In our latest episode of the Wharton Fintech podcast, Miguel Armaza is joined by Hernan Kazah, Managing Partner and Co-Founder of Kaszek Ventures, the largest venture capital firm in Latin America, with over $1 Billion dollars of raised capital. Kaszek was launched in 2011 and has invested in more than 75 startups, including at least 5 unicorns. Prior to Kaszek, Hernan co-founded MercadoLibre, the largest technology company in Latin America which is also listed on the NASDAQ Stock Market with a current market cap of over $43 Billion. Here, he worked for 12 years, nine as COO and three as CFO.
Hernan received an MBA from Stanford University, and graduated magna cum laude in Economics from the University of Buenos Aires.
In this fascinating interview, Hernan shares:
His entrepreneurial journey from zero to a Nasdaq IPO. What led him to Co-Found MercadoLibre with Marcos Galperin and some of the major challenges they faced along the way.
Almost 40% of Kaszek’s portfolio is concentrated in Fintech companies and they continue to be extremely bullish on the industry. Technology has opened new opportunities for the financial sector, which has allowed fintechs to vastly expand in a sector with historically-low customer penetration. Tech has also allowed some of their portfolio companies, like Nubank, to build widely scalable platforms.
Kaszek’s investing approach. Why the founding team is the most fundamental piece of a startup and why a third of the teams from Kaszek’s first fund would not make the cut today.
COVID-19’s impact on their portfolio. Why most Fintechs haven’t been too affected nor have greatly benefited by this crisis.
Fintech sector focus. The main reasons why Kaszek is interested in backing Financial infrastructure companies and why this sector presents one of the biggest opportunities in Latin America.
Peculiarities and challenges of VC investing in Latin America and Emerging Markets.