Why We Invested In Kamino: Gives Much-Needed Boost to High-Growth LATAM Startups
Repeat Founders Build Financial Infrastructure to Accelerate Time-to-Market and Provide End-to-End Financial and Corporate Solutions for New Businesses
Latin American startups are experiencing a boom in funding and talent. The venture capital ecosystem had a record year in 2021 with more than $15 billion USD being invested across more than 800 companies. This is more invested capital than we‘ve seen in the previous three years combined. And it’s not expected to stop.
With the pandemic fast-tracking financial inclusion and the adoption of digital payments, the region is experiencing higher levels of entrepreneurship and a greater potential for prosperity for more individuals and small businesses. Yet, new businesses and startups in LatAm are struggling to get up and running quickly. The majority of LatAm businesses not only have to manage excessive bureaucracy, but they also face challenges navigating the region’s outdated financial infrastructure –featuring analog banking oligopolies, low and restricted credit availability and poor payment rails. The financial environment for new companies is concerning:
- Only one out of ten high-growth businesses in LatAm have access to credit
- Corporate credit cards offer low limits and are difficult to acquire for first time entrepreneurs
- Cross-border payments are complex and expensive
To help solve this problem, Kamino, our newest Brazil-based portfolio company, is building the financial infrastructure to accelerate the ability for high-growth companies to spin up quickly - within a few days instead of the months that it currently takes. The startup offers a set of corporate services that enable a new company to set up a legal structure as well as a hub of financial services that provides:
- A local bank account at no cost
- A credit card with sufficient credit limit and adequate for recurring payments, such as SaaS tools
- An unsecured credit line with ample limits for working capital
- A safe and liquid investment product that provides an adequate return for cash deposits
- Streamlined currency exchange services between the United States and Brazil, at optimized rates
Co-Founder Benjamin Gleason personally knows the difficulties of a startup journey - he is a serial founder, an especially rare breed in LatAm. After selling Guiabolso to PicPay, Benjamin focused on building Kamino alongside repeat founders and technology leaders who also experienced similar startup challenges. Kamino’s founding team includes Gonzalo Parejo and Guto Fragoso, former colleagues of Benjamin’s that he met at Groupon. Gonzalo, now the CEO of Kamino, is the founder of Bidu, one of the first insurtech companies in Brazil, as well as Ontruck, a freight transportation services company. Guto is a former Amazon Brazil product leader. Kamino’s fourth co-founder, Rodrigo Perenha, is a former technology officer at Mercado Pago, the fintech arm of Mercado Libre.
The founding team started Kamino to help startups who are “stuck” in setting up their companies. Kamino provides an easy onramp through partnerships with law, accounting and financial institutions that provide best-of-breed services to help companies from day one. Kamino plans to help the 3 million high-growth startups, scale-ups and SMEs in Latin America reduce time spent on administrative tasks so they can focus on scaling their businesses and creating valuable products and services.
Our Flourish team has invested in Latin America for years – we backed Benjamin in 2014 when he launched Guiabolso. Now, we’re even more thrilled to support Kamino’s founding team in their latest endeavor. With our new presence in Sao Paulo, we look forward to partnering with more entrepreneurs – both first-time and repeat founders - during this history-making time in the region.