Follow the biggest innovators and tech founders in Latin America as they cover valuable insights and inspire entrepreneurs facing challenges in scaling their business and raising capital. Presented by Brian Requarth, co-founder at Latitud.
#93 - Why share what you know: Matias Woloski, Auth0
Matias Woloski is the CTO and co-founder at Auth0, a developer-first identity platform born in 2013 that became Argentina's 5th unicorn in 2019. With clients in over 70 countries, it grew to become a global leader in the Identity-as-a-Service arena, and was recently acquired by Okta for US$ 6.5 billion in early 2021.
Auth0 has over 2 thousand enterprise customers and handles around 42 million logins every day. That demands a lot of tech working just right, and a lot of top-notch tech support to fix the issues that may come up.
That's all part of Matias' job as he oversees people in over 30 countries, most of them working remotely, as well as in headquarters in Buenos Aires, London, Seattle, Sidney, Tokyo and Singapore.
Today, Matias and I talk about:
What new challenges for cybersecurity are on his mindThe importance of timing for a product fit (and can it be crafted or is it just luck?)How Auth0 made its first connections with Silicon Valley investorsAnd what Matias himself looks for when investing in startups as an angel investorBuilding something new? Apply for the Latitud Fellowship at apply.latitud.com
#92 - Polishing an opportunity like a diamond: Stelleo Tolda, Mercado Libre
Mercado Libre began in a Buenos Aires garage in 1999, when online shopping was pretty much all about eBay auctions. Now the biggest company in Latin America, Meli is valued at over 50 billion dollars and active in 18 countries in the region.
Brazil is one of the main markets, with around 1.5 million packages delivered everyday, big investments in logistics, machine learning, hiring, and in its own fintech, Mercado Pago.
One of Meli's co-founders and our guest today is a Brazilian himself. Stelleo Tolda dedicated 22 years to the company, from those early days in Argentina to his 10 years as General Manager and then President of Commerce in Brazil. He recently left the day-to-day operations to become an advisor.
This episode is going to sound a bit different: it was recorded live as a session with our community of Latitud fellows.
In this session, Stelleo and I talk about:
How tech has changed in the last two decadesThe vital turning points for the businessHow Mercado Libre seized new opportunities during the pandemicBuilding something new? Apply for the Latitud Fellowship at apply.latitud.com
#91 - Knowing when to pivot: Deepak Chhugani, Nuvocargo
What would you do if you had $1.2M in funding and suddenly realized you need to kill the business? In 2018, Deepak Chhugani had a YC-backed startup in the HR space that wasn't going anywhere. He went back to the drawing board and decided it was time to follow his dad's footsteps into the world of logistics and supply chain. But before pivoting, he offered the money back to each of his investors.
Most of them stayed. And to make up for the ones who backed out, they also put in a little bit more to get Deepak back to $1.2M. A few months later, Nuvocargo was born.
Nuvocargo is simplifying the highly complex process of transporting goods between borders, by centralizing it under one software-powered roof – starting with US and Mexico. Elected as one of YC’s Top Companies in 2022, they're also backed by over $40M from Tiger Global Management, QED Investors, NFX, and the founders of several unicorns.
In this episode, Deepak and I talk about:
Getting out of the limbo stageThe balance between hype and substanceDeciding what not to doAnd hiring relentlessly resourceful people – globally.Building something new? Apply for the Latitud Fellowship at apply.latitud.com
#90 - Creating a business expansion playbook: Jose Jair Bonilla, Chiper
Jose Jair Bonilla co-founder and CEO of Chiper, the leading B2B e-commerce platform for independent corner stores in Latin America.
He co-founded and led software studio imaginamos in Colombia and served clients in 10+ countries, pioneering the implementation of digital transformation processes across the region and accumulating over 15 years of development experience in the process. He was a part of building Rappi from the ground up, but has been deeply ingrained in the LatAm startup ecosystem long before that.
His latest challenge is solving problems for the retail industry with Chiper through their presence in Colombia, Mexico and Brazil. Chiper raised a $53 million Series B led by Tiger Global and Nosara Capital to grow their customer network to over 100.000 corner stores.
On this episode, Jose covers:
Opportunities for disruption in the retail industryThe digital transformation landscape in Latin AmericaAnd the key components of a good go-to-market strategyBuilding something new? Apply for the Latitud Fellowship at apply.latitud.com
#89 - A billion dollar exit 20 years in the making: Miguel Santos, Technisys
If you told 13-year-old Miguel Santos with his first Apple device that he'd grow up to build his own billion-dollar tech company, he might have had a hard time believing you.
When Miguel started Technisys over 20 years ago, he and his co-founders set up office in a living room with a piano for a desk just as the internet started to become an integral part of everyday life.
Their digital banking solution came about 10 years ahead of its market, long before venture capital had turned to Latin America for investment opportunities, and there was no shortage of additional challenges along the way.
Miguel survived the Argentine crisis of 2001 and went on to become an Endeavor entrepreneur, expand his company to 15 markets serving over 200 million end users, and raise money from big-name VCs like KASZEK and Riverwood Capital.
Technisys was recently acquired by SoFi in a $1.1 billion all-stock transaction.
Miguel and I will be having a chat about:
Overcoming bureaucracy and inefficient regulations in developing countriesBuilding and scaling products in traditional sectorsAnd the key factors in pulling off a billion-dollar exitBuilding something new? Apply for the Latitud Fellowship at apply.latitud.com
#88 - Altitud | Tackling the trade finance gap in LatAm: Santiago Molina, Finkargo
Colombian-born Santiago Molina got his degree in business administration and finance from Houston Baptist University on a soccer scholarship, and moved back to his home country after his MBA to start his entrepreneurial journey.
Santi is second-time founder focused on promoting financial inclusion, and is now on a quest to create an innovative solution to democratize access to capital in Latin America.
He and his co-founders Andres Ferrer and Tomas Shuk came together to start Finkargo, LatAm's first import financing platform. They're enabling small and medium-sized importers to finance their international purchases, and have just raised a $7.5 million Seed Round from co-led by Quona Capital and MAYA Capital to propel their vision.
Building something new? Apply for the Latitud Fellowship at apply.latitud.com
This podcast has been so helpful in our journey! I absolutely love what Brian is doing to amplify the voices of those in LatAm who are trying to make the region a better place.
Next level content for the Lat Am entrepreneur, and beyond
Stumbled on this podcast and it is very good. I am a entrepreneur in a totally different space, but the content and golden nuggets of insight and knowledge in this podcast are truly next level and transcend. I hope they come out with a English translated option for these. I listen to a lot of business podcasts and this one is really good, period. Thanks guys!