The cryptocurrency market is becoming increasingly relevant in the Latin American startup ecosystem: according to a survey released this Tuesday, 6, two of the largest startups in the region are active in the sector. Digital banks and real estate trading platforms also have two representatives each on the list.
The survey also shows that the Brazilian startup ecosystem is the most relevant among countries in South America, Central America and the Caribbean. In addition to having the largest number of “unicorns”, as startups valued at over 1 billion dollars are called, which are already at least 17 in the country, Brazil has seven of the 10 most valuable startups in the region.
According to the survey, carried out by The News website, the list of most valuable startups in Latin America is led by Nubank, which is valued at 30 billion dollars (155 billion reais) and has a large advantage over the second place, the also Brazilian QuintoAndar, whose market value is 4 billion dollars (20.7 billion reais), the same as the Mexican Kavak (4 billion dollars).
Deopis, Colombian Rappi (US$3.5 billion), Brazilian mobile games producer Wild Life (3 billion), Loft (2.9 billion), Mexican crypto-active broker Bitso (2.2 billion) billion), the Brazilian C6 Bank (2.1 billion), the Brazilian crypto brokerage Mercado Bitcoin (2.1 billion) and the Brazilian credit platform Creditas (1.7 billion). The three foreign startups that appear on the list – Kavak, Rappi and Bitso – already have operations in Brazil.
According to data from the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB), Latin America has at least 28 unicorns, which together have more than 245,000 employees. In a broader scenario, the region has more than a thousand companies that have already received investments in excess of 1 million dollars and, together, these startups are worth more than 221 billion dollars – more than 1.1 trillion reais.
Among the cryptoactive industry companies in the top 10 list, the Mercado Bitcoin exchange is the latest unicorn: it gained status last week when it received a $200 million contribution from Softbank, pushing the company’s valuation to more than 2 billion dollars.
The brokerage belongs to the 2TM Group, which, in addition to the brokerage, has companies such as MeuBank, Blockchain Academy, among others. The Bitcoin Market was for many years the largest exchange of cryptoactive assets in the country, but today it faces strong competition from companies such as the Chinese Binance and Bitso itself, the largest in Latin America and which arrived in Brazil in 2021, shortly before receiving funding from 250 million dollars.
The presence of cryptocurrency companies on the list follows the rapid growth of this market in the last 12 months. The rise in prices of the main cryptocurrencies, such as bitcoin and ether, the increase in the number of investors and the greater interest in the sector are bringing companies linked to this market with them.
The large participation of Brazilian investors in the cryptoactive market, moving billions of dollars every month and appearing among those who profit most from this type of negotiation in the world, makes the scenario even more favorable for companies connected to the sector.