Our Entrepreneurs

Alejandro Villalón

Capital Gain Intelligence

Alejandro Villalón
“I saw an opportunity to facilitate payments for millions of small and mid-sized merchants via the Internet.”
Country
Mexico
Industry
Financial Services
Year selected
2005
Website

Company Snapshot

Alejandro currently runs Capital Gain Intelligence, a boutique Investment banking firm acting as an asset manager of Mexican private investors as well as venture capital funds. The company provides services such as asset management, business development, financial consulting and legal advice.

Formerly, Alejandro was the CEO of Ventakit along with his partner Leonardo Shapiro. Recognizing the shortage of credit and debit card terminals in Mexico’s business scene, Alejandro and Leonardo developed Ventakit’s primary product, Tienda-kit® (Sales Kit), which offered credit/debit transaction terminals via Internet Protocol (IP) technology at a substantially lower cost than the then existing telephone validation systems.

Alejandro graduated with a degree in industrial engineering and obtained an MBA at Stanford University. After Stanford he held a number of prestigious financial positions in the Mexican Government and Nacional Financiera (Nafinsa), Mexico’s largest development bank, where he worked on public/private initiatives and promoted small business development in Mexico. After leaving Nafinsa, he joined Ncubo a start-up venture fund, where he met Leonardo. Alejandro began working with Leonardo to develop a business plan for the restaurant portal. During their conversations, the pair touched upon the suppressed “plastic” payment industry in Mexico and began developing ideas to serve this market. With the restaurant portal business failing, Alejandro and Leonardo decided to cut their losses and embark on their new idea – Ventakit.
Tienda-kit® processes credit/debit card transactions using a cheap, “dumb” terminal which connects to a computer with Internet connection to process the transaction. Through this model, they are able to offer the service with no minimum sales requirement or telecom charges. Leonardo and Alejandro convinced the banking sector to become their clients instead of competing with them. They won over clients such as Santander Serfín, the third largest Mexican bank, which agreed to outsource their POS terminal installation and credit card processing to Ventakit. In 2004, the company won Intel’s Technology Award.
In 2008, Alejandro and Leonardo sold a majority stake in Ventakit to Verifone (a secure electronic payment technology company); the result is a joint venture between Ventakit and Verifone called Verifone Access. This is a managed service platform that will provide merchants with access to managed services over the Internet, incorporating payment authorization, estate management. front- and back-end services, value-added payment card management, digital product distribution services and comprehensive card issuance and management products.

Endeavor and Capital Gain Intelligence

Endeavor has provided the Entrepreneurs with a high level of services. When the Entrepreneurs sold a majority stake of their company, Endeavor VCs served as advisors on the deal. They have also received legal and operations support, Secretaria de Economia funding, and participated in an Entrepreneur Summit.

Alejandro and Leo speak regularly at universities and in the media on behalf of Endeavor.

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