Xapo, Founder & CEO; Endeavor Entrepreneur
Wenceslao Casares is co-CEO of Bling Nation, a mobile payments company he founded in 2007 and a partner of MECK, Ltd., a private investment partnership.
He founded Lemon Bank, a Brazilian retail bank for the poor, in June 2002. Lemon Bank is now the largest microfinance institution in Brazil.
He is also the founder of Wanako Games, a US-based developer of console videogames that seeks to leverage the creativity of Latin American talent. The company won the “Game of the Year” award for Xbox Live in 2006. Wanako Games was sold to Vivendi Universal (Euronext: VIV).
In 1997 Casares founded Patagon, an Online Brokerage. As the Company expanded throughout Latin America, Casares lived in Sao Paulo, Mexico City, and New York City. The company also expanded into online banking in Spain and Germany. Patagon was the first Latin American online broker and online bank. It was sold to Spanish bank Santander (NYSE: STD). To learn more about Patagon and Endeavor's effect on the enterprise, check out Wences' Entrepreneur profile on this website.
In 1994 Casares launched Internet Argentina S.A., the first Internet Service Provider in the country. He then sold that company in order to establish Patagon (for which he was selected by Endeavor).
Casares was born in 1974 in a sheep ranch in Patagonia, Argentina. At age 17 he spent a year in Washington, PA as a member of the Rotary International Exchange program. He then attended the University of San Andres, Argentina’s top business school; however, he interrupted his studies in order to start Patagon.
He is an elected member of the World Economic Forum’s Global Leaders for Tomorrow (GLT), and has attended Davos since 2001. He is also a member of the Young Presidents Organization and has completed the Harvard Business School’s Owners and Presidents Management Program.
As part of his philanthropic and non-for-profit activities he serves on the board of the Viva Trust and has established the Fundacion Sintesis with the goal of inspiring the next generation of social and political leaders in Latin America.
He lives with his wife and three children in the San Francisco Bay Area, California.