– Latin American startups received $579 million in Q1 2024, marking significant declines across the board.

  • Colombia’s investment tripled to $188 million, contrasting with sharp falls in Brazil and Mexico.
  • Fintech remained robust, with Bogotá’s Simetrik and Bold closing substantial funding rounds.

    Investment in Latin American startups has significantly fallen, with only $579 million allocated across various stages in the first quarter of 2024. This figure represents a 17% decrease from the previous year and a stark 39% drop from the last quarter of 2023.

    The decline highlights a cooling period for the region, which had reached a funding zenith of over $7 billion in a single quarter back in 2021.

    Crunchbase reports that despite the downturn, fintech startups continue to attract substantial investments, with Bogotá-based Simetrik and Bold securing $55 million and $50 million, respectively, in their latest funding rounds.  This sector’s resilience underscores its critical role in transitioning Latin American economies from cash to digital payments—a trend bolstered by over 90% of small businesses in the region now accepting digital transactions.

    The geographic distribution of investments was uneven. Colombia saw a significant uptick, largely due to major rounds for Simetrik and Bold, while Brazil and Mexico experienced significant declines. Brazilian startups raised just $223 million, a dramatic fall from previous quarters, and Mexican startups secured a mere $33 million. This suggests that while some regions are experiencing growth, the overall landscape remains challenging.

    As we look towards the future, the question remains whether this downturn represents a cyclical trough or a more prolonged decline in startup funding. The coming quarters will be crucial in determining the trajectory of investment in Latin America’s dynamic and diverse economies.