July 12, 2021

#46 - An honest take on the VC game in Latin America: Hernan Kazah, Kaszek

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Hernan Kazah's journey as an entrepreneur starts in 1999, in the early days of the internet in Latin America. Co-founder of Mercado Libre, he has witnessed firsthand, as a pioneer, the extraordinary evolution that the startup and VC ecosystem has experienced in the region. In 2011, hoping to help solve some of the pain points they've faced themselves, Hernan and former Meli CFO Nico Szekazy launched Kaszek. Fun fact, the name originated from the combination of both of their last names.

Since then, the firm has raised $2B across 7 funds. Half of that sum was closed just two months ago in a duo of funds. In one decade, Kaszek has backed over 90 companies, nine of which spawned into unicorns. And Mercado Libre, now worth $60B, became the most valuable company in Latin America.

In this episode, Hernan shares:

  • The mistakes that almost killed Mercado Libre
  • Painful misses as an investor
  • Risks they welcome and risks they avoid when investing
  • And what's broken in the VC game

Click here to see the Stop & Go Strategy graph mentioned in the episode.

Gabriela Levy

Head of Marketing at Latitud

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