03 de December 2019

Bogota-based startups have raised over US$1.7bn in capital

Business environment, entrepreneurship
Doing Business, Negocios, Rankings

According to an analysis performed by Invest in Bogota, the Colombian capital is the Latin American city with the second-highest amount of capital raised by startups between 2010 and 2019 to date, behind only Sao Paulo.

Bogotá ciudad del emprendimiento

Having consolidated its status as the most dynamic entrepreneurial environment in Colombia, Bogota is now gaining relevance in the Latin American context, where it is positioning itself as the capital of entrepreneurship. This is highlighted by a recent report produced by Invest in Bogota, which analyzed some of the challenges and opportunities of the city’s entrepreneurial environment, as well as the positive effect the value-added foreign investment attraction strategy has had on the sector.

The report, titled “Bogota, the Latin American capital of entrepreneurship”, states that the Colombian capital is the city with the second-highest amount of capital raised by startups between 2010 and 2019 to date. According to data from the Crunchbase platform, startups located in Bogota raised a total of US$1.76bn over the last decade, a figure exceeded only by Sao Paulo. 

Bogota’s importance in the Latin American entrepreneurial environment is also shown by another indicator, which measures the amount of capital raised per million inhabitants. In this aspect, the city also features as the second most important in Latin America, with a total of US$217m raised.

In addition to these figures, the report also calls attention to some of the risk capital funds and leading accelerators of the global industry that have invested in entrepreneurs from Bogota. The list includes names such as Wayra, SoftBank, Sequoia, Y Combinator, Rockstart, and 500 Startups.

The strengths of an entrepreneur-led environment 

The report also details some of the strengths of the entrepreneurial environment in Bogota. These include the fact that the community is led directly by the entrepreneurs themselves, who have been entrusted with positioning the city as a key player in the regional entrepreneurial environment.

Another of Bogota’s strengths, according to the report, is related to the productive transformation agenda that has been developed in the city and aims to turn Bogota and Cundinamarca into a more thriving and competitive region through innovation and technology. This roadmap, known as the smart specialization strategy, has enabled initiatives to take place in the district administration and the Bogota Chamber of Commerce that offer tailor-made services to find solutions to the needs of entrepreneurs in different management areas, such as business strategy, marketing, and sales, innovation, internationalization, production and quality, and finance.

A significant number of the actors involved in the entrepreneurial environment have a presence in Bogota, representing over a third of those that exist in Colombia. According to the consultations conducted by Invest in Bogota’s Research and Market Intelligence team, Bogota is home to close to 16 incubators designed to boost growth and ensure the success of entrepreneurial projects in the city, as well as around 12 accelerators. Furthermore, approximately 40 co-working spaces have recently been set up, bringing together an important community of entrepreneurs, as well as 11 platforms for matchmaking between investors and entrepreneurs.

In terms of the corporate offering for financing entrepreneurial projects in Bogota, there are at least 21 risk capital funds and banks, 11 corporate ventures and 3 angel investor networks that actively participate in the startups’ processes of growth and stimulation.

Finally, the report highlights that Bogota is a city rich in events for entrepreneurs, with approximately 43 activation events and activities that enable them to expand their business circle or contact base, develop relationships with companies interested in investing in their business vision, or improve their soft skills through training and updates on trends in the startup world.