How a VC in Latin America Thinks Case Study | Sramana Mitra
The 1Mby1M Methodology is based on case studies. In each course, Sramana Mitra shares the tribal knowledge of tech entrepreneurs by giving students the rare seat at the table with the entrepreneurs, investors and thought leaders who provide the most instructive perspectives on how to build a thriving business. Through these conversations, students gain access to case studies exploring the alleys of entrepreneurship. Sramana’s synthesis of key learnings and incisive analysis add great depth to each discussion.
The Latin America startup movement has accelerated recently. We’re seeing lots of e-commerce in various domains, of course, but also FinTech, AgTech, even B-to-B SaaS.
One of the first major Latin American successes was MercadoLibre, out of Argentina, which went public on NYSE in 2007. In fact, I worked with MercadoLibre early on and got to know a lot about the company’s thought process as they developed their strategy for dominating the continent’s e-commerce trend.
As other countries have figured out, if you are trying to build a global B-to-B tech company, typically, these days, a SaaS venture, you’d need to access the US market relatively early in your progression. You can validate in your local market, get some customers going, but quickly, start the process of penetrating the US customer base.
Now, e-Commerce or FinTech are very different animals. These startups tend to be much more local businesses. You can build a very large e-commerce or FinTech business without ever leaving Brazil or Argentina, Mexico, or Colombia.
There are now 23 unicorns based in Latin America. If you want to build a venture-funded company, you should understand what investors look for before approaching VCs. Don’t go prematurely. Pre-seed funding is extremely difficult, rejection rates are very high. Learn what investors want and avoid the time and emotional pain of repeated rejections.
It’s also worth noting that learning to focus on a certain domain is essential. Decide on a domain in which you already have an unfair advantage.
If you’re just getting started, there are various ways to get your business up and running. We offer a comprehensive guide to bootstrapping techniques. You may pick one or a combination of different bootstrapping strategies.
The bottom line is that no Latin American or Silicon Valley investor would finance your firm unless you do some amount of bootstrapping to get to validation.
Remember the 1Mby1M mantra: Do NOT go to investors as beggars, go as kings ?
And finally, this course may enhance your understanding of Latin American startup financing. You’ll get knowledge from a real-world Latin American investor who wants to fund viable businesses. You may also see ways to make your startup fundable in the process. Once upon a time, entrepreneurs had to pretty much bootstrap and look for funding in the US. No more. Take this course to learn more about how to navigate funding in Latin America.
Here you have it. We’ve spent the past three decades immersed in entrepreneurial endeavors both in Latin America, Silicon Valley, and around the world. We synthesize thousands of entrepreneurial stories into a few dozens of key courses.
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Who this course is for:
- Tech entrepreneurs interested in Latin America.
- Entrepreneurs interested in Latin America.
- Aspiring entrepreneurs interested in Latin America.
Sramana Mitra is Founder and CEO of One Million by One Million (1Mby1M), a global virtual accelerator that aims to help one million entrepreneurs globally to reach $1 million in revenue and beyond. She is a Silicon Valley entrepreneur and strategy consultant, she writes the blog Sramana Mitra On Strategy, and is author of the Entrepreneur Journeys book series and Vision India 2020. As an entrepreneur CEO, she ran three companies: DAIS, Intarka, and Uuma. Sramana has a master’s degree in electrical engineering and computer science from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In 2015, Sramana was named one of LinkedIn’s Top 10 Influencers, alongside Bill Gates and Richard Branson.