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Epic fail

Epic fail

Epic unicorn. Learn from your mistakes like Fabien Mendez did when his first venture failed epically. And get your VLS tickets!
Regina Pernaz
Content Specialist
May 18, 2023

Mercury retrograde is over!

And we don't really know what that means but everybody seems happy about it, so maybe it's a good time to buy your tickets to VLS 2023 🎉 Wuhu!

I want my tickets to VLS!

Remember to use the code - to get your ticket with an EPIC discount. You've earned it for being an epic subscriber who always opens our emails and laughs at our epic jokes... right? 😬

Go with your peeps! (But be a good friend and ask them to subscribe so they get the discount too.)

Epic fail?

Today, Fabien Mendez is the co-founder and chairman of the logistics unicorn Loggi 🦄. But a decade ago, he was just a French dude in Brazil trying to make a living (and kinda failing at it tbh.)

In 2012, he founded GoJames, an Uber-wannabe before Uber was a thing. And it was a dis-as-ter – his words, not ours.

"I did everything wrong. From product design to go-to-market. We launched the product and it gained traction but we were shut down by regulations after a few weeks. We were securing a series A at that time but investors got spooked."

After 3 days depressed, a.k.a. 🎶Flaco, ojeroso, cansado y sin ilusiones 🎶, he changed the POV: what if instead of transporting people, we transport things?

Excellent idea!… For a founder with money.

But Fabien was broke in Brazil AND France. Mon Dieu. 🥖

So no way of bootstrapping > so no funding > so no team > so no development > so no funding > ajuda, please.

Yes, you're getting Succession gifs until the season ends.

👉 How did Fabien manage to overcome this hurdle and become the unicorn co-founder he is now?

3 lessons from what he called ✨one of the best moments of his life ✨:

1. Rely on your gang

Fabien didn't have money. But he had confidence in his vision.

He also had a friend that lent him a hand, a couch, and a space for co-working. This friend also told him, "Don’t you worry about anything else."

In a way, this bff was his first Angel Investor. He provided all the help that Fabien needed to be able to focus.

Be sad for 3 full days. Then, lean on the people you have around (just like our community does 💙).

2. Embrace your mistakes

You messed it up.
But that's not the problem, Lari.

The "problem" relies on why, where, or how you "messed it up."

For Fabien, the essence of a good entrepreneur is curiosity. The eagerness to observe where the gaps are and, therefore, the opportunities.

"You can't learn if you're not curious about your own mistakes."

Before jumping on your next venture – because there are no quitters in this household 🩴 –, take some time to reflect on why things came out the way they did. The best learnings are there.

3. No BS to investors

After some time, Fabien went on pitching again – and you will too! 💪

But let's say you're the investor. Would you prefer somebody that hides their mistakes thinking you won't smell the lies or somebody that openly shares their past errors and reasons behind them?

"Because I had failed and was very candid about my failure and transparent about all the things I did wrong, I managed to earn the investors’ trust. And that helped me secure an important seed round."

Be real and humble about your losses.

They can be an ally if you play them right.

And that's how Fabien Mendez went from epic fail to epic unicorn? Yes, that and some other stuff. If you want the whole story, go check his episode on Latitud Podcast 😎

Learn from Fabien's epic fails

Epic Fundraising recipes by Latitud

🍒 Recipe #7: Ask for more feedback (and really learn from it)

It doesn't matter if you received a yes or a no: always ask for as much feedback as VCs can give you.

This is a massive green flag for investors. “I like when founders ask directly for feedback. All founders have to be open to listening”, says Antonia Rojas Eing from ALLVP.

Stay curious about what they have to say and ask for the real deal, no BS 👉 Oh, you think it will be a hard go-to-market? And why is that?

But hey, only take the suggestions that make sense to you. VCs don't really know it all, y'know? Think for yourself and make your own conclusions from the conversations you've had.

Epic Hot News Ahoy! ⛵

Yes, everything is epic, like you <3

⚙️ Hybrid work

Pluria, the Airbnb for flexible offices with operations in Colombia, raised a US$ 2M investment round a couple of weeks ago.

This capital injection was led by Eleven Ventures and backed by top-tier international investors. Congrats to our fellow Andrei Cretu and the whole Pluria team!

🤖 AI for LatAm

AI startup Senzai raised a US$ 2M pre-seed funding round led by ALLVP.

The Mexico City-based company targets clients in Latin America with artificial intelligence tools, measuring impact, experimentation, and optimization.

💸 New ways to pay

Liquido, a Brazilian payment infrastructure company, has opened its payment processing platform to cross-border and local merchants across Latin America, right after a successful closed beta that processed more than US$ 300M in payments.

The next-generation payments company for Latin America has emerged from stealth and launched publicly after raising US$ 26M in funding across two rounds led by Index Ventures.

🦄 Artificial Unicorns?

So far, 13 generative AI companies have reached a US$1B+ valuation. The vast majority of these passed the unicorn threshold within the last year or so, as generative AI took off with mainstream users.

CB Insights analyzed their valuations and revenues to see what's happening in the market and where it's headed. Go check!

-> Every time one of your friends subscribes to our Newsletter, you become epic ✨ So ask them to subscribe!

Stay tuned

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