Only 11% of Latin Americans have access to credit from formal institutions. In fact, in Chile, 37% of adults have no accounts with a formal financial provider, even though Chile has one of the highest levels of financial inclusion in the region.
In comparison, under 40% of adults in Colombia, Mexico, and Peru have formal bank accounts. However, in one of the most chronically underbanked parts of the world, improvements in financial technology have opened the doors for widespread financial inclusion throughout the Latin America.
More and more people are accessing mobile payments, credit systems, and P2P lending opportunities through recent advances in local fintech, and investors are catching wind of the enormous opportunity.
While there have been considerable advances in financial technology in Latin America in the past five years, many tools are still only available in the countries where they were founded. A report by Oliver Wyman, released in September 2016, provides a snapshot of local fintech players in Chile, Brazil, Mexico, and Colombia.
I asked Cristobal Perdomo to join me on this episode of crossing borders to talk about venture capital in Latin America. Cristobal is one of the founders of Jaguar Ventures, a Latin American based VC firm.
After getting an MBA and consulting for a couple of large companies in Brazil, he realized that the VC world was largely ignoring the rest of LatAm, so he set about to expand funding opportunities for startups in Argentina and Mexico. He shares advice for managing a business in multiple countries, investing in startups across the region and tips for managing teams across borders.
In this episode, I reconnected with my friend Brenna Loury, one of the original founding team members of Start-Up Chile, and the current head of marketing and PR at Doist to talk about her experience of learning a new job in a new country, the challenges and rewards of working across borders, and how she helped bootstrap a tech startup that now has more than 13,000,000 users worldwide.
Brenna shares how her company now manages more than 50 employees in 20 countries, all of them working 100% remotely. She offers tips on how to best position your company to start working remotely, mistakes startups should avoid when pitching ideas or raising funds and a formula for hiring top-notch employees. The conversation is packed with useful information and inspiring stories you don’t want to miss!
I’m excited to introduce the Crossing Borders podcast (iTunes, Stitcher) where I share the stories of top entrepreneurs doing startups across borders and the investors who support them, with a focus on companies that have some relationship to Latin America.
Over the past 6+ years in Latin America, I’ve met entrepreneurs hailing from countries around the world doing business across borders. Some do business in Latin America. Others use Latin America as a base to target the US market.
They’re some of the most diverse, risk taking, trailblazing entrepreneurs in the world. But when I come back to the US, Latin American startups just aren’t on people’s radars.
They’re mostly stuck on stereotypes of corruption, narcos and failed states. They see Latin America as a monolith and couldn’t tell you the difference between Mexican, Chilean and Argentine food, much less the difference between each country’s business climate.
As Magma portfolio companies started to do business in the US and meet with US investors, they came across this same ignorance of Latin America and its entrepreneurs. US entrepreneurs and investors have slept on Latin America and are missing out on some of the most interesting entrepreneurs in the world. And some of the best stories. (more…)