Latin America’s undisputed titan. Brazil is home to over 200 million people. It is the region’s largest economy and world’s eighth.
Its continental scale has allowed startups in Brazil to diversify, mirroring the country’s enormous demographic and geographical diversity. Success can be found in virtually all sectors of the startup economy, ranging from the traditionally driven fintech, propetch, and e-commerce sectors to suddenly emerging dark horses in industries like gaming.
Such gravitational heft pulls in a lot of interest into its startup ecosystem, as well as quite a bit of investment into technology in Brazil. Indeed, although the country makes up about a third of the region’s GDP, it scoops up over half its funding and, by extension, startup creation and technological innovation.
The results of this trend are obvious. On the positive side, we see the rise of the vast majority of Latin American unicorns in Brazil. However, with every action comes an equal and opposite reaction. And, indeed, for a while, as the country’s economy overheated, a new term arose to prominence (or rather infamy)—the Custo Brasil, the Brazil Cost. The phrase referred to the elevated cost of doing business in Brazil considering its level of economic development and overall situation.
To make things worse, after a booming start to the century, Brazil was sunk over the past five years in a ruinous recession that has wiped seven percent of the country’s economy off the map. And yet, despite this crisis, it is clear the country is still enormously promising. Look only at the ongoing spike in venture capital investment in Brazil as of 2019.