LATAM Business Weekly - Issue #6
Tech startups looking to transform shipping and freight industry in Latin America
Companies like Lifit, the Colombian startup that provides trucking services, and Nowports, the Mexican freight shipping startup, are capitalizing on booming logistics business in Latin America thanks to increased trade from China.
“In the first half of 2018, Chinese foreign direct investment in Latin America increased to a whopping $15.3 billion at the same time it plummeted in the U.S. to $1.8 billion. And while much of that investment had historically gone to minerals and natural-resource extraction or agriculture, China is also making infrastructure investments — just as it has in Africa.” (Tech Crunch)
Latin American logistics companies have caught the attention of large scale investors. CargoX, the Brazilian trucking company, raised $60 million in its recent round of funding.
Initially backed by Uber co-founder, Oscar Salazar, CargoX has attracted investors such as Goldman Sachs, The Blackstone Group, and Samsung Ventures.
Fashion platform GoTrendier raises $3.5 million USD and plans for Chilean expansion
GoTrendier, the Latin American platform that allows users to buy and sell secondhand clothing, has raised $3.5 million USD.
GoTrendier has “amassed a user base of 1.3 million buyers and sellers throughout its four years of existence.”
According to Sergio Pérez, Managing Director of Sabadell Venture Capital,
“The volume of the market for buying and selling second-hand clothes in the world was 360 million transactions in 2017 and is expected to reach 400 million in 2022.”
“Latin American Online Payments Methods 2019” reports e-commerce payment trends and increasing mobile payments among LATAM consumers
Latin American Online Payments Methods 2019 reveals that e-commerce payments market is led by cards and mobile payments are increasing in Latin America.
According to this research, over 50% of online shoppers in Latin America chose cards as the preferred method of payment in 2018, followed in second place with cash on delivery.
Meanwhile, mobile payment is a growing trend both online and in stores. Apple Pay, BBVA Wallet, Samsung Pay, and Google Pay are all current competitors in LatAm’s expanding mobile payments market.
“Two in three Internet users in this region said they would be likely to use mobile wallets or similar payment methods during 2018/2019. Recent market estimates reveal that consumers in Argentina and Mexico had the highest rates of in-store mobile payment usage among their regional peers.” (Associated Press)
Unisys to enter Brazilian market as consulting push in Latin America
Unisys plans to enter Brazilian markets and provide necessary consulting services in response to increasing regulatory and compliance requirements.
“The company wants to double its revenue in Brazil within the next three years and will be focusing on its security, cloud and digital transformation offerings,” (ZD Net).
According to Vice President and General Manager for Latin America, Eduardo Almeida, a major goal of the company is improving client relations in the region to boost sales.
“Fourth quarter results for Unisys reported earlier this week came in at $760.9 million, up 2.2% year on year, while Latin America grew 19% on a constant currency basis. The region represents 11 percent of the company’s global revenues, key markets being Brazil, Mexico, and Chile.”
Chinese ride-sharing app Didi shifts focus to LATAM expansion
Chinese giant Didi Chuxing is making plans for Latin American expansion, shifting its focus from China to emerging markets in Chile, Peru, and Colombia.
The company has moved senior executives from China to LatAm markets while beginning the recruiting process for managers in these emerging markets.
“[Didi] began in recent weeks advertising for driver operations, crisis management, marketing, and business development personnel in those countries” (The New York Times).
Felipe Contreras, recently appointed Chile public affairs manager, confirmed the launch plans and told Reuters that the company’s aim was to be a “market leader” in Chile based on “quality” (Reuters).