Daniel Otero, Ozon: Financing motorcycles to bring financial inclusion to gig workers, Ep 178

Crossing Borders Daniel Otero

There are nine million motorcycles in Colombia, a country of 50M compared to eight million in the US, a country seven times larger, and Brazilians own 14+ million motorcycles. In Latin America, motorcycles are not transportation, they’re also a work vehicle for delivery and courier workers.

Freelancers who work for delivery apps like Rappi, Uber and Didi use motorcycles and bicycles to make deliveries, but gig workers make ~50% more money if they have a motorcycle, because they can make deliveries faster and fulfill more orders per day.

I sat down with Daniel Otero to talk about how he is tackling financial inclusion via his company Ozon, a platform that finances motorcycles for gig workers and couriers in Latin America. We also discussed his entrepreneurial journey, the growth of Latin America’s Motorcycle market, the advantages and disadvantages of running a multi-country company, and Ozon’s plans for the future.

Latin American motorcycle use is more like motorcycle use in SE Asia 

In Mexico, gig workers purchase nine out of ten motorcycles and the motorcycle market is growing quickly. As more Latin Americans purchase motorcycles, they become more important to Latin American economies. Daniel believes that Latin America might look more like SE Asia in the future. . 

Learn more about Daniel’s insights on the data and trends of mobility in Latam in this episode of Crossing Borders.

Becoming an entrepreneur: From Zero to One

Daniel always dreamed about becoming an entrepreneur, but it wasn’t after working in a traditional company and finishing his MBA that he actually launched his first startup, Muvo, a micro-mobility app that paved the way for Ozon.

Daniel used what he learned starting Muvo to launch Ozon. This meant that from day one Ozon had access to data and resources to start testing different business models.

Listen to this episode of Crossing Borders with Daniel Otero to find out more about learning from mistakes, the importance of befriending your competitors and how to find new business opportunities.

Outline of this episode:

  • [01:25] – About Ozon
  • [02:54] – Numbers and stats
  • [05:05] – A trend like in South East Asia
  • [07:33] – Daniel’s background
  • [09:38] – About Muvo and its story
  • [13:50] – On launching Ozon
  • [15:15] – Lessons learned
  • [15:55] – Expanding to Mexico
  • [16:37] – Advantages and disadvantages of being multicountry
  • [18:44] – Insights on fundraising
  • [20:47] – Where is Ozon today?
  • [22:04] – Expanding to Brazil
  • [22:58] – The Colombian Entrepreneurial Mindset
  • [24:47] – Differences and similarities between Colombia and Mexico
  • [25:58] – Books and podcasts recommendations
  • [27:47] – Advice to a young Daniel
  • [28:44] – Plans for the future

Resources & people mentioned:

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