This interview is the first of an exclusive series highlighting members of the worldwide Endeavor Investor Network. Earlier this month, Mariana Poblete of Endeavor Chile caught up with Nils Galdo Nogales, Founding Partner of InverSur Capital (iS Cap) — an Endeavor Investor Network member in Chile (2013-present) to gather his insights on investments in Latin America.
ENDEAVOR: Tell us a little bit about InverSur Capital (iS CAP).
NILS GALDO NOGALES: In early-2013, we raised our first fund of USD $35M, through which we expect to invest in 10-12 companies. Our average ticket size is USD $1.5M, with considerable capital reserved for follow-on investments. To date, our fund has invested USD $4.3M in three companies and expects to invest in three additional companies by the end of this calendar year (2014).
Our fund’s geographic thesis is the Southern Cone of Latin America, with a particular focus on Chilean companies. Through our current fund, we invest primarily in the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector. We will consider investing in other economic sectors through future funds.
ENDEAVOR: Which firms have co-invested with InverSur? Have you invested in any Endeavor companies?
NILS GALDO NOGALES: To date, we have co-invested with Angel Investors, Copec UC and Fundación Chile. As we continue to invest in this region, we are open to syndicating deals with both current and new global/regional equity investors. We have not yet invested in an Endeavor company but recently backed an Endeavor pipeline company — Mediastream. We would be proud if our entrepreneurs could later become Endeavor Entrepreneurs.
ENDEAVOR: What are the current trends that you see in Chile and LatAm?
NILS GALDO NOGALES: Overall, we see the continuing growth of entrepreneurial and VC activity. More and more entrepreneurs are choosing Chile as their launch-pad for development and the VC industry is matching this growth in entrepreneurship with additional funds.
Although the exit environment in the Southern Cone is yet to be proven, with firms like ours working to develop a clear path for local and /or regional “exits,” we hope to see a big impact in the next couple of years.
Over time, the entrepreneurial ecosystem of Latin America has matured and is presenting a more innovative, resourceful generation of entrepreneurs. This provides a base for both entrepreneurs and other related actors to aim for larger and better growth opportunities. Entrepreneurs from Chile are thinking of the broader region as the potential market for their company, which is contributing to the robust business opportunities that are present in our market.
ENDEAVOR: Any advice for international investors looking to enter the Southern Cone?
NILS GALDO NOGALES: It is always good to have different kinds of actors in the Latin American entrepreneurship ecosystem. My suggestion for international investors is to try to do things with the local ones to better understand the particular contexts as well as business operating norms. For local actors it is good to work with our international counterparts to learn from their experiences and share ours.
ENDEAVOR: Is there anything else that we should know about InverSur?
NILS GALDO NOGALES: The iS Cap office is located in Telefónica´s Open Future, a 1600 square-meter building in Santiago, Chile that hosts the largest entrepreneurial community in the region. Over 700 start-ups have their HQ in the building. Some tenants include Telefónica, BCI (4th largest bank in Chile) and Start-Up Chile, giving us early access to start-ups and tendencies that put InverSur Capital at the center of the local ecosystem.
InverSur Capital(iS Cap) is a member of Endeavor’s Investor Network in Chile. The fund was co-founded in early-2013 by Nils Galdo Nogales. The fund invests in Information and Communication Technology (ICT) companies with proven business models and the potential for global scalability. iS Cap through its Amerigo Chile Fund is part of the Amerigo network of technology venture capital investment funds, promoted by Telefónica. The Amerigo Network has operations in Brazil, Chile, Colombia and Spain.
Nils Galdo Nogaleshas over 10 years of experience in the entrepreneurial and venture capital ecosystem in Latin America. Prior to co-founding InverSur Capital, he co-founded and led ChileGlobal Angels, the angel network sponsored by Fundación Chile. Prior to that, Nils worked for Endeavor Chile; Nils is an active mentor and advisor to several regional companies and initiatives.