Menu

Buenos Aires

Argentina has faced economic upheaval for much of the past decade and a half. Despite this, Buenos Aires has continued to be both an economic hub, and a major global city. The strength of Buenos Aires is in the human capital of the city’s inhabitants. The country’s economic history has trained its citizens to become resourceful in the face of adversity, leading to people with stable employment to develop multiple sources of income to hedge against future turmoil. Regionally, Argentina is an exporter of software developers, and when combined with the high-quality, free university education that Argentinians receive, makes the country a coveted source of technical talent. The success of MercadoLibre, Digital Ventures, and OLX gives Argentina a better track record over other regional startup hubs, such as Santiago and Bogota. Unfortunately, Buenos Aires is still a relatively risky place to invest in, due to the country’s years of unstable economic conditions and double-digit inflation. The recent election, however, has made people optimistic for the future of the investment climate and the startup ecosystem.

In This Market

These businesses offer industry expertise and are a source of startup talent and potential customers. They help fuel the local startup community.

Opportunities

  • Highly coveted and well educated talent. Argentina is a net exporter of developer talent, and the country has high-quality university education that is freely available to all citizens.
  • When compared to Santiago, Buenos Aires has a better track record when it comes to success stories. What makes this even more impressive is that Buenos Aires does not have a program like Startup Chile where the government is pouring money into startups.
  • The human capital of Argentina is without parallel. Entrepreneurs have had to endure multiple economic disasters, and this has caused many otherwise gainfully employed people to develop multiple income streams.
  • Argentina is in the same timezone as the East Coast of the United States. Additionally, it has a high proportion of English speakers and the 4th largest Spanish speaking population in the world, making it a strategic entry point into the Latin American market for North American companies.
  • The positive brand of Buenos Aires as a world class city, while still being relatively affordable (a single bedroom apartment in downtown is $500 USD/month) makes the city very attractive for talented expatriates who want to make the city their new home.
  • Promising verticals include eCommerce, IoT, and fintech.

Risk Factors

  • There are too many people who are leaving Argentina for other, more economically and politically stable, countries in South America, such as Chile.
  • Argentina has suffered double-digit inflation for the past several years. This makes investors even more nervous about an already very risky industry. It also causes significant capital flight to more stable neighboring countries. Many investment funds will try to mitigate this currency risk by keeping their money outside of the country (often in nearby Montevideo), and making investments or converting additional funds into Argentinian pesos on an 'as needed' basis.
  • Start-Up Chile has more money for trial and error. This causes many foreign entrepreneurs to move to Santiago instead of Buenos Aires, even with the city’s enviable lifestyle.
  • While there are plenty of Argentinian success stories, there haven’t been any billion dollar, attention-grabbing exits to speak of. With big exits comes more capital for the ecosystem, not to mention mentors and a boost of confidence to future entrepreneurs.
Methodology

Market Indicators

Notable Success Stories

Funding

Key players

Market timeline

Suggest a change