Location World is a company specialized in developing telematics technology and new business models through the internet of things and advanced analytics for the automotive, transportation, logistics, insurance industries among others, with a focus on fleet management and connected car. 

What makes LATAM a great opportunity for startups? Why LATAM and no other regions?

LATAM is an untapped market that presents many opportunities to entrepreneurs. It is one of the most enterprising regions and its ecosystem of startups is one of the most dynamic and with the highest potential. LATAM is growing very fast and it is still growing.

The entrepreneurial ecosystem is still flourishing in many countries but Chile, Colombia, Argentina among others are a step ahead and results are emerging. LATAM image is improving as a place for innovative entrepreneurship.

I have always thought about LATAM as a regional market that facilitate the emergence of enterprises operating region wide not country based and that is a huge opportunity for us all. I see the LATAM region as a great laboratory, which allows an entrepreneur to validate a business model as well as the modeling and  its monetization capacity.

What are the main challenges startups are facing when expanding to LATAM?

  • Looking to address market gaps still present in Latin America that have already been solved in other regions has proven a good solution for entrepreneurs. What is important is to keep the focus on solving the market gap, answer the needs or solve a problem not the solution! And even more important: generate impact for the society. There are three key areas to work on as an entrepreneur: be disruptive, generate innovation and have impact without forgetting profitable growth!
  • Recognize and assess the particularities s of each market or country. One size does not fit all!  Startups need to look outside, have a strategy and carefully analyze their own products and its specific features. Strategies that are successful in one country or region might not be suitable for another. Entrepreneurship is a process that involves experimenting, for instance, Brazil itself is not a country it is a continent and its business ecosystem is very different from other neighbor countries!
  • In Location World we have followed different expansion strategies depending on the country. In Colombia and Peru we decided not to have a local partner to work with. It meant a bigger effort in financing, in hiring local talent to create the team etc, but it is working. In Argentina, we have a strategic partnership with a local partner, Prosegur, and we work hand in hand to create together new services and products.

Key learnings/recommendations for startups planning to enter the LATAM market.

There is no magical formula for building successful startups success. There are nevertheless three key ingredients to the formula: being flexible when planning expansion, professional versatility to help your startup to make the most of situations with clients and expansion and, having the capacity to change the value chain of the industry you are part of.

  • Financing is always a challenge. We were lucky because we had funds from a very successful exit (Waze the mobile navigation app) but we also turn to FFF, to professional investors,  and right now we are in the process of launching a new financing round. Financing is an ongoing process and it is important to attract international investors and capital overseas.
  • The dream of a startup founder can often be summarized by achieving an exit. Exits should be on the agenda maybe not front and center, but on the agenda. As founding partners, we have had since the beginning a crystal clear goal and we work for that: developing an exit strategy to sell Location World in order to bring it to the next level.”
  • Become a serial entrepreneur who continuously comes up with new ideas and starts new businesses to foster venture creation and help develop the entrepreneurial ecosystem!
No Comments

Post A Comment