Match Made in Heaven? Semillas Connects Companies & InvestorsBy Jorge Ramos Zwanziger | Fri, 05/14/2021 - 17:46
Latin America is receiving a lot of attention thanks to its many successful startups, such as Brazil’s Nubank and Mexico’s KAVAK and Bitso. Despite these milestones, many early-stage startups in Latin America have been unable to receive the capital that would propel them to the big leagues. Enzo Cavalie, Founder of Startupeable, has built a tool to solve this issue by connecting companies and investors, reports Forbes Mexico.
“In developing countries like Mexico, factors responsible for the slow growth of entrepreneurship and the lack of innovative spirit include our faulty education system, no incentives or environment to innovate, the lack of proactive government policies and the most important in my view: access to capital,” wrote Pablo Ricard Arriola, President of Rising Farms, in an article for MBN. He explains the reality SMEs and startups face in a country like Mexico. To him, the biggest challenges come from a lack of information and geographical disadvantages. How is a company going to receive capital when investors do not even know it exists? “The problem is that funding is almost completely concentrated in Mexico City, with the remaining chunk going to Guadalajara and Monterrey, leaving medium-large cities like Queretaro, Merida, Oaxaca and Leon dry,” explained Ricard. However, this is a problem Startupeable aims to address with Semillas.
Cavalie’s Semillas is a matchmaking tool that connects founders from Latin America with active angel investors from around the world through a “tinder-like” process. “After we developed a directory of companies and investors, we realized there was the possibility of creating a tool that would allow us to connect them both. Many startups asked us if we believed there might be investors interested in supporting them. On the other hand, there were also funds and people looking for opportunities,” explained Cavalie to Forbes Mexico.
The next step was to build a tool that could automate the process by finding what both sides of the equation wanted when looking for new opportunities. “It works by having both companies and investors identify what they are looking for when they register. Then, we do an initial filter and later we send an email so those that meet the same characteristics can connect directly and start a conversation,” he explained to Forbes Mexico. According to Semilla’s website, it has already made over 100 matches and has more than 120 participating companies.