Lara Lemann and Monica Saggioro of Sao Paulo–based mostly MAYA Capital take a regional strategy to investing, and their technique is paying off. The traders raised $40 million for his or her first fund after beginning the agency in 2018 and have now closed on $100 million in capital commitments for MAYA’s second fund.
With their first fund, they backed over 29 firms in 12 sectors throughout Brazil, Mexico, Colombia and Chile. Two of these investments turned unicorns — meals tech firm NotCo and e-commerce aggregator Merama.
This new fund triples the agency’s belongings beneath administration and can allow the pair to put money into one other 25 to 30 firms, with 50% reserved for follow-in funding, Lemann, co-founder and managing companion, advised Nob6. MAYA may even double down on its concentrate on main the primary verify into firms and is increasing its attain amongst Spanish-speaking founders throughout Latin America.
Its first fund was break up 65% in Brazil and 35% in the remainder of the area, and Lemann expects to do a extra even break up of round 50% in Brazil and 50% in Spanish-speaking LatAm. That strategy has enabled Lemann, Saggioro and their staff to assist the MAYANs — their title for the businesses of their portfolio — scale from Latin America into Brazil and vice versa.
“The concept is we need to be investing within the high founders and within the firms which are going to be the winners within the area,” she added. “We see that the winner has historically been pan-regional, in order that’s what we consider MAYA additionally must do.”
MAYA has “made a number of investments” from the brand new fund already, Lemann mentioned, however didn’t disclose any firm names.
Lemann and Saggioro met in 2016 when Lemann was an angel investor and Saggioro was testing completely different enterprise fashions at Harvard. What united them was the belief that not solely was know-how going to be a disruptor and innovator in Latin America, but in addition that there was not a lot capital dedicated to finance firms within the early phases.
They created MAYA to launch their first fund with the thesis of “main the primary enterprise spherical of one of the best groups in Latin America,” and convey extra to the ecosystem than simply capital, Lemann mentioned.
“That’s why we’ve taken this strategy of actually getting our arms soiled with the portfolio,” she added.
MAYA helps firms primarily from seed to Collection A in a number of methods: hiring, go-to-market and fundraising. The agency helps supply, interview and join portfolio firms with potential expertise. Final 12 months, the agency remodeled 400 introductions to potential hires. It additionally made 200 vetted industrial connections and 250 introductions to top-tier funds for fundraising.
Moreover, the agency created its Feminine Pressure initiative to attach and mentor feminine founders, who proceed to be underrepresented in Latin America.
Women make up just 2.4% of partners at venture firms, as effectively. We’ve seen many ladies bucking this pattern, although, like True Wealth Ventures, which simply closed on $35 million for its second fund.
Nonetheless, whereas Lemann notes that fundraising was tougher as ladies, as was breaking into the enterprise capital community, hers and Saggioro’s “diversified backgrounds make them a non-obvious staff,” and that their distinction is one in every of their strengths.
“We’ve got immediately diversified entry to deal circulation, and a big majority of our deal circulation is feminine founders,” Lemann added. “The best way that we analyze firms could be completely different due to our completely different views. We’re additionally very hands-on, which is completely different from all the opposite early-stage funds within the area. Being completely different is definitely acquired as a really constructive factor.”
Saggioro defined that restricted companions favored that distinction as effectively. Buyers into MAYA’s second fund embody fund of funds, like Cendana Capital, institutional traders, household places of work and founders from Latin America, Europe and the U.S.
Whereas there was proof of pulling again in each enterprise capital investments and LP commitments to funds, MAYA’s “strong efficiency” helped them have the ability to launch a brand new fund on this atmosphere, she mentioned.
“Most of our capital got here from re-ups from our present traders,” Saggioro added. “We additionally introduced in loads of institutional traders who’re used to working in cycles and have been capable of present the dry powder wanted to provide a bonus to VC funds. Those that select to start out firms in moments like these are essentially the most resilient ones, so we’re excited to proceed to find out about those that are working onerous to unravel Latin America’s largest issues.”