There’s Opportunity in Brazil

“They have a joy for life in Brazil unlike any country I’ve ever seen.” – Morena Baccarin

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Today, Brazil is facing high interest rates, rising inflation and unemployment. However in this scenario, there is an opportunity to innovate and reinvent old industries. As a result of the first two world wars, many inventions were created. Just a few examples that were born in crisis are the zipper, the drone, the wireless radio, chemotherapy and even the Internet.

Although there has been volatility in Brazil’s market, the country has been doing well. It has an energetic democracy, growing middle class and Brazil’s GDP has risen to $2.2 trillion, making it the seventh largest global economy. Even though the GDP growth was actually flat, Brazil’s web and mobile sectors increased by over 20 percent. Brazil also has 199 million people under 30 years old and 30 million people crossing the poverty line, becoming new consumers.

All of these factors contribute to why I believe that this is such a conducive time to invest in online and technology startups that are focusing on consumer consumption, small businesses and credit. I think that it will be these successful technology innovators that contribute to more economic vitality and broader growth in Brazil, not the proposed Austerity Plan.

Let me explain an example with BankFacil. They are financial tech innovators that are democratizing access to affordable consumer credit. How do they do this? BankFacil enables secured, online loans with the aim to reduce interest paid by families and the time that is spend on paperwork by banks. They use digital channels that eliminate the high costs of physical branches. The clients can manage the process with much less democracy.

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There are some intriguing mobile innovators such as Qipu, an accounting app for nano-entrepreneurs; Grubster, a restaurant service that is similar to Reserve; Memed, an online medical database and prescription platform kind of like Epocrates; and Pipefy, an online team management and workflow platform.

It is inevitable that Brazil’s citizens will be more mobile-driven. A research survey from eMarketer showed that the number of smart phone users in Brazil will increase from 39.7 million last year to 77.6 million over the next four years.

There is a saying that goes, “the same wave that drowns one person is the wave that propels the other.” It is times like this that disruptors have a huge opportunity to deliver and leverage technology. Innovators in Brazil, now is your time to be brave and motivated – go after the market and you will be successful.

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