Miami — Y Combinator’s 33rd Demo Day took place this Tuesday and Wednesday for its Summer 21 batch. There were 377 companies and about 50% of the companies came from outside the U.S. with Latin American companies making up more than 10% (46 companies) in the batch. Mexico led with 17 companies, Brazil with 11, Chile with 7, and Colombia with 5. Ecuador, Peru and Venezuela were also present, with Ecuador making it’s YC debut.
Y Combinator is the world’s leading tech and startup accelerator based in Mountain View, California. Twice a year it selects a few hundred companies from around the world to go through its intensive 3 month training where it helps the companies grow - fast - and invests $125k in each one. For those in the startup ecosystem, many compare it with getting accepted to Harvard, and founders often identify themselves as a YC company for notoriety.
At the end of the 3 months, the companies each get one minute to pitch investors and media from all over the world. Everything about YC was previously done in person, but since the pandemic hit in March 2020, YC has been remote, including Demo Day. The conclusion of S21 was the 4th remote demo day.
“We are excited that we have over 40 companies from Latin America in the Summer 2021 batch. It is clear that Covid-19 has accelerated digital adoption globally, creating many new opportunities for our Latam founders. Looking at the data from the last 2 remote batches, doing demo day online has not harmed fundraising efforts in any way and it’s helped both global investors and founders better participate in the event,” said Michael Seibel, YC Managing Director and Group Partner, to Bloomberg Línea via email.
Investors have previously said the region produces a lot of copy-cat companies, and this batch proved no differently. There was “Turbotax for Mexico,” “Square for LatAm,” “Plaid for Brazil,” “Shopify for LatAm,” and the list goes on. But the reason those solutions have made a name for themselves, is because they’re really good at what they do, solve a major pain point, and have a proven business model. And as many see - over and over again - LatAm is a big enough market to handle their own versions. That’s not to say we don’t have our own set of unique problems that could produce many of our own unicorns; take Nubank and Kavak, for example.
One area we don’t see a lot of though in LatAm is edtech and healthtech. And in an investor survey we conducted a couple weeks ago, many investors said that edtech and healthtech were areas that are primed for disruption in region. In this batch, we saw a couple of those companies, so we wanted to highlight them for you below:
EdTech companies at YC S21
Filadd out of Argentina, offers online courses to help students in Argentina, Chile, Colombia and Brazil prepare for the college entrance exams. The company also says it offers interactions with it’s tutors and teachers “24/7.”
Kurios, based in Peru, offers online courses to help professionals with their digital skills, including growth strategy, digital product management, and data driven decision making.
Vinco, from Mexico, aims to help companies in Latin America pay for blue-collar employees’ online education by connecting employees to accessible programs from high school, to college and even to language classes. The company says this approach helps improve employee retention by 2x.
Healthtech companies at YC S21
Examedi, from Chile, is an at-home healthcare marketplace in LatAm that allows users to “order” nurses and technicians to their homes for medical tests such as labs.
FastFarma, out of Ecuador, is the first Ecuadorian company to present at YC. It’s an online pharmacy that delivers in 30 minutes or less.
Fitia, based in Peru, automates the meal planning process so you can lose or gain weight. The company says it’s users get personalized recipes based on their data and their local country ingredients, supported with a database of 1 million foods and recipes in the continent.
Okani, out of Mexico, offers remote primary care through online consultations. The company offers a low-cost health membership aimed at the many Mexicans who spend out of pocket for care. If necessary, the company then coordinates for an in person visit, lab work, or prescriptions to finish treating the ailment.
For a complete list of startups from this batch and others, visit Y Combinator.
Applications for the next batch, W2022 close on September 8, 2021. Apply here.