frubana, Belvo, Nowports and anchorer are the Mexican startups valued at more than 150 million dollars that are part of the Y Combinator accelerator program, which does not plan to stop in its search for Latin American companies despite the turbulence facing the global economy.
Y Combinator is perhaps the greatest benchmark for early investment (seed) in technology startups. It has invested in the foundations of more than 3,500 companies, including giants of the digital economy such as Airbnb, Coinbase, Dropbox, Stripe, Reddit and Twitch. The firm invests $125,000 in technology-based startups at two times throughout the year (summer and winter) in exchange for a 7% stake in each company.
“In total, we have financed about 200 Latam companies and we have no plans to slow down,” says Lindsay Amos, Director of Communications at Y Combinator, for whom the number of Mexican companies with a value greater than 150 million dollars within of his portfolio is proof that “the technological ecosystem is expanding and maturing outside the United States, specifically in Mexico.”
Of the 200 Latin American startups that the Mountain View investment firm in California has financed, 73 are Mexican, compared to the 43 Brazilian companies that have been part of the program or the 30 Colombians. That is why it is not surprising that Mexico is also the country with the most companies valued at more than 150 million dollars within the Y Combinator portfolio, with a total of four, compared to two Brazilian companies, two Chilean and one Colombian, Rappi.
Although the most important thing when deciding whether or not to finance a company is the company’s management team, Amos accepts that Y Combinator also looks for ideas that have the opportunity to become great companies if the business is successful. According to the directive, the firm has invested in companies that make everything from microbes to nuclear reactors to supersonic planes.
In the case of Latin America, 40% of the companies in which Y Combinator has invested belong to the fintech ecosystem, which, according to Amos, is explained by the high demand for financial services in the region and the low level of bank penetration in the region. population in the region ─less than 50% of the Mexican population has access to financial services.
In the case of Mexico, of the 67 active startups that are part of the Y Combinator portfolio, 28 belong to the fintech sector, 13 are dedicated to the development of software as a service; another 13 are business to business (b2b) platforms and 12 are marketplaces (digital markets).
“We have seen an increasing number of applications for the Y Combinator founders program in South America. Even more significant is that the caliber of teams requesting from Latin America continues to increase,” says Amos.