Contxto – The latest indicator that startups are taking Latin America by storm is a recent LinkedIn study.
Since the social networking website operates in over 200 countries with more than 645 million business-savvy users, this past weekend it released its list of Top Startups where subscribers aspire to work in Mexico and Brazil.
“These are startups that are growing rapidly because of their innovative practices and how they’re revolutionizing the different sectors in which they work,” said Natalia Fabeni, editor of Linkedln News for Latin America.
Other countries that LinkedIn researched as part of this investigation included the United States, Australia, Canada, China, France, Germany, Indian, Japan, the United Kingdom, as well as the Netherlands.
Criteria for these companies included being a private enterprise, years of operations, the number of employees, and 15 percent employment growth. Additional factors included interest in job advertisements as well as the level of attraction to the company among the most qualified candidates.
Related article: 11 Startups in Mexico to watch in 2020!
Within Mexico, there are around 13 million LinkedIn users. Based on the findings, eight of the ten best Mexican startups where professionals hope to work in Mexico are fintechs. Below are the top 10 Mexican startup standouts from LinkedIn’s research.
David Arana founded Konfío in 2013 to offer SME loans in Mexico. Over time, it has steadily grown to employ 272 employees in addition to raising quite a bit of money. For 2020, it plans to create 100 new technological positions.
Konfío’s most recent investment involved a US$100 million credit line from Goldman Sachs. Another recent collaboration from this Mexican startup involved a Facebook partnership to offer educational opportunities to SME entrepreneurs.
Roger Laughlin, as well as Carlos and Loreanne García Ottati, created this used car platform in 2016. As of today, this startup employs more than 250 people around the world, 215 of which are in Mexico.
According to LinkedIn, ambition and desire to grow takes precedence over having a university degree to work at Kavak. Allegedly, SoftBank has also considered investing in Kavak based on its strong “asset-heavy” business model.
This fintech offering portable terminals for credit and debit card purchases began in 2012. Founder Adolfo Babatz’s goal for 2020 is to hire more than 100 new employees in various business areas.
Fortunately for Clip, not long ago it raised US$20 million with SoftBank to continue offering its low-cost technology to business partners. Slowly but surely, card purchases are replacing cash in Mexico thanks to Clip’s solution.
Based in Guadalajara and founded by Adalberto Flores as well as Leonardo de la Cerda in 2012, Kueski is a microcredit distributor with around 220 employees. Rather than having a college degree, job candidates must solve various challenges to get hired.
Earlier this month, the Mexican startup raised a combinative Series B from undisclosed investors. Specifically, the round included equity and structured debt as part of the investment. In 2016, it also raised a Series A worth US$35 million, one of the most valuable early-stage rounds in Latin American history at the time.
Together, Leo Fisher, Héctor Cárdenas and Cristina Randall launched Conekta in 2011 to assist online companies in accepting electronic payments. Through the years, the fintech has on-boarded more than 100 employees with intentions to increase this number by 20 percent.
Previously, Conekta has collaborated with 500 Startups where it earned mentorship and acceleration funds. FEMSA Comercio, Jaguar Ventures, VARIV Capital and Conconi Growth Partners also injected US$6.6 million into the Mexican fintech in 2016.
Allan Apoj formed Creditjusto in 2014 to function as a credit and leasing platform for SMEs. As of today, it employes 207 workers that embrace innovation and solving challenges.
Not long ago, Point72 Ventures and Goldman Sachs led Credijusto’s Series B worth US$42 million. Funds reportedly went towards developing the platform that eliminates bureaucracy by distributing expedited loans to SME owners.
Leveraging technology in the HR world, Courtney McColgan founded Runa in 2018 to offer software to automate recruiting and payroll processes. Lately, it has 67 employees that report a very open work environment where everyone is free to share their opinions.
Before founding Runa, McColgan worked as Cabify’s CMO. During this time, she realized that human resources in Latin America mostly revolved around manual systems and tended to be complex, hence the creation of the automatic solution.
This Mexican startup accepts bitcoin and other cryptocurrency transactions thanks to founders Pablo González, Ben Peters and Daniel Vogel. Beginning in 2014, Bitso has since recruited 71 employees around the world, 68 of which work in Mexico. By 2020, it wants to offer up to 70 new jobs, mostly for engineering and product development.
Back in July, Bitso made headlines for becoming the first Latin American fintech with an international cryptocurrency license from the Gibraltar Financial Services Comission. Results will range from improved transparency to security.
Ever since beginning operations in 2015 thanks to founders Guillermo Villegas, Carlos Daniel Salinas and Laurène Maire, this startup from Mexico develops high-tech mattresses. Nowadays, it has 120 employees.
10. Kubo Financiero
Also created in 2012 by Vicente Fenoll, this crowdfunding platform has approximately 168 folks on its team. Mexican startup, Kubo‘s, employees allegedly take pride in its innovation and creative solutions, according to the LinkedIn report.
Being a larger market, Brazil certainly had some different demographics compared to Mexico, especially in terms of the number of startups. While LinkedIn showcased 25, we’re only going to focus on the top 10.
While fintech also took many spots in Brazil, the sectors are certainly more diverse.
Founded by David Velez, Nubank being the most desirable startup to work at in Brazil completely makes sense considering the decacorn’s rapid regional expansion. With more countries come more employees, currently over 2,000.
Based on the recent US$400 contribution from TCV for its Series F, the fintech plans to continue expanding. Outside of Brazil, it’s also present in Mexico, Argentina, and potentially Colombia. By mid-2020, Nubank also hopes to have around 2,800 employees.
2. C6 Bank
This fellow fintech is the second most desirable Brazilian startup for professionals, with over 560 employees and growing. Back in January, the digital bank received legal authorization to offer financial services to the public. It even launched its own incubator to assist fellow Brazilian fintechs.
By July of next year, the fintech founded by Carlos Fonseca, Marcelo Kalim and Leandro Torres plans to recruit an additional 100 people to its team. Perhaps in the meantime, it will add products to its existing investments, cards, checking and billing payment products.
Functioning as a data and logistics startup revolutionizing the real estate industry, Loft currently employees 300 professionals. Thanks to them, the company founded by Florian Hagenbuch uses data intelligence to improve the purchase, sale and renovation of homes.
This Brazilian startup has also grown quite rapidly considering it raised its value to US$370 million since beginning in 2018. Prior to recently raising a US$70 million Series B, it also closed a US$18 million Series A with help from Andreessen Horowitz, monashees, among others.
As part of monashees‘ expanding portfolio, Pedro Conrade’s company Neon is a fellow Brazilian startup with approximately 434 employees. Among employees, Neon seeks people passionate about technology and full of team spirit.
Things are going well for this real estate startup co-founded by Andre Penha and Gabriel Braga. With 1,200 employees, they managed to triple the number of staff workers in just one year. Last year, it also raised a Series C worth US$64 million.
Specifically, the platform connects homeowners and tenants with a reliable system for long-term rentals with less bureaucracy. Before 2020 comes around, it hopes to hire 500 additional IT and other professionals.
As one of Brazil’s newest unicorns that recently raised US$150 million, this logistics-as-a-service startup founded by Fabien Mendez employs about 780 people. The company connects companies, consumers and motorcyclists in one advanced distribution network.
Some of Loggi’s goals involve increasing on-demand delivery coverage from 35 percent to 95 percent of Brazil’s total landmass. Moreover, it wants to make 5 million deliveries per day by 2020. Part of accomplishing this will involve getting more e-commerce merchants on board.
Following the merger of Yellow and Grin between various founders, Grow Mobility has grown its employee numbers to 1,570. Majority of its employees work in operation, business development, in addition to engineering.
Part of its growth strategy will involve investing US$25 million in its own factory to produce e-scooter equipment. Recently in Mexico City, it also surpassed over 10 million rides, outshining some of its competitors.
Disclaimer: this one is actually half Mexican, half Brazilian.
The virtual real estate agent has hired around 110 professionals in Brazil. While most of its employees work in sales, business development and operations, moving forward it intends to hire experts in the emerging proptech sector.
This way, Gustavo Vaz’s company can heighten its proptech business using the latest technology. At the beginning of 2019, the Dorm Room Fund invested in EmCasa to contribute to its development. One of the startup’s innovations include prospective homebuyers going on 3D-powered virtual reality home tours.
While it has only 100 employees, this technology startup is improving fleet management for SMEs in its native Brazil. There will be 150 new jobs available by the end of 2020 as Cobli continues to grow its SaaS platform.
Founded by Parker Treacy and Rodrigo Mourad, the Brazilian startup’s areas of focus include software engineering, data science, in addition to sales.
Yet another potential fintech unicorn, Creditas employs 1,000 professionals. Earlier this year, the fintech created by Sergio Furio formalized a US$231 million investment from SoftBank to grow its collateral business model. New funds will reportedly go towards recruiting 500 more employees by the middle of next year.
As a specialist in secured credit, Creditas allows loan borrowers to use their property or vehicle as collateral. Over time, this system has proven to have a default rate of less than 2 percent. It even acquired Creditoo to expand its portfolio by offering payday loans.
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