Original material in Linkedin
Two months ago I announced on Linkedin that it was time to turn the page, but I am not finishing the book. Today is the day to start writing a new and vibrant chapter.
In the early days of the Internet, I was happy to join my brave friends for many sleepless nights during the first days of Buscapé. Today, I gather my luggage to move onto Redpoint eventures as we embark together on a new, but very well planned adventure: to help build a better venture capital ecosystem in Brazil.
My experience as an entrepreneur who “put mortar on each brick to start his shop,” was the catalyst that led me to think about my next role in the Brazilian and global Internet. With many years of experience under my belt, I now feel ready to help new entrepreneurial pioneers make their marks on the world.
In the early days at Buscapé, we navigated without maps or compasses, and we hardly knew where we were going or what lay ahead. Today’s Internet disruptors are much more mature and prepared to build innovative businesses with great potential to spotlight Brazil on the world stage of the digital industry, which just over 15 years ago was called the “new economy.”
My partners and I have accomplished a great deal with what we’ve built so far. We know what’s required and how to be resilient. But every drop of sweat would not have been worth it if I decided to put an end to my entrepreneurial journey; no longer as commander in chief, but as an investor, mentor and counselor.
I return again to undertake a new industry, venture capital, and to put everything I learned as a business entrepreneur to work. The truth is that I share the dreams of entrepreneurs who want to change the world, each in a different industry.
My decision for this next step took into account the reflection on what it takes to be the best venture capital fund: to be chosen by the best entrepreneurs.
For this to happen requires three things:
1) To have the best team working beside the founder(s);
2) To know exactly the pain that entrepreneurs feel; and to be able to help them constructively, the famous “been there, done that”;
3) To have a differentiated, strategic vision of the market that brings value to each company.
To assemble the best venture capital fund in Brazil I would need to find a different team with complementary skills, seniority, and, obviously, to have much interest in working together.
My experience at Buscapé certainly brings very relevant lessons to help the entrepreneurs in everyday life. As an entrepreneur, I went through all the possible pain for 17 years. And I need to find partners who also have had this same entrepreneurial experience. The more value I could add with my different experiences, the richer the company would become.
Finally, it is crucial to have members on the team from Silicon Valley; not only an extended network with ties to the Valley like others have. But entrepreneurial experts that are physically located on Sand Hill Road with deep experience in digital innovation and a long track record of success.
The more I ideated about my perfect VC firm, the more was evident that it was already right in front of me.
I have known and worked closely with Anderson Thees and Manoel Lemos, who will be at my side, for more than eight years. I also have long relationships with Jeff Brody, who founded Redpoint in 1999, and with Mathias Schilling, who founded e.ventures, which began shortly after the sale of Buscapé to Naspers.
Redpoint Ventures and e.ventures bring not only a tremendous track record of more than 150 IPOs and M&A exits in the global market (including companies such as Netflix, Groupon, Stripe and Homeaway), but also big names like Andy Rubin and Tomasz Tunguz, who will be involved in our day-to-day work, feeding us with everything that we need to succeed in the eye of the hurricane.
Finally, Redpoint eventures is one of the original, and most successful VC funds in Brazil. In just three years, it has built a strong portfolio of more than 20 startups. Redpoint eventures was the first to raise a fund of more than $100 million, and it is a co-founder of Cubo with Itaú.
For me, there was no reason not to climb aboard. To do it on my own would take me precious years. And I would certainly miss the best time to invest in Brazil.
As a new partner at Redpoint eventures, my new challenge is to identify growth opportunities, work closely with the team to select the best investments, and support entrepreneurs in growing their businesses at a fast pace. I look forward to help the best and brightest digital entrepreneurs in Brazil.
I have no doubt that Brazil is ready to continue following in Silicon Valley’s footsteps as a rich hub for successful, fast-growth startups. Moreover, as reflected in my last Linkedin post, there is no better time for Brazilian startups, despite and because of the current economic crisis.
As I had anticipated when I announced my departure from Buscapé: “Amid the turmoil during our entrepreneurial teens, there were many mentors who took us by the hand to guide and help us overcome our inexperience as young adventurers. For me, it is time to give back, as I have done already as an angel investor and through my role as mentor and board member for Endeavor. Now I will dedicate my time to cultivate others’ entrepreneurial success.”