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Latin America is witnessing the emergence and growth of a new species of companies that is transforming our business landscape: Tecnolatinas, i.e. technology-based private companies born in the region. Most of them are entrepreneur-driven digital ventures with an international footprint. They can already be counted by the thousands and are spreading beyond the Internet into new spaces like biotechnology, digital medicine, renewable energy, software security, space tech, fintech and agtech.
Latin America is witnessing the emergence and growth of a new species of companies that is transforming our business landscape: the Tecnolatinas, the technology-based private companies born in the region. Most are entrepreneur-driven digital ventures with an international footprint. They can already be counted by the thousands and are spreading beyond Internet into new spaces like biotechnology, digital medicine, renewable energy, software security, space tech, fintech and agtech.
The strategic significance of this phenomenon cannot be understated: Tecnolatinas are the living proof of the capacity of Latin America to take part in the new technology revolution. In a world starving for growth and value creation opportunities, technology-enabled innovation will standout as the most solid avenue for value creation and economic development in coming decades. The gravity pull of massive debt, climate change and global instability is poised to have a negative impact on global growth for a significant time. In a world marked by secular stagnation and accelerated technology disruption, value creation is bound to be driven by innovation and entrepreneurs who are decided to leverage new technologies to challenge the status quo with superior experiences and business models.
We believe tecnolatinas will continue to emerge and flourish at an accelerated pace in the next decade.We are bound to see ups and downs, big failures and bubbles bursting along the way. But we believe powerful forces will continue to drive their growth, such as low entry barriers, a growing interest in entrepreneurship as a career option, increasingly friendly and well-developed ecosystems, inspiring success stories and the growth new opportunity spaces driven by the rise of new technologies.
Tecnolatinas’ preferred playground is Latin America. Most of them are local (51%), but a significant and growing segment have either a regional (35%) or a global footprint (14%). Brazilian players focus on their local market (75%) while Tecnolatinas from Spanish-speaking countries choose regional (44%) or global plays (27%) because they face local subscale markets.
We believe there are huge untapped market opportunities for technolatinas. A technology tsunami is about to transform the global economy, creating rapidly growing market spaces. So far, most technolatinas have focused on mobile and Internet related businesses. In a way, looking at the regional ecosystem remind us of young kids playing soccer, running behind the ball and their peers rather than making full use of the court and strategically anticipating where the ball is going to be. But the early success of some Latam startups in other technology spaces, the rapidly decreasing cost of some technologies and the availability of a large untapped scientific talent pool makes us believe we only saw the beginning of the revolution.
We believe Latin America should spur the rise of Tecnolatinas to take part in the ongoing industrial revolution, build the economy of the 21st century and build a path to abundance. Tecnolatinas have already proven that our region can innovate, create value and compete in the emerging technology spaces. But they’ve only scratched the surface. With consistent and deliberate action, the region and its players can take the game to a whole new level and make entrepreneurial innovation the core engine of a growing creative economy. On that line, we see four broad levers to achieve this goal.
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