Huge, high up, and hot for technology businesses, Mexico City sets the tone for the entire country.
The second largest city proper in North America (to New York City) with over 21 million people in the city and surrounding areas, Mexico City is also the oldest capital city in the Americas, first settled in 1325 by the Aztecs. Also interesting? It’s the largest Spanish-speaking city in the world.
Built on Federal land like the capital of the U.S., Washington D.C., Mexico City was officially defined in November, 1824. As the hub of the country, Mexico City has a total Gross Domestic Product total of $390 billion, the eighth largest in the world.
Huge companies and Universities are located or have branches in the city. Tourists, a constant flow, may be heading to one of the 160 museums, the largest collection of any city in the world. Art and government and money tend to increase creative energy, which leads to startups.
Americans aren’t the only ones who love ecommerce – citizens everywhere love the savings and convenience. Those in Mexico may visit Linio, one of the most successful ecommerce platforms in North America, even including the US. Have Internet, Will Shop, regardless of the location, be it for watches, smartphones, perfume, or TVs.
Opening their virtual store doors starting in 2012, thanks to an undisclosed Series A placement in June, about six months later venture capital of $20 million appeared. That was followed by $50 million in private equity in November 2013, then $79 million in venture funds in July 2014. Last placement is another private equity round of $55 million for a total of $230+ million.
A rising Mexican middle class wants modern financial services, but the market remains young. One way to get the information they need about loans, credit cards, and insurance? ComparaGuru, a website that promises to provide comparison tables for all these things and more in less than one minute.
Development started in 2014 based on the computing tools for many Mexican consumers, the smartphone. In February 2015 Seaya Ventures dialed up venture funding of $4 million. Six investors pooled together another $7 million in Series A money in June 2017, for a total of $11 million.
Businesses in developing countries need access to funding like everywhere else, but the “developing” part holds small companies back. Enter Kubo.financiero, a regulated microfinance institution providing loans between $400 and $4,100 to Mexican borrowers. Common uses are working capital, fixed assets, and education.
Beginning in the summer of 2012 with a little over $100k in venture funding, success was quick. A month later, in August 2012, $15 million in seed funding arrived, followed by another $8.21 million just over a year later. Several grants later, big money showed up. $22 million in seed funds came in October 2014 followed by $7.5 million in Series A money from 10 investors in August 2016. Total investment to date is $11.5+ million.
People everywhere love their smartphones and love buying things with them, but each country needs a payment system. Enter Conekta, a service to process payments for businesses online and off and consumers.
Work started with $30k of seed money in October 2011. An undisclosed amount of funding appeared in January 2013, and in June of that year $265, in seed money arrived. Growth brought more attention, with $1.8 million in seed funding from five investors in May 2015, and $6.6 million of Series A funds from four investors. Total so far is near $9 million.
Another microlending service, Konfio works online to provide capital to micro businesses across Mexico. So far, over 200,000 businesses have applied for loans.
Beginning in April 2013, Konfio received a convertible note of an undisclosed amount in December of 2014. In May 2016, Series A funding from five investors added up to $8 million.
Mexico City suffers from too many cars according to the pollution experts, made worse by geography. That led Carrot to address two issues: more people are making more money and need cars, and the value of pollution-free electric cars as a viable option. Bingo, electric car sharing service, Mexico’s first.
Wheels first turned in March of 2012, and $2 million in seed money drove up in May of that year. A few months later, in October 2012, $13.5 million more seeds were delivered. In March 2014, either $24 million or $2 million in Series A money was placed by ALLVP and three other investors. An undisclosed amount of Series B money was allocated in September 2016. The totals may be confusing but there’s money in the car-on-demand market in Mexico.
Is Bitcoin the wave of the future? No one is sure, but Mexico won’t be left behind thanks to Bitso, the first Bitcoin exchange in Mexico. Trading Bitcoins to pesos, the exchange operates like those in other places.
Beginning in January 2014, Bitso received an undisclosed seed money in May of 2015. A year later, $1.85 million in seed money arrived, followed by another $2.5 million of Series A funds in September 2016 from lead investor Digital Currency Group. Total invested so far? $4.35 million plus.
Pets are everywhere, and Mexican pets need food delivered after shopping online just like pets everywhere else. Petsy makes that happen, and can even deliver in some places in two hours or less.
Purring along since June of 2013, seed money in October and December added up to over $1 million. Other placements of Series A in October 2014 and January 2017, plus and undisclosed seed round in May 2015, push the total Petsy placement up to nearly $3.7 million.
Booming middle classes and the businesses to serve them have to be modern with their payment systems no matter where they are. In Mexico, another mobile pay option is Sr.Pago. They work closely with MasterCard and WalMart locations.
One of the earlier services, Sr.Pago started work in October 2010. Building took time, and finally in July 2014 they received $1.1 million in seed money. November 2016 included a Series A round of $4 million, for a total of over $5 million so far.
Maybe Amazon’s delivery drones can learn from Rappi’s delivery contractors (Personal Shoppers). They fill orders on demand and put products in the hands of consumers. Businesses like restaurants and stores sign up, clients click the app on their smartphones, and a knock on the door happens quickly.
Only around for about two and a half years, Rappi got their first $120k in seed money in January 2015, followed by the same amount in November from Y Combinator. In May and November, 2016, two placements – seed and Series A – took place. No amounts were given, but a total of 16 investors were involved, including Andreesen Horowitz. Not hard to guess the investment total is far above a quarter mil.