Latin America’s slowing VC market hides local strength

Some countries are doing far, far better than others

The Latin American startup market, once among the hottest in the world, is cooling. But its slowdown is far from uniform; some countries are surviving the downturn far better than others, data reveals.

A few weeks back, this column took an early look at venture capital data concerning LatAm startups and their financial backers, noting that the region was seeing successive quarterly declines that had become more than simply material. As the global pandemic turbocharged growth in the e-commerce market, so too did the COVID-19 period lead to huge venture gains in the region; and as the pandemic somewhat waned, so too has e-commerce growth, and, perhaps unsurprisingly, venture activity in Latin America as well.

But the picture isn’t singular. To really understand what’s going on, we have to go deeper than the regional perspective can afford us.