The World Economic Forum (WEF) has just released its Technology Pioneers 2022 list, which gathers the 100 most innovative startups in the world by region. Five companies from Latin America are on the roster: Mamotest and Pomelo, from Argentina; Global66 and Houm, from Chile; and microTerra, from Mexico. The list also features Slang, which although born in the United States, has a Latin American entrepreneur on its founding team (find out more about the startups below).
The 2022 cohort brings early- to growth-stage technology companies focused on solving some of the world’s most pressing issues in many areas, such as health, food, education, climate change, financial services, cybersecurity, and metaverse.
The five Latin American startups named Tech Pioneers bring a blend of solutions illustrating how the region has been a promising arena for new tech businesses. Pomelo and Global66 are fintechs, but the first one provides the infrastructure to launch and scale other fintechs, while the second is a financial services platform for individuals and small and medium-sized businesses. Houm is tapping into another huge market in the region, real estate, with a platform for renting, selling, and buying properties online. Mamotest is a healthtech with a solution to fight breast cancer. And microTerra develops technologies for plant-based farming.
For the first time, over one-third of the selected firms are led by women, well above the industry average. With 2022 Tech Pioneers based in 30 countries – with Viet Nam, Rwanda and the Czech Republic represented for the first time – the 2022 cohort is forging new paths in healthcare, food production, and more with cutting-edge technologies.
By joining this community, Technology Pioneers begin a two-year journey where they are part of the World Economic Forum’s initiatives, workshops, activities, and events. The 2022 cohort will join a group of alumni that include names such as Airbnb, Google, Kickstarter, Mozilla, Spotify, TransferWise, Twitter, and Wikimedia.
Take a look at the five Latin American startups in WEF’s Technology Pioneers 2022:
Mamotest is a patient, data-driven end-to-end solution to defeat breast cancer. Founded in 2013 by Guillermo Pepe, the Argentine healthtech created the first telemammography network in Latin America. It operates diagnostic centers in underserved areas, providing high-quality mammograms at low cost, democratizing access, and breaking down geographical, technological, and economic barriers.
Newcomer to the market, the company founded in 2021 by Gaston Irigoyen, Herman Corral, and Juan Fantoni allows fintechs and tech companies to embed financial services to their business through a proprietary API platform, which, in turn, enables companies to build onboarding processes, launch virtual accounts that are connected to local financial systems, and issue debit and credit cards throughout Latin America.
Global66 is a global financial platform for individuals and small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). Co-founded by Tomas Bercovich in 2018, Global66 offers an international online payment platform that allows customers to transfer money at better rates.
Houm is a kind of a Chilean version of Brazil’s unicorn QuintoAndar, a digital platform to rent, buy and sell properties online. Founded by Benjamín Labra and Nicolás Knockaert in 2018, Houm manages property administration, tenant communication, and charges the rent. As its Brazilian peer, Houm dismisses guarantors and takes care of paying the rent when the tenant defaults since it has insurance that allows the coverage.
Founded in 2018 in Mexico City by Marissa Cuevas, microTerra developed an aquatic plant named Lemna, which technology is able to clean water while producing a functional ingredient for the plant-based food industry. microTerra partners with aquaculture farmers in Latin America to grow high-protein and functional water lentils in a scalable, affordable and sustainable way.
Bônus track: Slang
US-based, Slang is a flexible English-learning platform that started in 2013 as a project at MIT by Diego Villegas and Kamran Khan. Focused on the Latin American market, Slang aims to beat up English illiteracy in the region through its modular technology that allows the creation of dynamic and optimized learning paths, based on the needs of each user, department, or organization.