TechCrunch looks south to Latin America to understand why there aren't more $1b startups coming from the region. Latin America has over 17 pure internet/software companies worth more than $250m, many of them created during the past four years. This number should continue to grow as many of these countries have developed and invested in many of the necessary ingredients needed to foster new tech startups.
There was a time, not very long ago when Latinos living in the U.S. could only point to two successful Internet/software startups in their countries of origin: Mercado Libre and Despegar/ Decolar. While these companies were very successful, it was difficult for us to explain why no other startups in Latin America had flourished. Both of these companies had been founded in the early days of the Internet (i.e. 1999) and few had developed after that. Furthermore, for those of us (like me) with a Brazilian ego and heritage, it was an added insult that both of these companies were Argentinean. Indeed, as illustrated by “La Guerra del Fútbol,” 1969 war between Honduras and El Salvador because of a qualifying round, sports rivalries transcend the field in this part of the world.