For years, Gonzalo Blanco and Mafalda Barros have seen how the misaligned incentives in Latin American financial products push the average person to make bad financial decisions. Due to this lack of guidance, people improvise and spend money without realizing the impact that their decisions have on their financial health.
This frustration with the lack of financial education led them to found Quansa, a corporate benefits platform focused on employee financial well-being. We invested in Quansa’s last round and are excited to support them on their mission to promote employee financial health throughout the region.
In this episode, I sat down with Gonzalo to talk about why the incentives in Latin American financial products are broken and how Quansa aims to change that. Gonzalo also shares his lessons learned from working in the corporate world, participating in Pear.vc’s accelerator, and going through the fundraising process in the US and Latin America.
Latin Americans historically don’t trust financial institutions. Banks and financial institutions push products on their clients, and many make bad decisions. However, through Quansa’s digital diagnostic and personal financial coach, clients have transparency and can easily understand the impact of their decisions.
Learn more about how employees can incorporate healthy financial habits with Quansa in this episode of Crossing Borders.
Transitioning from 10 years in the corporate world
Gonzalo explains that there is no perfect recipe for a person’s decision to transition from the corporate world into entrepreneurship. For him, it was a matter of understanding the opportunities that would be available to him if he decided to continue working for a corporation. It was important for him to learn about company processes from larger organizations that had perfected them over time, but for the next step in his career, he wanted to be able to work with more speed and fewer limitations.
Listen to this episode of Crossing Borders to learn more about the lessons Gonzalo learned from working for a corporation.
From Stanford’s GSB to the Pear Accelerator 2020
The idea for Quansa originated in Stanford’s Graduate School of Business when Gonzalo was taking a class called Startup Garage, part of his Master’s program. Gonzalo and Mafalda were focusing on solving for financial health in Latin America. At that moment, they met Mar Hershenson from Pear VC who invited them to participate in Pear’s Accelerator. It opened a world of opportunities for them.
Check out this episode of Crossing Borders to learn more about how they attracted investors from the US and Latin America.
Gonzalo Blanco is providing a financial solution to the Latin American market that has employees’ best interests in mind with Quansa. With Mafalda, they are striving to change the way Latin Americans spend their money, putting their financial well-being first.
Outline of this episode:
- [1:46] – About Quansa
- [4:55] – The entrepreneurial ‘itch’
- [6:15] – Transition from the corporate world
- [10:26] – On meeting his co-founder
- [12:47] – Misaligned incentives in financial solutions
- [24:30] – Quansa’s fundraising process
- [28:00] – Advice to Gonzalo’s younger self
- [29:49] – Books, blogs, and podcast recommendations
- [31:20] – What’s next for Quansa?
- [33:00] – Magma Partners and Quansa
Resources & people mentioned: