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Crossing Borders with Nathan Lustig


Hello and welcome to Crossing Borders with Nathan Lustig, where I interview entrepreneurs doing startups across borders and the investors who support them, with a focus on companies that have some relationship to Latin America.

Oct 2, 2018

If you don’t believe entrepreneurship is a grueling job, just ask Ignacio Guglielmetti. Ignacio says he has never worked harder than he does for his startup Cuida Mi Mascota, and he used to be a management consultant - one of the most demanding jobs out there. His path from consulting to building a pet-sitting startup was far from clear; it took him to the Netherlands, USA, Mexico, Argentina, Puerto Rico, and Brazil. One might say that Ignacio knows a thing or two about doing business across borders.

In this episode of Crossing Borders, I invited Ignacio to discuss his two startups, how he studied in Buenos Aires and Rotterdam, what it was like to merge with a competitor in Latin America, having a startup acquired, the difference between all the accelerators Ignacio has participated in (three, in three different countries!), and how Ignacio became an angel investor. Check out this episode to learn about doing business across Latin America’s biggest economies, including how to do business in Brazil as a Spanish-speaking entrepreneur.

Running to the bathroom to answer startup emails

It’s a story that many of entrepreneurs will relate to. Ignacio’s first bit of advice to himself for when he started his first startup: quit your job earlier. When Ignacio was working on SinImanes, a food delivery startup in Argentina that was later acquired, he waited six months to quit his management consulting job, running to the bathroom during meetings to answer urgent emails.

Trying to do both things at once was just too complicated. After quitting his job, Ignacio was able to take SinImanes to Mexico via a merger. Find out how Ignacio raised US$500K at his first startup and how that led to his founding Cuida Mi Mascota in Mexico, after growing up in Argentina.

In acquisitions and mergers, know your strengths

Ignacio has gone through both processes, and he knows how complicated those negotiations can get. If you have good traction, look for a partner who has access to a strong network or a bigger addressable market. If your competitor gets acquired, be on the lookout for interest from their acquirer. But you don’t have to accept the first acquisition offer you receive; shop around a bit, get competing offers, then decide.

Ignacio has been on all sides of the acquisition and merger process and knows what it takes to find the right partner to help you enter a market. Listen to this episode of Crossing Borders to hear how to deal with acquisitions and mergers when crossing borders in the Latin American market.

How to choose where to raise capital

Ignacio has received investment and acceleration from institutions in the US, Mexico, Argentina, and Chile, so he has a broad perspective on what entrepreneurs should expect. If you are working with US VCs, for example, expect a quick response; whether it’s a yes or a no, you will know almost right away. On the Latin American side, your network might lead you to the right VC, but they will take their time in due diligence.

After gaining experience as an angel investor, Ignacio has a final tip: bring on an investor with experience in your industry. He doesn’t invest in any companies where he wouldn’t be able to provide industry advice because he knows the value of mentorship from an experienced investor. Check out the rest of this episode of Crossing Borders to hear about how Ignacio got started as an angel investor.

Ignacio Guglielmetti exemplifies an entrepreneur doing business across borders in Latin America. Now based in Sao Paulo, Ignacio is growing Cuida Mi Mascota, especially as pet sitting has become a very hot market globally. Listen to this episode to hear Ignacio tell the story of how he took his two startups across Latin America, even as the Argentine economy was failing.

Shownotes:

[1:36] - Nathan introduces Ignacio

[2:05] - What does CuidaMiMascota do?

[2:40] - How did you start doing business across borders?

[5:40] - Why Holland?

[6:40] - Ignacio gets his start in management consulting

[8:06] - How long did it take for you to realize the food delivery business would be successful?

[9:48] - What was it like to raise money in 2011-2013?

[12:15] - Start-Up Chile

[13:11] - Compare the pros and cons of LatAm accelerators and US accelerators

[15:40] - Could you describe the acquisition process?

[17:54] - What advice do you have for people to stay in touch with potential acquirers in the ecosystem?

[19:30] - Family and friends’ reaction

[21:28] - What was it like to merge with a Mexican company?

[24:50] - How did you start your next business after the merge?

[27:55] - How to start a marketplace in Latin America

[31:00] - How Ignacio grew CuidaMiMascota by hand

[32:31] - How did you get to 20 cities?

[33:47] - Cuida Mi Mascota raises 3 funding rounds

[35:00] - Advice for other founders about raising money in USA and LatAm

[38:30] - What was it like to acquire to enter the Brazilian market?

[39:50] - what is it like to do business in sao paulo?

[41:10] - Why did you decide to start angel investing?

[44:05] - What’s next for Cuida Mi Mascota?

[47:02] - Advice for his younger self

[48:03] - Where is the LatAm ecosystem going in the next 2-5 years?

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