2018 was an expansion year for Magma Partners. We started on a high note, closing our Fund II with backing from LPs in Chile, Colombia, Argentina, China and the US in January. We’re part of the movement that made 2018 the year people started to take Latin American tech seriously.
At the same time, we announced the launch of the Sino-Latin American Accelerator, a partnership with Chinese coworking company, Kr Space, that helps Chinese entrepreneurs and investors reach the Latin American market, and Latin Americans take advantage of Chinese market knowledge and venture capital and Jie Hao, our Beijing-based Partner, opened a full time office in Beijing.
We added amazing people to our team across Latin America, China and the US, bringing us to seven full time and 10 part time team members. We have people on the ground in San Francisco, NYC, Austin, Beijing, Mexico, Chile, Colombia and Peru. Francisco supports Magma teams with Latin American connections, providing a link to top Latin American businesses that can make companies.
JT, Pedro, Sophia, Alejandra, Angel have been amazing additions to the full time team and are helping us build the support system for the entrepreneurs we’ve been lucky enough to be able to support. Pedro, Paolo, Eugenio, Codie, Neil and Pierre make up the amazing support team that allows us to have the reach we need. Our LPs in Latin America, China and the US are also a crucial support system, both in connections and advice, but also in follow on funding. Our LPs have invested and additional $5.5M into Magma portfolio companies this year, giving us the ability to help companies as they scale.
Our Managing Partner, Nathan Lustig, recently appeared on Parallel 18’s “Mentored” Series to provide tips and advice to startups and VCs operating in the Latin American ecosystem. Here’s what to expect from the episode:
To hear all of Nathan’s advice for startups and VCs, check out the video above for the full episode!
Last week, delegates from the China Youth Center for International Exchange visited our office during their exploratory trip to Chile and Argentina to learn more about the region and promote youth interchange. During the visit, the president of the organization, Ma Xingmin, signed a Memorandum of Understanding with our partner Francisco Saenz in which both parties agreed to provide support to entrepreneurs from China and Latin America looking to expand into each other’s markets.
This agreement serves to deepen ties between Magma and China after we co-launched the Sino-Latin American Accelerator with Kr Space in January 2018 to help connect entrepreneurs and investors in both regions. As part of the agreement, China Youth Center for International Exchange will support the accelerator program and Magma Partners will continue to host events on Latin America in China to teach Chinese investors and entrepreneurs about doing business in Latin America.
Jie Hao, a Beijing-based Partner at Magma Partners noted, “We believe that China will play an important part in Latin America, both at the governmental level and in the high tech ecosystem. I’m excited to continue to support the exchange between China and the region.”
This trip was the China Youth Center for International Exchange’s first visit to Latin America. The Center is part of the All China Youth Federation, the biggest youth organization in China with more than 300 million members. During their visit, the delegates also met with government organizations, banks, businesses, and entrepreneurs.
“I believe it is important to open up communications and cooperation between Chinese and Chilean young entrepreneurs,” said Ma Xingmin during the signing ceremony.
The visit is a sign of China’s increasing interest in the Latin American market. Chile recently joined China’s Belt and Road Initiative and deepened trade relationships with the Asian giant. Francisco Saenz commented on the trend saying, “I am excited about the chance to learn more about China. I went to China in January 2018 and saw that China is ahead of Latin America in many ways, but especially in high tech. There is a lot that we can learn from China.”
China’s growing influence in Latin America is one of the trends we have been watching this year, and we are looking forward to working with the China Youth Center for International Exchange to promote interchange between the two regions.