The largest city in South America - Sao Paulo is home to more than 45 million people. With a landmass greater than that of the U.K, Sao Paulo had a GDP of over 600 billion dollars, which forms one-third of the entire GDP of Brazil. Apart from these staggering numbers, Sao Paulo is also one of the World’s top 10 economies! But how do these numbers matter for innovation? Well, the magnificent city is innovating rapidly, giving birth to some incredible startups and attracting the attention of global investors. A couple of years back, a whopping 76% of the entire venture capital invested in Latin America was won by startups in Sao Paulo. The figures tell you a story - but how did the story shape the way it is today? How did Sao Paulo manage to gather so many startups and attract investors from around the world? Let’s dive in straight to find all the answers!
Top Startups of 2021 in Brazil
The city of São Paulo already hosts the South-American headquarters of tech giants like Google, Airbnb and Uber. Now the Brazilian startup ecosystem is also grabbing high momentum.
Let’s first analyse which were the top startups of 2021 in Brazil and where are they located.
The agri-tech and fintech startup was founded in 2020 and is headquartered in São Paulo, Brazil. The company has raised total funding of $24.6M access 4 rounds. Agrolend aims to provide Brazilian farmers with an easy and sustainable way to access credit. All types of farmers can get credit to invest in more innovative equipment and technology. The credit further escalates growth in development and productivity.
#2 180° Insurance
Another startup - 180° insurance was founded in 2020 and is also headquartered in the startup city - São Paulo. The B2B2C model insurance and fintech startup aims to build insurance products that connect technology to users’ daily lives. The organization has completed two funding rounds and has raised a total sum of $39.6M.
Curseria is an ed-tech startup founded in 2017 and is based out of São Paulo. Since 2017, the organization has managed to raise three funding rounds, summing up to $4.9M.
Another startup from São Paulo, Inventa focuses on the IT space and the B2B sector. It was founded in 2021 and has raised $25.4M in funding so far.
Founded in 2020, this ed-tech startup is also headquartered in São Paulo. The startup has managed to raise $7.5M in just one funding round in May 2021.
All 5 of the top 5 trending startups of 2021 in Brazil are based out of São Paulo and most of them are 2-3 years old. Moreover, all have raised substantial investments in quick rounds and are clearly blooming in the Brazilian ecosystem.
As of November 2021, Sao Paulo had 2770 registered startups. Undoubtedly 2021 was a record-breaking year for Latin American Startups, a staggering total of $19.5 billion was invested in the region. In the first couple of weeks in Jan 2022, startups had already pulled in over $450 million!
Fintech startups topped the chart with the most investments followed by the powerful comeback of the eCommerce industry. The city of São Paulo now hosts 11 unicorns or private companies valued at $1B or more.
- Total Early Stage funding crossed all expectations to reach $902M
- The entire ecosystem was valued at about $49B
- Digital banks are now growing at an average rate of 147% per year
What are São Paulo’s Biggest Strengths for Startups?
The influx of huge global investments into startups of São Paulo promises a buzzing future of the entire ecosystem. The innovation wave didn’t come overnight. It came through a series of generational and institutional changes.
Wondering what led to such rapid growth in the number of startups as well their scaling? Let’s help you find out.
- Government support: To launch and scale an innovative business successfully, state’s support is quite necessary. The Brazilian government is playing a crucial role through more than 20 initiatives dedicated to nurturing the startup ecosystem of São Paulo. InovAtiva Brasil, for example, is a public program launched by the Ministry of Economy along with Brazilian Support Service to Micro and Small Enterprises (SEBRAE). The acceleration program is the largest one in Latin America and also supports startups free of cost. From enabling market connectivity for new startups to providing investment opportunities, the program is helping São Paulo in every aspect.
- Funding opportunities: A number of public funding programs have been set up in São Paulo, that offer instant credit facilities for startups at very low-interest rates. For example - Desenvolve SP is an initiative by the government offering credit facilities to businesses in São Paulo. Additionally, being the largest innovation hub in Latin America, São Paulo always has the interest of Investors and Entrepreneurs from around the globe.
- Matured talent: One of the primary reasons of successful innovative startups in the city is the incredible talent. The most talented workforce of Brazil is concentrated in São Paulo. In fact, talent is the main parameter why giants like Google, Airbnb and Uber have their Brazilian headquarters in São Paulo. When employees get bored of working for these tech corporations, or get inspired enough, they usually leave to start on their own. There is no shortage of talented candidates in the city and recruiters get a great variety of choices.
How can Sao Paulo Startups Work Flexibly & Still Enhance Their Productivity?
While flexible or hybrid work was not quite normal a few years back, it is certainly the future now. The Covid19 pandemic made us adaptive to remote work and we learned that working remotely can be even more productive.
Wurkr is an immersive platform that provides you with virtual workspaces to enable efficient and effortless remote working. The tool is transforming distributed work environments while helping organisations grow their productivity at the same time.
If you’re an early stage startup, we have got a massive gift for you! Launch your virtual office today with Wurkr and scale your startup with an inclusive and flexible work environment.