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Santiago Suarez is the Co-Founder and CEO of the “Buy Now Pay Later” solution, Addi. Through Addi’s rapid ascent, Santi has been a central figure in the boom in online sales and e-commerce since the COVID-19 pandemic, securing over 500,000 customers and 1,000 retailers with his company.Addi raised USD 340 million last year, having already secured some lucrative clients such as Nike, Puma, Apple, and Claro. The organization also recently opened offices in Brazil and Mexico, and they are looking to expand throughout the LATAM region.In this podcast, Santi offers insights on topics like:The crucial tips and tricks he picked up while working at JP MorganThe gaping holes in the payment solutions market in South AmericaHow fintech companies can differentiate themselves to ride the waves of opportunityThe key lessons any founder can take on board to be a better CEO
Matias Woloski is the CTO and co-founder at Auth0, a developer-first identity platform born in 2013 that became Argentina's 5th unicorn in 2019. With clients in over 70 countries, it grew to become a global leader in the Identity-as-a-Service arena, and was recently acquired by Okta for US$ 6.5 billion in early 2021.Auth0 has over 2 thousand enterprise customers and handles around 42 million logins every day. That demands a lot of tech working just right, and a lot of top-notch tech support to fix the issues that may come up.That's all part of Matias' job as he oversees people in over 30 countries, most of them working remotely, as well as in headquarters in Buenos Aires, London, Seattle, Sidney, Tokyo and Singapore.Today, Matias and I talk about:What new challenges for cybersecurity are on his mindThe importance of timing for a product fit (and can it be crafted or is it just luck?)How Auth0 made its first connections with Silicon Valley investorsAnd what Matias himself looks for when investing in startups as an angel investorBuilding something new? Apply for the Latitud Fellowship at apply.latitud.com
Mercado Libre began in a Buenos Aires garage in 1999, when online shopping was pretty much all about eBay auctions. Now the biggest company in Latin America, Meli is valued at over 50 billion dollars and active in 18 countries in the region.Brazil is one of the main markets, with around 1.5 million packages delivered everyday, big investments in logistics, machine learning, hiring, and in its own fintech, Mercado Pago.One of Meli's co-founders and our guest today is a Brazilian himself. Stelleo Tolda dedicated 22 years to the company, from those early days in Argentina to his 10 years as General Manager and then President of Commerce in Brazil. He recently left the day-to-day operations to become an advisor.This episode is going to sound a bit different: it was recorded live as a session with our community of Latitud fellows.In this session, Stelleo and I talk about:How tech has changed in the last two decadesThe vital turning points for the businessHow Mercado Libre seized new opportunities during the pandemicBuilding something new? Apply for the Latitud Fellowship at apply.latitud.com
What would you do if you had $1.2M in funding and suddenly realized you need to kill the business? In 2018, Deepak Chhugani had a YC-backed startup in the HR space that wasn't going anywhere. He went back to the drawing board and decided it was time to follow his dad's footsteps into the world of logistics and supply chain. But before pivoting, he offered the money back to each of his investors.Most of them stayed. And to make up for the ones who backed out, they also put in a little bit more to get Deepak back to $1.2M. A few months later, Nuvocargo was born.Nuvocargo is simplifying the highly complex process of transporting goods between borders, by centralizing it under one software-powered roof – starting with US and Mexico. Elected as one of YC’s Top Companies in 2022, they're also backed by over $40M from Tiger Global Management, QED Investors, NFX, and the founders of several unicorns.In this episode, Deepak and I talk about:Getting out of the limbo stageThe balance between hype and substanceDeciding what not to doAnd hiring relentlessly resourceful people – globally.Building something new? Apply for the Latitud Fellowship at apply.latitud.com
Jose Jair Bonilla co-founder and CEO of Chiper, the leading B2B e-commerce platform for independent corner stores in Latin America.He co-founded and led software studio imaginamos in Colombia and served clients in 10+ countries, pioneering the implementation of digital transformation processes across the region and accumulating over 15 years of development experience in the process. He was a part of building Rappi from the ground up, but has been deeply ingrained in the LatAm startup ecosystem long before that.His latest challenge is solving problems for the retail industry with Chiper through their presence in Colombia, Mexico and Brazil. Chiper raised a $53 million Series B led by Tiger Global and Nosara Capital to grow their customer network to over 100.000 corner stores.On this episode, Jose covers:Opportunities for disruption in the retail industryThe digital transformation landscape in Latin AmericaAnd the key components of a good go-to-market strategyBuilding something new? Apply for the Latitud Fellowship at apply.latitud.com
If you told 13-year-old Miguel Santos with his first Apple device that he'd grow up to build his own billion-dollar tech company, he might have had a hard time believing you.When Miguel started Technisys over 20 years ago, he and his co-founders set up office in a living room with a piano for a desk just as the internet started to become an integral part of everyday life.Their digital banking solution came about 10 years ahead of its market, long before venture capital had turned to Latin America for investment opportunities, and there was no shortage of additional challenges along the way.Miguel survived the Argentine crisis of 2001 and went on to become an Endeavor entrepreneur, expand his company to 15 markets serving over 200 million end users, and raise money from big-name VCs like KASZEK and Riverwood Capital.Technisys was recently acquired by SoFi in a $1.1 billion all-stock transaction.Miguel and I will be having a chat about:Overcoming bureaucracy and inefficient regulations in developing countriesBuilding and scaling products in traditional sectorsAnd the key factors in pulling off a billion-dollar exitBuilding something new? Apply for the Latitud Fellowship at apply.latitud.com
Colombian-born Santiago Molina got his degree in business administration and finance from Houston Baptist University on a soccer scholarship, and moved back to his home country after his MBA to start his entrepreneurial journey.   Santi is second-time founder focused on promoting financial inclusion, and is now on a quest to create an innovative solution to democratize access to capital in Latin America.He and his co-founders Andres Ferrer and Tomas Shuk came together to start Finkargo, LatAm's first import financing platform. They're enabling small and medium-sized importers to finance their international purchases, and have just raised a $7.5 million Seed Round from co-led by Quona Capital and MAYA Capital to propel their vision.Building something new? Apply for the Latitud Fellowship at apply.latitud.com
By 2030, the UN predicts that 3 billion people will be living without shelter. Today's guest is doing something to combat that.Brett Hagler is a Y Combinator graduate, a published author and cancer survivor, but you may know him best for his non-profit New Story and for his impactful key note speaking.Brett started New Story at 25 years old. In the years since they have funded over 2,300 homes, built 16 communities and raised over $25M, so it's no wonder they were named one of Fast Company's Most Innovative Companies in the World four different times.Having been featured in Forbes' 30 Under 30 and named one of the Top 100 Most Intriguing Entrepreneurs by Goldman Sachs, Brett is passionate about speaking on leadership and social entrepreneurship.Today, Brett and I are talking about:Building a venture-backed non-profitIncorporating startup principles in impact entrepreneurshipAnd taking innovation to those who need itBuilding something new? Apply for the Latitud Fellowship at apply.latitud.com
Angela Strange is a multiple marathon winner and once achieved 7th place in Canada's distance running national ranking, but you may know her best as an investor on behalf of Andreessen Horowitz.Before joining the world of venture capital, Angela launched and scaled up Chrome for Android and Chrome for iOS during her time at Google, and her previous experiences have uniquely positioned her as an investor that's been in the trenches and knows what it's like to build something from scratch.As a General Partner at a16z, Angela focuses on financial services such as financial infrastructure, insurance and real estate, and she's taken special interest in Latin America after witnessing the transformation in its fintech space in the last 5 years.In this episode, Angela and I went over:Her thesis that every company will be a fintech companyNurturing relationships between investors and foundersAnd why she chose to invest in LatitudBuilding something new? Apply for the Latitud Fellowship at apply.latitud.com
Francisco Larraín's professional journey tells a story of coming full circle.It all started as a founding team member for advertisement network Tapjoy. Having gotten a taste for the world of startups, he went on to found payment technology solution Zappedy and to have a $30 million exit to Groupon, where he stayed as Head of Local Engineering for 3 years.It wasn't long before Francisco got back on the saddle and founded Maxxa, the largest insurtech company in Chile, and he scaled it up to over 25,000 SMB customers before looking for a new challenge.When he felt ready to tackle the next big thing, Francisco decided to go back to his beginnings in the monetization space: he and co-founder Regina Ye started auction-based advertisement solution Topsort in 2021 hoping to bring innovation to marketplace advertisement.Having just raised a $8 million dollar Seed Round at a $110 million valuation from names like Pear Ventures, Quiet Capital and FJLabs, I'd say they're well on the way to accomplishing their goals.Today, Francisco and I are going over:His successful exit strategy for ZappedyThe challenges of tech leadership rolesTopsort's journey from idea to Product-Market fitBuilding something new? Apply for the Latitud Fellowship at apply.latitud.com
Pierre Schurmann has never shied away from great adventure: he and his family left Brazil when he was 15 with the goal of sailing around the world, and after 4 years of traveling with them, he disembarked in the US to obtain a degree in Business Administration.Since then, Pierre has become an accomplished multi-time founder and an established investor through VC firm Bossa Nova, which he founded under the premise of "entrepreneurs backing entrepreneurs".nuvini, his latest venture, is a B2B SaaS platform in Brazil servicing end-to-end business needs. They're making waves with their acquisitions as a strategy, and aiming for an IPO in Nasdaq in the not-so-distant future.In this episode, we talk about:The early days of LatAm tech startupsThe importance of experienced players in an entrepreneurial ecosystemAnd the future of founder liquidityBuilding something new? Apply for the Latitud Fellowship at apply.latitud.com
Lolita Taub has made it her mission to create generational wealth in community.As the daughter of a Mexican immigrant family, providing underestimated founders and funders with resources is at the core of what Lolita has set out to do. With 15 years working in the Silicon Valley ecosystem, she's made +90 investments as an angel and VC at Backstage Capital and The Community Fund.Lolita also co-founded the Startup-Investor Matching Tool in 2020, which has since made over +3K intros and helped founders raise $6 million. Now working on building her own fund Ganas Ventures as a General Partner, Lolita's leveraging her online presence and community-building mentality to change the narrative about what being an investor means – you can find her on Twitter at @lolitataub and @ganasvc.Lolita had some insights to share about:The principles of community-led growthThe future of investing relationships between LatAm and the USAnd bringing diversity into the VC world.Building something new? Apply for the Latitud Fellowship at apply.latitud.com
Born and raised in a chinese-brazilian family, Bedy Yang has a lengthy track record of consulting for global companies on go-to-market strategies in Brazil. She moved to the US at a time when there weren't many links between Silicon Valley and Latin America, and so she helped build and strengthen them.It started in 2009, when she founded Brazil Innovators, scaling its network from 0 to over 10,000 people. Two years later, she joined 500 Global as a consultant before tackling the role of Managing Partner and the challenges of ecosystem development.In the words of founder Dave McClure, “Bedy Yang is a super-connector who knows Brazil inside and out”.As a global operator, she's invested in the likes of ContaAzul, Descomplica and Viva Real.Bedy and I are catching up to talk about:The role of networking in an entrepreneur's journeyThe recent influx of capital in Latin AmericaAnd how founders can enter negotiations from a position of strengthBuilding something new? Apply for the Latitud Fellowship at apply.latitud.com
Vicente Zavarce was born and raised in Venezuela, but went abroad to study in the US during his university years. He quickly found his way into their booming startup ecosystem, and went on to join Postmates' User Acquisition efforts in Silicon Valley before moving on to be Director of User Acquisition for Getaround.His experiences led him to a lightbulb realization: what if there was an app to combine all delivery and transportation needs for countries that don't have a consolidated digital infrastructure?That's how Yummy was born. Part of the YC21 batch, the SuperApp recently raised a $18 million Series A to accelerate their growth across Latin America, and they have presence in five countries and counting.On today's episode, we talk about: Seizing a time-sensitive business opportunitySmart ways to go about B2C user acquisitionThe challenges of building a business in VenezuelaBuilding something new? Apply for the Latitud Fellowship at apply.latitud.com
Before he knew he wanted to build a company, Gerry knew he wanted to make people’s lives better.Born in Monterrey, Gerry Colyer left Mexico to attend Yale University, then went on to pursue a degree from Stanford Business School. His initial game plan was to go into public service, but he soon stumbled upon the realization that technology was the key to drive change at scale. Eager to learn, he relocated to Silicon Valley, and co-founded Uva Scooters shortly after.One successful exit later, he returned to Latin America to put the skills he’d picked up to good use, and thus Clara was born in the heart of Mexico City. Clara’s corporate credit card and spend management solution made them the fastest startup in LatAm to reach unicorn status, getting to a $1billion valuation in 8 short months. Backed by the likes of monashees and Coatue, they’ve partnered with Mastercard to support entrepreneurship in the region.Join Gerry and I as we talk about:Going from 0 to 1,000 B2B customers in 8 monthsLatin America expansion strategiesAnd the importance of partnerships in disrupting fintechBuilding something new? Apply for the Latitud Fellowship at apply.latitud.com
There's a famous anecdote in which a CFO asks the CEO: "What happens if we invest in developing our people and they leave us?" To that, the CEO responds: "What happens if we don't and they stay?"Upskilling teams is vital for businesses to evolve and UBITS has made that decision a no-brainer for Latin American companies. The woman behind it is co-founder and COO Marta Helena Forero Sepúlveda. She sustains that with her constant purpose of  "designing and building extraordinary online courses, getting results, solving problems, beating the competition, and growing the business."And they're on their way to growth: Martha and her team just closed a sweet series B round led by Riverwood Capital to invest in more learning experiences and continue expanding to new markets – not only in Latin America, but also in Europe.Building something new? Apply for the Latitud Fellowship at apply.latitud.com
Rafael Stark is an engineer with problem-solving in his blood. He started his own Product Studio called Hummingbird and came across a client wanting to automate refunds, and that's where he realized there was a market-wide opportunity to simplify several payment processes at scale.Stark Bank was born to modernize the financial infrastructure in Brazil through the power of integrations. They were a part of YC's 2020 batch, and are now helping companies such as Loft, Quinto Andar and Buser make operations smoother than ever.Today's episode will discuss:Problem-solving in fintechInnovation in traditional spacesThe impacts of open banking in BrazilBuilding something new? Apply for the Latitud Fellowship at apply.latitud.com
The last 10 years have completely changed Latin America's financial landscape but, when compared to other more established regions, we still lack basic infrastructure, and that's what Pablo Viguera set out to build.With experience in UK open banking from his time at Revolut, Pablo wanted to pave the road for the next generation of financial businesses, so he and co-founder Oriol Tintore decided to build what is now the leading Open Banking and financial information API platform in LatAm.Dubbed the "Plaid of Latin America" by TechCrunch, Belvo is providing the ‘picks and shovels’ for big players in the fintech space looking to innovate in the region. With operations in Brazil, Mexico and Colombia, they're endorsed by a partnership with Visa and backed by a $43 million Series A with participation of Kaszek and David Vélez.Today, Pablo and I talk about:The unique regulatory challenges of open finance in LatAmEducating users on the best use of their financial dataPropelling economic development by building infrastructureBuilding something new? Apply for the Latitud Fellowship at apply.latitud.com
Born in the US and raised in Uruguay, Nathan is a football enthusiast currently splitting his time between Silicon Valley and Mexico City. As a third-time founder, his passion is in building companies that tackle Latin America's biggest problems.The problem he is tackling at Flexio is B2B payments: Helping businesses manage their cash flow.As an entrepreneur-in-residence at Google Launchpad Accelerator for LatAm, he's giving back to the ecosystem by helping less experienced founders navigate the startup world.On today's episode, Nathan touches on:The unique challenges of cashflow management in Latin AmericaHow players in the fintech industry are building complementary solutionsThe learnings of being a third-time founderBuilding something new? Apply for the Latitud Fellowship at apply.latitud.com
Making history in LatAm's fintech industry is very on brand for today's guest.Born and raised in Buenos Aires, Pierpaolo Barbieri left Argentina to study in the US as a young adult. He returned 12 years later with a Harvard University degree and a career as an economic historian and published author, but you may know him from being the founder and CEO of Ualá.Ualá's complete financial ecosystem was created with the ambition of unifying all financial services into one app and, with 3.5 million cards issued in the 4 years since, I'd say they're on track to meet their goals. With a $350 million Series D led by SoftBank and a $2.45 billion valuation, they're now locked and loaded to expand across all of Latin America.Join Pier and I for a chat about:Making financial services accessibleThe role of fintech in promoting social mobilityWhat challenger banks can and should do differentlyBuilding something new? Apply for the Latitud Fellowship at apply.latitud.com
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