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Latin American startups versus Covid-19

Don't worry, we speak : Español (Spanish), too!

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Contxto – It’s official: as of last week we implemented home office at Contxto. Fortunately, we’ve worked from home every Thursday since we launched last year, so we already know how to operate seamlessly without having to be physically near each other.

Not everyone will have the same luck though. For this reason, many Latin American startups are contributing in any way they can amidst the healthcare crisis.

This will be a live-updated article, so if your startup is going the extra mile to contribute during this global emergency, feel free to tweet me your initiative at @cortesvictorh.

Disclaimer: Some companies are in fact taking advantage of the situation to push their products (some of them are even offering the same free trial as usual). We do not encourage this, but we leave it at your consideration. Some of these products, we believe, could be helpful for you or your company to minimize the impact of the contingency on your daily lives. Evaluate them and decide what works best for you.

Logistics & Delivery

Nowports (Mexico)

The inspiration for this post comes from Nowports. Kudos for your leadership, guys! 

Nowports is enabling their freight services to help any country in need of healthcare, consumables, and materials. The only thing senders will need to cover will be the cost of transportation. 

Through their worldwide network in more than 50 countries, Nowports is able to reach any place that needs help in order to combat the pandemic. 

It is urging companies that move healthcare equipment to send them an email at covid-19@nowports.com to start working out those details. 

Read their Medium Post here!

Tandem (Mexico)

I do, by all means, recommend startups to implement work from home modalities during contingency times. Unfortunately, not every company is able to enjoy a full-remote operation. So, Tandem, a startup that provides an all-in-one platform for all office needs, is offering all of their hygiene products at cost, for all of those employers that still need to keep running an on-site operation.

These include antibacterial gel, alcohol, toilet paper, among other health and hygiene products. 

This is what you need to do to participate. But once again, if there’s no need for the team to keep going to the office, do not do it. 

MercadoLibre (Argentina)

MercadoLibre really went the extra mile. In the wake of the pandemic, the Argentine company eliminated all commissions on essential products, including more than 250,000 items.

They’re also monitoring and adjusting prices and publications on anti-bacterial gel, alcohol, and masks. 

Jüsto (Mexico)

If you can’t live on instant ramen like most entrepreneurs, not all is lost.

Jüsto—a Mexican online supermarket—is offering free delivery throughout the duration of social distancing. People can now order their groceries straight to their doors, instead of literally risking their lives by going to the market in person. 

On top of that, they launched a hotline (01-800-2141110) so that elderly people and other at risk demographics can order their food seamlessly. 

Rappi (Colombia)

Latin America’s dearest giant couldn’t just stay aside, obviously. Aside from instructing users and deliverers on new interaction dynamics to reduce contact and thus contagion, the company is also creating health and prevention kits composed of facemasks and antibacterial gel. This kit is shipped at no cost.

Furthermore, the company is monitoring inventory levels with drugstores and supermarkets, so users can stay updated on product availability.

Kiwi Campus (Colombia)

Colombia’s famous Kiwibots, which are normally used to carry pizza deliveries across US college campuses, are now delivering healthcare.

Heavily sanitized bots will move around universities filled with masks, hand sanitizer, and health supplies, while spraying disinfectant in their wake.

The bots are refilled automatically thus reducing human interaction to zero.

Pack&Pack (Mexico)

Covid-19 is not only affecting our health, but also our pockets. Everyone will most likely take a hit, including e-commerce companies. That’s why Pack&Pack will offer free shipments for their e-commerce clients during the next month.

Online sellers can cut costs by using Pack&Pack’s campaign in order to reduce costs and avoid increasing prices.

Parallevar (Ecuador) 

Most businesses in the hospitality, restaurant, and retail industries will suffer a massive blow to their financial statements. This will be mainly driven by the drastic reduction of traffic by foot.

Parallevar aims to help businesses stay alive and healthy by bringing down their registration costs and monthly installments to zero. Not only that, it is also encouraging their deliverers to implement no-contact rules. Instead, users will be able to indicate the courier to drop the package off at their doorstep so they later come out to pick it up. 

Fitness & Health

This one is a personal favorite. A few weeks before Covid-19 was unleashed all over the globe, I had started going to the gym regularly and I was reaching some of my fitness goals for the year. Now, I can’t go to the gym anymore. Seems like coronavirus doesn’t only want me sick, it also wants me fat.

Fortunately, many fitness and health-related companies are taking things into their own hands.

Gympass (Brazil)

Gympass recently launched its newest beta, Gympass W. This platform contains free access to virtual training apps, virtual classes, nutrition programs, and mental health. All of this is possible due to the help of their partnering fitness studios and gyms.

The platform will be free for up to two months all across Latin America. 

InstaFit (Mexico)

InstaFit is releasing both of their products so users can stay healthy and fit during the lockdown period. InstaFit Ejercicio en Casa and InstaFit Gym will both take their paywalls down so users can have access to over 1,000 workouts and routines.

Again, I’d recommend staying home, and trust me, InstaFit Home Workouts are so intense that you won’t even have the energy to drive down to the gym anyways.

MonkeyFitPass (Peru)

MonkeyFitPass, Peru’s marketplace of gyms and sporting facilities is offering new virtual classes and workouts. 

The startup will not only launch two new classes per day, but it will also offer free consultation on how to make the most of your available home space for workouts.

Take a look at the available courses here.

FitCo (Peru)

Netflix for exercise, as FitCo calls their new platform, Butiq Live will now be available for users to enjoy for free.

Partnering fitness centers, whose gym attendance will be reduced to a minimum, will be able to digitize their classes and keep members engaged.

Enter the code “ENCASACONBUTIQ” within the platform’s registration/log in splash, and get a month free of fitness courses.

Fitness Pass (Peru)

No matter what you do, you’ve got to do it right. This is the belief of this Peruvian startup when offering its Fitness Pass LIFE platform for free.

It is an ambitious all-in-one; the Fitness Pass platform will not only give virtual gym classes, it will also provide nutritional, mindfulness, and health advice in addition to their digital marketplace.

Happinss (Mexico)

With everyone looking out for their physical health, mental health is an often overlooked aspect of quarantine. Not only because of the anxiety that comes from social media panic and the media’s non-stop coverage of Covid-related issues (including us, I guess?), but because of the frustration that comes with social distancing.

Some people have to co-exist with their loved ones for far longer periods than usual. This can be a huge challenge. Others have to coexist only with themselves and be completely isolated, this too is a problematic mental challenge.

Therefore, Happinss—a B2B (business to business) service that takes care of employee’s mental health using VR-powered meditations—is launching a consumer app for anyone needing a voice of relaxation.

Avena (Mexico)

Nutritionists can still offer their services, and fitness lovers can still get their weekly meal plans over Avena’s app. During the Covid-19 contingency, many professionals will stop providing in-person services. Fortunately some companies are one-step ahead of the game, and managed to turn those industries from analogous into digital. 

Avena will offer free licenses for nutritionists so they don’t have to stop helping people feel and look their best selves.

Here’s their demo!

Doctu (Mexico)

So here’s this. I had an uncomfortable stomach ache the last couple of days, but it wasn’t enough to justify going to the doctor’s office. If I had only known about Doctu’s initiative beforehand!

Doctu is partnering with some kickass physicians and doctors willing to offer free health advice and consultation over the app. The campaign will launch this week and users will be able to clarify their doubts and concerns (Covid-related or not), without the need to pay a visit to the doctor’s office.

An app a day keeps the doctor away, or how did it go?

Check the instructions here

Smart Doctor (Peru)

Telemedicine startup from Peru, Smart Doctor, is providing free medical assistance and orientation regarding Covid-19 to their users. The app connects certified physicians with patients through a private chat. There they can ask questions such as when to attend a hospital based their on symptoms. 

Also, in order to reduce the number of people attending hospitals, doctors can clarify questions about other non-coronavirus related subjects. For this, the startup is assuming all equipment, training, and administration costs. More than 300 voluntary medics joined the network.

Bienestapp (Colombia)

We should really be thankful some of us are enduring this contingency in the comfort of our home and with the availability of technologies that enable us to minimize the impact on our lives.

Bienestapp, which normally connects people with personal trainers in many disciplines, will now offer free live classes on their platform. Users will be able to join professional yoga, dancing, or sports lessons in real-time and for free.

Make good use of your quarantine and learn some salsa dancing, will you? Here you can take a look.

Entertainment

IronGame Studios (Uruguay)

Quarantine doesn’t have to be as boring. I know many of you don’t even go out of your homes during non-Covid-19 days anyways. So, here’s this: Uruguay’s Ironhide Game Studio will remove all app store upfront purchases for some of their games. 

Since two days ago and until the 22nd of March, users will be able to download their Kingdom Rush Frontiers and Kingdom Rush Origins for iOS and Android for free.

Go get ‘em now, people.

Enterprise

Conectter (Chile)

Considering work from home is going to be the norm indefinitely, tools that enable remote work are going to become our best friends. 

Conectter, from Chile, is a project management platform that aggregates everything that you like about Gantts, Kanban, and calendars on one single platform. Due to the state of emergency, the startup will offer free services for a month so teams can learn to operate and organize themselves remotely.

Here’s their trial.

Zyght (Chile)

Zyght from Chile launched a free platform for employers to oversee and monitor the health conditions of the workforce. Based on OSHA’s recommended protocols for handling the situation, the company is able to monitor the contagion risks among employees. 

It is mainly focused on productive or manufacturing industries, some of which can’t afford to work from home.

Try it out for free here!

Riqra (Peru)

Riqra from Peru is opening their platform for manufacturers and distributors to keep running their operations digitally. E-commerce companies whose clients include traditional businesses will be able to use Riqra for free for the next month.

Suppliers can manage their inventory and sales in one single platform as well as use Riqra’s predictive models to analyze demand.

Fintech

Youles

76 percent of Mexicans are not prepared for an adverse economic situation, and it is in this context that Youles joins the initiatives of free courses. Its platform is now open for professionals to access a free financial advice with its AI technology and has made available tools to make the right decisions in these difficult times.

Education

Platzi (Colombia) 

Platzi launched a completely new and free course focusing on teaching employers and employees how to work from home.

Expert instructors such as Alexander Torrenegra from Torre.co and Shark Tank Colombia, Freddy Vega from Platzi, and Silvana Moschini from SheWorks are some of the renowned names teaching you how not to screw up during these tough times.

Check it out here!

Educaswitch (Chile)

Educaswitch launched an open platform for families in quarantine. It includes activities, recommendations and educational content so that kids can stay active, learn and stay entertained. It is segmented by courses and ages so it matches the interests and languages of different audiences.

Take a look here

Crehana (Peru)

If you thought the Snapchat concept of disappearing photos was interesting, wait to hear about Crehana’s. 

The company is launching free courses on a variety of creative topics for the next 15 days. The only catch is that each course has a limited free window of 24 hours. This means that you can learn something and get a certification for that course, if you’re able to finish it in the 24 hour window. I’m definitely joining the Social Media Copywriting course for sure.

Check out their calendar of content to be displayed here.

Linc (Mexico)

Linc is a management platform for universities that helps institutions continue with their education programs as much as possible. 

The platform will be free for new universities so that they can manage courses and students while away. It will also release the tutoring features for students to access remote sessions and stay up-to-date on the courses’ topics. 

iDoLearning (Colombia)

What better way to take advantage of social distancing than learning a new skill or improving an existing one. 

While the virus sneaks around and tries to screw everyone’s lives, iDoLearning from Colombia, is trying to help make the most out of that free time. Its English teaching platform will be free and open for anyone willing to upgrade their anglo-skills for the next couple of weeks.

Kinedu (Mexico)

Kinedu, the baby development app, is removing its paywalls and offering all of its content for free, up until April 15. 

According to the founder’s LinkedIn post, millions of children are at home, losing the chance to interact and learn from their teachers and classmates. Any parent can now use Kinedu for free and ensure their children are still learning and developing straight from home.

Also, it could keep you, dear working parent, from experiencing something like this…

-VC

Victor Cortéshttps://www.contxto.com/
CEO & Co-Founder of Contxto. Passionate about tech, startups and venture capital. I eat sushi five times a week.

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