The Rise of Unicorns in Mexico: A Growing Ecosystem

June 2024

A unicorn company is a technology startup valued at over $1 billion in less than 10 years, without being publicly traded. This term is used because these companies are rare and hard to find, like unicorns in mythology. Globally, it is estimated that there are around 250 unicorns, of which 9 are in Mexico. These emerging startups are mainly located in the cities of Mexico, Guadalajara and Monterrey. The consolidation of an emerging company requires an ecosystem with the necessary elements for them to flourish.

Mexican Unicorn Sectors

The sectors where most startups are concentrated in Mexico include information technology, financial services, and business services. This diverse and expanding environment has allowed nine Mexican startups to become unicorns:

  1. Kavak
  2. Bitso
  3. Clip
  4. Konfio
  5. Merama
  6. Nowports
  7. Clara
  8. Stori
  9. Incode

Success Stories: Mexican Unicorns

Kavak: Pioneer in Used Car Sales and Purchases

Kavak is a prime example of a Mexican unicorn. Founded in 2016, Kavak has revolutionized the used car market in Mexico through a platform that provides transparency and trust to buyers and sellers. Its innovative business model and ability to scale quickly have been key to its success.

Mexico’s Growing Ecosystem for Startups

University Entrepreneurship Programs

In Mexico, more and more renowned universities are encouraging the creation of new companies through innovation and entrepreneurship programs. These initiatives are an integral part of the national effort to develop a stronger and more diverse ecosystem.

Fintech Law

Approved in 2018, Mexico’s Fintech Law is a pioneer in Latin America. This legislation provides legal certainty to users of financial services and fosters the growth of the sector in a stable and legal manner. The law also seeks to promote financial inclusion, facilitating access to financial services to a greater number of people.

INADEM: Boosting Innovation

The National Entrepreneur Institute (INADEM), created in 2013, has been a key player in boosting productivity and innovation among Mexican SMEs. Through various initiatives and funds, INADEM has supported startups on their path to success.

INADEM Success Stories

  • Laudrive: Received support from the High Impact Startups Incubator, supported by INADEM.

  • Colectivo Bagatech: Granted through the 3.3 High Impact call for proposals and winner of the 2016 State Entrepreneur Award.

  • México Destinos: It grew thanks to funds from INADEM and won the 2016 National Entrepreneur Award in the Medium Enterprise category.

  • Sin Llave: Conducted a successful crowdfunding campaign during the National Entrepreneur Week 2017, with support from INADEM to participate in international events.

  • Grima: Winner of the History Maker and finalist of the National Entrepreneur Award 2016 in the Small Business category, achieving positioning and obtaining support from various accelerators.

Mexico is emerging as a hub for tech startups and unicorns, thanks to a robust support ecosystem and innovative laws. The combination of university entrepreneurship programs, the Fintech Law and INADEM’s backing has created an environment conducive to innovation and entrepreneurial growth. The success stories of Mexican unicorns such as Kavak demonstrate the country’s potential to generate high-impact companies.

ALTIOS: Your Partner for International Expansion

With strategic partners like ALTIOS, Mexican companies have the opportunity to expand and compete globally, capitalizing on the strong local ecosystem and international experience to reach new horizons.

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