"In Argentina, tech is one of the fastest-growing sectors. Providing young women with the tools to develop in this field presents a significant opportunity to enhance their potential for success, and the Buenos Aires ecosystem is increasingly supportive of this."
Argentina’s cosmopolitan capital city, Buenos Aires is a lively and innovative tech hub. Unicorns to grow out of the ecosystem include Aleph, Bitfarms, Mural, Tiendanube, Ualá, and Vercel. This is also the birthplace of MercadoLibre, now the biggest Ecommerce platform in Latin America, which IPOd in 2007 and set the stage for a new generation of Ecommerce startups. Nuqlea, a B2B digital platform for construction, raised a $3.9 million seed round in October 2021, and Ecommerce startup Elevva raised a $30 million seed round in May 2022.
In July 2022, the World Bank Board approved a $200 million loan to promote sustainable growth in Argentina with a focus on the creation of technology-based companies, support for entrepreneurs, and access to private capital. This Smart Growth Innovation Program will have special emphasis on promoting low-carbon technologies, circular economy initiatives, and climate-smart developments. It will prioritize initiatives led by women.
Startup Argentina promotes entrepreneurship and innovation in the technology sector by providing resources including mentorship, networking, and funding. The program runs several accelerator programs and connects startups with investors and partners. It also offers an internationalization program to help startups expand globally. Buenos Aires Innovation Park is a 12+ hectare campus intended to bring together public and private institutions dedicated to innovation, higher education, and applied scientific research.
The La Plata Free Trade Zone, which includes a port and logistics hub, allows companies operating within the zone to enjoy benefits including no customs duties and no value-added tax on imported goods.
Ecosystem by the Numbers
In August 2022, Binance and Mastercard launched a prepaid Bitcoin Rewards Card to normalize the use of cryptocurrency in a country with high levels of inflation. November 2022 was a busy month for the Fintech scene, with the Argentina Fintech Forum 2022 taking place, infrastructure startup Pomelo raising a $15 million Series A, neobank Ping raising a $15 million seed round, and crypto exchange Lemon Cash raising a $27.8 million Series A.
The City Government of Buenos Aires announced TangoID, a Blockchain-based ID system, at the ETH Latam conference in August 2022, as well as plans to host Ethereum nodes as part of its digitization push in 2023. In early 2023, the city also announced it would allow residents to pay taxes with cryptocurrency. Blockchain payments platform Koibanx raised a $22 million Series A round in August 2022.
Agtech & New Food
Brazilian agritech association ConectarAGRO looks to identify potential digital transformation solutions in the agricultural sector, and has outlined plans to establish a sister organization in Argentina. AgTech.AR, a virtual space for Argentinian Agtech solutions, was launched at Expoagro 2022. Tomorrow Foods develops plant-based ingredients and has raised 6.4 million over three rounds to date.
Reasons to Move Your Startup to Buenos Aires
Argentina has a long history of providing tuition-free access to local schools and universities, generating a strong pipeline of talent. Ten universities in Buenos Aires appeared in the QS World University Rankings 2023. The Universidad de Buenos Aires ranked #1 in Argentina for Computer Science education. Combined with a high level of English fluency, the city is quickly becoming a hub for outsourcing tech teams.
A cosmopolitan cultural hub with highly ranked universities, Buenos Aires is a magnet for international students. It is the regional headquarters of over 30 global companies and hosts one of the largest entrepreneurial ecosystems in the region. In 2022, Argentina introduced a digital nomad visa, which allows remote workers to stay in the country for six months and is renewable for six more.
Buenos Aires is just one hour ahead of New York, four hours behind London, and four hours ahead of Silicon Valley, making it a strategic location for teams working remotely or serving a variety of international clients.
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