July 14, 2015
Consensus among economic professionals holds Latin America is on the rise economically. These nations enjoy an increasing access to—and reliance on—the Internet and mobile technology. This, in turn, opens many new doors for start-ups. Entrepreneurs and government agencies have begun working together to exploit existing opportunities and create even more.
While many think of places like Silicon Valley, London, or Seattle when they think of start-ups, the landscape has started to shift. Latin American cities and consumers are gaining international attention for their growing desire to acquire and enjoy the newest, most innovative business and technological developments.
Entrepreneurs recognize these opportunities and have begun to take advantage of this fertile market. One such company is Quasar Ventures, a global leader in venture capital supporting new companies in the technology and internet sector. They focus on providing support to start-ups, including an experienced management team, working capital, proven business models, and assistance achieving successful execution.
"We have a talented team constantly analyzing the market and sourcing ideas from the start-up scene around the world and looking for innovative ideas to disrupt the market," said a Pablo Simon of Quasar Ventures.
Without losing their global perspective, Quasar Ventures and other venture capital firms have found an increasing number of opportunities in Latin America. Once these companies identify projects they wish to pursue, they analyze the market size and value proposition to determine if it is an appropriate fit. This involves analyzing supporting trends (technological, demographic, macro-economic, socio-cultural, etc.), the local start-up scene, and related venture capital activity. Increasingly, Latin America provides that fit.
According to Simon, the key to identifying successful start-ups and entrepreneurs comes down to finding something they call the "sacred fire," which consists of three primary attributes: excellence, ambition, and adventure. "We look for drive and hustle to make things happen." Increasingly, these characteristics describe Latam entrepreneurs. Ideally, they prefer established teams of 2 with prior experience of working together. Quasar also identifies outstanding entrepreneurs and helps them find a co-founder within its network. “We match entrepreneurs who complement each other and establish great teams along the way. We do sort of a match-making and so far we have a couple of successful marriages!” said Simon who says Quasar builds between 2-3 companies a year.
Quasar made waves in the venture capital arena when it backed electronic resale start-up Trocafone: now the leading end-to-end marketplace for second-hand electronics in Latin America. Its business model borrows heavily from the US company Gazelle: a service that allows mobile device users to sell their used devices, which the business then resells to a variety of buyers and retailers. The Trocafone platform provides a hassle-free solution for Latin Americans wishing to sell used electronic devices. During its start-up phase, Trocafone raised a seed round of US$1.1 million in November 2014—after just 8 months of operation. Today, Trocafone sells 3,000 units per month with US$600,000 in revenues each month. This represents a clear win for Quasar Ventures' business model and an affirmation of the fertile technological and service start-up fields in Latin America.
Learn More with Latam Founders
To learn more about Latin America's burgeoning start-up sector, market entry best practises, Quasar Ventures, or other companies in the Latam market—or to gain attention for your own project—turn to Latam Founders. We focus on companies and business people shaping the future of Latin America. At Latam Founders, entrepreneurs and investors can gain education and attention for their Latin American corporate endeavors. Visit us today to learn more.