Whether you believe the Trump Trade is over or just looking to diversify your portfolio, the LatAm Unicorns are something that you should definitely look into. Latin America is currently proliferating with endless amounts of talented and resilient entrepreneurs and now has 6 of the world’s Unicorns, which are companies valued at $1 billion USD.
Although there are few billion-dollar Internet companies founded in Latin America, these Unicorns have paved the road for other LatAm companies to become global players, garnering interest from multi-international groups, and creating the next generation of Latin American Unicorns.
Today, the amount of Internet users in Latin America is close to that of the United States. However, user base and broadband growth in the most recent 2-3 years was much higher in Latin America. We are talking about 700% to 900% greater than that of the U.S., respectively. This means the potential for Internet Company growth in Latin America is colossal. Additionally, LatAm governments and institutional support across South America are imposing pro-business and entrepreneurial agendas into their policies. With all these positive environmental factors, we expect more LatAm Unicorns in the future.
Mercadolibre (MELI) is an online retailer, started during the 1990’s. MELI is South America’s most visited e-commerce site and is very prominent in many Latin countries. The company is currently publicly traded on the NASDAQ and is one of the largest companies in Argentina. The site garners about 30 million buyers and sellers annually. Products range from a variety of goods from automobiles to computer equipment. Please note that 30 million users is only about five percent of Argentina’s population. As more South Americans gain access to the Internet, we can be sure that sales will grow exponentially.
Globant (GLOB) is a software developer, which creates and distributes their products all over Europe and the Americas. The company provides user-friendly applications and platforms to enhance client engagement and streamline customer communications with their use of innovative tech, such as big data mining.
Despegar.com is the largest online travelling agency in South America. The company also operates in the States and Spain. Despegar serves both business and leisure travelers. The site offers plane tickets, hotel bookings, etc. Expedia has a 16% stake this company. Rumor has it that Despegar plans to launch an IPO this year.
OLX is basically an “online exchange,” which connects buyers/sellers of second-hand goods. The site also includes job and real estate listings. The company originally targeted fast growing markets, such as India, Brazil, and Kenya. Now, they returned to their own roots, in Argentina, seven years later. OLX is currently used in more than 45 countries around the world and boasts about 300 million site visitors monthly.
A Brazilian E-Commerce company founded in 2006 at Rio de Janeiro, currently valued at about $6 billion.
This software company was founded in 1983, in São Paulo, Brazil. The company is currently valued at about $2 billion.