These Are Some Of The Most Successful Companies Founded By Latinos
Latin America and Hispanic-origin entrepreneurs are in the middle of a golden age. Emerging markets and the vast array of innovation achieving success in español are critical factors that have allowed the rise of latino-origin companies. Yet, this doesn’t limit itself to small businesses and boutique startups, as more latino-backed enterprises are achieving substantial success in par with their anglo-origin peers.
Today, we’ll show you 11 big companies founded by Latinos that have experienced substantial success in recent years, with no signs of stopping.
1. America Movil
We start this list with a company owned by one of the most known investors and magnates of Latin America: Carlos Slim. Founded in 2000, America Movil is the seventh largest mobile network operator in the world. The company owns the popular mobile brands Telcel in Mexico and Claro in Central and South America, among many others in countries such as Austria, Bulgaria, Serbia, and Liechtenstein. In the US, America Movil owns TracFone Wireless, serving over 26 million customers. In total, America Movil helps over 289 million subscribers around the world to stay communicated.
2. Open English
Considered as one of the leading online English-teaching schools in Latin America and the Hispanic market in the US, Open English was founded in 2007 by the Venezuelan entrepreneur Andres Moreno. Thanks to its unique approach to English teaching (with classes available 24/7 and a study plan adapted to the student’s pace) and its catchy TV commercials, Open English now has offices in Miami, Bogota, Caracas, Sao Paulo, and Buenos Aires, serving over 500,000 students all over the continent.
3. Zumba Fitness
Have you tried Zumba? It’s considered as one of the hottest fitness programs with fans all over the world. Zumba was created by the Colombian choreographer Alberto “Beto” Perez in the late 90s. It began as a series of fitness videos sold by infomercials. Today, certified Zumba instructors are helping over 15 million students in 180 countries to stay in shape while having fun at the gym. But it doesn’t stop there; the Zumba brand also includes an athletic apparel collection, mobile app, video games, and even a Zumba-themed beverage.
4. Grupo Modelo (a.k.a. owners of Corona beer)
Maybe the Grupo Modelo name doesn’t ring a bell, but the trademark see-through bottle of its most famous beverage surely will. In 1925, the company was founded in Mexico and it currently manages over 10 beer manufacturing plants in the country. They’re best known for being the creators of the world-famous Corona beer, a staple at parties and beach outings. Since 2013, the Grupo Modelo is part of Anheuser-Busch InBev, one of the most extensive drink and beverage holdings in the world.
5. Mercado Libre
In Latin America, online shopping is associated with Mercado Libre. Founded in 1999 in Buenos Aires, Mercado Libre is the most popular e-commerce site of Latin America, where stores and regular folks can buy, auction and sell goods online. As of 2016, Mercado Libre is serving over 170 million users in 18 countries of Latin America. The Mercado Libre brand has also grown beyond the e-commerce concept, running its own classified ads platform for real estate and cars, and its own payment system called MercadoPago.
6. Carolina Herrera
The stunning creations of this Venezuelan fashion designer have gained followers in both Hollywood’s red carpet and even at the White House, having dressed First Ladies Jacqueline Kennedy-Onassis, Laura Bush and Michelle Obama. Her namesake brand was born in 1980, and it now includes over 18 boutiques around the world, couture gowns, ready-to-wear styles and a famous line of perfumes. Her creations are also sold in over 200 stores in more than 100 countries.
Millions of Latin American and Hispanic houses grew watching Mexican telenovelas, created or distributed by this media power player from Mexico. Founded in 1945 by Emilio Azcárraga Vidarrueta, Televisa is one of the most recognizable TV brands in the Spanish-speaking world, but the group also has stakes in radio and publishing companies (books and magazines), among others.
Ask anyone in Latin America where they look for the best travel deals, and the answer will undoubtedly be Despegar.com. Founded in 1999 by the Argentinian entrepreneur Roberto Souviron, this online travel agency is considered the number one of its kind in Latin America. Despegar.com helps travelers from over 20 Spanish-speaking countries find airline tickets, hotel accommodations and car rental deals at the best price.
9. Brightstar Corp.
You may not have heard of Brightstar Corp., but, chances are, you or your workplace owe its communications system to them. Founded in 1997 by the Bolivian entrepreneur Marcelo Claure, Brightstar distributes mobile phones and specialized wireless communication devices, serving more than 15,000 enterprise customers and 40,000 retailers in 100 countries.
Argentinian entrepreneur Alex Oxenford co-founded OLX in 2006 with Fabrice Grinda, a few years after selling his first company, De Remate, to Mercado Libre. His second venture into the world of online sales has proven to be successful in emerging markets such as India and Brazil. OLX is a platform of classified ads that operates in 45 countries, as an out-of-the-US alternative to Craigslist, where users can buy and sell goods. As of 2014, it had over 200 million active users with 25 million listings through its various country sites.
11. Bunny Inc.
Created in 2012 by Alex Torrenegra and his wife, Bunny Inc. has become one of the most successful endeavors of the Colombian entrepreneur. His venture is an outsourcing solution that connects companies to creators such as writers, voice actors, and translators. It helps thousands of users in Latin America and the US and has grown to provide availability in five languages.