Daniel Cossío decided he wanted to be involved in technology when he realized that businesses could produce a greater social impact than just an economic return. Today, he is Regional Manager for Latin America at Village Capital, a venture capital firm that supports impact-driven, seed-stage startups that focus on financial services, sustainability, and the future of work and education.
For ten years, Village Capital has supported over 1100 entrepreneurs from around the world, investing in more than 110 startups including Fintual, Vexi, and Siembro in Latin America. Daniel explains that Village Capital believes in supporting entrepreneurs that are often overlooked, helping them bring their big ideas from vision to scale.
In this episode, I sit down with Daniel to discuss how he got on the investor side of the table and became the lead in LatAm and how entrepreneurs can get involved with Village Capital. We also talk about a recent report released by Village Capital called Beyond Borders on how to successfully scale a startup in Latin America, among other industry trends in the region.
Building relationships beyond networking events
Daniel explains that one of the main lessons he’s learned from working at Village Capital is how to become an active listener. In venture capital, it’s not enough to hand out business cards at networking events. To build a strong relationship, it’s important to understand the personal story behind the decisions and motivations of an entrepreneur or investor.
Listen to this episode of Crossing Borders to hear more of Daniel’s lessons learned from working at Village Capital.
Scaling a fintech in Latin America
After observing that founders often struggle with finding the right moment to scale their startup in another country, Village Capital developed a playbook entitled Beyond Borders. According to Daniel, entrepreneurs face a lot of pressure to expand and often fail in the process because they make the decision for the wrong reasons. This report is meant to share insights on how to successfully scale a fintech startup in Latin America.
Check out this episode of Crossing Borders to learn about some of the reasons startups fail when they expand into other markets.
Village Capital and COVID-19
Daniel delves into some of the verticals Village Capital is tackling amid the global pandemic. He explains that the fund is particularly interested in startups that are creating solutions that will help heal the economy post-COVID-19 and those that are most vulnerable to the crisis’ financial repercussions.
In this episode of Crossing Borders, Daniel explains how the global health and economic crisis has affected Village Capital’s investment thesis.
Daniel Cossío’s passion for creating social impact through entrepreneurship is vital to Village Capital’s vision of a future where business can create equity and long term prosperity in Latin America.
Outline of this Episode:
- [1:32] – About Daniel and Village Capital
- [3:27] – Starting his entrepreneurial journey
- [5:54] – Getting on the investor side of the table
- [8:56] – Becoming the lead in LatAm
- [11:01] – Beyond Borders report
- [14:31] – Advice for startups thinking of expanding
- [15:53] – Getting involved with Village Capital
- [17:40] – Daniel’s recommendation for books, blogs, and podcasts
- [18:52] – Advice to Daniel’s younger self
Resources & People Mentioned:
- Daniel Cossío
- Village Capital
- Beyond Borders report
- Amanda Jacobson
- Alejandro Cosentino
- Book recommendations: High Growth Handbook, Principles
Nathan Lustig is the managing partner at Magma Partners, a seed-stage venture capital fund based in Latin America and the United States.