Gustavo Guida has been starting companies in Latin America before it was cool. He founded his first company in 2000, during Brazil’s tech bubble. Bondfaro was a price comparison website which, after merging with Buscapé in 2006, became the largest of its kind in Latin America. Since then, Gustavo has continued founding companies including HelpSaude, and most recently, Alloy Card.
As co-founder and co-CEO of Alloy Card, Gustavo is bringing automation to the world of finance. The fintech startup offers consumers a credit card that uses automation to help people have more control over their finances. Alloy Card was also part of 500 Startups’ recent batch and is set to officially launch in the US first.
I sat down with Gustavo to talk about his experience starting a company in Brazil’s tech bubble, then merging with Buscapé, and getting acquired by Naspers. We also discuss his decision to continue starting companies after his first exit, and why he chose to launch Alloy Card in the US first.
Making it big
Fresh out of university and seven months into his first job, Gustavo was inspired by all the companies that were popping up in Brazil during the dotcom bubble. He decided he wanted to follow their example and build something big. He jumped into the opportunity to start his first company and even got his former employers curious and ended up pitching his business to them.
Listen to this episode of Crossing Borders to learn more about Gustavo’s experience starting a company and raising money during the tech bubble in Brazil.
The dot com crash Latin America style
When the bubble burst, Gustavo almost had to declare bankruptcy with Bondfaro. With $30K in the bank, one of his investors advised him to spend it on marketing as a last attempt to save the company. However, as CEO, Gustavo was not convinced by this strategy. Instead, he decided to stick it through and start cutting down on expenses. Gustavo explains that they became cash flow positive by force.
Find out how Bondfaro became profitable after almost declaring bankruptcy in this episode of Crossing Borders.
Gustavo explains that he was extremely happy with his first exit. Even though he could have easily stopped after reaching this milestone, Gustavo has kept adding more chapters to his entrepreneurial journey. He recalls that as a kid, he was very inquisitive and enjoyed doing mental exercises and problem solving. Not much has changed since then, as he continues to identify problems, such as market inefficiencies, and find solutions for them.
Learn more about what motivates Gustavo to continue on this journey in this episode of Crossing Borders.
Gustavo Guida is passionate about entrepreneurship and developing solutions to help others live better lives. Over the years, he has demonstrated this passion through the successful companies he has led. With his latest venture, Alloy Card, he is helping people have better control of their finances and improve their quality of life through a customizable solution.
Outline of this episode:
- [1:55] – About Alloy Card
- [2:49] – Becoming an entrepreneur
- [3:57] – Brazil’s tech bubble
- [6:20] – Why price comparison?
- [7:28] – Crashing and bouncing back
- [10:17] – Merging with Buscapé
- [15:21] – After the first exit
- [19:24] – Inspiration for Alloy and first steps
- [23:44] – Books, blogs, & podcast recommendations
- [25:25] – Advice to Gustavo’s younger self
- [27:11] – What’s next for Alloy?
Resources & people mentioned: