The Startupeable Show
The Startupeable Show
🎧 Can Brazil Ever Match Silicon Valley's Success?

🎧 Can Brazil Ever Match Silicon Valley's Success?

Insights from Investing in Brazil for +10 Years at Softbank, Redpoint and Upload

This week, I sat down with Rodrigo Baer, one of Brazil's most experienced venture capital investors, to understand the history and evolution of the Brazilian startup ecosystem. 

Rodrigo Baer is a Managing Partner and co-founder at Upload Ventures. He began investing in Brazilian startups in 2010, then became a Managing Director for Redpoint eventures and a Partner at SoftBank's Early Stage fund for LatAm. He has invested in over 6 unicorns, including iFood, CargoX, and Pismo.

Today, we discussed the history and trends of Brazil´s venture ecosystem, the lessons he has learned from investing in multiple unicorns, why he decided to start his own fund after a decade, and his approach to helping startups. 

Spotify | YouTube | Apple Podcasts

🗒 Show notes:

[09:35] - Which were the most important stages of the Brazilian startup ecosystem

[26:00] - Lessons from Rodrigo's journey as an investor

[36:55] - Insights on how VCs make investment decisions

[38:40] - Building successful founder-investor relationships

[42:05] - What founders should ask from investors

[47:42] - What will be the next startup stage in LatAm from Rodrigo´s POV

🧠 Key Takeaways

  • Identify what's not contributing to your growth: in your startup journey, this is an important skill. When something isn't working, you're faced with a pivotal decision: should you stop this activity because it’s not essential, or is it so critical that you need more resources to fix it. For example, how you are positioning your company or which markets you should be going after. This is not just about cutting losses; it’s about strategic redirection towards effective outcomes.

  • Great investors have tough conversations with founders: your investors are not there just to point out challenges like when your conversion rates are low, your sales tactics aren’t hitting the mark, or your cash burn is alarmingly high but to help you navigate these tough decisions. Having these hard conversations is essential, not optional. The idea is to analyze their numbers, understand the core issues, and decide whether to pivot or persevere.

  • Prioritize efficiency, but be aware of when it’s important to do so: As you transition from developing your product to scaling your business, consider carefully assessing where to assign your resources. Instead of rapidly expanding your team, you might start small and perfect your sales process with a few key players before considering a larger team. This strategy minimizes confusion and ensures that each step is focused on achieving your business objectives.

😲You won’t hear this anywhere else

“In the fast-paced world of startups, timing isn't just about speed; it's about synchronization. Aligning your startup's milestones with market readiness and investor interest is crucial. Remember, a well-timed move can mean capitalizing on an opportunity and missing the boat entirely. Always stay attuned to the market's pulse—this will guide you when to push forward and hold back, ensuring your venture's growth is rapid and right on schedule.”

The Startupeable Show
The Startupeable Show
The Startupeable Show is an open exploration of the markets, technologies, and trends that are reshaping business in the U.S. and around the world, and the people behind them.
During each interview, host Enzo Cavalie delves deep into our guest's 'earned secrets': their unique points of view on their industries, the key insights behind their success, and their practical strategies for company building.