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Friday, March 31, 2023

From the Paypal mafia to Rappi; the new wave of startups born from unicorns

Mexico City — After spending two years looking for a way not to lose money with their Ropeo venture, Alejandro Casas and his partner Santiago Gómez were clear that they wanted to develop a technology for companies that combined their experience in measuring margins, as well as their strengths in technology and finance.

The idea was defined, but they still needed to refine the problem that they could solve with their next undertaking.

They joined Rappi for four months as consultants. There they received what would be a kind of “master’s degree” in payments, recalls Casas. This allowed them to develop Simetrik, a payment platform orchestrator that allows companies to automate their reconciliation processes.

With a first version, they began to work with clients, such as Mercado de Pago, the fintech from the Latin American e-commerce giant Mercado Libre, which allowed them to further refine their technological solution, and which is currently used in markets as far away as South Korea.

“If Rappi was the master, Mercado Pago was the doctorate”, Casas said to Bloomberg Line.

Simetrik’s experience shows the generating effect of solutions through interaction with other companies in the entrepreneurial ecosystem.

[Simetrik obtiene US$24 millones en serie A; busca a los mejores desarrolladores de Latam]

Paypal mafia repeats itself

It is not the first time that a new wave of entrepreneurs is born from their links or work with other companies that were born in the entrepreneurial ecosystem.

This was seen two decades ago in the United States, with the term known as the ‘Paypal mafia’. From this company emerged a new generation of entrepreneurs such as Elon Musk, owner of Tesla or the space travel and telecommunications company, SpaceX.

The phenomenon was also plausible about five years ago, with the German e-commerce incubator Rocket Internet and Linio. Entrepreneurs such as Carlos García, the co-founder of the second-hand car platform Kavak, or Carlos Salinas, one of the entrepreneurs behind Zebrands, better known for its Luuna mattress brand, collaborated there.

As of 2020, a new wave of entrepreneurs emerges from their connection with Latin American unicorns such as Rappi, Mercado Libre, Nubank, Clip, Cornershop and Kavak itself, according to Enzo Cavalie, CEO and founder of Startupeable, a platform of information for those interested in the industry.

“We are seeing a feedback loop of the startup ecosystem.”

The specialist pointed out that over time a more accelerated effect will be seen in other companies in the entrepreneurial ecosystem, not necessarily in unicorns.

The trend of new ventures arising specifically from Rappi has been pointed out by other specialists such as Pablo Navarro, operating partner from the Marathon Venture fund, who began identifying the trend in 2018, three years after Rappi was founded, and wrote about it on his Linkedin profile.

Companies have been created from former Rappi employees, such as the system that helps generate tax returns, Tributi, the delivery of Frubana foods or the identity confirmation company, Truora.

Other companies created from links with Rappi are in the B2B business, focused on offering increasingly sophisticated technological solutions for businesses, such as the payment integrator Yuno or Simetrik itself.

Born from rappi, but be something new

This effect is something natural for Juan Pablo Ortega, one of the founding directors of Rappi. He says that high-growth companies have extremely strong teams and tend to create a second generation of entrepreneurs, becoming a source of entrepreneurship.

“Rappi becomes a cradle of entrepreneurship, a company that not only develops business models, but also people to do things that would be impossible before,” Ortega added, in an interview with Bloomberg Line.

Ortega recently established Yuno, which raised US$10 million in a seed round in mid-March.

Yuno, which allows its customers to manage multiple payment methods through a single connection, was founded together with Julián Nuñez, another former Rappi executive, who developed solutions for the company such as one-click payment, and ran the Rappi business unit. electronic commerce.

[Yuno, creada por directivo de Rappi, iniciará próximamente operaciones en México]

Ortega and Núñez identified the payment optimization problem in Rappi and developed a solution, which they later considered that their idea should have the necessary focus in an independent company.

“It was born from Rappi, because we are Rappi employees. Not because Rappi is doing Yuno. It’s us leaving Rappi to ride Yuno,” Nuñez said.

For Ortega, the experience at Rappi resembles an MBA, he even pointed out that some investors have pointed to Rappi as the Stanford of Latin America.

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World Nation News Desk
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