Recent events provide evidence that the development of the Mexican entrepreneurial ecosystem continues with no pause. One event was that in the last two weeks two Mexican startups – Kueski (short-term online loans) and Cornershop (online grocery shopper) – raised interesting Series A rounds at sizable sizes for Mexico with investors from the US leading or participating in the rounds. [I had a recent interview with Adalberto Flores from Kueski, previous to the announcement of the investment, that you can read here.]
The other event, probably more transcendental, was that AMEXCAP – the Mexican Private Equity and Venture Capital Association – appointed a VC guy, Alonso Diaz, as Chairman last week. This is the first time in its more than 10 years than a representative from the venture world leads AMEXCAP.
For me this is very remarkable and shows how the financial and investing community in Mexico is embracing the space and the role of venture capital. The first venture funds requested to join the association just in the relatively recent year of 2008. I was the Chairman of the AMEXCAP (but representing private equity, not early stage) at that time. A heated philosophical discussion followed with many members from private equity and real estate funds opposing to have early stage funds participating. There were serious doubts that venture capital in Mexico was a real and sustainable asset class. Fortunately, in the end the position of having the most plural association possible, shared by many of us, prevailed.
Today, not only many early stage funds are very active members of a very active and relevant association, but also there is recognition that venture capital is key for having a healthy and broad investment industry in Mexico.
In addition to Alonso, the venture sector is represented by other four board members in the association: Ricardo Elizondo and Hernán Fernández, which are continuing from the previous year and Alejandro Diez Barroso and I, who are joining this year. All of us have a good challenge to help achieve advances for this industry.