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Latin America’s Groupon Mafia


Nathan Lustig is an businessman and handling partner during Magma Partners, a seed-stage investment account in Santiago, Chile.

The founders of PayPal and a employees have constructed many rarely successful companies over a years. In fact, PayPal’s initial group mostly is referred to as a “PayPal Mafia” since they’ve had such an impact on a startup ecosystem. Peter Thiel, Elon Musk, Reid Hoffman and many other former PayPal employees have made some of a world’s biggest tech firms, initial companies like YouTube, Tesla, SpaceX, LinkedIn, Yelp and many more.

This sequence businessman success story, where one association breeds a conspicuous stand of entrepreneurs, is suggestive of a identical materialisation holding place in another partial of a world. The story starts with another U.S. company, Groupon, during a duration of fast general enlargement around 2010-2011, and takes place in Latin America.

The story of ClanDescuento

In 2010, Daniel Undurraga and Juan Pablo Cuevas, both Chilean entrepreneurs, along with Swedish entrepreneur Oskar Hjertonsson, launched a association called Needish in Chile. The platform, a personal ads portal arrange of like a Craigslist for Chile, fast garnered millions of visits per month and put a group on a map.

However, lacking a viable approach to strech profitability, Undurraga and Hjertonsson indispensable to concentration a company. After saying Groupon’s success in a U.S., they launched ClanDescuento, a counterpart for a Chilean market.

Groupon, meanwhile, was holding off in a U.S., and by this time a association was armed with a billion-dollar valuation from a investors. Groupon also faced pressures from increasing competition, and from 2010-2011, a association went on a wild shopping spree, appropriation as many of a copycat competitors around a universe as it presumably could.

While that was happening, and regulating a Needish database, a ClanDescuento group started promulgation daily email offers to a users, fast gaining recognition in Chile. After usually 3 months of operations, ClanDescuento generated poignant revenue. Its founders motionless they wanted to enhance ClanDescuento to a rest of Latin America, so a group took a outing to Silicon Valley, with a thought of lifting appropriation for their expansion. They finished adult in a assembly with Andrew Mason, a owners of Groupon, who due branch ClanDescuento into what would turn “Groupon Latin America.”

In Jun 2010, after usually months of operations, Groupon acquired ClanDescuento. Under a new name “Groupon Latin America,” and with poignant financial backing, a group (which now enclosed Daniel Undurraga, Oskar Hjertonsson, Felipe Henríquez Meyer and Juan Pablo Cuevas as a CEO) was means to continue flourishing their operations opposite Latin America.

Saying goodbye to Groupon

For a subsequent few years, a ClanDescuento founders led Groupon Latin America and managed some-more than 1,000 employees. But for these entrepreneurs, along with many other Groupon Latin America employees, building businesses opposite a segment was most some-more interesting.

In Feb 2013, Hjertonsson and Undurraga changed divided from a universe of daily deals to Silicon Valley. There, they launched a new group-photo use called Seahorse. The thought didn’t utterly take off and usually as Seahorse was circuitous down, Juan Pablo Cuevas, Needish’s third co-founder and a initial financier in Seahorse, was also formulation to leave Groupon Latin America after carrying successfully run a association for several years.

By a finish of 2014, a 3 Needish founders were behind together, this time with another thought some-more in line with their prior success.

Cornershop is born

In Jan 2015, Cornershop, an on-demand smoothness use for a Latin American market, was born. Having lived in San Francisco for roughly 5 years, Undurraga was feeling with a far-reaching accumulation of on-demand services accessible and satisfied that Latin Americans would suffer identical services, too. On tip of that, nobody else in a segment was providing them.

With a US$2.5 million investment performed by private capital, a 3 ClanDescuento founders launched Cornershop in Mexico and Chile. Not usually was Mexico a largest marketplace in Latin America, though Undurraga and his partners knew a marketplace really good from their time operative during Groupon Mexico. They also motionless to bottom their engineering group in Chile, and launched a smoothness use there, as well.

Less than a year in, Cornershop lifted another US$6.7 million to accelerate a expansion in Mexico and Chile. In May 2017, a association sealed an impressive US$21 million turn led by Accel Partners. These million-dollar fundraising rounds are zero brief of considerable for a Latin American startup, and are explanation that investors positively see earnest intensity in Cornershop.

Other Groupon member successes

As for a other members of Groupon Latin America, Felipe Henríquez Meyer, a CFO of Groupon Latin America from Jun 2010 to Jun 2013, went on to turn a handling partner during Nazca Ventures (now Mountain Nazca Latin America), an early-stage try collateral account that invests in Latin American companies.

Last year, when Groupon announced a preference to refocus a efforts in only 15 markets (in North America, Europe, a Middle East and Africa) and to find vital alternatives for a remaining 11 Asian and Latin American markets, Mountain Nazca began purchasing Groupon businesses in 5 Latin American markets. By Apr 2017, it had acquired a remaining Groupon height in a region, Groupon Brazil, bringing Henríquez’s impasse with Groupon full circle. In November, Mountain Nazca announced a merger of Brazil’s heading online player, Peixe Urbano, shopping it behind from a Chinese web and hunt hulk Baidu.

Then there is Daniel López Rivas, who worked for Needish and as a amicable media manager during Groupon Latin America. Rivas went on to launch Hoblee, a content-sharing platform, though is now behind with a strange Needish group doing selling for Cornershop. Many other members of a strange Needish growth team, such as Oscar Giraldo and Gert Findel, also changed into Groupon’s offices on a acquisition. Nico Brenner, a product manager during Needish, after founded Praiseworthy, an worker examination and feedback government software.

Patricio del Sol, who worked as a conduct of selling and as a comparison product owners for Groupon Latin America from 2011 to 2013, went on to turn a co-founder of Admetricks, a height that provides business comprehension services for online advertising.

Daniela Lorca Nuñez, Desiree Grinspun and Pablo Viojo, a 3 founders of Babytuto, an e-commerce height that offers baby products in Chile, also worked during Groupon Latin America and recently lifted some-more than half a million dollars for their new venture. Camila Veloso, who hold several sales roles during Groupon Chile, went on to launch Kosleeping in Chile, an e-commerce height also featuring high-quality mom and baby products.

Manolo Atala was a CEO of Groupon Mexico in 2010 to 2012 and after became a CEO of Groupon North LatAm, that enclosed Mexico and a Caribbean, until 2013. After that, he assimilated a Cornershop government group and co-founded Pulpomatic, a swift government program association in Mexico.

Felipe Parragué, who also had a brief army during ClanDescuento before fasten Groupon Mexico underneath several roles, founded Denda, an e-commerce height for environmentally accessible and tolerable products with operations in Chile and Mexico.

Then there is Federico Malek, a owners of Wallooz in Argentina, that was acquired by Groupon in 2010. During Malek’s time during Groupon, he saw a marketplace event for sell e-commerce in Argentina; shortly after withdrawal Groupon he perceived appropriation to start Avenida.com, an online emporium featuring a far-reaching accumulation of products most like Amazon. By 2015, Avenida.com had lifted US$50.5 million.

This positively isn’t all of a success stories that have emerged from a Groupon Latin America ecosystem. With some-more than 760 employees in Groupon units opposite Latin America, an ever-growing support complement of investors, advisors and mentors, as good as a renewed concentration interjection to Mountain Nazca, it will be sparkling to see if Groupon Latin America will continue churning out unusual entrepreneurs, generally in a e-commerce space, for a foreseeable future.

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