Venezuela continues to face socio-economic challenges with a lack of basic goods in stores and high increases in food prices, however, that has not stopped its tech startups from emerging.
In fact, certain startups have thrived in this current environment by creating innovative ways to overcome the everyday social problems faced within the country.
The following startups are just a few of many which have grabbed this unlikely opportunity to develop tech products which are undeniably acting as a lifeline to many Venezuelans.
friGo is a cooking app to help keep time and energy in the kitchen to a minimum. Features include an expiration date tracker, shopping list, and ingredient inventory keeper. What has proved most useful in Venezuela’s current turmoil is the app’s ability to create recipes with limited ingredients, as often the most simple of products are no longer available in local supermarkets.
Founded in 2013 by Venezuelan Arturo Perez, Akiztá has risen to be what is considered one of the most used and successful medicine location services within the country. Used as an app, as well as a registered web page, Akiztá simply informs its users where they can find medical products, the quantities available in a given pharmacy, and their corresponding prices.
This free service has created partnerships with several pharmacy chains and keeps in direct contact with over 315 stores, allowing them to constantly update their online information. Akiztá’s Twitter followers have increased from 16,000 to 24,700 since the start of the conflict. With rationing and products becoming harder to find on the streets, this app has undeniably helped Venezuelans keep track of what is available and where they can get hold of it.
MeContaron is essentially a community of online feedback. Started by a group of Venezuelans with a desire to help people access recommendations for local places in Caracas, this social platform now allows users to write personal opinions, complaints and comments for local restaurants, shops, bars and gyms in the capital city. It also offers weekly special promotions to users with VIP registry and entrance into exclusive events. Similarly to the other two startups, MeContaron allows Venezuelans to individually assess which establishments are available to them during this prolonged time of social unrest.
These entrepreneurs have been able to adapt to the nation’s crisis, illustrating that amidst political unrest and a devastated economy, tech startups have surprisingly landed themselves as some of the number one help mechanisms for Venezuelan people.