Follow the biggest innovators and tech founders in Latin America as they cover valuable insights and inspire entrepreneurs facing challenges in scaling their business and raising capital. Presented by Brian Requarth, co-founder at Latitud.
With over 10 years of experience in Brazil's VC scene, Rodrigo Baer was hearing pitches and offering offering term sheets long before the LatAm capital craze started. He has an unquestionable understanding of the country's entrepreneurial landscape, and is a believer of sharing knowledge with the world, which he has been doing for the last four years through his Youtube channel "Pergunte ao VC".Previously a partner with Redpoint Ventures and a board member for companies such as Movidesk and Cortex Intelligence, he is now a Managing Partner for SoftBank's Latin America fund with a $5bn initial commitment and then an additional $3bn being allocated.Today, Rodrigo and I are going over:Qualities VCs look for in foundersCommon questions founders have about exit strategiesSoftBank's plans with the latest LatAm fundBuilding something new? Apply for the Latitud Fellowship at apply.latitud.com
44 min 55 sec
In his own words, Daniel Bilbao is a friend to all latino entrepreneurs. He went from spreading papelitos in Comic Sans looking for engineers to shaping the future of fraud prevention in Latin America. Born and raised in Colombia, his mentality is one of giving back to our region first.Daniel first dipped his toes into the cybersecurity space with his previous company Paladin Cyber in 2017. Now CEO and co-founder of Truora and backed by the likes of Kaszek, Magma Partners and Y Combinator, he managed to take his business from 0 to $10M annual recurring revenue in two short years.In this episode, Daniel and I talk about:The role founders play in combating inequity in LatAmHow to sell your company's idea to investorsWhat the Latin America startup scene will look like 10 years from nowBuilding something new? Apply for the Latitud Fellowship at apply.latitud.com
49 min 9 sec
Alex Vilhena was born in Rio de Janeiro, but moved to Los Angeles to pursue a Bachelor's degree in Communications and had a chance to try out the startup scene in the US. Big lover of jiu-jitsu, he has over 10 years of client-facing roles under his purple belt, and helped build Santander's Loyalty Program before moving on to his own projects in the financial industry.Now CEO of Plug Pagamentos, he gets to brag about being a YC portfolio company while he and his co-founders are simplifying payment services by providing a one-stop solution to manage multiple providers through a single API integration.Building something new? Apply for the Latitud Fellowship at apply.latitud.com
17 min 13 sec
Andres Bilbao is a Colombian triple threat, and that goes far beyond being fluent in three languages: he's a unicorn entrepreneur, an angel investor, and a trusted advisor to many others in the LatAm startup ecosystem.He was one of the co-founders of Rappi and reached an impressive $5.25 billion valuation within six years of starting operations. Now Andres is putting down roots in blockchain as co-founder of Invert, a company pledging to change the way we do conservation through the power of crypto and NFTs.In this episode, Andres and I will talk about:Fostering entrepreneurship in a teamWhat qualities to look for in a mentor or advisorHow blockchain and conservation can intersect to shape the futureBuilding something new? Apply for the Latitud Fellowship at apply.latitud.com
49 min 29 sec
Entrepreneurship is much like running into a wall until you knock it down, and German-born Florian Hagenbuch has committed to making sure that the wall stays down for those coming after him.Florian founded Loft to digitalize the real estate market and make it accessible to millions of Brazilians dreaming of owning a home. Their latest funding round bumped them up to a nearly 3 billion-dollar valuation.With a portfolio of over 100 companies he has personally invested into as an angel, his trajectory naturally evolved into the formation of a VC fund. Canary, a pre-seed and seed-stage investment firm in Latin America, has now over $150M in assets under management.In this episode, Florian goes over:The lifecycle of disruption opportunitiesHow fast-growing companies can accelerate careersThe potential of addressable markets in Latin AmericaAngel investing as a way to give backBuilding something new? Apply for the Latitud Fellowship at apply.latitud.com
1 hr 9 min
Very few people are product builders at heart, and Jeff Orr is one of them - he founded Maply to connect people to events happening in real-time around them, and has helped the likes of Delt.ai and Noonlight improve their own product and experiences.He first came into Latitud's radar as a Fellow in our 3rd cohort, but I soon realized that he shared our passion and vision for emerging markets. Now Jeff is spearheading Latitud Launch and taking part in our mission by building the go-to place to launch and discover new tech products in Latin America.Today Jeff and I will be chatting about:Shipping products fasterThe no-code approach to businessHow to hack growth in early-stage companiesBuilding something new? Apply for the Latitud Fellowship at apply.latitud.com
32 min 20 sec
Starting four different companies AND dabbling into music production isn't for everyone, but Dhaval Chadha has managed to balance the two passions just fine.Other than his musician profiles on streaming platforms, you'll find Dhaval's name attached to companies like ClassPass, which acquired his previous company Vivo, and where he led LatAm Expansion.Now CEO of Justos, Dhaval and his co-founders are set out to build a fairer and safer world by making car insurance more accessible to all with a data-driven approach to pricing. Having raised a $2.7M seed round led by Kaszek, today they announce what can be the largest series A round in Latin American history.Stay tuned to hear Dhaval's take on:Going from idea to MVPThe key challenges for B2C companies in LatAmDealing with waves of failure and successAnd Justos' $36M series ABuilding something new? Apply for the Latitud Fellowship at apply.latitud.com
41 min 29 sec
Born in Essex, England, Pete Flint is a brit deeply immersed in Silicon Valley startup culture. He's a titan of disruptive innovation and a widely respected leader in the tech industry, and was one of my early supporters at Viva Real.Two times unicorn, he was part of the founding team of travel industry pioneer lastminute.com before starting Trulia, one of the most popular real state apps in the US.With tales of a successful IPO and an exit valued at $3.5b, Pete is now helping entrepreneurs leverage capital, experience and connections as a partner at venture firm NFX.Today Pete and I will be talking about:How to leverage network effectsBuilding a business that evolves at scaleAnd NFX's plans for its new $450 million pre-seed and seed fundBuilding something new? Apply for the Latitud Fellowship at apply.latitud.com
51 min 9 sec
Founders outside of Silicon Valley have always had a harder time accessing capital, and Latin America is no exception. Add that to the difficulty of paying for global company expenses in local currency and you have yourself a market ripe for disruption.Dileep Thazhmon founded Jeeves to provide startups with an all-in-one cross country, cross currency expense management platform, making capital accessible through debt and combating equity over-dilution all in one fell swoop.If you haven't heard of it, that's because Dileep built Jeeves stealthily but, having raised a whopping $131 million in just one year, they're now halfway to unicorn status at a $500 million valuation.Before Jeeves, Dileep founded Jeeng, which surpassed the $35M+ annual recurring revenue mark and was acquired last year. He also has an investor background and lots of lessons learned during his time with Voyager Capital.Join us as Dileep and I go into:Challenges and misconceptions of hypergrowthPositive signals to look for in the Latam fintech ecosystemWhen to fundraise and when NOT toBuilding something new? Apply for the Latitud Fellowship at apply.latitud.com
46 min 9 sec
Winter Mead grew up on a maple syrup farm in New England. After writing his grad-school thesis on technology trends in digital media, he relocated to Silicon Valley to test his own theories. Now teaching about entrepreneurship and venture capital at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business, it's safe to assume his instincts were right on the money.With 20 years in financial services, Winter has invested over $1bi across 80 private equity and venture capital firms during his time with Sapphire Ventures and Hall Capital Partners. This first-hand experience lead to two striking realizations: one, that capital was crucial for innovation and market disruption, and two, that the gap between casual investors and full-time VCs was only growing wider by the minute.Oper8r was born from the aspiration to bridge that gap. Winter and his co-founder, Welly Sculley, set out to build a community to enable the next generation of institutional VCs.Join Winter and I as we talk about:How LPs can succeed outside of the top 10 investment firmsUnlocking capital and knowledge to create new fund managersThe network effects of a VC communityBuilding something new? Apply for the Latitud Fellowship at apply.latitud.com
58 min 44 sec
Fintech is extremely hot in Latin America.Chilean entrepreneur Sebastian Kreis is seeing this opportunity and is building Xepelin with the goal to be the leading SMB digital bank in LatAm. Xepelin is one of the fastest growing fintechs in the history of the region and Sebastian believes they are just getting started, and are here to stay.Prior to founding Xepelin, Sebastian was a Consultant at BCG and co-founded Safecard. He holds an MBA from UC Berkeley.In this episode, Sebastian shares:How he met his co-founder Nicolas and how they started XepelinWhy Xepelin is focusing their operations in MexicoThe importance of building deep relationships as an entrepreneurHis thoughts on debt financing in LatAmAnd his next challenges as a founderStarting something new?Apply at apply.latitud.com
42 min 52 sec
About 6 years ago, Pamela Valdés was faced with an important choice between a full scholarship for university in the US or dropping out to get her business off the ground. As you may have guessed, the latter won. That was the birth of Beek, a startup created to be the top audio platform in Latin America. Originally from Mexico, Pamela was part of YC in 2017 and got investments from VC firms like Greylock and Accel. Outside of work, Pamela enjoys surfing and, of course, listening to audiobooks. Over 50 a year.In this episode, Pamela shares:How Beek pivoted and evolved along the journeyThe importance of managing herself as the company growsHer unique story of getting into YCAnd some special book recommendationsStarting something new?Apply at apply.latitud.com
57 min 7 sec
Over the last few years, Latin America has been seeing more and more people interested in founding a startup. To them, Freddy Vega has one advice: don't do it.The deterrence may sound strange, especially coming from someone who is a natural born entrepreneur. Freddy started at age 16, when he created what became the largest community of developers in Latin America, Cristalab. He had learned how to program by himself 3 years prior, on a borrowed Casio calculator.After meeting Christian Van Der Henst, who led an equally successful initiative in education, they decided to merge their communities. Soon after, they started hosting live educational shows every Thursday, which ultimately evolved into Platzi: an online learning platform offering courses in technology, business and several other categories. With millions of students across Latin America, it bets on teaching saleable skills fast and on a huge scale, while also seeding a lifelong-learning attitude.Fun fact, Platzi was the first company with a Latin American market to ever go to YC, in 2015.Keep listening to learn:What's behind the "don't do it" adviceHis self-development journeyHow to build psychological safety within a companyHis thoughts on culture in Latin AmericaAnd how to unleash the power of communityStarting something new?Apply at apply.latitud.com
1 hr 6 min
From a young age, Martin Schrimpff was always looking for entrepreneurial opportunities, whether that was selling chocolate or doing raffles at school. His first official business, though, was founded right after university: a software development company called Sirius.It was at Sirius that Martin and his partner were asked to build a payment system for a friend's company – "something like PayPal for Colombia," he said. They had never heard the name "PayPal" before, so Martin looked it up, only to find out it had been recently sold to Ebay for 1.5 billion dollars. His first thought? "If they can do it, so can we!"The mix of ambition and naiveté originated PayU, which became a global business and was eventually acquired by Naspers at a 1 billion dollar valuation. But Martin never stopped founding companies after the exit. Later came other successful startups like Zinobe, Centeo and, most recently, Kocomo: a transparent marketplace that empowers people to co-own their dream vacation homes.Stick around to learn:The two most game-changing moments for PayUHow his experience bootstrapping compares with starting venture-backed companiesHis thoughts on founder-market fitThe backstage of Kocomo's recent pre-seed round of $56MAnd his advice on fundraising to early-stage foundersStarting something new?Apply at apply.latitud.com
1 hr 8 min
Born in Brazil, Iona Szkurnik arrived in California 8 years ago. After graduating from Stanford University as a Lemann Fellow, she worked at a couple of Silicon Valley companies and taught at Menlo Park and Palo Alto public-school district. Iona is the co-founder and board member of Brazil at Silicon Valley and PortPy, a project aimed at making coding in Python more accessible to Brazilian youth.Last year, she also started Education Journey, a startup focused on making innovation core in education. Married and a passionate mother of two teenagers, Iona cannot live without hiking, the ocean, and ice cream.Starting something new?Apply at apply.latitud.com
21 min 10 sec
What does it take for Latin America to have the next Nelson Mandela, Greta Thunberg, or a few thousand more David Vélez?LALA, the Latin American Leadership Academy, believes it's about unleashing the potential in young people and bringing them together. Seeking to promote sustainable economic development and strengthen democratic governance, LALA is finding, developing and connecting a new generation of entrepreneurial, principled, impact-focused leaders for the region.Diego Ontaneda has seen it work. Originally from Peru, in 2013 he joined the African Leadership Academy, and became determined to adapt the model to LatAm. After completing an MBA from Stanford, he was introduced to educator David Baptista and found in him the ideal founding partner to build LALA. With over 15 years of experience, David chose this path inspired by his own family's story of breaking the cycle of poverty through education.In this episode, Diego and David share:How the Theory of Change and Systems Thinking are applied at LALAHow Unit economics work for non-profitsHow to measure your Social Return on InvestmentAnd how to become an allyStarting something new?Apply at apply.latitud.com
55 min 16 sec
Salvador Rivero is a self-proclaimed fintech geek. Born and raised in Mexico City, he's trained in Political Science and Finance at Science-Po in France. With 9 years of experience in the investment industry, he allocated more than $1.5B USD in Latam equity markets.As a 3rd-time founder, he now joins forces with Max Mergenthaler, also 3rd-time founder, to build the high yield savings account for Mexico. Levo started last year and it's already backed by Latitud, Y Combinator, Magma Partners, and BackBone Ventures.Starting something new?Apply at apply.latitud.com
13 min 11 sec
When he was 12, David Vélez made his first investment: a cow. Bought with birthday money and savings from summer jobs, that one cow eventually became six, which were then sold and turned into his college tuition at Stanford.After graduating, David spent a few years working at investment banking and private equity before he joined Sequoia Capital. As Partner, he was responsible for all Latin American investments, leading him to move to Brazil in 2011. But shortly after that, Sequoia decided to pull back: the tech space was just not developed enough.David saw that as an opportunity. This time, as an entrepreneur. Nubank is a pioneer in digital banking, even though it doesn't see itself as a bank. Rather, it's a tech company that happens to be in financial services. Now valued at 30 billion dollars, Nubank is one of the fastest-growing fintechs in the world, with operations in Brazil, Mexico, Argentina and Colombia.David is a father of three, a marathon runner, and him and his wife Mariel recently signed the Giving Pledge, committing to donate the majority of their wealth to philanthropy.In this episode, he shares:How he manages his time as cofounder and CEOThe most culture-defining moments at NubankHow to balance speed, growth and quality in the long termAnd some of the curve balls that could've changed this entire story.Bulding something new? Apply for the Latitud Fellowship at apply.latitud.com
1 hr 1 min
Chile is a country that, despite being a smaller market in LatAm, has always pushed to be at the forefront of innovation. It is home to Startup Chile, the birthplace of two unicorns, and also where Antonia Rojas is from.Last year, Antonia became the youngest female venture capital partner in Latin America when she joined ALLVP, one of the most active new wave funds in Spanish-speaking LatAm.With a master’s degree in social entrepreneurship, Antonia is a Kauffman Fellow and a founder-turned-investor, having started her own edtech and worked at seed fund Manutara Ventures.Last year, she became the youngest female venture capital partner in LatAm when she joined ALLVP, one of the most active new wave funds in Spanish-speaking LatAm, with investments in companies like Cornershop, Flink and Nuvocargo.In this episode, Antonia shares:Her views on the evolution of the Chilean ecosystemHer take on signalingAnd the mechanics and nuances behind ALLVPs investment decisionsBulding something new? Apply at apply.latitud.com
46 min 37 sec
Nine years ago, the terms fintech and open banking barely even existed in Latin America.But Benjamin Gleason was already working on building Guiabolso, a personal finance platform that helped improve the lives of millions of Brazilians and transform the country's financial landscape.The early days back in 2012 were rough, but Ben says product-market fit became clear when the app ranked higher than Tinder in the list of most downloaded apps in Brazil. Fast forward to today and Guiabolso has proven to be a great success story, having been acquired by financial marketplace PicPay just two weeks ago.In this episode, Ben shares:The struggles faced in the early daysWhy and how they pivoted very close to launch dayChallenges overcoming regulatory barriersAnd details behind the sale of Guiabolso to PicPayStarting something new?Visit apply.latitud.com to learn about the Latitud Fellowship program.
56 min 59 sec
Fintech is a global trend at the moment, and having people who truly understand it is as valuable as ever.With a Bachelor's from Stanford and a Harvard MBA, Ana Cristina Gadala-Maria certainly fits this description. Ana leads Fontes, a seed-stage fund for Latin America fintech at QED, and is a supporter of the LatAm ecosystem through Mosaico, a content platform. She's passionate about democratizing access to financial services, a strong believer in entrepreneurship as the driving force behind transformative solutions, and an advocate for female and diverse founders.In this episode, Ana shares:Why fintech is so hot in Latin America (and globally!)How to cater to the "underbanked and under-served"Her opinion on the future of embedded financeChallenges that founders starting or scaling financial services should be aware ofHow Fontes works within QEDStarting something new?Visit apply.latitud.com to learn about the Latitud Fellowship program.
48 min 38 sec
Ben Casnocha was practically born an entrepreneur. In his teenage years, he started and scaled a couple of companies, before becoming Chief of Staff at LinkedIn and Greylock, both founded by Reid Hoffman. From this partnership, two books were born, co-authored by Ben and Reid, including New York Times bestseller The Start-Up of You.Since 2017, Ben has been a co-founder and Partner at Village Global, an early stage venture capital firm that aims to work not simply as a traditional VC, but also as a network. With almost a quarter billion dollars under management, Village Global is backed by some of the world’s most successful entrepreneurs.In this episode, Ben shares:Inspirational tips for your journey and career as an entrepreneurWhat sets Village Global apart from the rest of the VC worldHow to build a strong networkAnd how his interest in Buddhism is compatible (or not) with the entrepreneurial mindsetStarting something new?Visit apply.latitud.com to learn about the Latitud Fellowship program.
49 min 42 sec
Caterine Castillo is a lover of rowing, crossfit, extreme sports and meditation – it's all about balance! Originally from Bogotá, her commitment to personal and professional growth led her to complete programs in Harvard, Columbia, UC Berkeley, become a Kauffman Fellow and, of course, a Latitud Fellow.Cate has been in fintech for about 10 years. She's worked in Growth for a Neobank in Colombia, in Product for a Banking as a Service company, and as Country Manager for one of the biggest global payment providers. Now as co-founder and CEO of Neivor, she is simplifying payments and building a digital ecosystem for more than 2.2 Million condominiums and apartment buildings in Latin America.Starting something new?Visit apply.latitud.com to learn about the Latitud Fellowship program.
10 min 44 sec
A renegade is someone who renounces conventions.It is through this innovation mindset that Renata Quintini runs Renegade Partners, an early-stage deep technology investment firm which she co-founded and is currently a Managing Partner at.Renata has been working in venture for over 15 years, having also been a Partner at Lux Capital and Felicis Ventures. Prior to becoming a VC, she was an investment manager at Stanford University's endowment, which invests in dozens of private equity and venture capital funds.In this episode, Renata shares:The thesis behind Renegade and their investmentsWhat is a founder’s “supercritical” stagePotential red flags founders should be aware ofThe importance of diversity in the entrepreneurial ecosystemStarting something new?Visit latitud.com to learn about the Latitud Fellowship program.
43 min 21 sec
Raphael Kappeler grew up in Switzerland and has over 15 years of experience in finance and sales. Almost 10 of them he spent in Credit Suisse, working in investment banking in Europe and Asia. His childhood dream was to become a fighter jet pilot. Instead, he ended up jumping out of planes in the Swiss Army. He is a lover of the outdoors, often skydives, scuba dives, goes skiing and surfing.After living and working in Asia for a few years, he fell in love with Latin America and decided to call Mexico 'home.' There, he developed and launched several startups. The latest, Reworth, is an API data platform that will give financial institutions an edge in the competitive market, helping them to engage their customers and increase revenues.
23 min 51 sec
Hernan Kazah's journey as an entrepreneur starts in 1999, in the early days of the internet in Latin America. Co-founder of Mercado Libre, he has witnessed firsthand, as a pioneer, the extraordinary evolution that the startup and VC ecosystem has experienced in the region. In 2011, hoping to help solve some of the pain points they've faced themselves, Hernan and former Meli CFO Nico Szekazy launched Kaszek. Fun fact, the name originated from the combination of both of their last names.Since then, the firm has raised $2B across 7 funds. Half of that sum was closed just two months ago in a duo of funds. In one decade, Kaszek has backed over 90 companies, nine of which spawned into unicorns. And Mercado Libre, now worth $60B, became the most valuable company in Latin America.In this episode, Hernan shares:The mistakes that almost killed Mercado LibrePainful misses as an investorRisks they welcome and risks they avoid when investingAnd what's broken in the VC gameClick here to see the Stop & Go Strategy graph mentioned in the episode.Starting something new?Visit latitud.com to learn about the Latitud Fellowship program.
54 min 53 sec
Stephanie von Staa Toledo, also known as Ste, was born in São Paulo, Brazil. She has a Wharton MBA and a Master’s Degree focused in Entrepreneurship and International Studies from University of Pennsylvania, and for the longest time, she's been passionate about health & wellness – especially for women.After working at McKinsey, taking on leadership roles at an e-commerce startup in Brazil and a cannabis startup in London, Ste decided to build her own business in the femtech space. Based on a lot of specialized research, she created Oya Care, a digital-first women’s health clinic. Oya's first product is an at-home fertility test, the first to market in Latin America, officially launched this year. With Oya, Ste has the mission to put a woman’s health in the right place: directly in her hands.Starting something new?Visit apply.latitud.com to learn about the Latitud Fellowship program.
25 min 31 sec
Few people understand overlooked markets and opportunities as well as Christopher Schroeder. Under normal conditions of temperature and pressure, you could find Chris having a chat with a founder in Brazil or Pakistan as easily as you'd find him boarding a plane in Egypt or the Philippines. Now, he jokes, he can swing around the world in a day over Zoom.Chris is a real global citizen, who truly embraces the mindset of giving first and learning from mistakes. For the past few years, he's been advising and investing in driven entrepreneurs in global emerging markets. At Next Billion Ventures, he focuses on South East Asia, Latin America, and the Middle East. His book, Startup Rising: The Entrepreneurial Revolution Remaking the Middle East, is an international bestseller.As a founder, his startup HealthCentral.com was backed by top tier firms and sold to Remedy Health in 2011. Before that, he also helped The Washington Post enter the digital era as CEO of washingtonpost.newsweek and LegiSlate.com.Today, Chris shares with us:His views on rising markets and global playbooksHow failure shaped him as a leaderHis advice on seeking out mentorshipWhat he likes to look for as an investor
51 min 7 sec
Marcos Adler is a Carioca Brazilian that loves traveling, sailing and photography. With a background in Economics and an MBA from Wharton, he worked for almost five years at GE and then as a consultant at McKinsey.Now committed to help tackle income inequality and operational inefficiencies, Marcos hopped on the tough mission to build Clubbi, a digital network of small merchants that will transform the way their members operate their businesses.Find out how Clubbi works in this episode of Altitud, a segment of Latitud Podcast where we talk to the founders of the future high-flying companies connected to Latin America.Starting something new?Visit apply.latitud.com to learn about the Latitud Fellowship program.
15 min 34 sec
We believe that building in public can help founders build better. This means we’re open to sharing our ideas and strategy before they’re fully baked, even if it doesn’t make us look perfect. So this episode is a little different from what you're used to hearing around here. This is a frank conversation with one of my co-founders, Gina, about the raw process of building something new. In our case, Latitud. If you ever wonder what the heck we are up to, this is where you find out:The why and the how of the Latitud FellowshipThe Latitud Fund's thesis and inner workingsAnd the products on our roadmapFor even more details on Latitud, watch the recording of our Open All Hands that happened on June 25th: https://youtu.be/lFpyQeX1HocCheck out our open Latitud Global Fellowships Director position
48 min 58 sec
Santiago Aparicio is a serial entrepreneur from Bogotá, Colombia. After studying Economics and getting a Masters in International Management, he went on to become the 7th employee at Rappi, where he was a Corporate Partnerships Director. He later co-founded Fitpal, a fitness platform that went on to become the largest network of fitness & wellness services in Colombia.Now Santiago is building onTop, a multi-country payroll manager for LATAM that automates international hiring and payments, allowing companies to hire talent from all across the globe. He is also an avid writer and recently launched a book titled Apagar incendios con gasolina, or "to put out fires with gasoline", in which he guides entrepreneurs through the processes of raising capital and creating a startup.Find out how OnTop works in this episode of Altitud, a segment of Latitud Podcast where we talk to the founders of the future high-flying companies connected to Latin America.Starting something new?Visit latitud.com to learn about the Latitud Fellowship program.
14 min 51 sec
César Salazar had years of building successful products for Latin America, but it was only after visiting Silicon Valley that he started considering that his ideas had the potential to go global. The realization that he lacked ambition was the first step to start supporting founders that might have been feeling the same way.From that experience, he decided to start Mexican.VC, the first Silicon Valley seed fund dedicated to Mexican startups. In 2012, 500 Startups acquired Mexican.VC and brought César in as the 6th member of its investment team. He helped put 500 Startups on the map in Latin America, and consequently put Latin America on the radar of international investors. As the leader of the first 500 Startups office outside of the US, he was critically involved in making dozens of investments in the region.César is now the founder and CEO of Beyond, where they aim to accelerate a global sphere of remote collaboration by helping companies build a dream team of creative problem solvers.Stick around to find out:His takes on Latam's challenges and mindset shiftsWhy tropicalization may not be the best strategyLess obvious opportunities for founders in the regionAnd what he'd have done differently as an investor today
41 min 13 sec
Oriana Fuentes has been based in New York for the past 12 years, where she went back to after living in Peru for 8 years. With a Bachelor's in Economics and Finance from Syracuse University, she proudly built a career in Wall Street. However, not being able to find her real purpose, she left to pursue a Masters's degree in Machine Learning from Columbia University.In her free time, Oriana is either traveling, reading, or scouring New York for delicious food and baked goods. But another one of her passions is complexity. That is one of the reasons why in 2016 she started Emptor, a B2B SaaS company doing automated background checks in 10 countries in Latam, with clients like Didi, Cornershop, Kavak, and Uber.Find out how Emptor works in this episode of Altitud, a segment of Latitud Podcast where we talk to the founders of the future high-flying companies connected to Latin America.Starting something new?Visit latitud.com to learn about the Latitud Fellowship program.
8 min 24 sec
There are a ton of bright shiny lights on the way to building a startup, and it's tempting to burn through cash for the sake of rapid growth. So after getting a big capital injection, for example, it's normal for founders to get excited. But how long can you keep this up before it becomes unsustainable?When you're playing the long term game, unit economics is something any operator should pay attention to. It not only helps you set priorities, but also build a path to profitability.Having met hundreds of founders in the past decade she's worked in VC, Mariana Donangelo has seen healthy unit economics as a common thread among successful businesses. She also experienced the power of this tool first hand at Invoice2go, where she lead growth for 4 years and made sure to understand and have better control of the levers that eventually made the company lucrative.Before Invoice2go, Mariana was an investor at Accel, helping close several deals in Latam. In 2020, she became a partner at Kaszek. Today, she talks to us about:The metrics you should look at to understand unit economicsHow they impact investment decisionsHer own initiatives at Invoice2Go to make it more sustainableAnd her views on how the VC ecosystem changed in the past 10 years
37 min 31 sec
Alejandro Gomez de Greiff is a born and raised Cachaco (from Bogota) who you may find running in the streets of Colombia while listening to business and history audiobooks and podcasts. He studied industrial engineering and quickly joined the dark side, as he describes it, to become an investment banker. He was also the first employee at a Private Equity firm, where he worked for 6 years.After doing some corporate VC and angel investing, he started getting jealous of all the startup founding teams he was meeting and decided it was time to join them in the trenches. So he brought back to life an idea he had 8 years before with his friend Juan Martin, and together they launched Aptuno, a solution for seamless residential rentals.Find out how Aptuno works in this episode of Altitud, a segment of Latitud Podcast where we talk to the founders of the future high-flying companies connected to Latin America.Starting something new?Visit latitud.com to learn about the Latitud Fellowship program.
30 min 45 sec
“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” This powerful quote by Abraham Lincoln is often shared by our guest.Jason Yeh has spent a lot of time both fundraising and analyzing fundraisers. After working as an investor at Greycroft, starting a business and being acquired, he became Silicon Valley Bank's go-to Executive coach around fundraising. And too many times, he saw the negative impact that lack of preparation has – not only for the business, but for the founder's confidence and ability to deal with rejection. A lot of them needed more effective processes.That's why last year he launched Adamant Ventures, a firm dedicated to making fundraising easier and accessible. Today, he shares concepts like calendar density and purity of motivation, besides actionable tips to help you sharpen your axe.Stick around to learn:Some intricacies about investor psychologyGuidelines to develop your narrativeHow to rebalance the power dynamics between investors and foundersAnd his views on pre-money vs post-money SAFEs
54 min 6 sec
Born in Iran, Yasaman Rajaee is a first-generation middle eastern immigrant woman. Besides having been a private tutor and teacher, she also has an impressive background as a student and researcher in Technology, Management, Computer Sciences and Engineering. At MIT, for example, she spent a few months investigating how Collective Intelligence can be used to improve the way organizations work. For the last 5 years, she has lived in 5 countries including Germany, Japan and the US. Now in the UK, she combines her experience in tech, education, product and community management to build Lernico, a new social learning platform, where expert can easily build and scale their online learning communities and monetize their knowledge through different types of premium content such as cohort-based courses.Find out how Lernico works in this episode of Altitud, a segment of Latitud Podcast where we talk to the founders of the future high-flying companies connected to Latin America.Starting something new?Visit latitud.com to learn about the Latitud Fellowship program.
26 min 26 sec
Henrique Dubugras taught himself how to code as a teenager. He met his co-founder, Pedro Franceschi, over an argument on Twitter, which ended up turning them into best friends. The Brazilian tech duo went on to join teams at different startups and even start a few business projects. In 2013, they founded payments company Pagar.me — the Stripe of Brazil — when he was only sixteen years old.Pagar.me was sold in 2016, and Henrique enrolled at Stanford University. But he left after just a few months to follow his entrepreneurial instincts. In YC, him and Pedro started Brex, a B2B fintech that is an all-in-one finance for business, disrupting the century-old industry of banking small companies.Brex became a unicorn in record time. One year after its first product was released, it was valued at US$2.6Bn. Today, it's worth US$7Bn.In this episode, learn more about:Henrique's thoughts on fundraising and super high valuationsHow Henrique and Pedro make it work as co-CEOsAnd what is harder and easier about founding a company in the US vs in BrazilStarting something new?Visit latitud.com to learn about the Latitud Fellowship program.
38 min 7 sec
Gabriel Monteiro is a second-time founder. His first company, Shopgram, was a fashion and decor marketplace, sold in 2015 to B2W, a leading digital commerce company in Latin America. Gabriel went on to work at B2W for 5 years, soon becoming the head of Submarino.com. That's where he met his co-founders and together they decided to start Newtail, an omnichannel platform that brings new capabilities to every brick-and-mortar grocery store, such as pickup in-store delivery, shipping from store, WhatsApp, and online marketplaces integrations.Gabriel is originally from Rio de Janeiro, where he lives with his wife. He's an Industrial Engineering graduate, a big Flamengo supporter, traveler, and videogame enthusiast.Find out how Newtail works in this episode of Altitud, a segment of Latitud Podcast where we talk to the founders of the future high-flying companies connected to Latin America.Starting something new?Visit latitud.com to learn about the Latitud Fellowship program.
20 min 22 sec
It's hard to think about tech startups without thinking US and Israel, just like it's impossible for corporations to ignore digital transformation. In Brazil, there's one venture capital firm that is bundling all of that together, by investing in some of the most innovative companies abroad, bringing them to Latin America, and connecting them with big local companies to accelerate their adoption of technology.Mindset Ventures was co-founded by Camila Folkmann, one of the first Brazilian female founders of a Venture Capital firm. Camila started her career as a corporate lawyer, having worked for major law firms assisting Fortune 500 clients, but made a quick transition to startup and VC life after spending some time in the Bay Area. Back in Brazil, she was looking for opportunities to stay close to the ecosystem, which led her to join Acelera Partners, an investment holding spearheaded by Microsoft.There, she met her co-founder, Daniel Ibri, and they found out they had similar visions, eventually translated into Mindset Venture's thesis. Today, Camila shares not only what that is and how they invest, but also:Her insights into the Israeli entrepreneurial cultureThe biggest challenges for companies from Israel and the US to come to Latin AmericaAnd what to be aware of when accepting corporations to your cap tableStarting something new?Visit latitud.com to learn about the Latitud Fellowship program.
27 min 18 sec
Demian Bellumio is the founder of Nue Life, a startup that is using technology and ketamin-assisted science-based treatments to make mental wellness scalable and cost-effective. Nue Life isn't based in Latin America, but it's situated in the gateway to the region, Miami.Father, immigrant and long-time entrepreneur, Demian was born in Argentina and started his first company right out of high school, selling marble flooring. After moving to Florida, he became an intern at Barclay Capital and convinced his boss to start a bank with him, Broadspan Capital. Demian went on to start a number of businesses in the Big Data and artificial intelligence space, and became a well-known name in the Miami tech scene.Find out how Nue Life works in the second episode of Altitud, a segment of Latitud Podcast where we talk to the founders of the future high-flying companies connected to Latin America.
28 min 7 sec
For a long time, Loreanne Garcia and her brother, Carlos, had talked about building something together. Originally from Venezuela, they finally found the perfect opportunity in Mexico in 2016.That's when Lori, Carlos and their co-founder Roger started Kavak, an online platform for buying and selling secondhand cars. With a $4B valuation, Kavak became the first Mexican unicorn in 2020, right during the most unpredictable period most of us have experienced globally in our lifetime. Their fast response to the pandemic accelerated the company's growth, which is also operating in Argentina and expanding to Brazil.It was during her MBA at Stanford that Lori discovered she had a passion for people and culture and confirmed she wanted to be an entrepreneur. As Chief People Officer, she made sure they were very intentional about culture since day one and paid special attention to it as the business scaled to over 2,500 employees. Through this 5-year journey, Lori learned important lessons from taking the team to where they are, which she shares with us today.In this chat, find out:How Kavak measures and regulates its cultureHow they managed to create a mote from complexityAnd her advice on fundraising from the right investors
36 min 41 sec
Pomelo is the fintech as a service (FAAS) platform for Latin America, founded by former Mastercard, Mercado Pago and Naranja X executives. The startup took some of its first steps during the Latitud Fellowship program, where Gaston Irigoyen, Hernan Corral and Juan Fantoni joined the second cohort.Latitud had the privilege of being Pomelo's first check, later introducing the founders to over 25 funds globally. Now, they're raising $9M to build Latin America's fintech infrastructure, in one of the largest seed rounds in the history of LATAM’s tech ecosystem."We were looking for local flavor, global access, and lots of hustle", says Gaston – and they got it.Led by monashees and Index Ventures, the round also includes funds like QED and Scifi, as well as some of the most prominent angels and entrepreneurs in the region – Max Levchin (Paypal & Affirm), Biz Stone (Twitter), Angela Strange (a16z), Harry Stebbings (20VC), Martin Varsavski and the founders of Marqeta, Rappi, Auth0, Kavak, Loft and RecargaPay.Pomelo allows fintechs and embedded finance players to build digital accounts with compliant onboarding processes, as well as issue prepaid and credit cards throughout Latin America.In this chat:Pomelo's solution to a huge problemHow they put their team togetherHow the seed round played outNext steps after the fundingTheir experience at LatitudGaston's unconventional advice for foundersThis is the first episode of Altitud, a segment of Latitud Podcast where we talk to the founders of the future high-flying companies in Latin America, hosted by Brian Requarth and Tomas Roggio.#VamosLatam
18 min 16 sec
Cristiano Rocha is a seasoned engineer who started his career as a Master’s Student in Artificial Intelligence. Fresh out of university, he bootstraped his first company for about 8 years, back when venture capital in Brazil was almost unheard of. As a young founder, he established a reputation as a knowledge management evangelist and community management especialist.Almost by accident, Cristiano also became an expert in M&A, when he merged with another 2 companies in order to gain strength and get funding. This 3-way joint venture was called Affero Lab, which grew into the largest Corporate Training company in Latin America and was eventually sold in 2015.A hiatus got Cristiano into angel investing, but he missed the thrill of building. About a year after the exit, BizCapital was born to help Brazilian small businesses fund their operations in a fast and simple way through an online lending platform. And this time, they decided to play the traditional stage-financing VC game.In this episode, Cristiano compares his fundraising experiences and shares a few lessons he's learned as a second-time founder. Stick around to learn:How you can think of M&A as a viable growth strategyThe thought process behind going down the venture routeA few good practices around managing communitiesAnd how technical founders can not only build the best products, but also the winning products
55 min 50 sec
For the longest time, we've only financed personal and professional projects by acquiring debt. But what if, the same way investors bet on super early-stage business ideas, we could bet on high-potential people through an income share agreement, regardless of what those people decide to do in their lives? Equity-based financing for people is barely talked about, yet Sam Lessin has been practicing for several years. And he believes it's one of the things that can soon disrupt the big picture of the internet. Sam is the kind of person you go to to get a peek into the next few decades and likely to get your mind blown a little bit. He is a General Partner at Slow Ventures, a VC firm that invested in companies like Slack, Dropbox, Pinterest, and hundreds of others. Sam also writes for The Information, and he built Drop.io, which was sold to Facebook and leading him to become Zuck's VP of Product. Now co-founder of Fin, he is instrumenting and optimizing the future of work. In this episode: The logistics behind equity-based financing for people The sweet spot between logical and crazy What being early or late really means And how AI can improve knowledge jobs. Starting something new?Visit latitud.com to learn about the Latitud Fellowship program.
47 min 2 sec
We do not always realize it, but we are living in two economies: digital and analog. In fact, depending on who you ask, 2020 was either the best year for business or the worst, and a lot has to do with how these two orders contrast and relate. Today, 9 out of the 10 largest companies in the world are in technology, and many began as small startups not very long ago. Meanwhile, new startup ecosystems are developing and causing a surge of fast-growing tech companies that illustrate a massive global economic transition. Arnobio Morelix is a Brazilian based in Silicon Valley. Formerly the Chief Innovation Officer at Startup Genome, he advised governments and private organizations across 35 countries. He has authored research and analysis with Stanford University, the World Economic Forum, and others, and has been widely featured in global publications like the New York Times and the Economist, to name a few. Now the Chief Data Scientist at Inc. Magazine, Arnobio also recently wrote "Rebooted", a book that dives into tons of future-looking topics including post-pandemic economies, the tech butterfly effect, and the unintended consequences of major technological change. In this chat, we talk about a few of these topics and other insights Arnobio has accumulated over years of studying startup ecosystems. You'll learn: How founders and tech creators can navigate the next decade. The two main common threads of successful companies in 2020. How local and global connectedness influence performance. And how to build more responsibly to catch up on what he calls the 'fairness debt.' Learn more: Entrepreneur's Guide to Depression & ADHD workshop @ SXSW Stanford Latino Entrepreneurship Initiative
54 min 39 sec
Deciding what not to do is as important as deciding what to do. That’s true for companies, it’s true for products, and it's true for VCs too. Emergence Capital is known for a few superstar deals, like Crunchbase and Zoom, but also for their focus sourcing and selecting deals. They look at B2B software as a service companies, and nothing else. In the early 2000s, when the firm started, it wasn't an obvious space to place a bet. But it turns out that massive value is unlocked when you hone in and focus. Today we talk to General Partner Santiago Subotovsky, who just became one of the first investors from LatAm to make the prestigious Midas List. In this episode:The advantages of staying focused. How they assess patterns of successful entrepreneurs. What he's learned from the founder of Zoom, their biggest investment to date. Are the best deals really the ones where there's controversy? Check out Latam's first rolling fund at fund.latitud.com
44 min 45 sec
We live in a software-powered world but many practices in the venture capital industry still lack the technology it invests in. We see innovation increasing at an accelerated pace, whereas many of the VC firms that finance innovation seem stuck in time. Avlok Kohli has a few possible explanations for this irony, and a lot of propositions to offset it. CEO of AngelList Venture, he's been leading the platform that adds more flexibility and accessibility to the fundraising process. Among its products, AngelList changed the game by introducing syndicates and, last year, the rolling fund model. In this episode, we explore some of the benefits and details of these initiatives, including: The main differences between syndicates, rolling funds and traditional venture funds Best practices for engaging LPs And the future of the VC industry. Check out Latam's first rolling fund at fund.latitud.com
44 min 59 sec
With a Harvard MBA under his belt, after his role as co-CEO of Groupon, Lucas Vargas had a lot of options for his next step. But he didn't take a step: he took a leap of faith – and decided to join a small proptech startup in Brazil called Viva Real.As CEO, Brian hired Lucas to be the Vice-President of Sales. Just a couple of years later, Brian knew Lucas was going to be his replacement when he eventually stepped out.It was a process of intense self-discovery and challenges for Lucas that involved managing highly experienced executives and having to let go of about 400 people, as he led the company through the merger with ZAP and the acquisition by OLX.Once the deal was finalized, he packed up these lessons to embark on a new journey: Lucas is now leading Nomad, a global digital bank offering financial services and investments for the Brazilian mass affluent.In this episode:How vulnerability got integrated into his leadership styleHow they used the DISC framework to build cohesive teamsThe importance of speed in an early-stage startup environmentAnd the behind the scenes of our merger with ZAPStarting something new?Visit latitud.com to learn about the Latitud Fellowship program.
1 hr 19 min
Falling and getting back up is what makes the cycles of an entrepreneurial journey, but some people just enjoy to be constantly getting ideas off the ground, even if the previous ones are growing steady. Alex Torrenegra is an example of this.Alex has been a friend for 10 years, and I'm proud that his first ever angel investment was in my company, Viva Real. You may also know him as a tiburón in the tv show Shark Tank Colombia. But before all that, Alex bootstrapped a number of companies, including Voice 123 and Bunny Studio, both of which he started with his wife, Tania Zapata.Then in 2020, after years of being an investor and his own venture capitalist, Alex went out to raise capital for a business of his own for the first time. And while a lot of founders may prefer to not have too many people on their cap table, he intentionally went the opposite way. By design, Torre's first seed round had over 50 investors from more than 15 countries.In this episode:His experience fundraising during the pandemic and being rejectedSome of his lessons from 20 years of building remote companiesThe model behind Torrenegra AcceleratorWhat was the most memorable pitch he's heard on Shark Tank and why it stuckMentioned in this episode:Check out Remoter, the why-and-how guide to building remote teams: https://www.remoter.com/en/remoter Learn more about Torre: https://torre.co/ Pitch by Kiwi on Shark Tank Colombia: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G_KE4ShB3-M
1 hr 14 min