LatAm VC Fundraising Spotlight
📍 AWS offices in Buenos Aires
🗓️ June 28, 2023.
More than 80 entrepreneurs gathered at the AWS offices in Buenos Aires to listen, learn, and ask questions to a distinguished panel consisting of key figures from some of the most active VCs in Latin America:
The main takeaways, topic by topic, were:
Sully – Monashees – From Brazil
- Brazil has developed very well
- They have 140 portfolio companies
- Started in Brazil in 2005
- They emerged investing in all the region
- Brazil is a proxy for VC and innovation for the region from her point of view
- They are focusing a lot in second time founders
- They are seeing a lot B2B SaaS and AI
- They are seeing a lot of Seed Extensions right now
- Sully recommends that during the crisis, startups should be prepatimg for when the situation recovers to restart fundraising
Renzo – H20 – From Colombia
- There is no way to build only for a country in LatAm, we have to be one ecosystem
- 2020 & 2021 where amazing years
- 2022 & 2023 is the new reality
- Corporates could be seeing startups in the near future
- We need to work as in one ecosystem in LatAm
- Colombia: amazing talent. It is a nice MVP for internationalization
- Senior founders in Colombia are giving back to the ecosystem (as angel investors or mentors)
- They are opportunities in LatAM
- The money went away, but opportunities are still there
- Miami is really expensive right now to move there as a founder and you can lose perspective He says it is a great spot, but if you are doing something for LatAm be careful in not losing perspective. You don’t have the same sensitivity being in Miami that in LatAm
- It is their 2nd fund in H20: 12 portfolio companies already
- Doing deals on this time
Bego – Cometa – Based in MX
- Invest in spanish speaking markets (LatAm except Brazil and US latinos)
- Software companies can travel because of the language that is why they can expand in the region
- They are seeing lot of angels helping companies in early stages: that is a good signal of collaboration
- MX: It is a privileged spot. Near the US. Companies in the country building amazing solutions in different fields.
- MX macroeconomics are good and attract US & European people to establish there as well in some cases
- The “hype» for MX is not a hype, she thinks it will remain as the mainstream
Mariano – Newtopia – Based in Argentina
- It is an incredible moment in the ecosystem: madurity and collaboration in it
- Funds are coming to Argentina to look for talent
- The pandemic was an incredible nudge for the Latam ecosystem
- Every sector in LatAm needs improvement
- There is a giant wave from LatAm trying to solve those problems
- Private sector has taken leadership to improve the problems in the region.
- LatAm ecosystem pros:
- Good time-zone
- Mostly same language
- Lot of people
- He is really excited for LatAm
- In long term LatAm is really bullish
- Funds from abroad are coming to LatAm to look for talent
Bego – Cometa
- Everyone speaks english and everyone is good at selling
- Argentina also has the best first successful examples with MELI and Despegar
Renzo – H20
- Argentina is the 2nd market they like the most
- Argentinians are every day problem-solvers
- In Argentina to solve a problem we need to build bridges between entrepreneurs
- Argentina has a sale personality and it is a great characteristic of this ecosystem
- Also, Argentinians think their solutions for abroad
Sully – Monashees
- Rivality between Argentina and Brazil is only in soccer from her point of view
- They were investors in Pomelo, Uala, Satellogic and more
- We have the same values between countries
- Argentinians view global their solutions
- Argentinians are really ambitious
- The key in Brazil is building relations and looking for right partners
- In the entrepreneur ecosystem there is no rivalry between Arg and Brazil
- You don’t need to be in Brazil to raise funds from Brazilian investors
- To expand to Brazil you need someone on the field. They always advice that to their founders.
Scalability for companies!
Renzo – H20
- If you are expanding to MX or BR or to another country, you need someone physically on the ground
- A network is key: founders should count on their investors to help them build networks
- Argentina and Colombia are super collaborative ecosystems
Bego – Cometa
- Argentinians are extremely creative and it can extend to problem-solving
- The most important thing to expand to MX is to be connected to the ecosystem (investors & entrepreneurs).
- It is not different to expand to MX than to another countries.
- Fun fact: Mexicans don’t know how to say NO, that is why they use “ahorita» for everything
- It is not essential to be physically in MX, but it is important to meet in person and traveling there because in-person meeting can faster things if you want to expand to that market
Growth vs Profitability
Mariano – Newtopia
- Investors are looking a lot in runway right now
- Path to profitability should be more clear for investors to see it
- Startups should be able to show that they are in control
- The actual landscape is an opportunity for the ecosystem. Scarcity promotes creativity
Sully – Monashees
- There is a correction right now
- When they look for other valuations during the last months there was a valuation trap
- Now more cautious valuations and going back to the basics
- Startups should be using VCs money to grow and learn
- right now there is a correction in valuations. They are decreasing
- They are looking for sustainable growth
- Companies being in control of their company is essential right now
- There is a valuation trap right now
Path to next round
Bego – Cometa
- Funds are really cautious right now
- We are having more time on looking for next rounds
- Valuations: In 2022 & 2023 they saw their pipeline going down in volume. She thinks it is the worst moment of seeing volume of new startups and entrepreneurs on their pipeline.
- Cometa raised funds and they need to deploy the money and looking forward to it
Renzo – H20
- They need to be care where they deploy their money on this actual situation
- They don´t know where is the borrow of this situation
- The most rational you are, the easily you will be able to raise your next round. Fundamentals should be solid to raise right now.
Global & US Investment in LatAm
Mariano – Newtopia
- Investors are seeing something interesting happening in the region
- Investors want to be in LatAm
- He sees them really interested in the region, but they want local partners and VCs to validate their investments
Julian Montoya Fireside Chat
Additionally, Julian Montoya, captain of Los Pumas (Argentina’s national rugby team), delivered an incredible Fireside Chat, sharing insights from the elite sports mindset that are highly applicable to the daily life of entrepreneurs.
- It is crucial to put egos aside and think about what truly benefits the team. We should ask ourselves: What is best for the team in this moment?
- Instead of worrying too much about the future, we should focus on the present and ask ourselves what we can do on a daily basis to get closer to our goals.
- To experience real growth, we need to face uncomfortable situations and step out of our comfort zone.
- We can’t do it all on our own. It is important to trust our team and delegate tasks in which we may not be as skilled. By doing so, we allow everyone to shine in what they do best.
- Values are the soul of a team. Each person has a unique personality, and it is important for everyone to be authentic, with their strengths and weaknesses. The fight to achieve the goals is unwavering.
- Honesty and transparency are essential. We must be authentic in our way of being and communicating. Sometimes, we need to have difficult conversations for the benefit of the team. We should always put the team first, as this facilitates everything else.
- Every person is different, so it is crucial to adapt our way of communicating to each individual’s personality. Not everyone will respond in the same way, and we must understand how to effectively convey the message.
- Founders and athletes share the importance of pursuing their passion instead of opting for what is easy. They also learn to face challenges and trust their team. They recognize that each member has a fundamental role and work towards excellence in their own area.
- To face challenges, we must prepare ourselves mentally. Just like athletes, we can use techniques such as meditation and journaling to manage pressure and improve performance.
- A change in mindset is crucial to turn dreams into achievable goals. Beating the «All Blacks» was not just a dream; it became a real goal thanks to a shift in mindset and focus.