Latin America's GDP will reach an estimated $15.14 trillion by 2025, rendering it one of the most important global markets in the world. Not only is it on track to become a leading destination for investments, but it is also likely to be an essential source of capital for global corporations.
Frost & Sullivan indicates a number of tendencies and developments. Latin America's middle class is growing, and urbanization is up. More and more Latin Americans are getting connected, and infrastructure spending is on the rise.
Latin America will have 1.3 billion connections by 2016, including mobile phones, tablets and other M2M (machine-to-machine) devices, with increased broadband penetration and 4G as major factors in the region's connectivity growth.
It's precisely in emerging markets with lower legacy barriers where disruption and more rapid adoption of new technologies happen. We have seen this move before, for well over a decade, where mobile technologies, wireless and smartphones were spreading faster than in mature countries as other access mechanisms were less of a barrier.
Start-ups are surging in South America, aiming at its 200-million-plus population. Start Up Peru, Start Up Chile, Incubar in Argentina, iNNpulsa in Colombia and Telefonica's cross-Atlantic Wayra accelerator are thriving.
Seeding investments in the region have multiplied from 2010 to 2014.
Telefonica's Wayra initiative alone has screened nearly 27,000 projects in less than 30 months of operation, with 438 start-ups receiving seeding investments from the Telco giant. Of those invested, another $74 million came additionally from third parties in average rounds exceeding half a million dollars per project.
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