“Podrá la memoria del futuro superar la memoria del pasado y la desazón del presente?”
About a month ago, Leonardo and I were having a conversation with the partner of a well-known venture firm in Silicon Valley. The topic was whether there were any emerging startups from Latin America which could eventually achieve $1 billion in market value. The partner’s argument was “we’re not seeing enough venture-backable companies from Mexico and Latin America. Latin American entrepreneurs simply aren’t as ambitious as those in Silicon Valley.”
We believe nothing could be further from the truth.
In our experience, entrepreneurs from Latin America are just as ambitious and visionary as entrepreneurs from Silicon Valley, New York or elsewhere. Through our friends at Endeavor, we’ve met a number of smart, talented and hard-working entrepreneurs.
Just one example:
In 2000, Patricio Villalobos Cuevas and Miguel Ramirez Lombana founded sports website mediotiempo.com with initial funding of $12,000. Over the next eight years, they built the site into the largest sports property in Latin America and sold to Time Warner for $15 million.
For their second venture, Underdog Global Sports, Patricio, Miguel and others invested $500,000 of their personal funds and also raised venture capital. Their vision is to build the leading portfolio of soccer properties in the Americas. Their first Soccerly.com aims to become the ultimate soccer destination for fans in the US.
With $1.5 million from Gerbera Capital and Mexico Ventures, fund managed by US-based Sun Mountain Capital, Patricio and Miguel are working to build Underdog into a $100 million company. “If 100 Mexican entrepreneurs can each build a $100 million company, we will increase Mexico’s GDP by 1%,” says Patricio.
As you will notice, Patricio and Miguel are serial entrepreneurs. Both have achieved success with their first venture and are leveraging their knowledge, experience and networks to create new ventures which give back to their communities. As one example, they co-founded ThePoolMX, an accelerator and co-working facility, to help build the entrepreneurial community in Mexico City.
We believe it is entrepreneurs like Patricio, Miguel and others that are building the foundation of a strong startup ecosystem in Mexico. While still in a developmental stage, Mexican startups are more ambitious and visionary than ever before. The next stage is billion-dollar companies.
Within the next two years, we believe there will be least one billion-dollar company emerging from Mexico. And we can’t wait to see it happen!