Innovative Brazilian startups have been attracting several rounds of investments, making the country home to a handful of unicorns. Some other startups are also on their way to acquire the status. What these companies have in common is that they’re making the lives of people in Brazil, and sometimes even in other countries of Latin America, easier.
Entrepreneurship is flourishing in Brazil right now, putting the country in the spotlight of many foreign investors who want to take part in this transformative movement. Here is a list compiling a few of the successful Brazilian startups and how they have been unfolding a landscape full of opportunities: from new businesses considering the country in their expansion roadmap – to SaaS, that might offer solutions to support these innovative products and services.
The fintech’s business model has established itself as an example even for traditional financial institutions. Nubank’s success inspired Next, a digital bank owned by Bradesco, among others who ventured into the launch of cards and digital accounts but without the same penetration in the market that Nubank managed get by debuting the services in the country.
By the end of 2017 the company had 750 employees. In the span of a few months that number grew to 900 after a sixth round of investments took place.
Stone is a payment company founded back in 2013. After rehearsing its debut for about a year, it finally made its initial public offering on the Nasdaq in October of 2018, exceeding expectations and pricing its papers at USD 24.00. As a result, the company captured 1.2 billion USD and its market value rose to 6.7 billion USD.
iFood is the largest food delivery company in Brazil. The startup also helps restaurants manage their orders by indicating the meals that must be served first, the days of highest demand, and the best-selling products. For this, the owner of the establishment must pay a license fee of BRL 100, plus a commission fee that hasn’t been disclosed by the company.
At the time it was purchased, iFood had 10 employees. Five years later, the startup has one thousand employees, half of the total number of employees in the Movile group, which currently has seven startups in the portfolio. From one year to now, the food application grew 110% in Brazil, which means a total of 10 million requests per month in 483 cities in the country, in addition to Mexico and Colombia.
99 was founded by Ariel Lambrecht, Renato Freitas and Paulo Vera in 2012, and it was intended to be an application to facilitate taxi services in the country.
After its acquisition by the Chinese giant DiDi Chuxing, 99 invested in team integration: the company started to offer Mandarin classes to its Brazilian employees and Portuguese lessons to the team members who came from China.
Urban mobility startup Yellow operates in São Paulo, using shared transportation solutions, such as bikes without fixed stations. Yellow has raised 63 million USD in its first round of investments, which is the highest value ever captured by a Latin American startup in a series A round, according to CrunchBase. The investment will be used in Yellow’s domestic and international expansion. In addition to other Brazilian cities, they are aiming at Mexico, Argentina, Chile and Colombia.
Gympass is a digital service that some describe as the ‘Netflix of gym’s”, since it allows people to purchase sports classes according to their own demand. It connects clients with gyms, studios and other sports facilities by selling individual passes or packages. The company was created back in 2012 and it now operates in more than 10 countries. At first, it served individuals only, but it has started to take off by partnering with companies. Corporate plans have proven to be very successful for Gympass.