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Fast Growth, Airport Recovery, and Time on Social Media

Latinometrics Weekly
Welcome to Latinometrics. We bring you Latin American insights and trends through concise, thought-provoking data visualizations.
Thank you to the 26 new subscribers who have joined us since last week!
Today’s charts:
  1. The 10 fastest-growing companies in Latin America
  2. A handful of airports are having more passengers post-pandemic
  3. We spend too much time on social media
Make sure you check out this week’s comment of the week at the bottom!

Business 💼
Colombia and Uruguay are Home to LatAm's Fastest Growing Companies
Colombia and Uruguay are Home to LatAm's Fastest Growing Companies
Massimiliano Tirocchi founded Shapermint, the Uruguayan company leading last year’s Financial Times chart, in 2018 and powers it using Shopify. The firm’s revenue in 2019 was US $9.8M, compared to $150M in 2020, and spending over $100K per day on Facebook ads, it surpassed Kim Kardashian’s Skims selling shapewear clothing in 2020. Light-it and Capicua, two companies that develop custom software and apps for prominent clients such as Best Buy, are the other Uruguayans on the list.
Representing Colombia, we have:
  • Adsum: IT services and consulting company
  • West Engineering: Solutions for the oil and gas sector
  • Orometro: Mining company
  • Biobolsa: Ecological bags and packaging seller
  • Construcciones al Dia: Construction company, as its title suggest
And lastly, from Argentina and Mexico, we see Grupo Albanesi, a transportation energy company, and IDC, a micro-component technology supplier.
Colombia and Uruguay have proven to be attractive business environments for entrepreneurs, with many foreign tech companies seeking out their talent. In Bogotá, HubSpot announced the opening of an office in 2018; Google partnered up with Antel, Uruguay’s telecom state company, and completed a fiber optic cable that connects Uruguay to the United States in 2017. The two relatively small nations continue to be a hotbed for entrepreneurship, inspiring other emerging markets worldwide.
Travel 🛩
Few LatAm Airports Have Fully Recovered
Few LatAm Airports Have Fully Recovered
Most travel around the globe has struggled since the beginning of the pandemic in 2020. It’s safe to say that no airport had more traffic in 2020 than it did in 2019. However, 2021 brought a slightly different story. A select few, mostly tourist destinations, had more airport traffic last year than before the pandemic started.
Puerto Escondido stands out with almost a 30% growth. The tiny airport, located in the Mexican state of Oaxaca, has only two destinations: Mexico City and Guadalajara. However, it hasn’t slowed down ex-pats and remote Mexican workers to flock to its paradise. In Puerto Escondido, no international hotel brands or big nightclubs have come to do business yet, which gives the town a more relaxed and exclusive vibe.
In contrast to that small-town vibe is the Baja California peninsula in Mexico. Its two major airports, serving Los Cabos and Tijuana, have also recovered from the pandemic. Combined, both airports transported over 15M passengers last year. For decades, the region has been an escape for Californians to go and spend US dollars vacationing in luxury hotels and villas. The latest notable project in the peninsula is the St. Regis Hotel, which will offer 25 residences in Los Cabos, starting at $3M for a condo and $9M for a villa.
Demographics 📉
Wealthy Countries Spend Less Time on Social Media
Wealthy Countries Spend Less Time on Social Media
Survey data gathered by market research company GWI shows the average daily time on social media in several countries. Our chart shows the correlation between that metric and each country’s GDP per person. The trend is stunning: wealthy nations tend to spend less time on social media than less-developed ones. Latin Americans spend an average of 3 hours and 34 minutes on social media, the most out of all regions surveyed. The app grabbing most of the attention in 3 out of the 4 LatAm countries surveyed was WhatsApp. The other was Facebook, in Mexico.
Social media has transformed the way we interact. Since the first social media platform, Myspace, launched in 2003, more than half of the world - an estimated 4.62 Billion people - actively use social media. Most of them use one of the Meta platforms; Facebook, WhatsApp, or Instagram. Although the positives of a more connected world are undeniable — wealth creation and access to information — social media’s dark side has been more talked about in recent years.
Meta has come under scrutiny for wide-ranging issues like too much censorship, not enough censorship, organization of violent attacks, and causing mental health issues for teenagers, among many others. We’ve all had days in which we regret using social media too much. Research from the University of Pennsylvania has shown that cutting down usage to 30 minutes per day can significantly reduce feelings of depression and loneliness.
Realize Latin America’s Potential 🚀
Hand-selected job opportunities based on what we know about our audience (e.g., industries, job functions).
This week’s opportunity:
Hiring Managers: Reply to this email if you’d like to feature an open role in our newsletter.
That’s all for this week 👋
Want more?
Comment of the week, from our Venezuela Oil History chart on Reddit:
Comment of the week (Reddit)
Comment of the week (Reddit)
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