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Press release content from PR Newswire. The AP news staff was not involved in its creation.

FinTech, Energy and Retail Identified as Top Growth Sectors in Latin America as Optimism about Innovation Dramatically Increased, According to Copec WIND Ventures Annual Venture Capital Survey

December 20, 2021 GMT

SAN FRANCISCO, Dec. 20, 2021 /PRNewswire/ -- Copec Wind Ventures, the corporate venture capital arm of Copec, a leading energy company in Latin America and the Southeast United States, today announced results of its second annual survey of the venture capital community’s outlook on global growth markets.

According to the survey, VC sentiment toward Latin America (Latam) as an attractive growth market for startups has dramatically increased from last year. In addition, optimism about Latin America’s innovation activities grew sharply, with 78% of respondents indicating they were more optimistic about the success of innovation in Latin America than last year. The research also honed in on specific sectors that continue to show promise, with 66% of VCs surveyed indicating fintech will remain the hottest investment area, followed by energy (20%) and mobility (11%).

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Large market size and high rate of tech adoption remain the most important factors when considering where to expand into a new geographic region, followed by supportive local partners. There was a significant increase in perception amongst venture capitalists that Latin America has these growth elements while sentiment on China and Europe decreased.

“What we have seen over the past year is a sharpened awareness within the venture capital ecosystem about Latin America’s tech-enabled transformation,” said Brian Walsh, Head of WIND Ventures. “Venture capitalists have become more aware and more bullish about the opportunities in the region, as indicated by our own research, and they are putting a lot more capital to work there as a result. According to Pitchbook, VCs have invested $12 billion across 500+ deals in Latin America so far this year, which is more than what was invested in the previous three years combined.”

In September of 2021, WIND Ventures surveyed over 40 venture capitalists from a diverse cross-section of professionals including traditional venture capitalists and corporate venture capitalists. While the majority (68%) of those surveyed were early-stage investors, 20% were growth-stage investors, and 12% were seed investors. The research made clear that there is momentum in perception amongst venture capitalists when it comes to understanding the compelling fundamentals of the Latin American market for technology adoption and, therefore, as an attractive growth market for global startups.

Additional findings include:

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  • Market size and rate of tech adoption are top considerations for attractive startup growth markets: When measuring attractive growth markets for startup expansion, 36% of VCs surveyed chose market size first, down slightly from 38% in 2020, while 28% said a region must exhibit a high rate of tech adoption as most important compared to 23% last year. Other key attributes include:
        • Supportive local partners first (15% vs 16% last year)
        • High mobile adoption (13% compared to 6% last year)
        • Large and growing middle-class first (8% compared to 16% in 2020)
        • Large urban population (3% compared to 6% last year)
  • When specifically asked about Latin America, more venture capitalists perceived it as having these considerations for an attractive growth market compared to last year: While last year’s survey showed that VCs generally did not perceive Latin America as having the important elements to support startup expansion, this year’s survey revealed a significant increase in positive perception for the region - 18% as favorable compared to 6% in 2020 for a 189% increase.
  • The primary perceived challenge for startup expansion into Latin America is perceived to be political: Investors surveyed ranked the political climate (95%) as the biggest challenge for scaling a startup in Latin America, followed by economic (51%), cultural (39%) hurdles, and the impact of COVID-19 (17%).

“Historically, we have seen underinvestment in technology in Latin America,” continued Walsh. “The region is poised for explosive growth given the digital transformation in a market of 600 million people. We believe there are opportunities for startups from around the globe to expand to the Latin American market; however, given the complexities of the region, making the right decisions about which markets within Latam to target and navigating political elements and partnerships will be key.”

The full findings can be found here.

About Copec WIND Ventures
Based in San Francisco, Copec WIND Ventures is the corporate venture capital (CVC) arm of Copec, one of the leading energy, mobility, and retail companies in Central and South America and one of the most valued brands throughout Latin America. WIND Ventures leverages Copec’s significant resources to accelerate growth, primarily within Latin America, for startups and scaleups across the world within the new mobility, energy, and retail sectors. Visit windventures.vc or follow us on Linkedin and Twitter.

Media Contact:
Mary Magnani
windventures@codeprcom

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SOURCE Copec WIND Ventures