Latin America’s Groupon Mafia | TechCrunch


The founders of PayPal and its workers have produced many extremely profitable corporations over time. In actual fact, PayPal’s founding crew 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 among the world’s greatest tech companies, founding corporations like YouTube, Tesla, SpaceX, LinkedIn, Yelp and plenty of extra.

This serial entrepreneur success story, the place one firm breeds a outstanding crop of entrepreneurs, is paying homage to an identical phenomenon happening in one other a part of the world. The story begins with one other U.S. firm, Groupon, throughout a interval of speedy worldwide growth 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 referred to as Needish in Chile. The platform, a categorized adverts portal form of like a Craigslist for Chile, shortly garnered tens of millions of visits per 30 days and put the crew on the map.

Nevertheless, missing a viable approach 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 lots of its copycat rivals all over the world because it probably might.

Having lived in San Francisco for nearly 5 years, Undurraga was infatuated with the wide range of on-demand providers obtainable.

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

In June 2010, after simply months of operations, Groupon acquired ClanDescuento. Beneath the brand new identify “Groupon Latin America,” and with vital monetary backing, the crew (which now included Daniel Undurraga, Oskar Hjertonsson, Felipe Henríquez Meyer and Juan Pablo Cuevas because the CEO) was in a position to 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 way more attention-grabbing.

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 referred to as Seahorse. The concept 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 in step with 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 wide range of on-demand providers obtainable and realized that Latin Individuals would take pleasure in comparable providers, too. On high of that, no one else within the area was offering them.

With a US$2.5 million funding obtained by way of non-public capital, the three ClanDescuento founders launched Cornershop in Mexico and Chile. Not solely was Mexico the biggest market in Latin America, however Undurraga and his companions knew the market very effectively from their time working at Groupon Mexico. In addition they determined to base their engineering crew in Chile, and launched the supply service there, as effectively.

Lower than a yr in, Cornershop raised one other US$6.7 million to speed up its development in Mexico and Chile. In Might 2017, the corporate closed a powerful US$21 million spherical led by Accel Companions. These million-dollar fundraising rounds are nothing wanting spectacular for a Latin American startup, and are proof that buyers actually 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 turn out to be a managing accomplice 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 determination to refocus its efforts in solely 15 markets (in North America, Europe, the Center East and Africa) and to hunt strategic alternate 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 net and search big Baidu.

Then there may be 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 crew doing advertising for Cornershop. Many different members of the unique Needish improvement crew, corresponding 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 evaluate 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 turn out to be the co-founder of Admetricks, a platform that gives enterprise intelligence providers for internet marketing.

Will probably 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 just 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 grew to become the CEO of Groupon North LatAm, which included Mexico and the Caribbean, till 2013. After that, he joined the Cornershop administration crew and co-founded Pulpomatic, a fleet administration software program firm in Mexico.

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

Then there may be 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 acquired funding to start out, an internet store that includes all kinds of merchandise very like Amazon. By 2015, had raised US$50.5 million.

This actually isn’t the entire success tales which have emerged from the Groupon Latin America ecosystem. With greater than 760 workers in Groupon items throughout Latin America, an ever-growing assist system of buyers, advisors and mentors, in addition to a renewed focus because of Mountain Nazca, it will likely 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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