Follow me @samirkaji for my thoughts on the venture market, with a focus on the continued evolution of the VC landscape.
On this week’s show, we’re excited to have Hernan Kazah, Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Kaszek, one of the largest Latin American firms with nine funds under management. The firm launched in 2011 and over time they’ve made early-stage investments in companies such as Nubank, QuintoAndar, Kavak, Creditas, and Nuvemshop.
Before becoming an investor, Hernan Co-Founded MercadoLibre in 1999, an online auction and e-commerce platform that later went public in 2008. At a market cap today of over $60B, the company represents one of the great entrepreneurial successes in the region.
During our conversation, we spoke about the growth of Latin America, making the shift from a company builder to a full-time investor, and how founders and investors should think about the capital-scarce market we are navigating today.
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About Hernan Kazah:
Hernan Kazah is the Co-Founder and Managing Partner of Kaszek Ventures. Hernan has overseen Kaszek’s growth into the largest venture capital firm in Latin America. It has invested in more than 100 startups and is known for its ability to spot the next tech talent and hands-on approach.
Prior to investing, Hernan Co-Founded MercadoLibre, the most successful "from-garage-to-Nasdaq" startup story in Latin America to date, and one of the largest technology companies in the region.
He has a BA from the University of Buenos Aires and an MBA from Stanford.
In this episode we discuss:
(02:57) Hernan’s journey into tech and investing
(04:39) Lessons from MercoadoLibre that he wanted to apply in building Kaszek
(10:38) Why he decided to move to venture in 2011
(14:11) The long process of building an LP base with an unproven theory
(20:21) Advice and mentorship Hernan sought out prior to starting Kaszek
(24:56) How Hernan manages his time to help his portfolio
(28:57) Comparing the market of 1999/2000 with today’s market
(36:04) What it means to support founders
(42:33) Why Hernan is mostly handsoff in his portfolio companies
(46:50) How to have tough conversations with founders
(48:10) The best career advice he’s recieved
I’d love to know what you took away from this conversation with Hernan. Follow me @SamirKaji and give me your insights and questions with the hashtag #ventureunlocked. If you’d like to be considered as a guest or have someone you’d like to hear from (GP or LP), drop me a direct message on Twitter.