This co-produced article was created with partnership and input from Simbiosis.
Latin America is a vast region that encompasses every country below the US southern border, all the way to the tip of Tierra Del Fuego, an archipelago at the tip of Chile and Argentina in the southernmost part of South America.
"LatAm" is comprised of twenty developing countries, and led by the largest economies of Brazil and Mexico, both of which turn over over $1 trillion USD in GDP per year. Most of these countries speak Spanish as their main language (with the exception of Brazil) and share multiple cultural traditions dating back to the time they were colonized and dominated by Spain.
It is one of the most promising developing regions in the world and its closeness to the U.S. (sharing the same time-zones) provides a unique opportunity to do remote collaboration without sacrificing too much time zone lag.
Gross domestic product (GDP) in Latin America and the Caribbean in 2020, by country (in billion U.S. dollars). Source: Statista
For decades the growth in the region has kept a steady pace focused mainly in traditional industries like mining or agriculture, and being well known for providing lower cost for manufacturing services to developed countries. Now, Latin America is experiencing an exponential technological growth that has propelled its software and hardware industries to unimaginative levels just a couple of years ago and it's becoming the preferred region for VCs all over the world to invest in new local tech companies.
According to Crunchbase, venture capital investors poured an estimated $19.5 billion U.S. dollars in LatAm technology startups and late stage companies in 2021. These investments have propelled a "Tech Revolution" in LatAm creating what we call "tech hubs" where founders and tech talent gather to create the future of this region and the World. These cities are traditionally known for being big, populated and in general with good infrastructure, allowing the formation of innovative companies that can validate their products and grow fast in this market; without mentioning that the culture, the nature, the food and the people in south and central America are incredible.
So in case you are thinking about moving to Latin America or to create a remote tech team there, these are the top 5 tech hubs we recommend:
1.- São Paulo
Known as the financial heart of Brazil, São Paulo has developed an amazing culture of innovation and entrepreneurship, combining the best of both worlds: cutting edge technology and beautiful nature, with a vibrant city life extending throughout one the Americas' largest metropolitan areas. There is no doubt why Brazil claims 21 of the 42 unicorns in Brazil in the whole Latin America. São Paulo is well-connected to the rest of the country.
2.- Mexico City
Once the most populated cities in the world, with over 21 million people, Mexico City is by far one of the most exiting cities to live in. With so much culture, tradition and innovation, it has become a center of gravity for entrepreneurs all over the world looking for a change in routine. Mexico City is becoming one of the main generators of Unicorns in LatA,, with 8 companies in this category, providing founders with well developed infrastructure, access to capital and an amazing weather. Not to mention, Mexico has beautiful beaches and magic towns to explore during the weekends.
3.- Santiago de Chile
The Chilean capital of Santiago, has a long standing tradition of entrepreneurship that has now evolve in to a tech hub for excellence. Santiago de Chile has a well developed collaboration between government and private initiative to help early stage companies to start and grow in order to become world-class competitive. Santiago de Chile is surrounded by one of the most beautiful landscapes in the world, between mountains and the sea.
Bogotá is quickly becoming a city you must visit in case you are planning to start a tech company in Latin America. It is home of Rappi, one of the first and most successful unicorns in the region, and this flagship company's success has a culture of aspirational entrepreneurship and tech innovation among Colombians. The capital of Colombia is full of tradition and good vibes, combining an excellent environment of productivity and relaxation.
5.- Buenos Aires
One of the most prominent cities in LatAm dating back to the 19th century, Buenos Aires preserves much of its iconic buildings and infrastructure, making it a great place to connect with the past, the present and build the future. With more than 15 million inhabitants, is by far one of the biggest cities on the continent, becoming one of the main business and commercial districts by default. With eight unicorns, Buenos Aires is the right place to build and scale a startup with the potential to become an emblematic company.
These are some of the main tech hubs we have seen in the region, but we should also consider Montevideo (Uruguay), Guadalajara (Mexico), Monterrey (Mexico), Rio de Janeiro (Brazil) and Medellín (Colombia) as other great and fast growing tech hubs to consider!
This article is a co-production with Simbiosis, who has created a marketplace that allows tech companies in the U.S. to connect with vetted software agencies across Latin America that have available talent for full-time remote position.