Today, Dave McClure’s 500 Startups showed off some of its Latin America flavor. Just a day before its 500 Startups Accelerator Demo Day, the venture firm previewed some of the companies it has incubated in Mexico. Today in Mountain View, Calif., 500 Startups Mexico City held its first demo day since the venture fund merged with Mexican.VC last year.
500 Startups venture partner Cesar Salazar gave a history of the group, from its early days as Mexican.VC. “We realized there was huge potential in the region,” Salazar said. But Mexico entrepreneurs were held back by a lack of capital and a lack of mentorship. So they created their own local incubator. After talks with McClure, the two groups decided to combine their efforts, and 500 Startups Mexico City was born.
The presentation consists of about a dozen startups, most of which came from 500 Startups’ Latin America portfolio. Here are our the companies that presented:
Boletia – This startup helps events organizers sell tickets and find an audience for their concerts, conferences, and other events. In addition to sales online, Boletia also allows organizers to sell through local convenience stores, which is a popular way of purchasing tickets. The startup takes a 6.5 percent fee per ticket. Seven weeks after launch, it’s had more than $100,000 sales in tickets with just one salesperson.
Capptalog – Capptalog provides a way for small and medium-sized businesses to quickly create catalogs to showcase and sell their wares through mobile devices. It provides a SaaS platform on the web for creating and managing product descriptions, upload multimedia, such as photos and videos, and create sales pages for those products. It says there are 5 million SMBs in the Mexican market, and is looking to attempt to capture 72 percent of those.
E-Training – This company seeks to help train the 20 million professionals in Mexico that are underemployed or unemployed. In the Latin America market, the company sees 152 million web users, of which 14 percent are participating in online education. That will grows annually at a rate of 15 percent to 32 million people in 2015.
Femeninas.com – This startup is going after the fashion and beauty market in Spanish-speaking companies. There are already 100,000s of customers coming to website every month, and it’s profitable. But it’s looking to expand in a market where there’s no Pinterest or Glam Media to compete against.
Harris – “Obesity is a bitch.” That’s the problem that Harris seeks to solve, by connecting users and nutritionists and allowing both to track a user’s diet. The company offers a SaaS-based platform with a subscription model for its dashboard. It has a large list of foods and nutritional info that users can check out to choose what to eat, and nutritionists can use to keep track of their diets.
Nuperty – Nuperty helps connect buyers, sellers, and mortgage lenders in real estate. The company provides a platform for searching real estate listings, and also provides buyer profiles to financial institutions for those who wish to qualify for loans. The company has generated $100,000 in leads so far and is growing quickly in Mexico, and is looking to expand to other Latin American countries.
Pop Contacts – This startup has a mobile app for managing all the contacts that you have across multiple networks and address books. It also provides a unified messaging system, which combines conversations you’ve had with contacts by SMS, email, DM, and Facebook message, all in one place.
RubberIt – If you’ve been reading me, you probably know my opinion of subscription condom startups. But look, there’s a problem in Mexico. According to Rubberit co-founder May Alba, the average person there has sex 126 times a year, but only uses a condom four of those times.There are 180 million condoms sold in mexico, but the country probably needs 1 billion per year. With a subscription package, the company gets rid of the problem of not having a condom around, as well as the problem with having to go to the store to buy them, which carries some social stigma. In addition to changing the way people get and keep condoms, RubberIt is also working with NGOs on a one-for-one program to provide condoms in underprivileged areas for each condom sold.
SeMeAntoja This startup seeks to be the Seamless or GrubHub for Mexico, by enabling its customers to quickly set up and allow restaurants and chains to take mobile orders. The company has been around since early 2012, but has grown pretty aggressively since last May when it had 3,900 users. It’s now at more than 33,000 users and is seeing 36 percent growth per month over the last eight months. With SeMeAntoja, restaurants can sell through Facebook, as well as their own web pages and iPhone apps. It now has 1,200 restaurants signed up, and has done $300,000 in orders so far.
Shopinterest – Shopinterest enables small businesses to get their e-commerce stores set up, and shares them through Pinterest. Why Pinterests? Because that’s where the customers are, duh. Rather than needing 8-10 steps to get to a shopping cart and complete a purchase, Shopinterest simplifies the process for sellers and buyers, basically creating Fab.com for any seller. The startup already has 500 stores signed up, and more than 20,000 items listed. It charges listing and transaction fees, as well as premium paid features for businesses.
Wideo – Wideo makes it easy for anyone to create animations without Flash or Powerpoint, through a suite of its own tools. It claims to be 20 times faster than other tools, and distribute them for viewing in any web browser.
Yaxi – This startup provides a taxi e-hail service for riders in Mexico. It allows users to quickly find a taxi without having to carry a bunch of cards around, or hailing a creepy taxi on the street. Since it doesn’t require a driver to have the app installed on their phone — or even a smartphone for that matter — it’s differentiated from other mobile, on-demand ride hailing companies that we’ve seen. The Mexico City cab market is the largest in the world, with three times as many cabs as New York City, amounting to a $2 billion market. For riders, the convenience they get only costs $1 per ride to use the app. That’s made it the #1 travel app in Mexico, with 50,000 users who have used it in tens of cities around the country.