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Crisis loves LatAmCrisis loves LatAmCrisis loves LatAm
Crisis loves LatAm

Crisis loves LatAm

And we've learned to love it back. Sergio Furio and Sergio Fogel talk about the frictions every fintech founder faces - and how these are everyday challenges.
Regina Pernaz
Content Specialist
October 13, 2022

Oh, Latin America 🌈 The land of modern finance infrastructure, low margins, and smooth efficient markets. The dream, right?

Well, duh, as if Nubank would have succeeded if that was the scenario.

"If there's something special about us is friction", said Sergio Fogel, the Uruguayan co-founder of dLocal, at Vamos Latam Summit. And he meant friction everywhere:

  • Friction when making payments.
  • Friction when getting loans.
  • Friction when moving information across borders.
  • Friction because we can make your life miserable, so we will.

We know, friction is a pain in the ass. But that's where entrepreneurs are driven to: to where opportunities are.

Nice, Andres, very inspirational. But how do you navigate this friction and lead throughout it?

In 2022.

With this economy. 🤡

First, here's what you can aspire to be.

There's this concept popularized by Ben Horowitz about the "peacetime CEO" vs the "wartime CEO".

  • 👉 A peacetime CEO is the one that can actually build growth tactics when the waters are calm.
  • 👉 A wartime CEO is the one that is trying to maintain the ship afloat while Titanic musicians are by his side.

When Sergio Furio from Creditas was asked about these 2 types of leadership at VLS, he LAUGHED OUT LOUD IN OUR FACES.

"There's not such a thing as a peacetime CEO in LatAm. What the hell is that?"

When it's not because you lack capital, it's because the market is crazy OR the government changed something related to your product OR your competitors are on to you OR the small letters of the taxation doc became true. You don't choose your fighter: the fighter chooses you.

But there's a light at the end of this long, long tunnel. Hear Creditas' founder out:

"There's always a crisis in Latin America.
And that's probably the beauty of it."

💡 Both Sergios agree that difficulty and friction are our friends, and whereas we lack a lot of things in LatAm, that ends up being our stamina. We got this!

I know, I haven't told you how to navigate and lead the crisis. But that's the easy way, Felipe, where's the friction in that?

📌 Sergio Fogel and Sergio Furio talked about how to lead throughout fires and:

  • Is it a yes or a no to international expansion?
  • Can you really ask the customer "what do you want?" if you want to innovate?
  • Do millennials only want to rest at the beach?

If you want to have all the answers, go:

Watch their conversation at VLS on YouTube
Listen to both of Sergios’ talk on our podcast

The fellows ask

I'm in a pre-seed stage and need to know: how relevant are Unit Economics for VCs when investing in a pre-seed round?

It’s relevant but not as much as for series A.

In a pre-seed round, you don’t have lots of revenue yet and you’re still in an exploratory phase. The investors' decision is less technical and more based on the team, the value proposition, and the founders’ skillset.

However, whereas the pre-seed round is much less about Unit Economics, it is like raising a child: you want to give them the right values since they are small. Investors want to see you have discipline and control over information and data because this will be useful from the seed round to IPO.

Do you have a similar question?

Perhaps, what is Unit Economics for dummies?

Then Latitud Nights are for you.

We’ll be hosting public sessions with experts on different topics once a month and the first one will be with Felipe Mansano about Unit Economics. If you don't want to begin your journey by killing your startup, you have a date with us on October 18th.

Register for Latitud Nights

(that might be in the afternoon if you're in Mexico)

Do you have a LOT of similar questions and can't live like this anymore?

Then how about learning a bit more about the Explore Fellowship Program?

Next Wednesday, October 19th, we'll host a live session with Latitud co-founders Brian & Gina - OMG! - so you can throw all your hot questions to them.

We will cover:

  • ​What the heck is Latitud
  • ​How you benefit from the Explore Fellowship
  • ​What the program and the community look like
  • ​Tips & secrets to nail your application

Join us!

Register for a rad chat with Brian & Gina

Hot news ahoy! ⛵

In São Paulo next week?

Apply to join Launchpad by Latitud + a16z

We had such a fun time at our last IRL event together with a16z in CDMX that we decided to bring it to São Paulo! Spots are limited – if you are not much of a runner, you may want to consider power walking.

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