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Pix, Smoking, and Women-Led Startups
Welcome to Latinometrics. We bring you Latin American insights and trends through concise, thought-provoking data visualizations.
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How did Brazil’s Pix work so well?
Which country smokes the most?
The best-funded startups founded by women
Make sure you check out this week’s comment of the week at the bottom! It came from ur Duolingo chart, which hit the front page of r/dataisbeautiful on Reddit.
Here’s a tale of two government-led fintech platforms. The goal of both are similar — to facilitate digital payments amongst a largely unbanked population. However, results have been vastly different. Pix, Brazil’s platform was launched on Nov. 2020 and now has 118M confirmed users, which represents 55% of the country’s population. CoDi, Mexico’s equivalent, was launched more than a year earlier, on Sep. 2019 and has gotten 11M confirmed accounts to sign up, or 8% of the population.
How did this happen? First, there’s a key difference between the two. Pix works both between individuals and businesses, while CoDi is only used for transactions between businesses and individuals. Pix also had a key incentive going in: During the pandemic, the Brazilian government said it would send its emergency cash payments to 30M+ people, only through the platform.
Additionally, policymakers have made sure that it’s free and very easy to setup. They’ve worked with many banks and fintech firms in the country to join the platform. The result has been nothing short of a slamdunk; according to MasterCard, Brazil reduced its unbanked population by 73% and in Q4 of 2021, $3.8B in payments were processed through Pix.
Get ready for the cigarette smell if you’re traveling to Chile, where 1 out of every four citizens smokes daily. What’s more, approximately half of all men smoke in the country. As far as women smokers go, 40% smoke at least one cigarette a day.
During the 26 years stretching from 1990 to 2016, there has been a steady decline in people who smoke tobacco products in every Latin American country. The most significant drop was in Brazil, where the percentage of smokers decreased by 69%; Peru, on the other hand, stayed almost unchanged, with just a 6% decrease.
Tobacco consumption is a leading cause of preventable death worldwide. In Chile, it accounted for 16% of fatalities in 2017 and caused over 16K avoidable deaths that year alone. With education and smoking cessation programs, we hope the country and the region will continue to decrease the number of tobacco smokers.
Harlem Capital conducted a fantastic study about women founders in LatAm. In it, they found that 128 women raised $4B+ in capital last year. Our chart highlights the up-and-coming 10 that received the most funding in 2021 (excluding companies worth over $2B+). Whereas the progress of female entrepreneurship is encouraging to see, the study also reported how female founders still lag behind men by a wide margin. All men-founded teams received $13B in funding, more than 3 times the amount received by teams with women founders.
At the top of the list is Mexican Fintech startup Stori, which aims to “democratize credit card access to the 80 million underserved Mexicans.” Its female Co-Founder Marlene Garayzar said in 2018 that the company extends a line of credit to 99% of applicants after a background check that studies factors like where they live and how much they make. In its latest funding round 6 months ago, led by GIC and GGV Capital, Stori raised $125M.
The top Colombian startup on the list and the only one in the Real Estate industry is Habi, which boldly claims on its website to “buy your home in 10 days.” The company is the only unicorn on the list, earning that status just two weeks ago. In an interview with the Wall Street Journal, Harvard grad Co-Founder Brynne McNulty Rojas spoke about the opportunity for Habi to disrupt the industry, where she says it’s “incredibly complicated” to close a sale and where many put up their own “for sale” signs outside their properties. The company currently operates in Mexico as well.
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:
Habi is looking for a Data Analyst in Bogotá 🇨🇴
Requirements: 6 months - 1 year of data analysis experience
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That’s all for this week 👋
Comment of the Week, from Reddit: