There is a huge opportunity ahead of the Brazilian technology market, and not everyone is seeing it – internationalization. Why is it that national companies and startups do not have a prominent role in the sale of software and services on an international level?
If it's possible to develop code from anywhere with just a computer and an internet connection, why haven't we conquered the international market, just as we did with agricultural and mineral commodities, which are much more capital intensive?
What will it be possible to learn from Israel, Poland, Thailand and India to raise the level of software exports by Brazilian companies and thus generate value for the national technology ecosystem and also for Brazil as a whole.
The value creation logic is simple, even more so with the dollar exchange rate exceeding R$5.00. Billing in hard currency and having costs in soft currency is good for any business. However, we do not see this model being ostensibly applied in Brazil.
Honorable exceptions such as Stefanini and CI&T must be celebrated and studied in depth, as they will certainly provide us with powerful insights that can be applied to younger companies that are motivated to grow and appear in a totally globalized world that we have today.
The problem doesn't seem to be growth or lack of resources. The latest study by the Brazilian Association of Software Companies (ABES), carried out in partnership with the IDC, “Brazilian Software Market – Panorama and Trends 2020”, showed a 10.5% growth in the sector in 2019 in the country, with a movement of R$ 161.7 billion (US$ 44.3 billion), if the software, services, hardware and also exports in the segment are considered.
Brazilian growth was greater than the world average, which was 5% in 2019, when the survey was carried out. Investments in this segment were in the order of 2.3% of GDP. Therefore, Brazil represents 1.8% of the world market for Information Technology (IT) and 40.7% of the sector's movement in Latin America.
According to the study, within the IT segment, the domestic software market grew the most in 2019, in the order of 16%. Software and services for export, on the other hand, increased around 29% compared to the same period.
Perhaps we can conclude that Brazil is a thriving and easy internal market, with such a relevant scale, that national technology companies prefer to stay here, rather than internationalize.
Other known obstacles are the lack of software engineers and developers, the lack of command of the English language by a large part of the Brazilian population, and the prohibitive cost of international travel for most entrepreneurs. In our view, these factors are easily circumvented, if they have a global mindset and curiosity to open up other environments and business niches.
Brazil has globally recognized competence and knowledge in several sectors. Financial, aeronautical, electrical, oil and gas, retail and especially agribusiness stand out. What if the next world champions in software exports were Brazilian startups specializing in these industries?
We applied the principles listed above in the development of our investment thesis in Luby, recently made by the Inova 5 Fund. Led by a young and bold entrepreneur, Alon Lubieniecki, Luby has about 50% of its revenue originated from investment development projects. Software abroad.
Headquartered in 3 Brazilian states, Amazonas, São Paulo and Paraná, and one in California, in the United States, it is a decentralized, horizontal and distributed company. The beginning of its activities was in 2002, when it created the 1st e-commerce for online personalization of shirts in Brazil.
As a result, it acquired expertise in systems (software) development and since then, it has grown and specialized in digital services for various segments, such as the financial sector, from retail and mobility to logistics.
Through a new strategic plan, made in the 1st half of 2021, Luby directed its efforts to be a global financial technology company, operating in banking as a service in Brazil, in partnership with Cartos.
One of the partnership's objectives is to make the company a leader in the development of innovative and tailored digital solutions to serve the financial segment, taking Brazil to a level of global excellence in the area.
We are looking for other "Lubys" - companies led by a global team with international ambitions, who know how to identify relevant problems and quickly learn how to solve them with excellence, no matter where these opportunities are - but which are preferably in hard currency.