The Latin American Economic Outlook 2020 written by OECD highlights the role of the digital transformation as a tool that can help foster development in the region, particularly in the context of the current Covid-19 crisis, and emphasises that international partnerships are essential to reaping the bene of the transformation.
Digital technologies can contribute to improving productivity, help tackle climate change, foster inclusiveness and transform public institutions. The agenda is ambitious and requires the implementation of a comprehensive approach aligning national development strategies with digital agendas. More than ever international cooperation is needed to reach the full potential of digital transformation in the region.
With a population of 657 million and a USD 10.5 trillion economy that is expected to bounce back to a positive growth of 3.7% in 2021, Latin America presents itself as a region bursting with growth opportunities and potential. It is home to a growing mobile-minded middle class and a knowledge-hungry workforce that is open to embracing tech solutions to advance their societies. GSMA Intelligence estimates mobile internet penetration rates in Latin America to increase from 53% in 2018 to 64% by 2025. Despite this, the region continues to struggle with low levels of entrepreneurship. International tech companies can thus capitalise on the relatively low CAC (Customer Acquisition Cost) and the high CLV (Customer Lifetime Value) to scale their businesses and contribute to Latin America’s growth.
A knowledge-hungry economy
The Singaporean Edge
Singapore presents itself as the perfect market for Latin America to look to in its search for innovative tech solutions suited for the region. Ranked by the World Economic Forum as the world’s most competitive economy 2019-2020 and the best tech hub in Southeast Asia, Singapore’s reputation far precedes itself.
Singapore’s technological prowess is known far and wide, and Latin America is no exception. As part of a knowledge-intensive economy, Singapore companies possess a highly competitive edge that is extremely relevant to Latin American society. Latin America is home to a young and knowledge-hungry workforce that is eager to tap into the technological capabilities and know-how of countries such as Singapore to uplift its own societies. As evidenced by the Pacific Alliance, Latin America has expressed its commitment to economic and political cooperation with Asia.
With strong roots in the emerging region of Southeast Asia, Singaporean companies possess an additional competitive edge in Latin America. Singaporean companies have a deep understanding of the socioeconomic and business landscapes of Southeast Asia, as well as the challenges of operating within an emerging market context. As such, Singapore is well positioned to serve as a facilitator connecting emerging market solutions to emerging market problems, and their innovative tech solutions are primed for success in the region of LAC.
Expansion Readiness Programme Overview
Leap2LatAm is a new programme tailored for tech startups in series A, B or C from Singapore ready to venture into the LatAm market.
Latin Leap will act as a Consortium Operator, activating third party facilitators depending on functional and geographic fit.
Periodically and in close coordination with Enterprise Singapore Latin Leap will welcome a new batch of curated Singaporean companies to its advanced Leap2Latam programme providing them with the participating coys with:
Exploring the LatAm market Pacific Alliance (4 countries) and Ecuador.
Refining their Go to market strategy
Understanding the legal and regulatory structures of the LatAm Market
Establishing corporate connections
The first iteration of the programme aims to connect Singaporean tech startups with relevant actors from the LatAm ecosystem to foster business relations between the region and opening up markets in Latin America for Singaporean tech companies.
The programme consists of 3 consecutive tracks culminating in market readiness and entry. Each completed track qualifies for participation in the subsequent one. The 3 tracks are:
Meant for for startups from Singapore to discover LatAm and for corporates and institutions in LatAm to discover Singapore’s tech scene. Mutual Exploration Days are virtual events with local experts to understand main trends, challenges and opportunities in LatAm which will help you to define what to consider before expanding internationally. They also help map ecosystem players to develop business opportunities and corporate investors. Some of the benefits of participating in this track include:
– Awareness with Relevant LATAM corporates
– Inspiration on all aspects of business models, product development and financing.
– Understanding how technology is impacting each industry in other emerging markets.
Latin Leap moderated webinars are two way awareness creation webinars with Latam ecosystem actors and startups from the batch to understand how they are innovating a traditional industry with technology.
Upon completion of the Explore Track Singaporean companies will have received the following deliverables:
– Participation in 1 online webinar
– Definition of a personalized roadmap to advance into further steps towards LATAM market entry
-The session is held online
This track is an in depth continuation of the Explore track, with a 10 week intensive programme and emphasis on networking. Singapore companies will be in touch with Senior Corporate Management and consultants from respective target industries to assess the best go-to-market strategy. Some of the benefits of participating in this track include:
– Knowledge of which market in LatAm is best fitted for your solutions to scale
– Personal advice from Venture Partners based on individual business needs
– A good understanding of the LatAm market
– You will be able to network with relevant partners in workshops featuring key actors from multiple industries
Market Readiness: Round tables with corporates from the industry to assess market readiness, connect with the local industry, refine your go-to-market strategy, and set foot in the Latam market.
Virtual Bootcamps: Learn from meetings with corporates and institutions about the opportunities and challenges for your industry in your next market
Upon completion of the Meet Track Singaporean companies will have received the following deliverables:
– A market readiness report including Tropicalisation of strategy recommendations; detailed profile reports of potential partners in selected market and business matching outcomes
– At least 5 introductory meetings with potential local partners
– Tailored advice from Venture Partner expert in the respective industry
10-week programme, semi-virtual /Face to Face (to be reviewed in the individual case)
The Leap Track is a 10 week kick-off of the market entry strategy that has been outlined for each company in the market readiness report delivered in the Meet track.
Now that you have met the experts and completed previous tracks, it is time to execute what you have learnt. In the Leap Track, startups will attend meetings with consultants to:
– Local setup and creation of legal entity
– Setting up and identification of potential local team structures
– Marketing and PR plan
– Structuring of PoC with local clients and partners
Weekly Virtual follow-up with appointed Venture Partners and Latin Leap Team to guide execution of go to market as well as the following deliverables:
-Presentation to at least 3 potential Joint Venture / Distributor / Re-seller Partners (if applicable)
-Assistance in negotiation and relationship building with potential partners throughout term of assignment -Marketing campaign write-ups and corresponding materials
-Profile report of PR & marketing partners
-Key introductions to media partners
-Regulatory navigation; listing of relevant authorities and recommendations, legal support suggestions and paths to applicable licenses
-Back-office support; evaluation of outsourcing strategies, recommendations on local back-office providers
-It is a 10-week programme, semi-virtual /Face to Face (to be reviewed in the individual case)
Singapore- LatAm Tech Alliance
With its commitment to technological exchange between emerging economies, Latin Leap has been developping alliances with corporations and other public and private sector actors in Latin America to promote Singapore as an attractive technological hub and to learn from SEA based technologies in order to leapfrog the LATAM region.
Leap2LatAm’s operations will be centralized and coordinated by Latin Leap, but will exist within a collective. Each in-market partner will lead specific activities of the 3 tracks presented above