Preview Mode Links will not work in preview mode

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 22, 2019

Pedro Sorrentino and his team were successful angel investors with multiple exits and technology executives and entrepreneurs when Pedro and his team decided to co-found ONEVC, a cross-border seed-stage firm based in San Francisco and São Paulo. He went from being a tech executive to starting his own company and then transitioned into angel investing and parlayed this successful track record into a $38M venture capital fund.  

ONEVC’s cross-border vision means that they invest in Latin America and the US with very specific theses for both regions. The fund focuses on investing early into category-defining startups that operate in Latin America or startups outside of Silicon Valley, whether that be in Latin America, US or in Europe, that have the potential to go global.

In this episode, we cover the ONEVC investment thesis, and why they decided to invest against this thesis. We also discuss how Pedro thinks about helping companies he partners with and his advice to startup founders going into the Brazilian market. Lastly, we talk about how Latin America’s ecosystem is changing, advice to founders seeking funding from VCs, and advice Pedro would give to his younger self when he was first starting ONEVC.

“We are in the business of partnering with inevitability”

Pedro says that with seed and pre-seed investments it’s only clear that it’s going to work after the fact. Some startups look really promising at the moment of investment, but may lose momentum for different reasons after receiving the funds. Others are an unstoppable brute force of nature; these are what Pedro calls  ‘the inevitables’. Gaining access to a fund’s capital and time will only speed up the current trajectory of these types of founders.

Find out how Pedro thinks about ONEVC’s framework for finding investments that will create returns in this episode of Crossing Borders.

How ONEVC helps its portfolio companies

Pedro and ONEVC try to support companies as much as they can, trying to get heavily involved with their portfolio companies. Investing means helping their portfolio companies in three key areas: raising capital, providing access to top candidates when recruiting, and assisting in sales. Pedro explains that at ONEVC they believe they need to earn their place in cap tables by helping in these three areas.

Learn more about ONEVC’s investment strategies in this episode of Crossing Borders.

Advice to Spanish-speaking founders in the Brazilian Market

Pedro admits that despite Brazil’s friendly reputation, it can be a very hostile environment for doing business. He advises foreign founders to find a local partner to help introduce them to the best lawyers, accountants, and service providers when opening the Brazilian market. Pedro also suggests that building a corporate culture that can permeate both national and language barriers is key to developing a scalable business in a systematic way, as well as to attract Brazil’s top talent.

Tune in to this episode of Crossing Borders to hear more advice on pursuing the Brazilian market as a Spanish-speaking founder. 

From starting companies to eventually investing in them, Pedro Sorrentino has had a long trajectory in the US and Latin American startup ecosystems. Today, as founder of ONEVC, he invests in companies like Rappi, Pipefy, and Loggi and helps them unleash their full potential in their respective markets. 

Show Notes:

  • [01:45] - About ONEVC, past and present
  • [05:10] - ONEVC’s investment parametres: check sizes and stages
  • [08:01] - Getting involved in VC
  • [16:14] - Unicorns in LatAm: Brazil versus Mexico
  • [18:36] -  Advice for Spanish-speaking LatAm founders in the Brazilian market
  • [20:52] - Deciding on ONEVC’s investment thesis
  • [23:55] - Advice to Pedro’s younger self
  • [25:10] - Books and podcasts Pedro recommends
  • [29:11] - What’s next for Pedro and ONEVc?

Resources Mentioned:

“How to Get Rich” - Naval Ravikant