Recently, ALLVP Research launched in twitter a Beta Version of a Latin America TechXplorers – Desitation Map. It shows in a graphic way the startups that have raised Series A rounds and have “boots on the ground” in different countries.
When most people look at this chart, they see Mexico. The largest “arrival” market and certainly the one with the largest population and GDP in Spanish-speaking Latin America. What is also clear is evidence that a regional, startup-led, market is beginning to form.
What I see is the great potential of Peru.
While Mexico has the most “arrivals”, Peru has the largest gap between the large number of companies entering Lima (28) and those departing (3). The number of arrivals to Peru is on par with Argentina, Colombia and Chile. The startups arriving validate the local market potential. Global startups like Uber, WeWork and Rappi have grown exponentially since coming to Lima. Its no wonder startups from around the region are following their footsteps.
The large number of arrivals shows Lima is a great market compared to its neighbors. Nevertheless, the number of “departures” is low. Local startups are not leaving for two reasons: (i) either the local market is big enough to support the initial scale phase or (ii) there is not enough capital to support their expansion plans.
The entreprenurial talent exists – who do you think the “arrivals” are hiring to execute on their go-to market strategies? If startups from around Latin America are raising Series A rounds to “arrive” in Peru, there is strong reason that startups from Peru will raise Series A rounds to expand outside of Peru.
What is needed to close the opportunity gap is capital (local and foreign) to back Peru startups as they scale regionally. It is only a matter of time before Peru catches up to the its peers and becomes a key hub for startup arrivals and departures in Latin America.
After all, Lima is right in the center of the map . . .