You can now find the full show notes of the Crossing Borders podcast on LatamList.com’s new podcast section. I’ll still post the audio of the podcast on my blog and I’m planning to start writing more again on my blog, like I used to.
Growing up in Denver, Colorado, Geoff Michener was interested in international trade and economics. During his undergrad, he got the opportunity to study abroad in Nicaragua and learn about foreign investment. There, he quickly fell in love with Latin America and promised himself that he would come back and do business in the future.
Geoff kept his promise and is now CEO and founder of dataPlor, a Magma portfolio company that provides quality data on small businesses in Latin America. He noticed that there was a huge information gap in the region where up to 75% of SMEs have no online presence. DataPlor’s team of “explorers” captures and validates data to build a database that provides enterprises with accurate information on small businesses.
In this episode, I sit down with Geoff to talk about the value dataPlor brings to large enterprises as well as the challenges of collecting data in Latin America compared to the US. We also discuss some of the lessons he’s learned from shutting down his first startup, and also some of his reflections on the future of data.
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.
Originally from Cali, Colombia, Daniel studied in the US and started a company in Silicon Valley before realizing he wanted to us his experience to solve a pressing Latin American problem: fraud. Truora, a startup that provides instant background checks, was born to fight that problem.
I sat down with Daniel for this episode to talk about why he decided to go after the Latin American market instead of Silicon Valley, how he raised money from Y Combinator, Accel, and Kazsek Ventures, and why he wants to tackle the problem of fraud in Latin America. We also discuss why he based his company in Cali and the lessons he learned building and working for three startups in Latin America and Silicon Valley. Magma has been supporting Truora since before YCombinator, so I’m especially excited to share the story of this ambitious founder from Colombia on the podcast.