Argentina: The homegrown startups you need to add to your watchlist in 2021
Now, when we think of the pandemic we think of struggle and financial difficulty for many businesses. However, for many new companies, there has been opportunity, and some have even managed to blossom in this new chapter for the world. Some of the sectors we have witnessed gaining traction include technology companies optimising their platforms for remote learning and working, as well as medical equipment manufacturers who have been more in demand than many of us will be able to remember. Yet, as with most things, there is no set script for global trends, and with 2020 having the largest increase in the amount of new startups in the past 10 years (26.9%), businesspeople the world over feel they are finding new gaps in the market. While it is inevitable not all of them will succeed, in Argentina, there are startups in different sectors set to burst onto the scene this year, and in this article, you will find out more.
Agricultural technology: Agree Market
With exports of planting seeds from Argentina amounting to US$37 million in 2019, it is evident that there is a large gap in the market to be filled by the right company. There has been previous criticism that there is not a company within Argentina that combines agricultural expertise with technology, and it would appear that Agree Market could be the business to do so. They use blockchain, which means that the traceability of transactions and orders is vastly superior to those not using the technology, as well as serving as an evidential log of activity. By allowing companies to sell agricultural products on the platform, as well as incorporating cryptocurrency, the individualism of Agree Market seems undeniable.
With e-commerce playing an ever more important role in daily life, it seems moving one of the nation’s biggest sectors online could be a key move in ensuring continued global success post-pandemic.
Finance technology (Fintech): Siembro
Going hand in hand with Agree Market is Siembro, a fintech startup established as a business lender for the agricultural sector. The two main area of operations of the company can be divided into sellers and small businesses, which is to say that for the former, they provide a platform to facilitate payments, and for the latter they connect with banks where there are loans on offer to assist their development. It is a first of its kind startup, demonstrating risk but with cautious optimism for big success, reinforced by the economic impact of COVID-19, which will only increase the stress on smaller businesses requiring financial assistance in its wake. With initial establishment in 2017, the company is still in its early stages, but having already provided US$10 million in loans, they appear to be heading in the right direction.
As we have already touched upon, the need for companies who will be able to help smaller businesses in need at this time is going to be key in the bouncing backstage after the pandemic. It is for this reason that there will be merit in keeping an eye on Siembro this year, as the potential for their services to be required not just in Argentina, but also across borders is increasingly likely with their planned expansion into Mexico.
E-commerce: Checkars & Kavak
Buying online is not a new concept anymore, however, this is not to say that it can no longer be innovative or exciting, and there are still some sectors which have very few e-commerce platforms for the purchasing of products. Take cars for instance, it has always been the way that we go to a showroom and choose a car, perhaps taking it for a test ride before we purchase it, but in any case, seeing it before spending any money. Checkars is a platform for secondhand cars available to be bought online, bringing a new experience to the client, who is able to buy a car like any other commodity online, while reducing the hassle and stress of the entire process. Selling 500 secondhand cars in 2019 worth over US$3 million and with their selection in the ‘Y Combinator’ program, they were able to expand. Last year, 2020, Checkars merge with Kavak, becoming one of the strongest e-commerce for cars in Argentina.
So, with these examples of Argentinian startups making their case on the national stage, and in some cases the regional stage too, we can see the pandemic may well bring about a new set of key players in different sectors for you to add to your watchlist in 2021. If you need assistance with investing abroad, at Creimerman we have a team of global citizens with expertise in cross-border investing, so please, get in touch with us today.