Month: August 2016

Doing Business in Latin America SUP Academy Talk

Apologies for the poor audio quality. Hopefully its still useful.

Here’s the show notes:

0:00 – Introduction: My story

Exchangehut, Entrustet, WelcuStartup Chile, How I ended up in Chile.

4:30 – Magma Team Overview + Introducing Beatriz Cereceda, our Entrepreneur in Residence

6:30 – Magma portfolio + What we do and how we’re different

11:00 – How to raise money in the US as a Latam company

15:30 –  The types of businesses you should think about starting in Latin America

B2B Examples: Pricing CompassMyhotelDeentyFounderlist.laAmberads

18:30 – More examples: Companies with their back office in Latam and sales in the US/Europe/Asia

Examples: ArchdailyPropertySimpleBankityMaker.doKetekaAmberads

20:20 – Why social startups should be in the US, not Latam

20:45 – Advice for doing B2B sales in Latam, focused on Chile

24:00 – Copying/Cloning in Latam + Adapting to local realities

29:45 – Why acquisitions are less common and for lower multiples in Latam

32:40 –  Q and A – How does Magma make money investing in Latam?

35:30 Whats the sales cycle look like for B2B companies in Latam?

36:30 – How do we decide how much equity we ask for?

37:30 – Are there accredited investor requirements in chile? Are there active angels?

39:00 – Is there a startup bubble in Latam? Worldwide? How attitudes have changed in Latam since 2010? Note: I misspoke on this answer saying MRR when I meant ARR.

2010. Chantapreneurs and serial contest “winners” starting to fail.

40:30 Is there a US startup bubble?

Photo Credits: Daniel EcklerEduardo BeltranElvis KennedyRichard HurdGarrett ZieglerGerard Van der LeunMark HunterDennis Yang

Investor and Advisor Behavior in Latin American Can Make Startups Univestable

We see many startups each year that have problems with their cap table that can make them uninvestable. Many times, its a founder who isn’t working but still has a significant chunk of the company.

Other times it’s investor and advisors with big chunks of the company, but not providing value. I wrote a post on my blog about what startups can do to avoid these pitfalls and how investors should behave to avoid making their investments uninvestable.

From the link:

One of the recurring problems we see with Latin American startups at Magma Partners is founders with too little equity. In the past two weeks, I’ve seen three cases where the full time founding team has 7%, 10% and 25% ownership after only one round of fundraising. Two companies had raised less than $100k, one had raised ~$200k. When we see companies with this structure, we tell the founders directly that it makes their company uninvestable. It’s especially true if the founders think they’ll need to raise even more money in the future, or plan to move to the United States. Every company is different, but founders should have at least ~70% at this stage, or even more if they plan to compete on the world stage.

We see five common causes:

  1. No Vesting – Cofounders who have left own significant equity
  2. “Part time cofounders” – People who aren’t full time who own significant equity
  3. “Advisors” – Companies with large numbers of “advisors” or “advisors” with significant of equity
  4. Unsophisticated investors – Raising money from people who view startup investing like investing in private equity or small businesses
  5. Investor Malice

Let’s unpack each one.

Read the full detailed post about founder, advisor and investor cap table mistakes in Latin America on my blog.

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