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.
These particular examples are special, because they are people without pedigrees, who launched their startups against all odds. None of these people have an MBA, previous experience as a startup founder, or have worked at a regional tech company.
ManzanaVerde, led by Carlos Andrade and Larissa Arias and backed by UTEC Ventures, entered Mexico last year despite having limited funding. Now, the startup has secured capital from US-based funds including FJ Labs and Clout Capital in addition to other regional venture capital funds!
Fitia, was recently launched and bootstrapped by Piero Linares and Ulises Olave. After a quick stop at UTEC Ventures, Fitia has vaulted into Y Combinator, becoming one of a growing number of Peru startups to participate in the top startup accelerator in the world.
Fitco, led by Andrea Baba and Alex Mayor, backed by UTEC Ventures, AVP, Winnipeg Capital and WAYRA, was the first LatAm startup to participate in the prestigious Techstars Boulder program.
Enzo Cavalie worked at Winnipeg Capital before jumping to Dalus Capital in Mexico. He started, Startupeaple, one of Latin America’s leading startup resources. Now, Enzo has joined the team at Reach Capital, one of the leading Edtech venture capital firms globally.
Amparo Nalvarte founded B89 after the successful sale of her startup Culqi, backed by WAYRA and AVP, to BCP, the largest Bank in Peru. She now is an angel investor, having invested behind the Rextie team.
These founders and investors are mostly young. Some are men, others women. They are all Peruvians, but not all from Lima. They are self-starters, self-learners and self-made. They are now vamong a select group recognized globally. It’s no coincidence they are working on improving some of the biggest challenges of our day: education, health and wellbeing and financial independence.
These are all success stories achieved by personal merit and countless hours of hard work. They are also signs of a well functioning dynamic, connected, startup community that has built the infrastructure for these people to achieve success.
Certainly these are extraordinary people, yet at the same time representative of Peru’s diverse talent pool.
After all, if they have done it, why can’t you be next?