Startup in LATAM ⑤ : Mexico, the largest Spanish-speaking market in LATAM, shaping ambitious startups
Summary of this article
The main points of this article can be summarized in three parts.
Mexico is the second-largest market in Latin America after Brazil and the largest Spanish-speaking country in LATAM.
There are direct flights from Japan to Mexico. A lot of people travel through Mexico when they visit South American tourist spots, such as Machu Picchu and Uyuni Salt Lake.
Mexico, the largest Spanish-speaking market in LATAM
The population of Mexico is about the same as that of Japan, 120 million. Its GDP growth is expected to be significant. Their economy is predicted to be the 7th largest in the world by 2050 after Brazil.
Startups in Mexico until early 2020
Surprisingly for the market size, no unicorn startups emerged from this country by the end of 2020.
This may be because some entrepreneurs choose to start their business in the U.S. due to its geographical proximity. In addition, other Latin American startups: such as Rappi, have been developing the market instead of locals.
Kavak, a first unicorn startup from Mexico
However, startups from this country are also getting a lot of attention with the recent birth of a unicorn.
Kavak, an online platform for buying and selling secondhand cars, has raised over US$400 million in total funding since its founding four years ago. Japan's SoftBank and other investors propelled the company into a Unicorn startup.
When I visited Mexico City, Mexico's capital, I was able to meet some excellent entrepreneurs who made me feel that there will be numerous great startups in the future. I would like to introduce one of them, Siglo.
Siglo, creating the next generation of ISP
There are densely populated areas in the suburbs of Mexico City, as shown in the picture below, where some people cannot access the Internet due to unaffordable prices or coverage issues.
Siglo is the answer to such a fundamental need. It offers a distributed network, including hardware, designed to provide faster Internet at a more affordable cost.
It is being sought after by many people because of the Covid-19 disaster.
Siglo Co-founder Joel Phillips, Isaac Phillips
The startup was launched by two ambitious brothers who created Pig.gi, a rewards app with 1.5 million downloads, and is taking on the challenge of creating the next generation of ISP from Mexico.
Learning from the Other Side of the World: The Power to Turn Adversity into Opportunity
What I felt in Latin American countries is that adversity creates the power to change society. In other words, a pinch is an opportunity.
Due to these situations, it is obvious that startups can give birth social to social and economic development.
In this sense, no matter where you do business, you should view the future social situation as an opportunity.
For example, Japan is one of the most advanced countries in terms of population aging. The coming super-aging society is an unprecedented world that no other country in the world has ever experienced.
There will be many challenges, but solving these challenges is a business opportunity that will undoubtedly and significantly impact society.
How were my LATAM startup posts? Hope there is something you learn.
This post is the last of my LATAM startup series for each country.
If I have time, I want to write about SoftBank and Seedstars.
I met Julio Gaitan (SoftBank Latin America, center in the picture) and Pierre-Alain Masson
(Seedstars Co-founder, left in the picture).
Both of them are making a significant impact in LATAM.
So be sure to follow me on Twitter and don't miss any of these posts.
What did you think of Mexico and its interesting startup scene?
What would you like to know about LATAM startups?
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