Why We Invested in Buo

a Mexican VC
5 min readJun 13, 2024


or Get Better by Hiring Smarter

This post was written by the DILA Capital Team

The landscape of human resource management in Latin America is marked by outdated practices and a lack of data-driven decision-making. Companies often rely on intuition rather than insights, leading to inefficiencies in hiring, promoting, and managing talent. This results in high employee turnover, costly hiring mistakes, and overall lower productivity. Traditional talent management and recruitment rely heavily on manual processes, such as Excel spreadsheets and paper assessments, leading to fragmented and unreliable data. Moreover, psychometric and skill assessments, if done at all, are typically inaccurate and expensive. The Human Resource Tech (“HRTech”) market in Latin America is ripe for disruption, as companies increasingly recognize the value of data-driven decision-making. Talent management is extremely costly; corporates, with high payroll to revenue ratio, could spend north of 30% of revenue on payroll and payroll management[1]. Payroll and recruitment represent the bulk of this expenditure. In Mexico, it is even higher, considering high costs associated with payroll and historical high turnover rates. For instance, the average turnover rate is approximately 17%, the highest in Latin America[2], and according to a 2023 McKinsey survey, high turnover rates could cost a midsize S&P 500 company between US$228.0M and US$335.0M annually in lost productivity.

The hike in talent management and payroll costs, the historic competitive labor market landscape, and the surge of applications of AI in the workforce are pushing the demand for comprehensive people analytics solutions to grow significantly.

Enter Buo, a human resources analytics platform that is revolutionizing how businesses approach their most valuable asset: their people. Buo addresses these challenges head-on with a comprehensive AI-powered platform that centralizes and enriches talent data. By integrating information from various HR management systems and conducting proprietary skill assessments, evaluations and psychometric tests, Buo provides hundreds of new data points, enhancing the predictive capabilities of HR departments. This enables businesses to streamline their recruitment processes, guaranteeing that only the most suitable candidates are hired, and to make informed decisions about managing their workforce with an unprecedented level of accuracy and precision.

DILA’s assessment of other legacy solutions in the space indicates that they lack the capability and focus to provide large enterprise clients with a comprehensive, user-friendly, and highly personalized people analytics solution. Our analysis also sheds light on the fact that baseline data in corporations is generally poor. This creates a substantial market opportunity for flexible and customer-centric players like Buo, which, on the one hand, can connect to all existing platforms and centralize data that remains inaccessible due to the lack of communication between systems and typical inefficiencies in large enterprises; and on the other produce thousands of new high-quality data sets to complement total data supply.

At DILA, we’ve been looking at the human resources landscape for a while now, and there are two recurrent topics that we assess across opportunities in the space:

i) The strength of the connections between the solution and increased productivity and retention. What we try to determine here is whether the company can prove that its solution is directly and unequivocally generating a significant increase in productivity, performance and/or retention. This usually generates that the potential customer perceives the solution somehow closer to a revenue center, rather than to a cost center.

ii) The decentralization of human resources management, which basically means that the solution enables the alignment and involvement of other divisions or sectors within a corporation in the management of talent (outside the HR division).

So far, we hadn’t come across a solution that checked both boxes. Let’s dive deeper into each of the topics.

Buo’s impact on productivity and retention is best illustrated through the success stories of its clients, who have achieved remarkable results, including optimized recruitment strategies and significant cost savings. For instance, the application of Buo in a Central American customer that manages its sales almost exclusively through an in-house call center, has managed to double the percentage of new hires that meet the expected sales performance before the 3-month mark, demonstrating the exceptional quality of Buo’s optimized recruitment process. This is a clear example of the proactive nature of Buo: get better by hiring smarter.

The second topic is particularly relevant for us. In our experience, there are very few solutions focused on human resources management that can transcend HR and engage other divisional managers, providing direct and tangible value over the performance of their area. Naturally, the fact that the solution is not limited to the HR budget solely and has the potential to extend across the entire organization changes the way we assess the size of the opportunity. Buo’s solution is sometimes hired directly by different departments within their first group of customers, such as Sales, Marketing, Operations or a combination of them. The use case potential of Buo’s solution within an organization is extensive and difficult to fully envision. In a particular case of an Operations team using the platform, newer cohorts hired using Buo’s proprietary models saw a significant increase in productivity and a steeper learning curve compared to past cohorts, showcasing the tool’s effectiveness in finding the correct match between employer and employee, leading to higher satisfaction from both sides.

At DILA Capital, we seek investments that combine a significant market opportunity, a solution to a historically unyielding painful problem, and a highly scalable product that is significantly different from the solutions out there in the market; most importantly, we look for visionary founding teams that fit naturally with the problem they are trying to solve.

Buo exemplifies all these qualities. Mariano’s story of resilience and his team’s proven execution capabilities were key factors in our decision. In 2021, Mariano Miranda, an entrepreneur from Costa Rica, founded Buo with a vision to bring advanced data analytics to HR management in Latin America. Mariano’s journey is one of resilience and ambition. He tenaciously pursued education opportunities at top US universities, ultimately securing a place at Yale University, where he majored in Economics and minored in Education, solidifying his interest in labor and employment issues. Post-graduation, Mariano gained valuable experience at a private equity firm and through founding EDaway, a platform assisting students with international education processes. His deep understanding of the challenges within HR was further honed during his tenure at various organizations, including large-scale NGOs and tech startups. Mariano’s journey has been defined by a relentless drive to make a meaningful impact, and Buo is a testament to his vision and tenacity.

Investing in Buo is not just about financial returns; it’s about supporting a visionary entrepreneur with a mission to revolutionize HR practices in Latin America, bringing the right employees to the right employers and significantly impacting employee wellness, job stability, and satisfaction, as well as the efficiencies gained by Buo’s clients. We are excited to partner with Mariano and the Buo team as they continue to innovate and expand their reach, transforming how companies manage and nurture their talent and unlocking human performance by providing unprecedented visibility into talent.

Buo’s journey is just beginning, and we are thrilled to be part of it.

[1] W.E Upjohn Institute for Employment Research

[2] AMEDIRH, 2023



a Mexican VC

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