At Magma Partners, we work with people who share our values, whether they’re the founders we invest in or the mentors and investors we bring on to our team. We hope to create lifelong relationships with the people we support.
For this episode, we’re featuring eleven Magma entrepreneurs –some are members of our portfolio, and others are from our team– who have appeared on previous episodes of the Crossing Borders podcast to share their advice to founders from Latin America on how to get started.
Since we closed our second fund in January to invest in fintech/insurancetech companies in Latin America and US companies with Latin American tech and sales teams, the entrepreneurs we support have been busy. And so have we. Here’s a roundup of some of the most interesting things that have happened in the first half of 2018.
We’ve invested in 8 companies out of Magma II since January. Here are three that are public. We’ll be announcing more of our investments in the next month.
CryptoMarket – CryptoMarket is a Chilean fintech company that operates cryptocurrency exchanges in Chile, Brazil, Argentina and Europe, with plans to open Mexico and Colombia this year. Magma coinvested with Consensys, the fund created by the cofounder of Ethereum in a $600k round.
BrainHi – Puerto Rico based Brainhi helps doctors and dentists book more appointments using chat bots. They’re the first Puerto Rican company to be accepted into YCombinator. I met them during a visit to Parallel18 in Q1.
Workep – Medellin and San Francisco based Workep is a project management tool built onto of G-Suite. I’ve know Carlos Eduardo Alvarez since meeting him at a BBQ in 2015 in Medellin and have been following since then. We reconnected at Parallel18 this year and invested recently.
GroupRaise is an online platform that helps groups raise money for the causes they care about by eating at restaurants. I previously interviewed two of the other founders of GroupRaise, Devin Baptiste and Sean Park, in Episode 5 and Episode 31 of Crossing Borders, so please check out those podcasts if you are interested in learning more about GroupRaise.
In this episode, I sat down with Kevin Valdez, one of the co-founders of GroupRaise to learn more about how he moved to the US from Guatemala in middle school, helped build the family business, and eventually joined Devin and Sean to found GroupRaise.
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…)