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Insights into Colombia’s Startup Boom


Colombia startup illustration
Colombia is a regional hub for startups, particularly Fintechs. Credit : AP / ColombiaOne

The startup ecosystem is booming in Colombia. According to a recent study, there are 1,720 startups in the country, making Colombia the leading startup nation in Latin America after Brazil. Startup creation has grown exponentially in recent years, with a 30 percent increase in the number of startups compared to 2022.

The startup environment in Colombia

Bogota is the leading national of the Colombian startup environment, as the capital city hosts 55 percent of the national total. Other major hubs include Medellin, which concentrates 25 percent of Colombian startups, as well as Cali and Barranquilla, together accounting for 11 percent.

Colombian startups are very diverse. The leading sector is Fintech, which represents 17 percent of all Colombian startups. Colombians are regional leaders in this sector, with extremely successful companies like Finaktiva, a digital lending app specializing in loans for micro, small, and medium-sized businesses. Other notable Colombian fintechs include Addi, Lulo Bank, Nequi and Bold.

Other majors sectors in Colombia’s startup environment include Software as a Service (SaaS), Business Management, EdTech, HealthTech, ProTech as well as CleanTech and EnergyTech. Noticeable startups include Farmu, which links local pharmacies to pharmaceutical industry producers, Foodology, an app partnering with restaurant delivery-oriented, la Haus, a platform dedicated to real estate transactions, and of course Rappi, the leading Colombian delivery app.

However, the significance of the Colombian startup sector extends beyond its size. Indeed, many of these startups have expanded their operations beyond Colombia, reaching even the U.S.

For example, Action Black, a premium fitness and gym chain has recently inaugurated its first location in New York City. The tech startup Kiwibot, which provides affordable delivery services through mini robots, is now present in 26 American university campuses, serving local students.

Colombia’s startup dynamism is all the more impressive given that venture capital investments have sharply declined in 2023. Last year, investments totaled US$373 million, a 63 percent decrease compared to 2022. The Fintech sector received nearly 50 percent of this capital influx, establishing its position as the leading startup sector in Colombia.

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