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Peru’s Startup Scene Is Ready For More

As Peru technology development accelerates, this country will see even more powerful software outsourcing. Overall, Peru offers highly talented and educated developers, an innovative startup culture and top-of-the-line agile project results.

Peru’s startup scene is ready for more

Reaching a critical mass. Startup funding in Peru has been growing at 25% annually. In addition, StartUp Peru continues to support high impact startups and more startups are graduating from an increasing number of local accelerator programs. These means more startups are receiving money to get to their next milestone, and possibly funding round.

Lower opportunity cost. Building a startup and raising money will never be easy, but the current ecosystem is lowering the opportunity cost of jumping in the arena. Experienced operating executives, recent MBA grads, Silicon valley-trained Peruvians, will see an opportunity to launch startups. This all means more founding teams that venture capital investors will be excited to back.

Peru is still relatively underdeveloped when compared to other Latin American countries, and the startup scene is targeting this through a focus on finance and education. In 2019, Peru received more than $11M in startup investment, 47% of which was directed at fintechs and 37% at edtechs. 2020 investment is expected to top $25M, despite the economic fallout of COVID-19.

The Peruvian government launched StartUp Peru in 2012 after the success of Start-Up Chile. StartUp Peru is an accelerator program that provides mentorship, training, and funding to early-stage startups in the country. Similarly, the accelerator program Innóvate Perú offers funding and courses for startups to further their success and support them in the ecosystem. The accelerator has backed more than 3,400 entrepreneurial projects to date and invested over $13.8M in startups. Some Peruvian startups have also received funding from the two largest Latin American accelerator programs, YCombinator and 500 Startups.

Active in Peru, Chile, Mexico, and Brazil, Laboratoria has so far trained more than 1,600 women in business, economic, and digital skills, and boasts a 78% employability rate. Laboratoria has a network of over 600 businesses ready to hire the women trained.

Peru is actively encouraging its startup ecosystem, with an emphasis on financial solutions and education, and is already seeing the results. In 2018, the country attracted more impact investment capital than Mexico, which is a clear indication of the capabilities of the ecosystem and makes Peru definitely a country to watch out for in the coming years.

The Minister of Production announced in 2017 that more than 430 Peruvian enterprises doubled their income compared to the previous year, generating 31 million Soles (around 9.4 million USD), which was supported by its program Startup Peru, born in 2014. In 2018, Edwin Goñi, Lead Specialist in the Inter-American Development Bank's's Competitiveness, Technology and Innovation division, stated that the performance of the Startup Peru initiative had already shown positive results in its first six years of life, recognizing that the entrepreneurial ecosystem had grown with the influx of more relevant stakeholders and ecosystem enablers.

One more success story comes from iFurniture, a startup committed to the fourth industrial revolution and sustainable furniture. Their goal is to leverage on the current trend of automation and data exchange in manufacturing technologies. Vaneza Caycho, CEO & cofounder of iFurniture, was selected for the Woman Entrepreneur Award category of the APEC O2O Summit 2018.

First of all, encourage the corporate and private sectors to jump into startup initiatives. There are plenty of ways, such as open innovation, corporate VC, hackathons as a content provider, mentoring, venture building, and more. We at Seedstars have experience working with partners like BBVA, Merck, VisaNet, FedEx, Continental, Orange, and being their "liaison" to the startup world.

Secondly, work on having investment-ready startups (and build a pool of them). Dealflow quality is important, and startups need to work on different areas of their business, to maximize performance and be attractive for an investor. Many investors are willing to invest, but the unit economics or the scalability of the startups are just not there yet. If you want to participate in our Investment Readiness Program and improve your Investment Readiness Score depending on the fundraising round you are looking for, enter here.

In three years, his venture-backed startup grew from four employees to 120. He was inundated with feedback on how best to structure the company and consumed by the typical founder questions. Are we spending too fast? Do we need more structure? Am I a good leader?

South America as a continent is becoming a more welcoming environment for startups, with 9 countries in the top 100 including Brazil, Chile, Argentina and Colombia. This part of the world is becoming a hub for startups with promising innovation strategies, investment opportunities and rapid market growth.

There are 4 additional Chilean cities in the top 1000, yet unfortunately all have dropped more than 100 places from their respective positions in 2019, with Viña del Mar ranked highest at 453. This negative trend will need to be reversed for Chile to continue being a leading startup ecosystem in South America.

Taking into account the size and the population of the country, Argentina has a low quantity score and only one dominant startup ecosystem, Buenos Aires, currently ranked in the top 50 list after rising by 2 spots to 46th globally and 2nd regionally. The other three Argentinian cities in the rankings, Cordoba, Mendoza, and Rosario, have fallen by 63, 4 and 210 places respectively to be now ranked at 319, 431, and 777. Provided that Argentina continues to strengthen the Buenos Aires scene and narrows the gaps between other cities and the capital, we see a positive future for this ecosystem.

The government realizes that startups are critical for the future, and a few initiatives such as StartUp Perú and Innovate Peru are offering support for local entrepreneurs. However, the Peruvian startup ecosystem still has room to grow by finding ways to attract more international funding and investors.

Surrounded by nations facing ongoing economic and political crisis, Uruguay is an island of certainty in comparison to its neighbours. The government is also supporting the local ecosystem, but local talent is still scarce and successful startups are relatively hard to find. Uruguay has to make sure its local talent stays in the country while encouraging more foreign entrepreneurs and investors to consider it as a place to scale regional and global startups.

The company has now more than ten partnerships with CPG companies like Unilever, Sc Johnson, Kimberly Clark and have devices in LATAM and the United States. In 2021 Boxes was accelerated by Techstars in the US and launched its first pilot in the country. The startup set up its US headquarters in Texas and from there, with Fernando in charge and an energetic team of Latino entrepreneurs, they are accelerating their commercialization strategy and driving more innovation to power the future of retail across the world!

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