Two American Operator-Investors Headed to LATAM
TL;DR Josh and I, both American operator-investors, are heading to LATAM this November! The plan is to travel (one of our passions), invest in LATAM tech startups (there are so many unicorns to be discovered in LATAM), and immerse ourselves in indigenous culture (39.2% of my roots).
I want to tell you more in the post below and invite you to join us on our LATAM adventure!
To join our LATAM adventure, subscribe to my newsletter here. FYI, we do plan to host founder-funder coffees along our journey. If you want connect or have suggestions tweet me at @lolitataub or connect with LaaS here.
Long-form Hi! My name is Lolita Taub. I’m a wife, community-driven operator-investor, and first-generation Mexican-American (with ancestry that tracks the whole world, minus Australia, Siberia, and India). I’m married to Josh Taub, a feminist husband with a technical background who loves to teach online and code, and ancestry that’s Israeli-American (99.3% Ashkenazi Jew).
Our curiosity for our roots and the opportunity to build community has taken us all over the world and led us to interesting travels together. For example, we traveled to 20 countries in 4 continents (Oceania, Asia, Africa, Europe) to film a YouTube show that highlights 100 female millennial entrepreneurs and inspires women to see themselves as leaders and founders. And we are now planning for another nomadic adventure, this time to explore my indigenous ancestry (39.2% indigenous), show the world the opportunities that lie in investing in LATAM tech startups, and invite others to consider a nomadic lifestyle.
I want to get to know and share my indigenous roots
My ancestry was colonized (that’s exactly how I have the whole world in my DNA), stripped of its culture and traditions many times over, and I want to go back to the lands to capture what I’ve missed and create space to celebrate the indigenous culture that as I know it was: matriarchal, communal, and believed in the sacredness of the Mother Earth.
We want to showcase LATAM’s startup-VC scene and invest in unicorns
It makes sense for VCs to more seriously look at Latin America for investment opportunities for many reasons. Below I list a few.
- LATAM represents 600M people and $6T of GDP; in other words, LATAM’s population is 2x that of the US
- LATAM’s internet penetration is at 70% (China/India at 59/50%); mobile internet penetration is at 67% (China/India at 56%/50%) and expected to grow 15% by 2025, and engagement rates are averaging >9 hours per day of internet usage (for the rest of the world it is 6.5 hours)
- LATAM is primed to be the next global tech hotspot because tech innovation is benefitting peripheral markets
- There’s an over-emphasis on US startups and while VCs are focused on saturated markets, it’s the best time to join the growing number of investors in LATAM and find alpha in this emerging market
- There’s an underestimation of the market that can lead to well-priced deals that will lead to outsized returns
- Progressive investors will make alpha returns. There have already been 17 unicorns +
- We’re already starting to see it happen and I want in! Definitely want to be a woman investing in unicorns and one of Josh and my personal goals is to invest in a unicorn.
In particular, I’m curious to explore tech startups at the intersection of community and agriculture, logistics, and fintech. The reason being that LATAM has great strengths in agriculture (and my parents were farmers so I know a thing or two); LATAM struggles with logistics and there’s great opportunity (plus my dad was a truck driver and when I first started my career I was a supply chain consultant at one of the world’s largest tech companies); LATAM has a nascent fintech scene and there’s lots of money to be made (that’s why Josh and I invested in LATAM women bank Jefa).
Other opportunities, as identified by Sequoia, include consumer internet, education, and healthcare.
The plan is to go to the startup hubs where there are nascent but growing startup ecosystems: Mexico, Colombia, Brazil, and Argentina; use my unique Latina lens, my Spanish, and invest.
Explore our ancestors’ nomadic roots
We were all initially nomadic. Our people migrated with the seasons to seek our basic needs: food and protection from the elements. Why not go back to that lifestyle? Why not do it this time as part of the renaissance that the pandemic has kicked off?
In this LATAM adventure, Josh and I would like to explore a nomadic lifestyle. Will it always be fun? How does making money and taxes work out? Where do we live? How do we get mail? Will we extend our 12-month adventure indefinitely?
Call to action
I invite you to join Josh and me on our adventures. You can subscribe to my newsletter here to stay in the know of what we’re doing and when/where our first LATAM community coffee will take place. And, if you want to collaborate, reach out to LaaS here.
- Sequoia | The Latin American Startup Opportunity
- LATAM List | Understanding the VC landscape in the LatAm Ecosystem
- Medium | A Story of Resilience: How has the LatAm Venture Capital Ecosystem Grown?
- CBInsights | Startup Continent: The Most Well-Funded Tech Startups In Latin America And The Caribbean
- Pitchbook | VC interest in Latin America swells as fintech takes flight
- NASDAQ | Predictions for Latin America’s Startup Landscape in 2021
- SVB | Venturing into LatAm
- Crunchbase | Report: VC Funding In Latin America More Than Doubled To A Record $4.6B In 2019
- World Economic Forum | Latin America is primed to be the next global tech hotspot
- Statista | Latin America: most valuable unicorn companies 2021
Lolita Taub is Corporate Development VP at Catalyte and Scout at Lightspeed Venture Partners, where she invests in community-driven companies. With 15 years working within the Silicon Valley ecosystem, she has accomplished $70M+ in sales and made 70+ investments as an angel investor and VC at Backstage Capital and The Community Fund. Lolita is also a Co-Founder of the Startup-Investor Matching Tool, the GP-LP Matching Tool, and LaaS. Forbes and Inc Magazine have featured her as a woman promoting investment in underestimated founders and funders. She has a BA from the University of Southern California and an MBA from the IE Business School. Most importantly, she is a dog mom to the cutest Dachshund mix, Choco. Follow Lolita on Twitter @lolitataub.
Josh Taub is an insurance operator at The Infinite Actuary, Co-founder of the Startup-Investor Matching Tool and the GP-LP Matching Tool, and an angel investor in early-stage startups. He has 17+ years experience in Property/Casualty insurance as an actuary and product leader and has taught over 5,000 actuarial students. Josh builds useful tools/apps with Apps Script, Flutter, and no-code tools. World traveler (65+ countries) and occasional speaker/writer. Follow Josh on Twitter @josh_taub.