Tech Layoffs, Politics, and Our Audience
Welcome to Latinometrics. We bring Latin American insights and trends through concise, thought-provoking data visualizations.
Thank you to the 148 new subscribers who joined us last week. Our Spanish chart went super-viral, reaching 1.6M views on Reddit and 240K on LinkedIn (our highest yet on that platform)! We made a special chart to thank our audience, so keep scrolling.
Tech companies are having massive layoffs
Latin American presidents are mostly left-leaning
Latinometrics’ awesome audience
Make sure you check out the comment of the week at the bottom!
The tech sector is shifting from "grow, grow, grow!" to "make sure you have a good balance sheet" as budgets tighten due to high inflation and interest rates. Ebanx announced last week the year's biggest layoff so far — 340 employees, so we consulted the open-source project of layoffs.fyi to map out the region's major layoffs.
Two key trends stand out: the most significant ones (all top 10) have happened in Brazil, and they're happening as much, if not more, than in 2020. The largest in 2020 came from Fintech StoneCo, when it let go 1,300 employees, or 20% of its workforce. The move came after the payments solution company faced declining credit and debit card sales. StoneCo faces a new set of challenges now — its market cap this year is even lower than it was at the time of the layoff, by a whopping 62%. Both StoneCo and Ebanx have justified these moves as part of "focusing on the core business" and "tightening budgets."
Gympass is perhaps a case study on how to act in a crisis. After laying off 470 people in 2020, the company shifted completely to develop an online network of classes and wellbeing apps instead of its usual in-person experiences. Under founder and CEO Cesar Carvalho's leadership, the organization split into the "defense team" — in charge of cutting costs and administrative stuff and the "attack team" — in charge of developing the online offering. That same year, Gympass, which also operates in Europe and the US, doubled its revenues and secured a $220M funding round from Softbank, doubling its valuation. Adapting in times of disruption and having financial responsibility seems to be the most competitive play for startups in the long term.
Colombia elected its first-ever leftist president, Gustavo Petro, last week. His victory officially makes Latin America a mostly left-wing region again, according to data gathered by El Orden Mundial. Several presidents on the right rose to power in the past six years, like Jair Bolsonaro in Brazil and Pedro Pablo Kuczynski in Peru. But lately, voters are turning to left-leaning, often populist candidates as inequality increases across Latin America.
On the other hand, many in the center or right fear a rise of authoritarianism that started with Fidel Castro in Cuba and is now painfully present in Venezuela and Nicaragua. All three of the presidents that El Orden Mundial categorizes as authoritarian started with a left-wing, populist movement claiming to be fighting against inequality or corruption.
Gustavo Petro represents that split between Latin Americans. Most voting Colombians view him as a voice for change and a chance to be lifted out of long-term poverty. However, not all the country is thrilled with the result. During the elections, Petro was forced to size up his security detail as he received death threats.
With the recent shift in power away from right-leaning leaders, many are declaring that Latin America's right wave has passed, and the region has gone left.
Social Media 📊
Latinometrics started as a project by two friends (and second cousins) to visualize Latin America's potential through compelling data stories. Both of us returned home to Mexico after a career in Analytics and International Relations, searching for a new challenge. We found a lack of quality, data-based content about Latin America and decided to combine our skills to create a newsletter that fills that void.
We both committed to six months of weekly content creation and simply seeing where we landed. The journey so far has been unbelievable. Our audience has grown to include recognized CEOs, investors, policymakers, entrepreneurs, and top professionals interested in the region.
Last week, while playing around with LinkedIn Analytics, we noticed that the platform lets us compare our page's engagement with 'competitors'. We compared ourselves to some of the top media companies on the platform, and what we found left us speechless: Our average engagement per post is way above some top business publications.
Therefore, we want to thank our audience for being here. We love what we do for you each week and want to keep doing it full-time, so we're working on making Latinometrics a self-sustainable business. We're not planning to charge for this newsletter, which means we're now looking for partners interested in sponsoring our content and who can offer something valuable to our audience (if you’d like to partner up, please reach out!).
Hopefully, we'll have some good news to share with you soon. Thanks for being here and for engaging with our data stories. 💙
Realize Latin America’s Potential 🚀
Hand-selected job opportunities based on what we know about our audience
This week’s opportunity:
Instead of a typical job post, we want to share an excellent resource for founders. Kate Kiewel published the most comprehensive directory of +200 Venture Capital funds investing in LatAm. If you plan to launch a startup, that’s a super valuable list. Kate also has a newsletter where she talks about the VC world in the region; you can subscribe 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, in response to our Poll, “Is Quebec part of Latin America? 🇨🇦”. Although most of our audience voted ‘No,’ perhaps reading this comment would've changed their minds. We fact-checked it and yes, it’s true! Peut-être devrions-nous commencer à publier en français?