Once a year we organize an event for the DILA community: we invite all of our portfolio companies, partners, investors, allies, friends and family to join us in a day full of panels, speakers and networking activities.
This year we hosted more than 200 people, witnessed amazing panels that spoke of diversity, globalization and innovation. We heard about triple digit growths, capital raises in the hundreds of millions and successful exits. We heard about companies crossing borders and leveraging technology to scale. Our companies created thousands of job opportunities and generated sales in the hundreds of millions of dollars.
It is no secret that Mexico and Latin America are going through tough socio-political times and our daily newsfeeds are filled with headlines of insecurity, corruption and fear. However, in this sea of uncertainty, the DILA Day brings great news, positivism and sheds light on dark days. Our portfolio companies are doing extremely well and are enjoying miraculous growth in blurry economic times. All of the panels were extremely optimistic and all speakers spoke of a bright future ahead. I overheard one of our investors saying, “It’s so refreshing to come to hear these entrepreneurs. DILA is an oasis in this dry desert.” While I felt proud, I could not help to ask myself: “Why is that? Why are our companies doing well in an uncertain environment? Why is there such optimism and positive energy in the DILA Day, when its not the case in other business environments”?
After much thought, I believe it is because we are investing in companies that are changing, we are backing founders that are conscious, we are partnering with companies that are contributing to the development of our countries and industries. Our portfolio companies are creating markets that are community oriented and inclusive. They are solving real problems, they are serving real needs. Our entrepreneurs built their companies out of passion, love and courage. Companies that are disrupting their markets, they are creating new ways of doing business and they are solving problems in ways that hadn’t been solved before in Mexico and Latin America. They are offering something radically different to the consumer, improving current products and services for their clients.
When this occurs, the macroeconomic environments matter much less. Great startups offering better products and services out perform the general market. Given that people still need to buy goods and services, they are most likely to do so through the most innovative companies. Additionally, the venture capital market in Mexico is flush right now and those companies are receiving cash. Finally, in tough environments costs and expenses become cheaper and margins may expand. If we look into recent history, some of the largest startups were born in the 2008 recession, such as Airbnb and Uber. If we look at the Brazilian crisis of 2014 we see companies that started in or around the crisis such as Nubank, 99 and Stone and are now worth billions of dollars.
All of this, coupled with our amazing investor base and partners create an amazing opportunity. This opportunity broadens when we see that what is being created is a very strong community of believers in this new asset class in Latin America. I don’t remember where I read that “all revolutions succeed because of the power of a community.” I am certain that the community that got together this week in the DILA Day is as powerful as any and the we are witnessing a startup revolution in Mexico and Latin America for the first time in history.
I am extremely lucky and honored to be part of this revolution. I am not sure if it is fate or chance, but I have been given the opportunity of being part of this through DILA Capital and we plan on making the most of it. Most of all, I am loving every minute.
If you want to be part of this as well, as an investor, an entrepreneur or as part of the DILA team, please reach out!