a Mexican VC
3 min readMar 14, 2024

Tiendas 3B IPO, the first of many

Foto taken from: https://twitter.com/NYSE

On February 8, we received the amazing news that for the first time in 6 years, a Mexican corporation would IPO on the NYSE. This is not only amazing news for Tiendas 3B, its investors and founders, but for the entire entrepreneurial and private equity market in Mexico.

The entrepreneurial ecosystem in Mexico and Spanish speaking Latin America is booming: it is a great moment to fund tech-enabled growth businesses in Latin America. For the past 10 years, we (at DILA Capital) have been investing heavily in the region and we have seen amazing companies rise and grow. However, the big question remains: how will we exit?

There has been a lack of capital in the growth and later stages of the entrepreneurial lifespan in our countries. If you are raising over US$100 million, your options are very limited! The region’s equity capital markets are highly underdeveloped, especially when compared to the US, and there is an apparent lack of dynamism in the region’s public equity markets. As a result, these markets have not been a reliable source of funding for companies in the region, especially the young companies we are investing in.

NYSE and NASDAQ have always been options, but for many founders it seems like an unattainable target. There was a moment in 2021, when SPACs represented an interesting opportunity to exit; unfortunately, that window quickly closed.

At DILA we believe that despite this founder’s perception, there a lot of local companies and stories out there that reunite all the elements that public market investors search for: big markets, extraordinary management teams operating under robust corporate governance structures, proven concepts, recurring and scalable business models, and businesses that would greatly benefit from the public capital markets to achieve their growth plans.

We don’t need to go too far for evidence that backs the case for a Latin American tech company pursuing an IPO on NYSE or Nasdaq. Just around the corner, Brazil has been an example of a very large, untapped regional market such as Mexico that has systematically generated publicly listed companies. Out of the 31 technology companies included in the NASDAQ CTA Latin American Technology Innovators Index, 25 are Brazilian companies. Out of the 6 remaining, 3 are from Argentina, while Mexico, Chile and Uruguay have generated 1 company each.

There are no apparent elements related to macroeconomics, politics, demographics or digital infrastructure and propensity, that suggests that Mexico could not follow a similar path.

So why haven’t local companies gone systematically public? Why haven’t local companies done it before? Why hasn’t it happened so far? We believe the only missing element to unlock the public market channel for Mexican companies are local innovators/risk takers paving the way and proving early adopters that a successful IPO can be done. Tiendas 3B, (BBB Foods Inc.) clearly falls into this category. As a pioneer and leader of the Hard Discount business model in Mexico, the company not only IPO’d on the NYSE, but it did so extremely successfully. Morgan Stanley, acting as Global Coordinator and B&D agent, raised US$589M at a valuation of over US$2B! We want to congratulate the entire Tiendas 3B team, their investors and the Morgan Stanley team for this huge landmark transaction!

We hope and we are convinced that it will be the first of many to come.

a Mexican VC

Alejandro Diez Barroso. General Partner @ DILA Capital, a venture capital firm focused on Latin American and Hispanic startups.