With so many great startups to choose from in Latin America, how could I possibly narrow the list down to only 10?

For this year’s list, I focused on countries and companies involved in the most in-demand, scalable, and investor-validated industries. This led me to a lot of Fintech, Logistics, Recruiting, and Real Estate startups.

Enough background, let’s get to the list!

  1. Liftit: Logistics Platform for Latin America

For those who have read my past posts on companies to watch in Africa and China, my inclusion of a trucking/logistics company should be no surprise!

Liftit is now 3 years old and has rapidly scaled across key markets in the region. The company offers a wide range of logistical support from long haul to last mile. Their technology platform also provides managers with route optimization, monitoring, and notifications.

I expect Liftit to continue to expand to new LATAM countries in 2020 and raise a significant amount of funding this year to do so.

Offices In: Bogota, Quito, Sao Paulo, Mexico City, Santiago

Total Funding: $26.5MM

2. Ualá: Argentine Neobank

Ualá is the massively funded fintech app that you need to know about (if you don’t already!)

Only founded in 2017, the company has already brought in close to $200MM in funding to become the first Argentian Neobank. Investors are hungry to replicate the success of the Brazilian unicorn Nubank, which is currently valued north of $10B (!).

After years of scandal, lack of investment and innovation, banking is finally changing rapidly in Latin America. Fintech startups are right at the center of that change.

But, do we have too many highly funded Neobanks in the region? Only time will tell!

Offices In: Nicaragua, Argentina

Total Funding: $194MM

3. Nequi: Payments, Budgeting, and Financial Goals

Nequi is also competing in the Neobank market, but focusing primarily on Colombia. They’ve been around since 2016 but have not disclosed funding amounts. In addition to the standard mobile wallet and p2p payment features, Nequi also has a strong partnership with PayPal that makes it very easy to transfer money with relatives in the USA.

Will 2020 be the year Nequi expands to other regional countries and begins disclosing more about their growth and funding? I sure hope so!

Offices In: Colombia

Total Funding: Not disclosed

4. Laboratoria: Coding School for Women

Tech startups need tech talent. Most specifically, they need developers to put their funding to work and to build and scale their products! Laboratoria is a coding bootcamp that helps both train female developers and also connects them to tech companies in the region.

Don’t let their (relatively) small amount of funding fool you, they are scaling fast across Latin America and have made a strong impact already with thousands of graduates!

I especially like how the company has expanded to also offer services to businesses looking to diversify their employees and their workplace. If Latin American startups keep scaling in 2020, they’ll need tons of talent. Laboratoria is an integral part of creating that talent pool.

Offices In: Lima, Santiago, Sao Paulo, Mexico City, Guadalajara

Total Funding: $750k

5. Digital House: Coding School in Brazil and Argentina

Two code schools in the same top 10 list?! Yes! It should be no surprise given what I just said about Laboratoria, that we need many more tech schools in South America.

Digital House already has a strong presence in Argentina and Brazil, but is planning to expand to Mexico and other LATAM countries in 2020.

Offices In: Argentina, Brazil

Total Funding: $20MM


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