Photo: Google for Startups/Courtesy

After five years in Brazil, Google for Startups has 265 high-growth companies in its local network

Since 2016, the startups that have gone through the initiative's programs have raised around BRL 35 billion

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Google for Startups Brazil, the local version of the big tech’s connectivity and entrepreneurship program, released on Thursday a report on its achievements since its arrival in the country, five years ago: 265 Brazilian startups have participated in the program.

In 2016, when the initiative arrived, Brazil was home to 5,000 startups. Today, there are already 13,000, and more than 15 unicorns – six of them are part of Google‘s accelerator network: Creditas, Loft, Loggi, Nubank, QuintoAndar, and Nuvemshop. “The number of unicorns in Brazil is only smaller than in the United States and China,” said Fabio Coelho, CEO of Google in Brazil.

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Among the startups that participated in Google for Startups programs in Brazil, 86% have women in leadership positions, 58% have Black people, and 53% have people from the LGBTQIA+ community. According to the report, prepared in partnership with the research institute Kantar, more than BRL 35 billion in investments were raised by these startups in the network, which generated more than 15,000 jobs. So far, 27 startups that went through the accelerator had exited it.

The report points out an average of BRL 4.5 million investment rounds in Google for Startups’ network in 2020. But, it is important to note: investments occur unevenly. Some startups, especially unicorns, raise a lot of money, and others not so much.

“This is a point for improvement: the availability of investments in Brazil. It is clear the concentration of some funds with a higher volume of venture capital investments in some startups. The average is one way of looking at the data, but the concentration exists,” said André Barrence, director of Google for Startups for Latin America.

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“Today the volume of venture capital invested in Brazil accounts for 3% of the total global volume. When we look at the Brazilian GDP, the investments are around 0.6%. In more mature markets such as Israel and the U.S, this proportion is almost three times higher, so we have great growth potential,” adds Barrence.

Google for Startups does not normally invest directly in companies that participate in its programs. Last year, however, the initiative created a fund to invest in startups with at least one black founder.

According to McKinsey‘s Brazil Digital Report 2019, 69% of startups in the country earn less than BRL 50,000 per year. According to Google for Startups, half of the companies that have gone through its programs earn more than that and 14% of them earn more than BRL 1 million per month.

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Startups accelerated by Google For Startups saw their revenues grow an average of 17% in 2020 over 2019, and 82% of them expanded their teams in the last year. On average, each startup in Google’s network hired 15 new employees. At the same time, venture capital investment volume grew by an average of 108% per year.

Also according to Google’s initiative report, 95% of startups that have gone through the program evaluate the initiative positively and the other 5% are neutral. Moreover, 87% of the companies say that their participation in Google for Startups’ programs has contributed to increasing their credibility, and 83% point out that their participation has empowered founders as business leaders.

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In the report, Google for Startups also listed sectors such as agro, cybersecurity, finance, health, human resources, education, and law techs as the main sectors driving innovation in Brazil. “I believe startups will play a protagonist role in the recovery of the economy in Brazil, the digital transformation of society will continue in the coming years,” said Barrence.

Besides São Paulo, Google for Startups has campuses are present in Madrid, Seoul, Tel Aviv, Tokyo, and Warsaw. The initiative’s full report is available in Portuguese here.