Juan Manuel Pico, Co-Founder of Education Soul & Country Lead - Colombia of HundrED

There has never been a better blue-sky moment to launch a Latin American startup than now. That was the consensus of a report from the recent conference by Latin American Business Associations (LABA) at NYU and Columbia Business School on investing in Latin America. 2021 has been a blockbuster year with Venture Capital investment reaching USD$15,7 billion, more than in the previous ten years combined. In terms of EdTech for the region, 2021 will be remembered as the first year where Venture Capital investment exceeded USD$1 billion combined (2011-2021), where just the investment in 2021 was 50% of that number (USD$496 million).

However, there are challenges to face, partly to do with the fact that the region still lacks more seed investors, and partly because of a major issue of finding talented teams in terms of software engineers and management leaders. According to data from a survey carried out by Deel, a startup founded in Silicon Valley that develops solutions for global companies to hire people from any country, global hiring by tech companies in Latin America grew 286% in the second half of 2021 compared to the first semester, showing a greater jump than in Europe, Middle Eastand Africa (+250%) or Asia (+227%).

According to the recent document “Education Technology in Latin America and the Caribbean, December 2021 ” released by the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) and HolonIQ, a global market intelligence firm from Australia that oversees the global learning landscape, EdTech is potentially one of the most powerful growth engines for the region, since it can accelerate the economic recovery, close the social educational gap, increase access for students and multiply the support for parents, mentors, teachers and education institutions in Latin America.

There are more than 1,500 EdTech startups in the region with an average age of 8 years (35% of them have less than five years of being incorporated), that have created more than 4,500 jobs. You will have the opportunity to take a close look at some of the leading EdTech startups in Latin America, some of them not visible enough, others already in the radar of investors, but for sure, all of them providing solutions to close the digital gap of millions of students.

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