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Investors discuss the future of Latam startups at 5th annual International Investment Forum in Chile

This post is also available in: esEspañol (Spanish)

Written by: Ángel Bañuelos

Contxto – For the first time, venture capital and private funds were major conversation points at Chile’s 5th annual International Investment Forum.

Attendants came from all over to learn about Chile’s bustling business culture from January 15-17. Investors from Asia, Europe and Latam participated in various panels and workshops during the three-day event.

Besides sharing success stories about local startups, the major topic of conversation throughout the gathering involved the future of investment in Latam. All of this knowledge-sharing made for an informative yet inspiring experience among visitors.

Who stood out the most?

One startup that received the most praise was Cornershop. This Chilean-based web application gives users a personalized grocery shopping experience.

To date, Cornershop has seen the highest exit among Chilean startups, according to Chilean President Sebastián Piñera during the closing ceremony. Much of Cornershop’s success depended on two important components: market expansion to Mexico and collaborative investments.

President Sebastián Piñera delivers a speech during the closing ceremony.

First, increasing operations to Mexico has resulted in more users and more revenue. At least this was the opinion of Cornershop Co-Founder Daniel Undurraga during his panel.

The second factor involves Mexican VC firm ALLVP (Antoni Lelo de Larrea Venture Partners) selling Cornershop to Walmart for US$225 million. This transaction demonstrates the benefit of strong collaborations between motivated entrepreneurs and major industry players.

These two elements are now part of the “success formula” that more Chilean startups are beginning to adopt.

Cate Ambrose, president and executive director of LAVCA, also presented promising numbers from fundraising efforts. According to her, LAVCA saw an 89 percent growth rate over the last year due to 195 investments in Mexico and Brazil.

These two countries are some of the most active in Latam when it comes to receiving investment funds for startups.

Why is collaboration so important?

There is no doubt that we are living a special moment for Mexico and Latam in terms of startup investment and prospective exits. However, it comes with an important challenge for Latam startup ecosystem – collaboration.

Attendees go to panels and workshops throughout the three-day event.

Latam startups are still learning the art of collaboration. More collaboration between stakeholders could help allocate investment tickets similar to Silicon Valley. Moreover, collaboration with American VC firms helps to evaluate what’s at stake for future investment rounds. This could lead to potential mergers and acquisitions. Lastly, collaboration is crucial between startups so that entrepreneurs can share best practices among each other.

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