Contxto – 2020 will be a year to remember for many. It’ll be recalled as a time where a full-blown pandemic struck. But for a select number of startups from Spanish-speaking Latin America, it shall also be known as the year they were admitted into one of the biggest accelerator programs.
Yesterday (23), 500 Startups LatAm announced its Batch 12.
The 10 participants come from Chile (3), Argentina (2), and Mexico (5).
For the accelerator, it was a pleasant surprise to see the level of response.
“It’s a privilege and it fills us with great satisfaction to review a record number of companies who applied to our program. This time around 1,957 companies applied compared to the 1,706 from our previous call for submissions,” said René Lomeli, a Partner at 500 Startups LatAm.
Through their acceptance, these startups will each receive US$60,000 in funding and continue on to participate in the accelerator’s 16-week program—at a distance of course.
Entrepreneurship in troubling times
Tough times can bring out the best in Latam’s entrepreneurs.
“It’s surprising and inspiring to see that through this call for applications, the Latin American entrepreneur showed us not only what they’re doing, but also their creativity, resilience, and passion, regardless of the challenges that today’s circumstances imply,” Lomeli told Contxto.
It’s no secret that many venture capital (VC) investors have turned away from some industries as a result of the pandemic. But that’s not 500 Startups LatAm‘s case when it came to selecting its latest batch.
Lomeli told Contxto that despite launching the program’s call for applications in March— just as the pandemic was entering Latam—organizers had no intention of changing the way they perceive startups and industries.
The team ultimately wanted to give all applicants a fair chance to show their stuff. Case and point is the fact that they chose a startup working in the travel industry to participate.
“Many might ask themselves ‘why are you investing in tourism if Covid has shown that it’s a very hard-hit industry?’” mused the Executive.
But 500 Startups LatAm aims to see beyond these temporary circumstances to invest in scrappy companies, with great teams, and a proposal that’s immune to Covid-19.
500 Startups LatAm Batch 12
This startup wants to be a farmer’s best friend. Through its app, growers can manage and keep track of their crops, staff, finances, and supplies.
Santiago-based Chipax wants to make it easy for small and medium-sized businesses to focus on running their operations. Bills, invoicing, taxes (and more) are all consolidated onto a single platform for better cashflow control.
Circulo de Belleza (Mexico)
This marketplace helps beauty salons find the best products and tools at the most competitive price possible.
Como Quiero (Chile)
It can be hard to determine what to cook that’s delish and follows your dietary needs or taste. So deciding doesn’t eat up more of your time, Como Quiero builds meal plans and delivers the recipes in just a few clicks.
Customer onboarding can be tedious and resource-draining. Save money and sanity through Güeno’s chat system.
Online vendors often have to turn away customers who lack a credit card to pay for goods in installments. But Pagaris is making cash-installment payments possible through its financing solution.
Pura Mente (Argentina)
The internet is filled with mindfulness and meditation apps for English speakers. But Pura Mente knows the Spanish-speaking population needs these solutions too. So keep calm and open the Pura Mente app.
Surprise! A travel startup. Through SeeMexico’s platform users can find travel deals, hotels, and other neat experiences. Besides offering a subscription model, users can also pay in installments. That way their next trip is not only a memorable one but also less expensive.
Gig workers on delivery or ride-hailing platforms need loans now more than ever. Through fintech Vech, their financial pleas in lending solutions are answered.
Another fintech startup, YoFio offers an app to make point of sale lending easier for the beloved corner stores in Latam.
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