Kaszek Ventures, run by Endeavor Entrepreneurs Nicolas Szekasy and Hernán Kazah (co-founders of MercadoLibre along with Marcos Galperin) recently raised $135 million in a second round fund. Despite recent headlines discussing the turbulence in emerging markets, the substantial funding round shows promise for the region’s continual growth and investment opportunities.
The new fund’s investors include firms Horsley Bridge Partners, Sequoia Heritage and Kevin Efrusy, the partner at Accel Partners responsible for its early investment in Facebook. According to coverage in the New York Times, of the 22 companies that Kaszek has invested in, 17 have raised at least one subsequent financing round and 11 of those brought in new investors.
Nicolas, Hernán and Marcos were among the first entrepreneurs to be selected into the Endeavor network in 1999, and have subsequently become one of the Endeavor’s greatest success stories with MercadoLibre. Known as the eBay of Latin America, MercadoLibre was the first company in the Endeavor portfolio to have an IPO in the U.S., opening on the NASDAQ at $400 million in 2007. The entrepreneurs received a number of Endeavor services in their early stages, including placement with the eMBA Program, financial consulting, and connections with eBay, which acquired a stake in the company in 2002. Subsequently, Nicolas, Hernán and Marcos have fulfilled Endeavor’s model by giving back to the organization, serving on Global Advisory Boards and as panelists and mentors.
Read the full article in New York Times’ Dealbook by clicking here.
In January, the Endeavor Investor Network team co-hosted an event in Sao Paulo, Brazil with Brazil Innovators and the Kauffman Fellows Program that convened 40+ high-growth Brazilian companies and 40+ investment firms from the United States, Europe, Mexico and Brazil. During the two-hour speed networking session – a hallmark of all Investor Network events – participants met with up to ten companies each, resulting in 350+ formal investor-to-entrepreneur introductions. Following the formal networking session, participants celebrated with a dinner hosted by the Kauffman Fellows Program.
As part of the larger Kauffman Fellows Global Summit, the investor event brought together 130+ leaders of the worldwide entrepreneurship ecosystem and promoted Brazil as a top market for investment. Throughout the 2014 Summit, Endeavor Entrepreneurs, network members and staff took the stage to discuss topics ranging from venture capital in Brazil to pan-regional companies launching local operations. Endeavor participants included entrepreneur Miguel (Mike) Santos of Technisys, board member Jason Green, Endeavor Catalyst‘s Allen Taylor and Leticia Queiroz of Endeavor Brazil.
Endeavor VP Allen Taylor at the KFP Global Summit
Highlights February 5th, 2014 — admin
To view Endeavor’s February newsletter, a recap of all the top news stories from the previous month, please CLICK HERE.
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Research February 4th, 2014 — admin
Endeavor Insight, supported by Omidyar Network, recently released a report that addresses the question “What Do the Best Entrepreneurs Want In A City?” With research culled from surveys and interviews with 150 founders of some of the fastest growing companies in the U.S., the report offers some important takeaways for urban leaders. Studies show that entrepreneurs often look to large cities rather than less urban areas to start their ventures and tend to stay put as their firms grow, with a majority of the founders surveyed living in metropolitan regions with populations of over one million. With this in mind, Endeavor Insight set out to explore the key elements of cities that allow them to attract and retain high-impact businesses, and the steps that leaders and policymakers can take to equip their cities for entrepreneurial growth.
The research uncovered a few key lessons on what makes certain cities more attractive than others. While a strong quality of life, talent pool and customer base were the most cited considerations, there was also a surprising lack of mention of business-friendly regulation as a factor. City leaders who dedicate resources to fostering these identifiable characteristics have the highest potential of drawing the types of innovative entrepreneurs, companies and jobs that can transform their local economies.
Read the full report, including more detailed explanations of each lesson and a list of the top keywords mentioned, by clicking here. The report was also featured in the The Atlantic Cities, The Atlantic and the Silicon Valley Business Journal.
Endeavor Entrepreneur company Pozitron, founded by Fatih Işbecer and Fırat İşbecer, recently announced its acquisition by mobile commerce giant Monitise Group in an all-share deal worth $100 million. A Turkey-based mobile software development company, Pozitron was founded in 2000 with the goal of creating, integrating and securing business solutions through the use of cutting-edge mobile technology. Since its founding, the company’s products have reached millions of customers in the region and include solutions for some of Turkey’s largest banks, airlines, and media companies. The company has also earned recognition for its business model from organizations such as Harvard Business School and Deloitte, as well as partnerships with top tech companies like Apple, IBM and Microsoft.
The UK-based Monitise Group, which works with payment partners like Visa to build and roll out mobile solutions, is continuing its global expansion efforts with the Pozitron acquisition following similar deals in the U.S. and African markets. The acquisition signifies a move to expand into the rapidly developing Middle East market, where the number of mobile subscribers is expected to surpass 300 million in 2014. With Turkey often viewed as a gateway into the region, the deal also demonstrates the strength of the country’s startup and scaleup scene, with the Endeavor Turkey affiliate already serving over 60 local entrepreneurs. Fatih Işbecer, Pozitron’s current CEO, will become head of Monitise’s Middle East & Africa business, bringing along COO Fırat İşbecer and the company’s existing 130 employees.
Pozitron founders with Endeavor Turkey staff and entrepreneurs at the 2011 Endeavor Summit
This announcement demonstrates the impact that Endeavor’s work continues to have on its entrepreneurs, and the importance of access to mentorship, support and growth opportunities for companies in the critical scaleup stage. Since their selection as Endeavor Entrepreneurs in 2007, Pozitron has been an active member in the network, securing several client contracts with Endeavor’s support and advisory services. In addition to sessions with Endeavor mentors, Fatih and Fırat have benefited from the eMBA
and G-Lab programs, Endeavor Catalyst
, and participation in Immersion Tours
. The entrepreneurs have also been active in referring future candidates to Endeavor’s selection pipeline.
Read the full press release from Pozitron by clicking here and read TechCrunch’s coverage of the announcement by clicking here.
This video was filmed during Endeavor’s invitation-only 2013 Endeavor Entrepreneur Summit in San Francisco (June 2013).
In this fireside chat, TechCrunch Editor Eric Eldon interviews Ali Partovi about his path from serial entrepreneur (iLike, LinkExchange, Code.org) to early-stage investor (Facebook, Dropbox, Zappos and Airbnb) to startup advisor. Hear why sustainable agriculture and food companies like Brightfarms and Farmigo are next on his radar.
Ali Partovi is a Silicon Valley entrepreneur & investor. Ali co-founded LinkExchange (acquired by Microsoft for $265 million), and iLike (the first successful app on the Facebook platform). He was an early investor in Dropbox, Facebook, OPOWER and Zappos. Ali also co-founded Code.org, a non-profit to promote Computer Science education. Ali’s passion and current focus is sustainable food and agriculture.
Eric Eldon is the Co-Editor of TechCrunch. He was previously the Co-Founder and editor of Inside Network, where he managed publications including Inside Facebook, Inside Social Games and Inside Mobile Apps. Before that, he spent a couple of years covering technology and finance at VentureBeat, a leading Silicon Valley publication where he was the first employee. Eric attended Stanford University and graduated with a degree in International Relations in 2005. He reported and edited news for The Stanford Daily student newspaper.
Watch the playlist of excerpts from their discussion:
Harvard Business School (HBS), working closely with Endeavor, profiled the organization’s U.S. expansion into Miami in a recent case study that explores Endeavor’s operating model, global strategy, and the rigorous decision process behind the establishment of a new affiliate. This is the third study conducted by HBS examining Endeavor’s work, with the first study (2003) focused on Endeavor’s plans for growth and the second study (2009) exploring the concept of high-impact entrepreneurship. In this latest case, the research led by HBS Professor William Sahlman examines both the economic conditions that made Miami an attractive choice for Endeavor’s first U.S. venture, and the steps Endeavor took to turn the idea into a reality.
When the idea of Miami was first proposed in 2012, an evaluation of the city’s entrepreneurial ecosystem found that there was already a strong community of talent and a viable infrastructure, demonstrated by one of the highest rates of new business formation among the 15 largest U.S. metropolitan areas. However, since 2000, the number of large businesses in the area declined by more than 20 percent, coinciding with a rapidly rising unemployment rate. It was evident that there was a vibrant start-up scene in Miami, but a lack of consistent access to investment capital and mentorship opportunities prevented many of these small businesses from reaching the critical scaleup stage.
Supporting entrepreneurs at this level, when job creation and economic impact is most tangible, is where Endeavor’s “mentor capitalist” model would prove valuable to Miami and where members of Endeavor’s senior leadership saw a key opportunity to expand the organization’s mission. There were still questions, however, of whether a U.S. expansion would be consistent with Endeavor’s values and capabilities, and whether it was the best choice among so many other potential markets. What followed was careful consideration and debate around issues of funding, opportunity cost and organizational impact, outlined by the study in an examination of how Endeavor is working to foster high-impact entrepreneurship beyond just emerging markets, but in every region where there is a verifiable need.
Since the Miami affiliate was launched in September 2013, entrepreneurs Roger Duarte and Sam Gorenstein of My Ceviche and Jesus Rodriguez of KidoZen have already successfully been selected into the Endeavor network. Visit the HBS faculty & research site to see a list of their latest publications.
Daily Secret, founded by Endeavor Greece Entrepreneurs Nikos Kakavoulis and Phaedra Chrousos, recently announced that it has raised $1.25 million in a Series B round of venture funding to support the company’s global expansion efforts.
Founded in Athens, Daily Secret is a digital media brand that caters to young urban professionals by providing daily newsletters that share the latest in dining, nightlife, retail and culture tailored to each of the 35 markets it serves. With this new round of funding led by PanAfrican Investment Co., the company is hoping to expand its presence in Africa in major metro areas like Nairobi, Lagos and Accra. Along with these key African cities, Daily Secret also plans to expand in over a dozen other markets within the next year.
As the first entrepreneurs from Greece to join the network in 2012, Daily Secret has been active in many Endeavor services including one-on-one sessions with Endeavor mentors and investors.
Read more about the news in TechCrunch by clicking here.
Endeavor Insight, with support from the Knight Foundation, recently released the first publication in its “City Hubs for Entrepreneurship Series”, explaining the results of an analysis on the opportunities and obstacles to Miami’s growing entrepreneurship ecosystem. The analysis was based on data collected from more than 100 early-stage and growth-stage companies, as well as interviews and focus groups with entrepreneurs, investors and policymakers. The report found a clear and demonstrable need for Endeavor’s work in the region where entrepreneurship is quickly on the rise but still facing many critical challenges. As Endeavor’s first U.S. affiliate, the Miami office was established in September 2013 with support from the Knight Foundation and a managing board composed of some of the city’s top investors and business leaders.
In the report, Endeavor found that that the central challenge for local entrepreneurship was that many companies were starting up, but very few were growing to become medium or large firms. A recent report from the Ewing Marion Kauffman Foundation demonstrated that Miami had the highest rate of new business formation among the 15 largest U.S. metropolitan areas in 2012. However, since 2000, the number of large businesses in the area has declined by more than 20 percent. Endeavor’s own research found that the city’s entrepreneurial community reported a variety of strengths to working in Miami, including a high quality of life, vibrant culture, and an accessible customer base. The challenges to scalable growth however, including a lack of expert talent, mentorship and opportunities for capital, are where Endeavor’s work looks to add the most value. The success of the Miami affiliate thus far has led to the selection of its first entrepreneurs, Roger Duarte and Sam Gorenstein of My Ceviche and Jesus Rodriguez of KidoZen, at the 51st International Selection Panel in Dubai.
Read more coverage on the Miami report from the Knight Foundation by clicking here and also in the Miami Herald by clicking here.
SAP, a global corporate partner of Endeavor, worked closely with Endeavor staff during the 51st International Selection Panel in Dubai to offer candidates the opportunity to brainstorm and share business development strategies in a day-long ‘design thinking’ session.
Led by SAP VP Sameer Areff, the goal of the session was to provide a forum for the entrepreneurs to uncover and address key business challenges by applying a collaborative, user-centered design approach. With the help of a graphic illustrator who transcribed the conversations, advisers from SAP and Endeavor staff worked with the entrepreneurs to identify issues that touched on a range of external and internal challenges, from customer service to product development. The resulting ‘roadmap’ provided a case study of issues and approaches for every entrepreneur to relate to their own business model.
“Design thinking is a powerful tool that helps entrepreneurs take a step back from the day-to-day to drill down on a topic or business challenge in a diverse team,” said Nicolette Van Exel, SAP’s Global Director of Corporate Social Responsibility. “SAP uses this internally and with our customers to address critical technology and business questions. By providing this offering to entrepreneurs we hope to help the next generation of business leaders accelerate and innovate.”
Previously, Endeavor worked with SAP to host similar ‘design thinking’ workshops during the 2013 Endeavor Summit, offering an innovative and interactive session to participants. Read more about the Summit event by clicking here.
Watch a recap video of the Dubai session courtesy of SAP: