uDocz’s investment round shows Peru is an Edtech hub

Peruvian start up uDocz recently announced an investment round led by GSV Ventures, one of the most prominent Edtech venture capital firms in the world. This is GSV Ventures’s first investment in a Latin American startup. GSV has previously invested in well known EdTech startups including Coursera, Degreed, and Guild Education. 

uDocz Founder Carlos Effio and his team of 20 employees have been hard at work over the past four years quietly building one of the largest libraries of Spanish language content for college students. uDocz’s customers are primarily university students and students studying to apply to university. uDocz’s active user base has achieved significant growth since the outbreak of the pandemic enabling university students to study remotely and continue learning. uDocz is an example of how disruptive edtech startups are transforming and improving the quality of education in Latin America.

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50 startups in Peru ready to take-off

Recently announced successful rounds in Peruvian startups have highlighted the quality of local startup founders. They are also validation that Lima offers a great starting point for launching regional tech businesses. Examples of startups that have raised significant rounds of capital over the last twelve months are: Crack the Code, Crehana, Chazki, Favo, Leasy, and Turbodega. Add to these startup rounds the recent acquisition of Freshmart by Justo, and you have a multiple examples of capital entering Peru across a range of sectors and stages. Importantly, the capital is coming from top tier venture capital funds across Latin America, including Tiger Global, Elevar Equity, General Atlantic, and Kaszek.

Photo by Sekwang Chia on Unsplash

The good news for investors is that this is the tip of the iceberg in terms of Peru’s startup potential. There is a growing list of up-and-coming startups in Peru. Most of these companies have achieved product market fit, raised a solid seed stage round and are growing fast. They have been supported by local seed investors including, AVP, Inca Ventures, The Board, UTEC Ventures, and Winnipeg Capital, all funded by private capital. In addition, local programs EmprendeUP, Endeavor ScaleUP, and USIL Ventures, have all provided essential support to get startups to the seed stage in a position of strength. These local sources of funding and support open up new paths to success for Peru’s startups.

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The startup community we imagined

Imagine a world in which Peru startup Manzana Verde raises from FJ Labs, Fitia gets into Y Combinator, Fitco gets into Techstars, venture capital analyst Enzo Cavalie lands a job at a top US venture firm, and serial founder Amparo Nalvarte begins investing in startups. This is the world we imagined for the Peru startup community. This is the world we live in now.

The list of tangible results that Peruvian startup founders, and the Peru ecosystem, are achieving is impressive and growing longer. A dynamic combination of local funding and global disruption is democratizing capital, making it easier for startup founders to find a way to achieve regional and global success. 

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Startup metrics: track weekly, measure monthly, and show quarterly

Startups have a lot of metrics. It is easy to get lost. The North Star Metric may be the most important, but don’t forget about active paying users, unit economics, MRR, NPS, all while you grow 10% a month.

Photo by Luke Chesser on Unsplash

For founders, measuring everything can be overwhelming, and makes it difficult to manage pitch meetings with potential investors. Venture capitalists want you to know your numbers, and expect you to determine which are the right ones to measure for your business model and stage of growth.

Here are some ideas for how to organize your metrics, and thought process:

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Peruvian pushing the boundaries of deep tech

When you meet startup founder Tomás Vega, you won’t get too far into the conversation before he tells you that he wants to become a Cyborg!

What Tomás is doing is crazy. The good type of crazy. The break-boundaries-of-science type of crazy. The type of crazy Linda Rottenberg, founder of Endeavor, talks about in her book Crazy is a Compliment.  

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Sinba achieves landmark investment round

We are experiencing accelerating changes in food consumption in Latin America, and it is essential to tackle the sustainability issue now. Peru startup Sinba does just that, and investors have taken notice.

While well-known tech startups aim to get food to the end consumer, Sinba ensures the food waste is dealt with properly. Founders Pipo Reiser and Andrea Rivera recently raised an investment round that included participation from local individual investors and IDB Lab.

Here what you need to know about the round:
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Pivots and Persistence

This week I’m sharing an article I recently wrote for Crunchbase. Many startups have found innovative ways to adapt and thrive through the current crisis. There are great examples from across Latin America, including a few startups with presence in Peru: Fitco, Poliglota and Joinnus.

You can find the article here: Pivots And Persistence: How Startups In Latin America Are Finding Ways To Survive The Current Crisis.

I hope you enjoy it and are as impressed as I am by startup founders’ capacity to adapt and persist over the last seven months.

20+ Startups accelerating through 2020

By some measures, this has been a down year for Peru startups seeking to enter acceleration programs. For example, no Peru startups were selected for the latest batches of Y Combinator or 500 Startups Latam.

However, in many ways, founders in Peru or local acceleration programs are moving forward. Only in the last month, over 20 up-and-coming Peru startups were selected to particiate in acceleration programs. Many are relative newcomers to the startup community.

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PVCS Masterclass: Preparando mi primera ronda de capital con inversionistas profesionales

On Wednesday August 19th, Roberte Arbe and I had the opportunity to share with startup founders during the Peru Venture Capital Series. We discussed considerations for raising funds from professional investors.

The session is in Spanish and titled: Preparando mi primera ronda de capital con inversionistas profesionales.

You can watch it on Youtube here.

There are two more days of the Peru Venture Capital Series next week, Wednesday the 26th and Thursday the 27th.

The event is free and you can register here.

Revenue y Gross Margin: no tan sencillo como parece

El revenue y gross margin suelen ser de las primeras métricas financieras de analizar en una startup dado quedan un hint sobre la tracción y escalabilidad que puede llegar a tener un negocio. Parecen sencillas medir ya que son dentro de los conceptos contables más conocidos, sin embargo, debido a que las startups tienen modelos de negocios innovadores que son distintos entre sí, a veces no es muy claro que debe ir en cada uno de ellos.

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Startup strategy framework for Covid-19

Each startup in Latin America is affected by the repercussions of Covid-19 in a unique way. The impact often depends on how the startup entered the crisis and the sector in which they operate.

At the onsite of the crisis, forward-looking startup investors were quick to present action plans and decision matrices that stressed cost-cutting, hiring freezes and doing everything possible to extend runway.  The Sequoia Matrix and the Kaszek Survival Guide have been great resources founders in Latin America.

The precise measures to be taken are a bit more nuanced and there is no one-size fits all aproach.

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KPIs: Entendiendo el PxQ de tu startup

Entender y medir los Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) son claves cuando una startup está empezando a generar tracción. Es crucial para los fundadores y potenciales inversionistas observar y analizar estas métricas mensualmente debido a que ayudan a entender la lógica detrás del revenue y sus drivers. Los KPIs pueden variar de acuerdo al enfoque de la startup, B2B o B2C, y al modelo de negocio como Softwares-as-a-service (SaaS) o Marketplace

Photo by Bill Oxford on Unsplash
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