Manuel Olguín, Keynua: E-signatures for the Latin American market, Ep 127

As a serial entrepreneur in Latin America, Manuel Olguín is very familiar with the unique challenges that the region holds that can turn into amazing opportunities. One of those pain points is the time-consuming process of signing legal documents. While in the US e-signatures have been widely adopted, in Latin America this is still a novelty.

Having gone through this process on numerous occasions with his own startups, Manuel decided to co-found Keynua, an electronic signature provider that has the added component of identity verification through facial recognition. At Magma Partners, we’ve invested in Keynua’s disruptive solution which has also received backing as part of YCombinator’s 2019 winter batch. 

I sat down with Manuel to talk about his first experience as an entrepreneur when LatAm’s VC industry was just getting started and how he combined his love of tech and his experience in the movie industry to found Cinepapaya. We also talk about how Keynua is providing a solution to fix Latin America’s broken notary services industry.

A Peruvian startup success story 

Originally from Peru, Manuel decided to go back home after having worked at several tech companies in the US and Europe to try his luck starting his own. With his background in movie distribution and production, he created an online solution for the movie industry. He founded Cinepapaya, a movie ticket selling platform in Peru that eventually grew and expanded into more than 12 South American countries. 

Listen to this episode to learn more about Cinepapaya and its eventual acquisition by Fandango in this episode of Crossing Borders.

From the Netflix of LatAm to movie tickets for LatAm

Cinepapaya had initially started off as a streaming service, but this changed when Netflix entered Latin America. Even though they were close to finishing the product, Manuel and his team had to make the tough decision to pivot. They took a look at the market opportunities and realized that they could repurpose their database to create an online ticketing platform. They found a space in LatAm’s market that hadn’t yet been filled.

Learn more about how Manuel and his team successfully pivoted Cinepapaya in this episode of Crossing Borders.

Latin America’s broken notary services industry

Manuel’s decision to found Keynua came from his personal frustration with the document signing process while scaling Cinepapaya. While the US-based legal teams would send electronically signed documents, in LatAm they were still sending physically signed documents with wet signatures which would sometimes require a notary public stamp. This would add another few weeks to the process and significantly slow down business transactions.

Find out how Keynua is transforming this sector with its digital solution in this episode of Crossing Borders.

Manuel Olguín is changing the way documents are signed in Latin America with Keynua, helping many Latin Americans save time and money with their efficient and secure solution.

Outline of this episode

  • [1:18] – About Keynua’s solution
  • [6:35] – Manuel’s nomadic upbringing
  • [7:20] – A serial entrepreneur 
  • [8:38] – Lessons learned from his first ventures
  • [9:39] – Why Cinepapaya?
  • [11:14] – Pivoting due to competition
  • [13:26] – Building a business in Latam in 2012
  • [15:23] – Cinepapaya’s regional expansion
  • [17:47]  – Getting acquired by Fandango
  • [19:55] – Why Keynua?
  • [22:18] – Latam’s notary market
  • [26:00] – The YC experience
  • [27:27] – Getting started with Keynua
  • [29:57] – Advice to Manuel’s younger self
  • [30:56] – Books, blogs, & podcast recommendations
  • [31:46] –  What’s next for Keynua

Resources & people mentioned

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