The most intriguing trend has been how health-care-related enterprises have transferred their focus to the health sector
FREMONT, CA: The number of health tech startups in Brazil more than doubled from 160 to 389 between 2014 and 2019. Since the outbreak, these businesses have grown in leaps and bounds. One of the most stunning statistics is how quickly the industry flourished before the pandemic struck. The most intriguing trend, however, has been how health-care-related enterprises have transferred their focus to the health sector. Gympass, Brazil's unicorn gym membership business, was battered in the early months of Covid-19, but quickly shifted its focus to incorporate remote nutrition and mental health services.
In non-pandemic situations, remoteness is also advantageous. Yana, a Mexican mental health business, gained from the ability to provide online consultations. It allowed users to handle their mental health in a more private manner, as opposed to going to a therapist in person. In a country where people may think you're crazy if you go to a therapy, according to Yana's founder Andrea Campos, attending therapy sessions in private proves beneficial. Contextualized health care also adds value in other ways. Beyond having access to services and medical care in Spanish or Portuguese, the platforms deployed by local entrepreneurs are specifically designed for Latin Americans in ways that other geographies may not require.
That's why many regional health techs use Facebook Messenger, a platform that many Latin Americans are familiar with and often receive for free as part of their data packages. So, the next thing for Latin America's health-tech boom is consolidation. Many of these businesses are now generating large enough funding rounds to begin acquiring their rivals. Alice, a Brazilian company, just bought Cuidas. Meanwhile, Grupo Inexoos, a Chilean holding company focusing on health technology, aims to grow across Latin America by acquiring other businesses.