Latin America’s Groupon Mafia | TechCrunch


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The founders of PayPal and its workers have produced many extremely profitable corporations over time. The truth is, PayPal’s founding staff usually is known as the “PayPal Mafia” as a result of they’ve had such an affect on the startup ecosystem. Peter Thiel, Elon Musk, Reid Hoffman and plenty of different former PayPal workers have formed a few of the world’s largest tech corporations, founding corporations like YouTube, Tesla, SpaceX, LinkedIn, Yelp and plenty of extra.

This serial entrepreneur success story, the place one firm breeds a exceptional crop of entrepreneurs, is paying homage to the same phenomenon happening in one other a part of the world. The story begins with one other U.S. firm, Groupon, throughout a interval of fast worldwide enlargement round 2010-2011, and takes place in Latin America.

The story of ClanDescuento

In 2010, Daniel Undurraga and Juan Pablo Cuevas, each Chilean entrepreneurs, together with Swedish entrepreneur Oskar Hjertonsson, launched an organization known as Needish in Chile. The platform, a categorised advertisements portal form of like a Craigslist for Chile, shortly garnered hundreds of thousands of visits per 30 days and put the staff on the map.

Nonetheless, missing a viable technique to attain profitability, Undurraga and Hjertonsson wanted to pivot the corporate. After seeing Groupon’s success within the U.S., they launched ClanDescuento, a clone for the Chilean market.

Groupon, in the meantime, was taking off within the U.S., and by this time the corporate was armed with a billion-dollar valuation from its buyers. Groupon additionally confronted pressures from elevated competitors, and from 2010-2011, the corporate went on a wild shopping for spree, buying as a lot of its copycat opponents world wide because it probably may.

Having lived in San Francisco for nearly 5 years, Undurraga was infatuated with the big variety of on-demand providers accessible.

Whereas that was taking place, and utilizing the Needish database, the ClanDescuento staff began sending day by day e mail provides to its customers, shortly gaining recognition in Chile. After simply three months of operations, ClanDescuento generated vital income. Its founders determined they wished to broaden ClanDescuento to the remainder of Latin America, so the staff took a visit to Silicon Valley, with the thought of elevating funding for his or her enlargement. They ended up in a gathering with Andrew Mason, the founding father of Groupon, who proposed turning ClanDescuento into what would develop into “Groupon Latin America.”

In June 2010, after simply months of operations, Groupon acquired ClanDescuento. Below the brand new identify “Groupon Latin America,” and with vital monetary backing, the staff (which now included Daniel Undurraga, Oskar Hjertonsson, Felipe Henríquez Meyer and Juan Pablo Cuevas because the CEO) was capable of proceed rising their operations throughout Latin America.

Saying goodbye to Groupon

For the following few years, the ClanDescuento founders led Groupon Latin America and managed greater than 1,000 workers. However for these entrepreneurs, together with many different Groupon Latin America workers, constructing companies throughout the area was rather more fascinating.

In February 2013, Hjertonsson and Undurraga moved away from the world of day by day offers to Silicon Valley. There, they launched a brand new group-photo service known as Seahorse. The thought didn’t fairly take off and simply as Seahorse was winding down, Juan Pablo Cuevas, Needish’s third co-founder and the primary investor in Seahorse, was additionally planning to go away Groupon Latin America after having efficiently run the corporate for a number of years.

By the tip of 2014, the three Needish founders had been again collectively, this time with one other concept extra according to their earlier success.

Cornershop is born

In January 2015, Cornershop, an on-demand supply service for the Latin American market, was born. Having lived in San Francisco for nearly 5 years, Undurraga was infatuated with the big variety of on-demand providers accessible and realized that Latin People would take pleasure in related providers, too. On high of that, no person else within the area was offering them.

With a US$2.5 million funding obtained by means of personal capital, the three ClanDescuento founders launched Cornershop in Mexico and Chile. Not solely was Mexico the most important market in Latin America, however Undurraga and his companions knew the market very properly from their time working at Groupon Mexico. Additionally they determined to base their engineering staff in Chile, and launched the supply service there, as properly.

Lower than a yr in, Cornershop raised one other US$6.7 million to speed up its progress in Mexico and Chile. In Might 2017, the corporate closed a formidable US$21 million spherical led by Accel Companions. These million-dollar fundraising rounds are nothing in need of spectacular for a Latin American startup, and are proof that buyers definitely see promising potential in Cornershop.

Different Groupon member successes

As for the opposite members of Groupon Latin America, Felipe Henríquez Meyer, the CFO of Groupon Latin America from June 2010 to June 2013, went on to develop into a managing companion at Nazca Ventures (now Mountain Nazca Latin America), an early-stage enterprise capital fund that invests in Latin American corporations.

Final yr, when Groupon introduced its choice to refocus its efforts in solely 15 markets (in North America, Europe, the Center East and Africa) and to hunt strategic options for the remaining 11 Asian and Latin American markets, Mountain Nazca started buying Groupon companies in 5 Latin American markets. By April 2017, it had acquired the remaining Groupon platform within the area, Groupon Brazil, bringing Henríquez’s involvement with Groupon full circle. In November, Mountain Nazca introduced the acquisition of Brazil’s main on-line participant, Peixe Urbano, shopping for it again from the Chinese language internet and search large Baidu.

Then there’s Daniel López Rivas, who labored for Needish and because the social media supervisor at Groupon Latin America. Rivas went on to launch Hoblee, a content-sharing platform, however is now again with the unique Needish staff doing advertising for Cornershop. Many different members of the unique Needish improvement staff, comparable to Oscar Giraldo and Gert Findel, additionally moved into Groupon’s places of work upon the acquisition. Nico Brenner, a product supervisor at Needish, later based Praiseworthy, an worker overview and suggestions administration software program.

Patricio del Sol, who labored as the pinnacle of promoting and because the senior product proprietor for Groupon Latin America from 2011 to 2013, went on to develop into the co-founder of Admetricks, a platform that gives enterprise intelligence providers for internet advertising.

It is going to be thrilling to see if Groupon Latin America will proceed churning out extraordinary entrepreneurs.

The three founders of Babytuto, an e-commerce platform that provides child merchandise in Chile, additionally labored at Groupon Latin America and lately raised greater than half one million for his or her new enterprise. Camila Veloso, who held varied gross sales roles at Groupon Chile, went on to launch Kosleeping in Chile, an e-commerce platform additionally that includes high-quality mom and child merchandise.

Manolo Atala was the CEO of Groupon Mexico in 2010 to 2012 and later turned the CEO of Groupon North LatAm, which included Mexico and the Caribbean, till 2013. After that, he joined the Cornershop administration staff and co-founded Pulpomatic, a fleet administration software program firm in Mexico.

Felipe Parragué, who additionally had a short stint at ClanDescuento earlier than becoming a member of Groupon Mexico beneath varied roles, based Denda, an e-commerce platform for environmentally pleasant and sustainable merchandise with operations in Chile and Mexico.

Then there’s Federico Malek, the founding father of Wallooz in Argentina, which was acquired by Groupon in 2010. Throughout Malek’s time at Groupon, he noticed a market alternative for retail e-commerce in Argentina; quickly after leaving Groupon he obtained funding to start out, a web based store that includes all kinds of merchandise very like Amazon. By 2015, had raised US$50.5 million.

This definitely isn’t all the success tales which have emerged from the Groupon Latin America ecosystem. With greater than 760 workers in Groupon models throughout Latin America, an ever-growing help system of buyers, advisors and mentors, in addition to a renewed focus because of Mountain Nazca, will probably be thrilling to see if Groupon Latin America will proceed churning out extraordinary entrepreneurs, particularly within the e-commerce area, for the foreseeable future.

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