Venture capital in Latin America - Statistics & Facts

Venture capital (VC) can be defined as the financial resources provided by investors to fund startups and small businesses that show potential for long-term growth. It has become a very important source of capital for entrepreneurs, who often have problems with financing their business projects through risk-averse banks. Venture capital investments incorporate a high level of risk as only a small portion of the companies invested in are able to develop into successful and high-return businesses.

The Americas represent around half of the global venture capital market. Therefore, it comes as no surprise that the world of VC and high-risk investments has set its eyes on Latin America. In fact, venture capital investment in Latin America has experienced considerable growth in recent years, most notably in 2018. In that year, investment in startups in the region were estimated at almost two billion U.S. dollars, 73% more than in 2017, when it stood at just 1.1 billion dollars. The number of VC deals closed in Latin America surpassed the 400 mark in 2018. Moreover, the value of VC co-investment between global and Latin American investors has almost doubled between 2017 and 2018. Recent data shows that some of the largest venture capital investors in the region were based in the United States.

E-commerce and fintech were the two sectors with the largest amounts of VC investment deals in the region. Following this trend, the largest funding amount by venture capital firms in Latin America was awarded to the Colombian startup behind the delivery app Rappi, at a whopping 1.5 billion U.S. dollars. The Brazilian-based iFood and the Mexican payment app Clip were also among the startups that received the highest value of investments.

Regarding the distribution of investments by country, Brazil was the market that received the most VC investments, accounting for more than half of all VC deals in the region. Mexico came in second with over 20 percent, funds which were mostly allocated in the consumer services sector. Other countries with significant shares of VC investments were Argentina, Chile and Colombia.

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Venture capital in Latin America

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