Skip to content

Press Releases

LAVCA Publishes Inaugural Survey of Latin American Startups

24 April 2019

Caitlin Mitchell, LAVCA
[email protected]

LAVCA Publishes Inaugural Survey of Latin American Startups

Results Measure Job Creation, Revenues, Impact, Diversity, and Entrepreneur Experience for 225+ Verified Startups

NEW YORK, 24 April 2019On the heels of a record US$2b invested by venture capital firms in Latin America in 2018 (an increase from US$500m in 2015) and the announcement of the new US$5b Softbank Latin American Tech Fund, the Association for Private Capital Investment in Latin America (LAVCA) today announced the results of the Inaugural Survey of Latin American Startups. The survey was commissioned by Facebook.

“This research establishes a baseline of critical information at an inflection point for Latin America’s entrepreneurial and tech ecosystem,” said Julie Ruvolo, Director of Venture Capital, LAVCA.

Highlighted survey results include:

  • Job Creation: Participating Latin American startups have created 25,000+ current full-time jobs. Startups that have raised a minimum of US$500k create an average of 129 full-time jobs each, with 4 out of 5 of those employees based in the region.
  • Entrepreneur Experience: 66% of participating founders have started multiple companies; 59% advise other startups.
  • Revenues: 89% of startups reported positive net revenue growth for 2017-2018.
  • Secondary Markets:
    -Mexican startups
    serve diverse markets in Latin America and globally, identifying cross boarder operations/activity in Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Peru, USA, and Asia.
    -Chilean startups identified Brazil, Mexico, and Peru as important secondary markets.
    -Argentinian startups identified Brazil and Mexico as leading secondary markets.
    -Brazilian startups overwhelmingly serve the Brazilian market with Argentina, Chile, Mexico, and USA distant secondary markets.
  • Frontier Tech: 73% of startups across all sectors are using some form of big data, machine learning, or artificial intelligence.
  • Impact: 59% of startups are measuring some form of impact; job creation and financial inclusion top the list.
  • Diversity: 29% of startups said they’ve reached gender parity or greater in their workforce.

“We are seeing a new generation of Latin American entrepreneurs that dream big, execute with excellence, and build amazing, high impact companies,” said Nicolas Szekasy, LAVCA board member, KaszeK Ventures Managing Partner, and a co-founder of MercadoLibre. “The next 20 years look even brighter. We are at an inflection point in the region as secular technology trends, depth of talent, flows of capital, and success stories feed and accelerate this virtuous cycle.”

“We are happy to partner up with LAVCA to bring these insights that confirms the tech ecosystem is flourishing in Latin America. Facebook is committed to its growth by providing resources and tools to local innovators. We are all building a sustainable ecosystem that will shape the future of the region,” said Susana (Tuli) Cipriota, the Head of Facebook Product Partnerships for LatAm.

The Inaugural Survey of Latin American Startups captures key insights from 227 startups, with 88% of responses coming from Founders and C-level executives. The majority of responding startups have raised US$500k to US$100m+ in funding.

The survey was conducted by LAVCA in Q4 2018 and startups were verified by LAVCA’s research team across a range of primary and secondary sources. Results are reported in aggregate unless otherwise agreed with the startup.

Facebook is a member of the Latin American Tech Growth Coalition, a group of leading global and local tech companies and investors with a common goal of advancing high growth startups.



LAVCA is the Association for Private Capital Investment in Latin America, a not-for-profit membership organization dedicated to supporting the growth of private capital in Latin America and the Caribbean. LAVCA’s membership is comprised of over 190 firms, from leading global investment firms active in the region and local fund managers to family offices, global sovereign wealth funds, corporate investors, and international pension plans. Member firms control assets in excess of US$65b, directed at capitalizing and growing Latin American businesses. LAVCA’s mission – to spur regional economic growth by advancing private capital investment – is accomplished through programs of research, networking forums, education and advocacy of sound public policy. Visit for more information.