Nowports, Fertility, and High-Tech Exports
Welcome to Latinometrics. We bring you Latin American insights and trends through concise, thought-provoking data visualizations.
Thank you to the 101 new subscribers who have joined us since last week!
The fascinating story behind Nowports
Fewer babies in LatAm
Mexico’s High-Tech exports
Make sure you check out the comment of the week at the bottom!
A 16-year-old Mexican kid became friends with the ‘Godmother of Silicon Valley’ and went on to build LatAm’s newest Unicorn. The story of Poncho de los Rios, and Nowports, is incredible.
Growing up in a middle-class family in Monterrey, Alfonso de los Rios (aka Poncho) taught himself how to code by watching YouTube tutorials when he was a kid. As a technology lover, Poncho took a trip to Palo Alto in 2016. For inspiration, he was reading a book about Google’s founders. At a Starbucks, as he read through the company’s early beginnings in Esther Wojcicki’s garage, he noticed Esther herself sitting right across from him! He couldn’t pass up the chance to meet her, and they became instant friends.
Through their growing friendship, Poncho met the parents of some of the most outstanding entrepreneurs (including Maye Musk), connected with a top-notch network of founders, got a job at a startup, and enrolled in a few Stanford courses. That’s where he met his Nowports co-founder, Uruguayan Maximiliano Casal. Both later enrolled at the startup accelerator Y Combinator.
Since then, the pair have been building Nowports, a Latin American freight forwarding company that aims to digitalize logistics in the region. And it’s expanding fast, with recent office openings in Brazil, Panama, and Chile and more than 500 employees operating in 7 countries.
Last week, Softbank led a $150 million Series C funding round, which values the company at $1.1B and makes Poncho one of the youngest unicorn CEOs in the world (he’s just 22!). As our chart suggests, the company’s funding rounds have followed a similar path to Flexport, its US counterpart, and also backed by Softbank.
Logistics is one of the few hot tech industries during this bear market, as the world faces severe supply chain issues that desperately need to be solved. Flexport is one of the leading startups up to the task in the US, and Poncho openly admires its founder, Ryan Petersen. From the looks of investor sentiment, Poncho and Nowports are becoming exactly what they look up to.
According to data from the United Nations, Latin American women are predicted to have fewer children than European women in 2055. The United Nations predicts that birth rates will reach 1.72 in Latin America, compared to 1.73 in Western and Northern Europe. A rate below 2 generally means that a population is no longer growing, and Latin America is predicted to reach that point in the next five years.
There are several possible explanations for why this change is occurring. As Latin American countries become more developed, their citizens use more contraception, and women choose to have fewer children overall. Another possible explanation is that women in the region are choosing to have children later in life. This may be because more women pursue higher education and favor starting families later. In addition, improvements in health care have led to longer life spans and a lower infant mortality rate, which has reduced the number of children people have.
This change is significant because it represents a reversal of historical trends. Since the earliest data available, Latin America has had higher birth rates than Europe. Many European countries offer long paid maternity leaves (sometimes for both parents), incentivizing women to bear children. Bulgaria has the highest incentive, with 59 weeks of paid leave for mothers. These government programs might help explain why LatAm is expected to fall behind Europe and perhaps will become more prevalent in our region soon.
High-technology exports are products with a high level of research and development, such as the latest spacecrafts and satellites, high-performance computers, and automation-focused robots for manufacturing. These technologies are also known as being cutting edge or at the highest level of technological development.
LatAm is taking the world stage as an emerging technology exporter — with Mexico leading the charge in Latin America and the #12 spot globally. Not only did Mexico top the region in high-tech exports, but it also placed first among LatAm countries with the most patents granted by the US Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO).
Although we could not find a source that broke down Mexico’s high-tech exports by specific products, we hypothesize that many of its exports relate to vehicle parts, electronic equipment, and nuclear reactors—the top categories Mexico ships abroad. Mexico shipped $71B in high-tech exports globally last year, representing 81.4% of the LatAm region.
Since 78% of total Mexican exports go to its largest trading partner, the US, it’s safe to assume that most of this tech ends up there. Data from the US Department of Commerce indicated that Mexico provided 17.8% of the total high-tech products to the US.
Realize Latin America’s Potential 🚀
Hand-selected job opportunities based on what we know about our audience (e.g., industries, job functions).
This week’s opportunity:
Nowports has more than 30 open positions for jobs in LatAm, including Chile, Colombia, Brazil, Mexico, Panama, and Peru (internships included). Check them all here!
Hiring Managers: Reply to this email if you’d like to feature an open role in our newsletter.
That’s all for this week 👋
Comment of the Week, from Reddit on our Pix vs CoDi chart.