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Contxto – After reviewing over 1,000 applications, 500 Startups Latam has officially commenced its 10th acceleration program for Latin American startups. Earlier today, Operations Director René Lomelí from the Mexico City fund shared exclusive information with us pertaining to this generation.
Applications ran from January to February of this year, reaching record numbers in the process. Organizers received approximately 1,420 proposals from Latin American startups during this time. Compared to the 910 submissions from 2018, this year saw 50 percent growth.
As you can imagine, the selection process was tedious yet rewarding.
“Reviewing 1,400 companies in a month was a lot of work,” said Lomelí. “But it is also refreshing to know that outside in Latin America there are so many companies and founders trying to build great companies.”
Only 11 were chosen in the end, each receiving US$60 thousand worth of individual investments and four months of mentorship in the Mexico City office. There, the new batch of startups will learn new skills and improve practices to increase the probability of successful exits.
“After these 16 weeks, participants should learn how to implement better processes, how to be better founders, and how to grow their company on their own,” said Lomelí during a phone interview. “We aren’t looking for winners, we’re looking for good companies to invest in.”
Considering that 500 Startups Latam has been running this program for almost seven years, many of the participants experience similar challenges as early-stage startups.
“One of the main challenges that they have is attracting more capital,” said Lomelí. “Fundraising will most likely be a challenge for all of them after our program.”
Continual growth is the second challenge, especially in terms of understanding all the processes of growth such as sales, marketing, etc.
“All of them at least have a product and some traction going on,” said Lomelí. “But from now on, what they have to do is find the right product-market fit and make it grow. Once they finish the program with us, it might get easier for them to do fundraising.”
The 11 new additions to 500 Startups Latam’s portfolio includes:
Empowered by Big Data and Artificial Intelligence, this Chilean startup joins the surge of fellow Latin American companies competing in the e-commerce industry. Users can efficiently buy or sell merchandise on this app trying to become Latin America’s premier “social marketplace.”
Creating your own app has never been easier thanks to AppHive from Mexico. The web platform permits users to create their own without needing to have any prior programming knowledge. It’s just a matter of choosing a template, dragging, dropping and publishing.
Instant loans without documents, questions or convoluted processes, all from your Android cellphone, is what Baubap guarantees. The microcredit lender will provide instant approval and loan distribution to qualifying customers.
Come Bien (Mexico)
Office workers can order healthy pre-made meals via Come Bien. Following that last-mile delivery bandwagon, the biggest perk is that they’re delivered right to you. Variety is never in short supply since there is a different menu every day.
DB Menos (Mexico)
People burdened by debt or fear of bankruptcy may find financial freedom with DB Menos. The financial startup provides debt consolidation and liquidation services to make it easier for clients to get back on track. It provides personalized plans, no bureaucracy, plus convenience from a smartphone device.
If you’re planning a South American getaway, then Etiner may come in handy. The digital travel agency helps users to organize trips in a fast, easy and secure manner. Main destinations include Torres del Paine, the San Pedro de Atacama desert, and Machu Pichu.
Little Bookmates (Mexico)
This Mexican startup provides a book exchange platform to promote literacy among children between the ages of 0 and 12. Specifically, users exchange books in both English and Spanish with one another. Basic membership includes eight books a month, all of which are delivered right to your home.
Net Worth Consulting (Mexico)
This Mexican startup specializes as a financial intermediary for over 2,000 clients. Net Worth Consulting aids partners to make the most of their investments, ensuring that they grow at the same time.
Associates can measure their company’s work performance or overall morale on Slik’s platform. In other words, clients quantify the organizational climate of their enterprise with various in-app surveys. This way, entrepreneurs gain valuable insights about the selection, induction, promotion or exit process in the business evolution. Data analytics assist in interpreting the results.
Even tourism operators need software to manage sales and logistics. Well, that is what Tourbitz provides to partners with its SaaS. This involves automatic factorization, inventory management, distribution tools to obtain more purchasers, plus analytics.
If Airbnb were to become a student accommodation service, then Vico would be it. Like other hospitality services, subscribers advertise rooms on the platform for students or young professionals to rent for prolonged periods. Not only is Vico a cost-effective shared housing option but also a cultural experience in the making.
“We are just starting to get to know them,” said Lomelí of 500 Startups, who said it’s too soon to tell if there are any standouts.
“I would say it is very hard to say if we already have a favorite. We do have this term that we use internally that’s ‘top performer’ company, but we don’t know yet. It usually takes months or even years to know where these companies are moving on.”