Date

02 de February 2021

Bogota's ventures: this how they did in 2020 raising venture capital

Entrepreneaurship ecosystem
Investment

Local startups managed to arouse interest from investment funds and other international financing vehicles and raised more than $650 million resources last year. In addition, the capital's entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystem added new participants.

Entrepreneurship ecosystem

Bogota-based startups closed 2020 with significant figures on venture capital raising. According to data analyzed by Invest in Bogota's Research and Market Intelligence team, the capital's ventures closed businesses for about $650 million, equivalent to one-third of what the same sector achieved in the decade from 2010 to 2019.

"Overall, the capital´s entrepreneurial ecosystem was resilient to the adversities presented by the 2020 pandemic. The strength of the ecosystem, based largely on human capital, allowed many businesses to identify opportunities and quickly adjust to market needs, becoming attractive to potential investors," explained Invest in Bogota CEO Juan Gabriel Pérez.

In addition, new sectors with a relevant offer began to be under the spotlight: edtech, healthtech, and proptech, which, although they had a dynamic in previous years, emphasized more their options of access to services in the face of the difficulties generated by the social distancing.

Some of the Bogota-based ventures that stand out for raising capital over the past year are: 

Logysto: Last year this logistics company carried out an extension of the seed round by three million dollars. The resources will be used for the expansion of its operations in the main cities of Colombia, as well as undertake the expansion to the Mexican market.

"During 2020 we grew about 12 times. We went from having operations in 3 cities to 10 cities in Colombia, we grew up in lines of business and now we transport several size formats, including televisions," the company said.

Frubana: startup with presence in Colombia, Mexico and Brazil that connects shops, restaurants, and homes with products from the countryside. In 2020 they announced the $25 million uprising through different investment vehicles. 

Ubits: This corporate training platform announced in 2020 that Stanford University, one of the most prestigious and recognized institutions in the world, joined as an investor. 

Valiu: This Bogota-based Fintech conducted a capital raising in a seed round of $5.25 million from institutional funds in crypto and fintech, mostly from the United States.

As part of its work articulating the city's entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystem, in 2020 Invest in Bogota held two calls with the aim of strengthening the ecosystem by giving visibility to local ventures, especially in a context such as the pandemic. This allowed to support more than a hundred startups and the creation of the entrepreneurship network of Bogota Region. 

In addition, other ecosystem actors such as the Bogota Chamber of Commerce and the Secretariat for Economic Development carried out strategies to facilitate business formalization and simplification of business creation procedures.

New participants in the entrepreneurship ecosystem 

In 2020 the city's entrepreneurship ecosystem continued to add relevant players who are contributing to the emergence and consolidation of Bogota-based startups. 

An example is the IGNIA capital fund, which seeks to invest in ventures that are solving emerging middle class problems in Latin America and that has in its portfolio companies such as LentesPlus, Ofi and GoTrendier, which are Bogota-based or that have operations in the capital.

There are a lot of opportunities for sectors such as e-commerce and Fintech, and we know that Bogota is a fertile ground for these industries," says Christine Chang, director of investor relations at IGNIA, who also points out that in Bogota and Colombia "there is a lot of talent and a very strong entrepreneurial spirit that is increasingly sophisticated in creating technology-enabled solutions that can help with the needs of the middle class, as well as boosting the digital economy that has increased last year." 

"Another actor that strengthened its presence in the local ecosystem in 2020 was NXTP Ventures, a fund based in Argentina and regional reach, which manages resources of more than $100 million and invests especially in startups in sectors such as B2B SaaS/Enterprise software, logistics, Fintech, internet security, B2B Marketplace, AI, among others.

One of the startups that is part of the NXTP Ventures portfolio is Colombia's Liftit, with a regional presence and offering technology-based logistics services. In addition, the fund, which is actively investing, makes average investments of between $500 billion and $2 million, with more than a dozen ventures with operations in Colombia.