Only 4% of the companies that raised more than $1M in 2020 and 2021 in Latam have headquarters in Argentina*. I believe this should be much higher due to the following:
- Results: Argentina is #2 in terms of Unicorns (11) in Latam, following Brazil (22)**, whose population is 4x Argentina’s and receives significantly more Venture Capital
- Entrepreneurial Culture:
- Maradona DNA: Vocal. Challengers. Always looking for shortcuts. Rule-breakers. Charming. Leaders. Extreme self-confidence. This is in our veins and it has A LOT of collateral damage – believe me, a lot – but it is good for startups. Fake it till you make it is Argentina 101 and it is great for attracting talent, investors and clients
- Resilient: Argentines have crises for breakfast. Startups have many tough moments throughout their lives and you need a calm/experienced captain to survive the storms; Argentines are trained as Navy SEALs for these situations
- Talent: amazing pool of talent. Some examples below:
- Science: Argentina has the highest rate of science degrees as a percentage of total population in Latam
- Tech: According to 524 HR experts, Buenos Aires has the highest number of qualified tech workers in Latam***. 50% of MercadoLibre’s developers are in Argentina
- Extremely Cheap: Developer’s salaries are the cheapest in Latam BY FAR; +30% cheaper than Brazil and Mexico. Entrepreneurs can test product-market fit with much less capital than in other countries
- Regional Mindset: Even though our ego is big, Argies know that to win we need to expand quickly to other countries. Not one entrepreneur will tell you they can build something big only in Argentina
- Remote work: The myth of local presence is dead. We know we can collaborate, build relationships and products from our laptops at home. This makes it easier to capitalize Argentina’s assets
Tech investors should be less focused on macroeconomic factors and more focused on talent and value creation. Argentina is the most capital-efficient country to start a tech company; Argies do more with less.
¡Vamos Argentina! ¡Por más éxitos y conquistas!
PS: Thank you LAVCA and ARCAP for inviting me to the Argie Panel @ LAVCA Week and for providing the data
***Source: Atlántico, July 2021
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