This week the Mexican Association of Private Equity (AMEXCAP amexcap.com) hosted the Mexico VC Day in San Francisco. I had the enormous privilege of moderating a panel named “Rising Stars In the Mexican Ecosystem”, with 5 extraordinary founders on the panel.
While doing some research for the panel, I could not help but think about how much everything has changed in the last 10 years. I was taken back to when I started my first startup, was unable to raise money and was obliged to sell the company in order to grow. Or when I started my retail company and it took me a year to open my second boutique because I had to open it with the profits of the first store, given the lack of capital in the market.
Now, I was sitting in front of extraordinary 5 entrepreneurs, each with something that impressed me tremendously:
- Mariana Castillo scaled Ben & Frank to more stores and more revenue in the first two years of business than we did in the 7 years I operated the retail business!
- Bernardo Cordero raised more money with his business plan for flat.mx than we did for our first fund!
- Laurene Maire is starting yema.mx after successfully launching and operating luuna.mx, one of Mexico’s leading DNVBs.
- Diego Villegas is operating Slangapp.com, his second business, after successfully founding, operating and selling stork.com.
- Ruben Chavez has more than 1 million registered users in yotepresto.com, his marketplace lender!
While I was going through their CVs, these 5 were previous employees of JPMorgan, Banco de Mexico, BCG, Grupo Posadas, McKinsey . . . the Mexican Entrepreneurial Ecosystem is finally stealing the best talent from the top corporations!
These 5 Rising Stars have studied in Harvard, MIT, University of Chicago Booth School of Business, HEC and Berkeley. And after being educated in the top schools of the world they have decided to start companies in Mexico and Latam!
And just to give you an idea of what’s happening outside of this panel of Rising Stars, AMEXCAP gave us some amazing figures this week:
- VC investment in Mexican startups doubled from 2015 to 2018, with a record-breaking US$310M invested in the first semester of 2019
- 22 Mexican GP’s have now raised 2 or more funds
- International funds like Sequoia and Andreessen Horowitz have done their first deals in Mexico over the past year. Salesforce Ventures, Visa, GGV Capital, Walmart, Khosla Ventures, Monsanto Growth Ventures, among others made their first-ever LATAM deals this year
These data points and the panel I moderated indicate that something is changing, that best in class operators and investors are seeing amazing opportunities in the region. I truly believe our nascent industry is at a tipping point!
I invite all of you to be part of the entrepreneurial ecosystem in Mexico. If you have a good idea you’ve been wanting to pursue, if there is a problem you want to tackle, now is the best time to start a company in Latam. If you have a fund, now is the time to invest in Mexico and Latam. If you have an interest in startups, now is the time to invest in funds across the region.
Now is the time to invest in the Rising Stars!