Founder at ACE Startups
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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.
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.
Editor’s choice of the country’s top 10 emerging tech startups.
Editor’s pick of which ‘Featured Startup’ is especially worth following and why.
Editor’s choice of the industries with the most potential for technology disruption and growth.
Editor’s perspective of the maturity level of talent in the ecosystem.
Interested in becoming more involved in this ecosystem and connecting with local ecosystem leaders? Let us know.
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 e.ventures 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)
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)
Brinc Brazil Food Tech Program (São Paulo): The Brazil Food Technology Accelerator Program was recently launched after the expansion of Brinc into the South American market. Brinc partnered with Lever VC, Grupo Baobá, Lifely VC, Outcast Ventures, Angel Ventures, Bioma Food Hub, and Food Ventures.
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)
StartSe Events (Sau Paulo): Events organized by Brazilian ecosystem builder/education company StartSe.
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)
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)
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)
StartSe Courses (Virtual): Online courses offered by Brazilian ecosystem builder organization StartSe.
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