BOGOTÁ, Colombia, May 16, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Polymath Ventures, the female-founded and led venture studio focusing on transformative companies for the emerging middle class in Latin America, has announced the launch of a new Seed fund. The Seed fund comes on the 10-year anniversary of Polymath, led to success by founder and CEO, Wenyi Cai, highlighting her accomplishments in building companies for Latin America. The fund will build on Polymath’s focus on Fintech / embedded finance, verticalized SaaS, and health tech.
Wenyi’s journey began recognizing the market demand and purchasing power of nascent consumers in Latin America, including the vulnerable populations and the traditional middle class, which accounts for 311 million people from Patagonia to the Northern border of Mexico. Through a decade of ethnographic research, backed by quantitative studies, Wenyi and her team discovered data indicating that women are the bedrock of Latin American society:
- 70% of consumer spending decisions are made by women; they are also the main influencers on health and educational decisions.
- 36% of Latin American middle-income households are single-women head of households, compared to 28% globally.
- Women have a 20% better payment behavior than men, showcasing their distinct social role.
Polymath built technology companies that specifically catered to Latin American women:
“Most people think that Latin America is a very machista society. However, if you look below the surface, Latin women are the bedrock of society. They are often the most reliable bread-winners responsible for the financial health of their families, and a majority of the time, take the final decision with respect to acquiring a new product or service. Not only are Latinas the leading consumer market in the region, but they are also renowned entrepreneurs and have become drivers of the SME economy in each country throughout Latin America,” says Wenyi Cai.
To date, 60% of Polymath Ventures’ active portfolio companies are led by female founders or focus on women’s work, outperforming all funds in the region. Wenyi’s insights on female consumer behaviors have driven spending across Latin America; her accomplishments highlight the importance of having more women-led funds globally, as female leadership brings diverse thought, deal flow, and perspective that a male-led team can miss. Here are some of the successful ventures Polymath has brought to fruition:
- Elenas – the largest social eCommerce platform in Latin America, which discovered that 54% of women in the region have informal jobs, limiting their ability to grow income. Today, Elenas is a source of income for 50k women selling on the platform monthly; Elenas has paid out nearly $10M in commissions to its user base.
- Aflore – provides tech-enabled community banking through a network of female advisors; Aflore currently serves 25k customers who are predominantly women, 13k of whom never had access to financing.
- Autolab – an auto parts and repairs management platform for independent garages, shops are 700% more profitable using Autolab, and boasts a 90% yearly retention rate.
Polymath’s Seed fund is a capstone to the past decade of work and a renewal of the company’s commitment to building and investing in businesses that promote female leadership, financial stability, and health across its portfolio.
About Polymath Ventures
Polymath Ventures is a Seed fund and Venture Studio focused on investing in and building transformative companies for the emerging middle class in Latin America. Learn more at https://polymathv.com/.
Contact: Emerald-Jane Hunter
SOURCE Polymath Ventures