- The revenue of startups reached BRL 4.4 billion as the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic boosted demand digital solutions;
- Health startups, especially those with telemedicine solutions, and retail-oriented startups, stood out.
The revenue of startups housed by Cubo, Itaú Unibanco‘s innovation hub, reached BRL 4.4 billion in 2020, a growth by 1.552% over the previous year, as the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic boosted demand digital solutions.
According to Cubo’s co-president, Pedro Rodrigues, health service startups, especially those with telemedicine solutions, stood out. Retail-oriented startups – such as e-commerce, logistics and mobility, and finance – also had record revenues.
Rodrigues explained that this result gives an idea of how some businesses grew much faster than planned by the entrepreneurs themselves due to the sudden demand for digital solutions.
READ ALSO: Debt refinancing is a risk for Brazil, says Institute of International Finance
“Some startups accelerated immediately, because they had services that became an urgent solution,” said Rodrigues, referring to services such as home office for telemarketing, telemedicine, education, among others.
Several startups, however, had to deal with losses, as investors reduced their investments in the worst months of the pandemic, in the fear that prolonged effects of the crisis would harm expansion plans.
“There was a punctual liquidity crisis that reached around 60% of startups,” said Rodrigues, adding that afterwards the trend was a resumption of contributions by the funds.
READ ALSO: Google phone cameras will read heart and breathing rates
Created in 2015 by Itaú, in partnership with the venture capital manager Redpoint, Cubo has a network of 475 startups.
Currently, Cubo has partnerships with large Brazilian companies, such as Dasa, brMalls, Cogna, GPA, TIM and B3. Last year, the hub started to house startups also focused on agribusiness, in partnership with Corteva.
Translated by LABS.