Country Guide


Mike Ajnsztajn

Guest Editor

Mike Ajnsztajn

Founder at ACE Startups

Mike Ajnsztajn is the founder of both ACE Startups, a leading Brazilian tech accelerator and seed investor, and GVAngels, an angel investment group investing in Brazil’s early stage startups. He is an experienced Chief Executive Officer with a demonstrated history of working in the venture capital and private equity industry, and a leader in Brazil’s startup ecosystem.

Guest editors are local ecosystem leaders: successful founders, investors, or thought leaders. Have someone in mind? Nominate a country guest editor.

Disclaimer: all content within the Startup Ecosystem Summary and Editor’s Guide sections is written by and reflects the personal perspective of the guest editor. The guest editor is not responsible for content within the Country Snapshot and Community sections, as much of this content is compiled from external sources and does not necessarily reflect the guest editor’s view.

Startup ecosystem summary

Key Startup Cities

São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte, Florianópolis

Connected Country Ecosystems

US, China, Latin America, UK


  • Big consumer market that continues to expand due to increased technology and internet access
  • One of the main global players in agribusiness
  • High unemployment rates leading people to entrepreneurship


  • High tax rates 
  • Social inequality
  • Lack of basic infrastructure
  • Troubled and insufficient basic education
  • Outdated legislation

Editor's Guide


There are 12,000 active startups in Brazil, most of which follow the SaaS business model and target the B2B segment. The southeastern region of the country includes the largest number of startups due to the majority of the economic representativeness within the city of São Paulo. But, there are also technological centers that stand out in the South like Florianópolis, and in the Northeast like Recife.

The main challenges that Brazilian startups face are the lack of talent and the high tax burden or bureaucracy in legal aspects. Brazil already accounts for most of Latin America’s investment, about US$2.49 billion as of 2019, and is increasingly attracting the attention of large international funds.

Brazil currently has nine unicorns, most of which operate in the B2C segment.


Startup engagement is a very relevant trend going on right now with Brazil’s large corporations. There are currently over 140 active startup engagement programs, and half of these programs are accompanied by startup investment funds. Initiatives to support entrepreneurship are emerging and access to entrepreneurial education is increasingly being incentivized. 

Brazil has 9 active unicorns in the ecosystem, including Nubank, Fifth Andar, 99, Stone, Gympass, among others. These startup unicorns actively contribute to the emergence of the next generation of entrepreneurs in Brazil.

Featured Tech Startups

Editor’s choice of the country’s top 10 emerging tech startups.

Startup Showcase

Editor’s pick of which ‘Featured Startup’ is especially worth following and why.

NOALVO was born to help media professionals not to lose their nights of sleep, from media planning, negotiation and buying, to campaign execution. It deals media with multiple vehicles at the same time throughout Brazil and strives daily to bring media options to small and medium advertisers who previously had no access to them. Clients only need to create campaigns and then track the results.

Focus Industries

Editor’s choice of the industries with the most potential for technology disruption and growth.

AgtechBrazil is a global leader in the production, exportation and importation of crops such as sugarcane, coffee, soybeans, wheat and corn. Agribusiness represents 25% of Brazil’s GDP and is currently going through a technological transformation due to the startup ecosystem.
FintechDigital banks have increasingly gaining momentum in the Brazilian market, growing at an average rate of 147% per year, This growth is driven by a large concentration of banking within large banks, and the fact that a high percentage of the population does not have access to traditional banking services. Other attractive fintech segments worth following include loans and insurance.
HealthtechThere’s a massive opportunity for disruption and growth in the Healthtech industry because of the inefficiency of a public system that cannot meet the high demand and concentration of the pharmaceutical industry and hospitals. New technologies are being developed to increase both operational and financial efficiency.


Editor’s perspective of the maturity level of talent in the ecosystem.

  • Technical TalentUndeveloped
  • Marketing TalentAdvanced
  • Experienced TalentModerate
  • International TalentUndeveloped

Interested in becoming more involved in this ecosystem and connecting with local ecosystem leaders? Let us know.


Active Investors

ACE Startups (Sao Paulo): Former startup accelerator, now seeks to invest in early stage startups, from seed rounds to series A. Since 2012 it has had 14 exits.
(Source: ACE Startups)

Astella Investimentos (Sao Paulo): Astella Investimentos is a São Paulo-based early-stage venture capital investor for “heroes,” or entrepreneurs looking to make a large-scale impact on consumers. (Source: Nathan Lustig)

Bossanova Investimentos (Sao Paulo): Bossanova Investimentos is a Brazilian Micro-VC focused on pre-seed stage technology companies.

Canary VC (Sao Paulo): Canary VC is a seed stage fund that trades 10-15% equity for investments in tech companies that are at a critical juncture in their growth. They focus on the vision of the entrepreneur and the strength of the starting team as they select their ventures. (Source: Nathan Lustig)

Confrapar (Sao Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Belo Horizonte): Confrapar is a Brazilian fund manager focused on technology companies with offices in São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, and Belo Horizonte. Confrapar invests up to USD$12 million in each company and currently has 10 technology companies in its portfolio. (Source: Nathan Lustig)

DGF Investimentos (Sao Paulo): This Brazilian venture capital firm focuses on small- to medium-sized enterprises in the Brazilian technology market. They have already made over 40 investments, with several successful exits. (Source: Nathan Lustig)

Kaszek Ventures Brazil (Sao Paulo): This Brazilian and Argentinian venture capital firm focuses on high-impact technology companies that want to operate in Latin American markets. Kaszek provides not only capital but also hands-on mentorship, networking, product development, team-building, and plenty of resources to help entrepreneurs develop viable businesses. (Source: Nathan Lustig)

Monashees+ (Sao Paulo): Monashees+ is a global venture capital firm based in São Paulo that invests in innovative entrepreneurs at the early stages of their ventures. Their portfolio includes companies that are improving people’s lives through tech, such as Rappi, VivaReal, and Petlove. (Source: Nathan Lustig)

ONEVC (Sao Paulo): ONEVC is a Silicon Valley and Brazil-based generalist seed-stage venture firm focused on investing in entrepreneurs that tackle multi-billion dollar markets with solid product-market fit.

Redpoint eVentures (Sao Paulo): Redpoint eVentures is an early stage venture capital firm located in São Paulo, Brazil. The firm is partners with Redpoint Ventures and in Silicon Valley and boasts an impressive portfolio of 15+ companies, including big names like Rappi and Gympass. (Source: Nathan Lustig)

SP Ventures (Sao Paulo): SP Ventures is the investment manager of the São Paulo Innovation Fund (FIP), with LPs such as Desenvolve SP, FINEP, FAPESP, Sebrae-SP, CAF and Jive Investments. The fund has a total amount of R$105 Million, focused on technology-based startups in the state of São Paulo, prioritizing Agtechs, Healthtechs and Fintechs companies. (Source: SP Ventures)

Startup Angels (Sao Paulo): Startup Angels is an international network that inspires and enables angel investors worldwide, with an office in São Paulo, Brazil’s financial capital. (Source: Nathan Lustig)

Valor Capital Group (Rio de Janeiro): Valor focuses on US/Brazil cross-border opportunities and is based in New York, Menlo Park, and Rio de Janeiro. They look for early to late-stage US or international technology companies seeking to expand to Brazil, as well as Brazilian technology companies. Valor Capital Group companies solve the problems that face the middle class, especially in the fields of education, financial services, and health. (Source: Nathan Lustig)

Warehouse Investimentos (Sao Paulo): This venture capital firm based in São Paulo is focused on technology and “green tech” startups with high-growth potential. Generally, Warehouse Investimentos does not invest in companies with over USD$8 million in yearly revenue already. (Source: Nathan Lustig)


Hub SP (Sao Paulo)

InovAtiva Brasil (Country-wide): InovAtiva Brasil is a free program that has nurtured over 540 startups funded by Ministry of Industry, Economy, and International Commerce, and the Brazilian Support Service for Micro and Small Enterprises (SEBRAE). (Source: Nathan Lustig)

Lemonade (Belo Horizonte)

Nexus Hub (São José dos Campos)

SEED (Belo Horizonte)


Darwin Startups (Florianópolis)

Oxigênio Aceleradora (Sao Paulo): A startup accelerator focused on the financial services industry.

Startup Farm (Sao Paulo): This is the biggest and most active startup accelerator in Brazil with over USD$100 million in captured investments and a portfolio of over 250 startups operating in 110 countries. Sponsored by Visa and IBM, the Startup Farm operates out of Google’s São Paulo campus. (Source: Nathan Lustig)

Wayra Brazil (Sao Paulo): Wayra is a top international accelerator operating throughout Latin America to improve telecommunication technology. (Source: Nathan Lustig)

Startups Raising Capital
There’s more to be discovered! Help us showcase this startup community by adding information.
Startups Hiring
There’s more to be discovered! Help us showcase this startup community by adding information.
Coworking Spaces/Hubs

Alfa (Florianópolis)

Cubo (Sao Paulo)

Plug (Sao Paulo)

Sapiens Parque (Florianópolis)


CASE (Sao Paulo)

Hacktown (São Rita do Sapucaí)

StartSe Events (Sau Paulo): Events organized by Brazilian ecosystem builder/education company StartSe.

Startup SC (Florianópolis)

Whow (Sao Paulo)


Coders in Rio (Rio de Janeiro)

Government Programs

ABVCAP: The Association for Private Equity and Venture Capital of Brazil is a non-profit focusing on venture capital and private equity in Brazil, raising industry standards and promoting global best practices in Brazil. ABVCAP is one of the only VC initiatives by the Brazilian government after the country suffered heavily in the 2008 financial crisis. The organization strives to facilitate relationships between international and local investors. (Source: Nathan Lustig)

ACATE (Florianópolis)

Apex Brazil Corporate Ventures Program: This Brazilian government program is designed to promote Brazilian products abroad and works to encourage corporate venture capital investments in Brazil by bringing investors there and hosting networking events with the entire Brazilian VC community. (Source: Nathan Lustig)

BH-TEC (Belo Horizonte)

Start-Up Brazil: Based on the Start-Up Chile model, this incubator program is a project by the Brazilian Ministry of Science, Technology, Innovation, and Communication that partners with local accelerators to help bring startups through the phases of development and lasts 12 months. (Source: Nathan Lustig)

Startup Rio (Rio de Janeiro)


Insper (Sao Paulo)

StartSe Courses (Virtual): Online courses offered by Brazilian ecosystem builder organization StartSe.

UNICAMP (Sao Paulo)

Tech Publications

Contxto Brazil: Latin America's go-to site for tech and startup news. (Source: Contxto)

Country Snapshot


Startup funding
Startup funding
US$2.49 billion (2019)
Standard of living
Standard of living
Global rank: 83
Global rank: 62 (2020)
Global rank: 98 (2018)
Annual GDP growth
Annual GDP growth
1.1% (2019)
(Global avg. 3.0%)
Ease of doing business
Ease of doing business
Global rank: 124 (2019)
Ease of starting a business
Ease of starting a business
Global rank: 138
Research and development
Research and development
1.3% of GDP
(Global avg. 2.3%)
Contract enforcement
Contract enforcement
Global rank: 58


Startup Funding: LAVCA
STANDARD OF LIVING: International Monetary Fund - GDP per capita (PPP)
INNOVATION: Global Innovation Index
ENTREPRENEURSHIP: Global Entrepreneurship Index

*Updated with latest available data based on listed source.


212.6 million (2020)
Federal Presidential Republic
Global rank: 91 (2020)
Internet usage
Internet usage
67.5% (2019)
Smartphone usage
Smartphone usage
45.6% (2019)
93% (2018)
Population under 15
Population under 15
21% (2019)
Median age
Median age
34.3 (2018)


POPULATION: Worldometer
GOVERNMENT: The World Factbook
STABILITY: Global Innovation Index
INTERNET USAGE: International Telecommunications Union
LITERACY: World Bank
MEDIAN AGE: The World Factbook

*Updated with latest available data based on listed source.

Are we missing something? Help us showcase this ecosystem by suggesting additional content. Become a contributor.

Clear filter
Add post

H.I.G. Capital Acquires FVO – Brasília Indústria e Comércio de Alimentos

H.I.G. Capital has acquired pet food manufacturer FVO – Brasília Indústria e Comércio de Alimentos for an undisclosed amount. (Press Release) H.I.G. Capital (“H.I.G.”), a […]
February 11th, 2021

Igah Ventures Reaches US$130m Final Close for Third Fund

Igah Ventures reached a US$130m final close for its third fund. The new fund aims to invest in a total of 17 early stage companies in […]
February 8th, 2021
LatAm List

Brian Requarth, Viva the Entrepreneur: Founding, Scaling and Raising Venture Capital in Latin America, Ep 133

byNathan LustigFebruary 4, 2021No comments3 minute read Over a decade ago, Brian Requarth bought a one-way ticket to Colombia and never looked back. Since then, […]
February 4th, 2021

KPTL Leads R$6m Round in Brazilian User Experience Research Platform MindMiners (em português)

 KPTL led a R$6m investment in MindMiners, a Brazilian rewards platform for crowdsourced user experience feedback, with participation from Darwin Startups and Maua Capital. MindMiners’ […]
February 4th, 2021

Quona Capital and Kinea Ventures Lead US$6m Series A in Brazilian Financial Marketplace Monkey

Quona Capital and Kinea Ventures led a US$6m Series A in Monkey, a Brazilian financial marketplace enabling large companies to purchase receivables from SMEs. Monkey […]
February 4th, 2021

Valor Capital Leads US$19m Series A in Brazilian Open-Source Collaboration Platform Rocket.Chat

Valor Capital led a US$19m Series A in Rocket.Chat, a Brazil-based open-source platform for team collaboration and customer service, with participation from Greycroft, monashees, NEA, […]
February 3rd, 2021

IDB Invest Provides US$30m in Debt Financing to Brazilian Fintech Creditas

IDB Invest provided US$30m in debt financing to Brazilian fintech Creditas. (IDB Invest) – IDB Invest, a member of the IDB Group, will provide a […]
February 3rd, 2021

L Catterton-backed Espaçolaser Closes IPO

L Catterton-backed Espaçolaser, a Brazilian laser hair removal company, has announced the closing of its IPO. L Catterton made the investment in 2017.  (Press Release) […]
February 1st, 2021

L Catterton Partially Exits Espaçolaser for R$2.64b via IPO

L Catterton has partially exited its stake in Brazil-based hair removal company Espaçolaser via IPO for R$2.64b (approximately US$483m) IPO on the B3. L Catterton […]
February 1st, 2021
View more