During the Newtopia Summit we interviewed Matías Woloski, Auth0 Co-Founder and CTO also one of our LPs, with whom we talked about the reasons that led him to invest in Newtopia VC and his vision about the future of the SaaS and Web3 industries.
Matías Woloski is a pacesetter in the Latin American entrepreneurial ecosystem. He was Co-Founder and Enterprise Architect at Southworks, one of Microsoft’s most trusted suppliers, and then founded Auth0, a platform with a modern approach to identity that allows organizations to provide secure access for any user to any application.
In 2021, Auth0 became the fifth of the eleven Argentine unicorns and was sold for USD 6.5 billion to the US firm Okta, one of its main competitors. Below, we share the full interview with Matías Woloski.
– What led you to invest in newtopia?
Well, when we sold Auth0 it was a big transaction, and I started thinking about… Well, it was a little bit before I started thinking about Angel Investing and making some investments.
I also started thinking about:
Which people are putting together new, Latam-focused funds that I could trust to make good investments.
And you had the VCs, Kaszek, etc. where I had also invested as LP, but there wasn’t much of an early stage that I liked, so Pato just showed up at that moment, who I obviously knew from when we started with Mural and Auth0 at the same time, and I liked it, and with the rest of the team that I already knew from other places and who all seemed to be people that highly valued community work, which in the end has a lot to do with what value a Venture Capital can provide to entrepreneurs and in that sense I kind of saw them going that way and it seemed to me that it matched my way of thinking about those things.
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– How do you see the software industry going forward?, the SaaS models, the world in terms of talent, opportunities?
I think that SaaS is a category that will continue growing, obviously with the market crash everything slowed down, but there are still a lot of opportunities to create infrastructure and package subscription-based business models. I think an example of Newtopia’s portfolio that I like is Tapi, which packs an API that resolves payment or utility payments and well, there are many other opportunities there, but that is a clear example of “well, I take a problem that has a whole complexity behind, I put an API and I give you access to that API, I charge you a fee for usage”.
For me there will continue to be a lot of opportunities to set up these types of companies and I think they are the most valuable in that sense, because you will always need infrastructure, B2B is something that is easier, even than B2C, so I think that there is much to do in all areas.
– We know you’re excited about Web3’s endorsement. Why do you think you have to invest in talent creating and building Web3 in Latam?
The Web3 matter is interesting because unlike SaaS, it is an industry or a technological change, or a paradigm shift that is starting. So it’s in another stage.
But on the other hand, I think the big opportunity in Web3 today is around infrastructure to enable building up from it. It’s sort of the first wave ok there were some before but this last one is all about:
«Hey, let’s do NFTs and let’s go»
It was more about the customer the consumer. Trying to get the consumer is how we hit a wall, which is the option we were talking about. And so, well, that will be resolved over time. It will be resolved, I think, with this idea of transition from web2 to web3, how to lay the bridge between the two things.
That is why infrastructure is what’s needed, and as an example I like, thinking of an example that is implementing that idea or that concept well, is what TravelX is doing, they are selling the infrastructure to tokenize the tickets for airlines.
So it’s not about being the marketplace, that now everyone has to use and you have to download your wallet and I don’t know what else, but not… «You keep using Flybondi and the app is used to buy a ticket» and you can also have it in NFT to be able to exchange it.
So it’s like there is this web2 on the front and this web3 on the back. For me it is very valid to think of it that way and in the way in which we are going to capture the mainstream of users.
There is a metric that seems very clear to me that says there are 70 million active Meta users, or something like that, which is quite a lot, but there are 5 billion users on the Internet. Then suddenly you put it in perspective and 70 million users is enough to do a big deal and to have a hyper impact on society, with new technology.