In the News from Panama

Panama Startup Adds More Investors

A technology company that traces its roots to Panama continues to attract big-name investors.

Wisy, which created a digital platform that uses crowdsourcing to generate marketing data for companies, recently received a big boost from Carnegie Mellon University, according to El Capital Financiero. No details were disclosed, but Carnegie Mellon is a leading innovator in artificial intelligence, which is one of the company’s core growth areas.

Wisy has been described as the first Panama technology company to reach a $1 billion valuation and it’s a shiny example of the type of global-level entrepreneurship developing in Panama. Now based in Silicon Valley, the company has grown into an industry leader, creating new technologies that are changing the business.

The app “combines the power of crowdsourcing, human computation, and machine learning to create value for your business,” according to the company’s site. In essence, Wisy uses games and “missions” to engage consumers so they can learn more about their habits and then turns that information into useful data for companies.

The company was founded in 2016 by Min and Ricardo Chen and Orlando Reyes. Min Chen, who earned a degree from Carnegie Mellon, describes in her bio how Panama influenced her life. “I have lived an entrepreneur’s life since I was 4 years old when my parents decided to migrate from China to Panama with only $800,” she writes. “We built a business in a foreign country when we were nobody and had nothing.”

Wisy is the first Panamanian startup to “raise over $1 million in seed money and to expand to Silicon Valley,” Ricardo Chen says in his bio. Now it’s clients include multinationals such as Cemex, Nestlé, Chevron, and Texaco.