Which Colombian Startups Could Be the Country’s Next Unicorn?

KPMG’s Tech Report 2022-2023 highlights some of the companies that could achieve a $1-billion valuation

Between 2013 and 2023, Colombian startups have raised a total of $4.57 billion in funding.
April 19, 2023 | 11:31 AM

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Bogotá — Colombia now has 1,327 startups, a 19% advance over the previous measurement, with a significant participation of fintechs (15.3% of the total), followed by startups in the retailtech sector (8.1%), healthtech (7%), deeptech (6.7%), adtech/marketing tech (6.7%) and business management (6.1%), according to KPMG’s Tech Report 2022-2023.

“This growth has been driven by several factors, including increased investment in startups and the emergence of accelerator and entrepreneur support programs,” the firm said in the report, which was presented exclusively to Bloomberg Línea on Wednesday.

The report shows the performance of the startup ecosystem in Colombia in the midst of the so-called ‘winter’ that hit startups in the region, reflected in less available capital and a contraction of operations, among other headwinds.

Employment in startups is another aspect analyzed in the report, showing that almost 16% of the companies have between 21 and 50 employees.


In addition, only 4% of the startups mapped have more than 100 employees on the payroll.

Soonicorns: Some of Latin America’s Startups On the Cusp of Hitting a $1B Valuation

On the other hand, compared to last year, the number of female startup founders grew, with a total participation of 19%.

According to the report, to which the national association of Colombian entrepreneurs (ANDI) contributed, between 2013 and 2023 Colombian startups have raised a total of $4.57 billion in funding.


The report also points out that 2021 was a record year globally for startup funding, and that the Colombian ecosystem also rebounded, with startups in the country raising more than $1.4 billion in a total of 87 deals, and that 2021 was also the record year by number of deals.

“The current situation reflects the change in perspective that investment funds are having when deciding which business they are going to inject their capital into. The region had a decrease of 47% compared with 2021, but even so there was an increase in the number of rounds, from 582 to 784, but with deals of lower amounts,” the report states. , indicates KPMG.

This scenario, says María Paula Peñaranda, spokesperson for KPMG Colombia, “leaves a clear message for Colombian entrepreneurs, and that is that investments will be much more selective, and funds will go for those businesses that have sustainable growth over time, healthy unit economics, good margins and, above all, that can demonstrate profitability in the medium term”.

New unicorns

KPMG also refers to the unicorns in the region, companies valued at more than $1 billion, the emergence of which has been slowing down.


According to KPMG’s figures, in 2022 there were only seven new unicorns in the region, and Brazil continues to be the main Latin American ecosystem for the number of such companies.

Last year, Colombian proptech Habi closed a $200 million Series C round and became the country’s second unicorn, following in the footsteps of local delivery platform Rappi, which achieved that status in 2018.

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According to KPMG, the list of ‘soonicorn’ candidates includes local startups that have raised more than $100 million in funding each, and the list includes financial technology company Addi, which in 2021 raised more than $200 million in debt and equity.


Also named is proptech La Haus, which closed a $100 million capital injection in 2021. The company attracted among its investors the sons of former Colombian President Álvaro Uribe (Tomás and Jerónimo), singer Maluma, banker Gabriel Gilinski and billionaire Jeff Bezos, among others.

Also on the list is Frubana, a platform that connects local farmers and suppliers with restaurants through the B2B Marketplace.

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It also includes seven other companies that have raised more than $50 million each, such as foodtech RobinFood, edtech Platzi, B2B e-commerce company Chiper, fintech Bold, 100% online supermarket Merqueo, fintech Treinta, as well as foodtech Muncher.

Already “heading into Q1 2023, venture capital investment in the Americas is expected to remain relatively weak, given ongoing global macroeconomic concerns (...) venture capital investors perform more due diligence and put a laser focus on profitability and business model sustainability,” the KPMG report concludes.

Watch the video: Sally Bakewell of Bloomberg analyzes what could happen to Silicon Valley Bank now that Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. has taken over the troubled lender (in English):

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