The 10 most innovative companies in Latin America in 2023

The 10 most innovative companies in Latin America in 2023

Explore the full 2023 list of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies, 540 organizations that are reshaping industries and culture. We’ve selected the firms making the biggest impact across 54 categories, including artificial intelligence, augmented and virtual reality, gaming, and more.

Latin America has never been short of innovation—whether from ambitious newcomers or established companies with fresh initiatives.

One of the biggest examples of growth in the region comes from Brazilian digital banking platform Nubank, which has established itself as a leading financial institution, but is still coming up with creative and intuitive financial solutions for individuals and SMEs alike. Colombian educational platform Platzi has also shown impressive growth, with partnerships all over the world that aim to make education accessible while groundbreaking.

Transportation startup Nuvocargo has been taking their users’ needs into consideration introducing a Carrier Billing platform to keep all of their processes in one place. Educational platform Gran Cursos led in 2022, developing new social programs to help educate people with disabilities and low income. Meanwhile, online supermarket Jüsto raised $152 million Series B funding to power its Brazil and Peru expansion.

With the ongoing “Central Chile Mega Drought” becoming the longest drought in the region in 1,000 years, it is no surprise Latin America is coming up with their own climate change solutions, with Copec Voltex heading the electromobility game. The company plans to make Chile the country with the world’s second-largest electric public buses fleet after China. In Medu’s case, each of their reusable medical materials replace 450 pieces of disposable garments, reducing landfill garbage and following United Nations guidelines for sustainability.

Women have also been at the center of the conversation, with companies like Mamotest expanding over rural spaces to care for breast cancer patients, using technology and resources that usually overlook these areas. With Symplifica, Latin America’s majority-women domestic work market now has a tool that provides social security, legal guidance, and extralegal benefits for the workers.

VR and mixed media company 3dar is making space for fun, with an award-winning game collaboration with 2022’s “it” artist Bad Bunny.

Read about all of them below.

For creating a new way for people to save

Nubank is one of the world’s largest digital banking platforms, serving almost 75 million customers across Brazil, Mexico, and Colombia by the end of 2022, a 38% increase year over year. Last September, Nubank rolled out Caixinhas (money boxes), which have changed how its customers save money: Instead of leaving their money in a savings account (where inflation can erode savings), Nubank offers investment opportunities tailored to a customer’s stated goal, such as buying a car or paying for a vacation. In the first week of the box’s general availability, more than 1.7 million customers created 2.25 million-plus Caixinhas.

Nubank’s operations in its home country of Brazil are now in the black, after the company registered a net profit of $13 million in the first half of 2022. In Nubank’s 2022 results, revenue grew to $4.8 billion, customer deposits rose 63% to $15.8 billion, and the company’s annual loss narrowed to $9.1 million, as it registered a $58 million profit in the fourth quarter of 2022.

Read more about Nubank, honored as No. 5 on Fast Company’s list of the World’s 50 Most Innovative Companies of 2023.

2. 3DAR
For bringing Pixar-style panache and clever storytelling to mixed reality

3dar is advancing visual arts through original storytelling that pushes the boundaries of mixed reality, AR, VR, and high-end gaming animations. In 2022, 3dar, which was founded in Argentina by two brothers, produced the VR 360 video clip of the top album of the year, Bad Bunny’s Un Verano Sin Ti, which garnered 41 million visits in the first 12 hours, and became the biggest AR filter partner to Meta in Latin America, creating expressive characters and social games. It also made a game-like interactive film called Eggscape, which won a Lion at the Venice Film Festival in September 2022. The film was lauded for its ability to let players see through the VR headset into the real world and interact with their surroundings (even building them) and with other players in an unprecedented way.

Read more about 3dar, honored as No. 47 on Fast Company’s list of the World’s 50 Most Innovative Companies of 2023.

For helping electrify Chile’s public and private vehicles

Copec Voltex is committed to bringing electromobility to the mass market in Chile, by designing and implementing charging solutions and infrastructure for electric vehicles. The company spent 2022 building public electric bus infrastructure and working with companies to electrify their fleets. In January 2022, Copec Voltex helped Chilean logistics company Electro Pipau build a charging network for South America’s largest fleet of electric last-mile delivery vehicles. The company built a 5,000-square-meter electro-terminal with 60 charging points. Copec Voltex also inked several deals with carmakers and electromobility companies, including Volvo and the electric SUV maker MG Motor, to build out charging infrastructure throughout Chile. Additionally, in August 2022, the company signed a partnership with mining company Codelco to install 94 charging points across its El Teniente, Andina, and Chuquicamata mining sites to power more than 150 electric buses for transporting the company’s employees.

The company has also proven itself to be a crucial partner to Chile’s public transit. Following the December 2020 opening of Santiago’s Electerminal El Conquistador—the world’s largest charging station for electric buses outside of China—Copec Voltex worked with local authorities to build more stations to power a fleet of 800 electric buses. By early 2023, the company will have built 10 additional electroterminals, including the first one outside of Santiago, in Antofagasta in the northern part of the country.

For changing cross-border trading between the U.S. and Mexico


Logistics startup Nuvocargo is the first all-in-one digital platform focused on U.S.-Mexico cross-border trade that includes everything from live tracking of goods to trade finance for exporters. In December 2021, the company launched QuickPay, a fast-payment solution that pays carriers within 48 hours of a delivery; the standard payment range has typically been 30 to 90 days after delivery. When it launched, 10% of Nuvocargo’s carriers were using it, having been part of a private beta. By the second half of 2022, 30% of carriers were using QuickPay, and it represented some 40% of the company’s transactions. Alongside enabling faster payments, in June 2022, Nuvocargo made shipment tracking and invoicing easier with its Carrier Billing platform, designed to centralize all the information that carriers need, from invoicing and proofs of delivery to delivery audits and, yes, easier access to QuickPay. Since its launch, the platform has been adopted by 93% of Nuvocargo’s active carriers. The company has experienced significant growth, with the number of monthly shipments growing by almost 200% in the first half of 2022 compared with that same period in 2021.

For championing benefits for informal employees

Across Latin America, only 20% of some 20 million domestic workers have formal contractual relationships with their employers. In Colombia, Symplifica’s platform seeks to provide social security and extralegal benefits to domestic workers and nannies in the country. Though much of Symplifica’s focus since its 2016 founding has been on providing resources to employers, in June 2022, Symplifica launched Symplifica Trabajador@s, an application designed to be used by the workers themselves. Symplifica Trabajador@s gives workers a transparent look at their employment contracts, proof of their employers’s contributions to social security, and legal benefits. Additionally, through a series of partnerships, the tool also provides financial literacy education, English lessons, and access to mental health resources. In 2022, Symplifica’s main offering managed $867,817 in payroll and nearly $4 million in contributions to Colombia’s social security system, with 9,653 active subscriptions. Symplifica has formalized the work of 29,769 domestic laborers since its founding, and now the company has broadened its reach, launching Symplifica Mexico in October 2022.

For revolutionizing education and job access

The Colombian education platform has amassed four million students since its 2014 founding, and it continues to grow through novel partnerships and collaborations with its own students. In 2022, Platzi joined forces with several companies to grow access to training in cutting-edge tech fields such as augmented reality and fintech. As Meta seeks to build the metaverse, the company teamed up with Platzi to create 10,000 scholarships to teach people how to create augmented reality experiences—using Meta’s Spark AR development tools—through a set of five courses that rolled out over the first few months of 2022. By contrast, Platzi took a decidedly low-tech approach to education in Bolivia, where in October 2022, it launched EducaTigo, the country’s first education channel, in partnership with cable provider Tigo, bringing 24-hour programming around digital skills, physical and mental health, science, art, culture, and citizenship to more than 500,000 families.

Looking ahead, Platzi has teamed with Spanish satellite platform and internet of things company Fossa Systems to become the first edtech company to launch a satellite. Planned for March 2023, the effort will kick off a multistage collaboration with Fossa Systems to offer courses on satellite technology.

For bringing local farmers and AI together to deliver quality food worldwide

Jüsto is the first 100% online supermarket in Mexico and the leading e-grocer in Latin America, having expanded to Brazil and Peru. Jüsto has sought to distinguish itself from most online-first grocery operators by focusing on serving all of its customers’ grocery needs, including vegetables and meats, rather than just convenience items. The company has sought to use technology to improve its operations, introducing solutions in 2022 that help it minimize how many people need to handle products before they’re delivered and deploying artificial intelligence to help its pickers give customers exactly what they ordered. It is also intently focused on eliminating food waste; in November 2022, for example, Jüsto started to transport berries and greens in plant-based thermodynamic pouches that significantly reduce condensation and extend the life of its produce. Jüsto, which raised an eye-popping $152 million Series B funding round in April 2022, now touts more than 500,000 users and over 100,000 in all of its markets. (In Brazil, its 2022 growth represented 11x growth; in Mexico, 5x.) The company plans to enter Colombia and Chile, either directly or through acquisition.

For saving women’s lives through affordable preventive healthcare

In Latin America, breast cancer accounted for 14% of Latin America’s 1.5 million cancer cases in 2020, and it’s the most frequent cancer diagnosed in women, with a majority of cases being diagnosed at a late stage. Looking to boost early detection—breast cancer has a 98% survival rate if diagnosed early—Argentina’s Mamotest built a network of 10 tele-diagnostic clinics in typically underserved areas. In the clinics, mammograms are performed, uploaded to the company’s servers, and assessed within 24 hours by radiologists. In January 2022—fresh off its win of the Zayed Sustainability Prize for Health—Mamotest launched in Mexico with a clinic in Metepec, about 50 kilometers west of Mexico City. By the end of the year, the company had opened four additional screening centers—in the states of Guadalajara, Monterrey, Pachuca, and Veracruz—and performed more than 18,000 tests. Mamotest’s Mexico debut also included a partnership with German AI company Vara, whose AI-powered screening unit is being used in the Metepec clinic. Mamotest says that 87% of women diagnosed with breast cancer at its centers were able to receive early treatment. While focusing on making its services affordable—patients can consult with Mamotest via WhatsApp to figure out a reasonable cost for their screening—the company also acts as a resource for patients, connecting them with government programs and other resources to make treatment possible.

For creating reusable alternatives for hospital waste

Hospitals generate approximately 5 million tons of waste each year, including a lot of personal protective equipment. Medu has circumvented the traditional standard of using single-wear protective garments, replacing them with a reusable alternative. Medu’s PPE garments can be worn all day and washed 50 times without losing their protective properties; each product saves 450 pieces of plastic that enter landfills and incinerators. The social Yunus & Youth-certified company embeds a near-field communication chip in its gowns, which allows healthcare workers to use a mobile app to see how many times a gown has been washed. Once a garment has been worn 50 times, it is returned to Medu, which disinfects it and turns it into scrubs and sustainable packaging. In August 2022, after growing to work with a network of 13 hospitals in Mexico, the company set its sights on the U.S. market. Its products are currently in trials at 15 American hospitals, including UCLA and George Washington University Hospital, where it helped them reduce garment waste by roughly 500,000 pounds over the course of the year.

For democratizing access to education

In the decade since its launch, Brazilian edtech giant Gran Cursos Online has helped more than 1.5 million students learn via its 30,000 online courses. In 2022, amid 66% year-over-year growth in active students (totaling 500,000 in August 2022), the company broadened the reach of its four mobile apps—Gran Cursos Online, Gran Audiobooks, Gran Questions and Gran Study Manager—by making them accessible as web-based and desktop applications. The company’s commitment to accessibility extends to its flexibility in making sure that students aren’t turned away for financial reasons. Degree courses can be paid for by future employers after graduating, and it offers reduced-price subscriptions for people with disabilities and/or very low income. As of August 2022, 78% of its students benefit from these social subscriptions, and another 12% of its students use its platform for free. Gran Cursos grew users from 300,000 to 500,000 in 2022, and it increased revenue to $50 million, up 19% from 2021.

Publicado originalmente en Fast Company :