Capital boom in Mexicobut which are also linked to the effects generated by the covid-19 pandemic in Latin America.
The fund is being attracted by companies dedicated to providing remote work management services; also by those of telemedicine and educational technology or edtech; in addition to that it begins to explore the territory of blockchain. One month after the program concludes with its Demo Day, these are the 10 startups selected by 500 Startups for its first program of 2022 in Latin America:
- Koltin (Mexico): Specialized broker or “MGA” that proactively cares for older adults in Latin America.
- Artificial Nerds (Mexico): Platform that helps companies automate chat and voice channels using AI.
- Scorce (Mexico): Single API that easily connects you with multiple solution providers (APIs) in Latin America
- Databits (Ecuador): Corporate training platform that accelerates the development of skills in Data Science and Artificial Intelligence.
- Reliv (Ecuador): First integrated health platform that allows the patient to connect with doctors, laboratories, pharmacies and insurers quickly and efficiently.
- Aora (Ecuador): The digital solution that completely solves the services for your home.
- Avify (Costa Rica): Centralized Back Office for e-commerce channels and social networks, which allows managing a single inventory and integrating multiple logistics and payment services in a single workflow
- Loopay (Colombia): Fintech that funds logistics operations through pre-factoring.
- New Method (Argentina): Monthly sexual and reproductive health subscription that allows people to receive their contraceptives at home and have a primary gynecologist.
- Qubit (Colombia): Marketplace for NFT tickets and collectibles for live events created exclusively for the benefit of artists, teams and their authentic fans.
At the end of December 2021, we selected 10 companies with whom we started working in January of this year in our Somos Lucha program. After 12 weeks of work and a month after their Demo Day, we want to present the companies of the #batch15 of 500 LatAm. pic.twitter.com/D8Q6XRcEiP
— 500LatAm (@500LatAm)
April 6, 2022
500 Startups is an international venture capital fund based in the United States that has several regional investment funds, including Latin America. Its objective is to invest in those startups that attack the markets of Spanish-speaking Latin America, that use technology to scale and that are integrated by a good team.
The fund has invested in companies such as 99 minutes, which recently received an $82 million round, or Jüsto, who also spread a week ago the raising of a round of 152 million dollars to consolidate its expansion in Latin America.