Not that long ago, the Latin American startup ecosystem was just a small fish in a sea of big sharks. With a few players and some fearless investors, until 2017 the region had only two unicorns, and in that year the total volume of investments did not surpass $2.2 billion. Considering this very restricted market, it was but natural that investments were made in an almost rudimentary manner. At that time, and in many cases to this day, investors based their financial decisions solely on referrals from their networks and on the evaluation of the founders’ resumes.
Five years later, data from 2021 show that the Latin American startup market has raised almost $20 billion in investment rounds, not to mention historical IPOs such as the one held by Nubank. The more than 24,000 Latin American startups are today a true regional powerhouse, positively impacting the economy and breaking records, even during an economic crisis.
Every day, the LatAm startup market generates an overwhelming amount of news and information – too overwhelming to be tracked manually or relying solely on networks. Just as startups seek the ideal formula to scale their business, large companies and investors need to find scalable ways to evaluate the market and make financial decisions with a little help from intelligence platforms. Enter Sling Hub.
A data intelligence platform is fundamental for what we call the top of the funnel, which is the initial analysis of startups and also market monitoring. We spent the first year of Sling’s life focused solely on this first challenge: helping large companies and investors find startups that meet their needs. More than 2 million pieces of data from startups in Brazil, Mexico, Argentina, Chile, Colombia, Peru, and Uruguay were collected and aggregated in our platform.
Today, potential investors from around the world, with or without networks, are one click away from discovering new LatAm startups using more than thirty filters such as “sector” and “subsector”, “latest investment stage”, “host country”, “technology”, “business model”, “team size” and even the founder’s academic background. When accessing the details of a startup, the user can check not only the latest investment rounds or the name of the latest investors, but a series of specific information such as social media engagement, awards, participation in acceleration programs, and evaluation of former employees on the glassdoor.
Of course, companies or investors will not make buying or investment decisions based solely on data from Sling Hub or any other data intelligence platform. But by accessing this volume of information in a simplified and independent manner, research work becomes much faster and more efficient. Moreover, although the platform does not eliminate the relationship and due diligence steps of a potential investment, the set of information available there can be decisive in defining which startups are outside the scope of interest.
After selecting which startups make sense for your business or portfolio, a second step comes into play: startup monitoring. If previously this process was done in a rudimentary way, with spreadsheets, notes, and active search, technology today allows a fully automated monitoring process. On Sling’s platform, for example, users can receive notifications for each new piece of news or relevant data about the startups marked as favorites.
Latin America is a thriving market of good ideas and innovative projects, and it is a waste to rely on mechanisms that further reinforce the concentration of opportunities among those who have already entered the market. In this sense, Sling Hub uses technology to expand investment possibilities, creating a showcase of startups based on data and updated in real-time.