"São Paulo is the epicenter of the fastest growing startup region in the world: Latin America. The recent blockbuster listing of Nubank will be soon followed by others such as Kavak and Creditas. This in turn will fuel a whole new generation of talent and investment, further accelerating the growth of the region."
The largest city in Brazil, São Paulo is home to more than 20 million residents. Its size and density offer founders a large market and the opportunity to connect with fellow innovators. No wonder São Paulo is home to 2,770 startups, the highest number by far in Brazil, including 11 unicorns valued at $1 billion or more.
The University of São Paulo is ranked in the top 100 in the World University Rankings. With some of the best academic programs in STEM fields, the city’s businesses benefit from this talent pipeline. São Paulo hosts the innovation and data centers of global titans such as Microsoft, Google, and Facebook, and is also the regional headquarters for Airbnb, Netflix, and Amazon. 63% of all companies operating in Brazil have a São Paulo location.
São Paulo is also the Latin American base for many of the world’s biggest banks, improving access to capital for the city’s growing companies. SoftBank has committed to investing $8 billion in Latin America through two dedicated funds, and top American VC firm Andreessen Horowitz is also investing in the region. São Paulo also boasts a number of homegrown VC firms, including Kaszek, which recently announced a $475 million early-stage fund and a $525 million fund for later-stage investments. São Paulo-based Positive Ventures secured $10 million for its latest fund to invest in startups delivering environmental or social impact. In 2021, insurtech Justos raised both a $2.8 million seed round and a $35.8 million Series A. São Paulo also produced the region’s highest exit that year: Nubank’s $41 billion IPO.
Ecosystem by the Numbers
Agtech & New Food
The state of São Paulo is an agricultural powerhouse and the world leader in the production of sugar, sugarcane ethanol, and orange juice. Agtech companies are working to innovate this important sector. São Paulo-based tech firms have received 50 grants from the Research for Innovation in Small Businesses program to develop new Agtech solutions, including digitizing pest traps and monitoring fields for improved efficiency. Farmer-focused financing platform Agrolend raised a $14 million Series A in January 2022.
Reasons to Move Your Startup to São Paulo
Large, Affluent Market
Global and Regional Connections
Selected Startup Organizations
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