Unicorns creating real opportunities for technologists in Latin America
Latin America is fast becoming a hotspot of innovation, with more and more startups exploring the opportunities that this fast-growing region offers – leading the way for technologists to explore new career paths.
This is evidenced by the rapid increase in the number of unicorn startups in the regions with 47 companies already reaching the magical $1 billion valuation by the end of 2021. With 18 reaching this status in 2021 the success of these organizations, across a multitude of sectors shows how the venture capital community is taking the region seriously as an investment destination.
According to CBInsights, VC investments in the region neared $15 billion in 2021 an increase of 174% from 2020 with 660 deals closed last year.
The FinTech and e-commerce fields contributed many of these companies, but there’s a wide scope of markets served by startups across Latin America, including in the construction, logistics, and education arenas.
While Brazil accounts for the largest number of unicorns there are a number of startups emerging from across the region, from Mexico in the north to Chile in the south.
This bodes well for technologists across the region, providing opportunities to be part of these growth stories as well as for those looking to join the club with their own startups.
Job opportunities are soaring
Latin America’s largest startups are fuelling the increase in new, higher-skilled jobs, as record investment is offering local companies the chance to expand their recruiting horizons and to search for talent outside of their regions.
According to a recent report by Deel Inc., a global payroll organization, the growth rate of hiring across Latin America for software engineers and product managers increased by 286% in the second half of 2021, more. than in any other region in the world. Most of the new hires are located in Brazil, Mexico and Argentina, but competitive wages are also fuelling interest in other areas including Colombia, Peru, Colombia, and the Dominican Republic.
Pepe Villatoro, Deel’s regional head of expansion commented that “It’s exploding… The war for talent is not only with U.S. companies hiring in Latin America, but also Latin American companies more and more in Brazil and Mexico, and in Colombia and Argentina as well.”
The number of global organizations hiring across Latin America increased by 156% in the second half of 2021, thanks to the worldwide shift to remote work. In the Dominican Republic and Argentina, the number of new hires as contractors grew by more than 200%.
Understanding what makes a unicorn tick
With an increasing number of companies breaking through and raising significant amounts of funding the demand for the spectrum of technology skills is only going to increase. Not only does this give these companies the room to hire the best and the brightest technologists but it also exposes those working in those organizations to the global startup ecosystem. This experience is critical in understanding how successful startups operate, providing the foundations for founding their own potential unicorns.
Access to the latest technology
Companies attaining unicorn status don’t get there by chance. Attracting this level of investment requires that some of the most discerning investors in the world buy into the unique mix of technology and business strategy formulated by the company. Working in this environment means that technologists are able to stretch their capabilities and create some of the technologies that may shape the future of their sectors for years to come.
High profile experience
As with any job, the experience gained is almost as important as the remuneration received. With the demand for top technical skills remaining high across the world, experience in a high-profile organization increases your value in this market. With Latin America growing as a hotbed of innovation, developers from the region will be sought after, not just in the region but also across the world.
With the number of startups hitting unicorn status in Latin America continuing to rise, the profile of the region and the technologists driving this innovative culture are rising as well. The one thing we can be sure of is that the first 50 unicorns from Latin America won’t be the last.
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