January 2020 Newsletter

To view Endeavor’s January newsletter, a recap of all the top news stories from the past month, please CLICK HERE.

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Endeavor Catalyst Announces Full Deployment of Its $80M+ Fund II and Plans for Fund III

Endeavor Catalyst announced the full deployment of Endeavor Catalyst II at the end of 2019, investing the $80M+ fund in 78 companies led by 122 Endeavor Entrepreneurs in 26 growth markets globally. 

Endeavor Catalyst’s second fund (“Fund II”) saw a significant increase in the pace of investment as well as in geographic and industry diversity among investments.  Launched in March 2017, Fund II was fully deployed in less than three years.

“With its second fund now fully committed, Endeavor Catalyst has proven itself a win-win-win benefit for our entrepreneurs, LPs, and Endeavor as an organization,” said Linda Rottenberg, Co-founder and CEO of Endeavor. “Endeavor Catalyst provides Endeavor Entrepreneurs with the additional support they need while taking on the challenge of fundraising, and enables its LPs to share in their success; all while fostering Endeavor’s goal of becoming a self-sustaining organization worldwide.”

Endeavor Catalyst, which initially launched in 2012 as a concept, made between five and ten investments in each of its first four years, including investments in Globant (NYSE: GLOB) in Argentina and Yemeksepeti.com in Turkey (acquired for $589M in 2015). That rate has increased dramatically over the past three years, as Endeavor expands around the world and Endeavor Entrepreneurs increasingly raise capital from top tier global investors. Endeavor Catalyst invested in over 30 companies per year in calendar years 2018 and 2019. 

Today, Endeavor Catalyst’s portfolio includes companies operating in eight distinct industry verticals, from Fintech and Smart Cities to Healthcare and Education. Fintech was the fastest growing area of investment over the past two years. Notably, around 12% of the companies are led by women (in the United States, just 2% of VC dollars went to female founders in 2018). 

Endeavor Catalyst’s pioneering model has largely facilitated this diversity.  Endeavor Catalyst follows a rules-based approach, investing exclusively in Endeavor Entrepreneur-led companies raising equity rounds of $5M+ that are led by professional venture capital and growth equity funds. Following this approach, Fund II has joined record-breaking rounds from some of the fastest-growing companies around the world, including app-based mobility company SWVL, which raised the largest ever funding round for an Egyptian company; payments platform Cellulant, which raised one of the largest ever funding rounds in Africa; and Checkout.com, which raised the largest ever fintech Series A round in Europe catapulting it to unicorn status with a valuation of over $2B. Other unicorns in the Fund II portfolio include Brazil’s EBANX, Spain’s Cabify, Indonesia’s Bukalapak, and Colombia’s Rappi, which also achieved a partial exit in August 2019.  

“In markets around the world, Endeavor Entrepreneurs are not only solving problems at scale and disrupting traditional industries, but also fundamentally changing the way investors view entrepreneurship outside of Silicon Valley,” said Endeavor Catalyst Managing Director Allen Taylor. 

Endeavor Catalyst has invested in rounds led by many of the world’s leading venture capital and growth equity funds, providing its own LPs access and exposure to some of the fastest-growing companies all over the world. In Latin America, the MENA region, and parts of Europe, Endeavor Catalyst has been recognized as one of the most active equity investors.

“Seeing firms like Sequoia Capital and Andreessen Horowitz investing in Latin America, TPG investing in Africa, and General Atlantic investing in the MENA region tells you a lot about the potential in these markets,” noted Taylor.

In turn, Endeavor Catalyst has become a powerful platform for Endeavor Entrepreneurs to reinvest their success and personal gains in their peers.  Today, 50+ Endeavor Entrepreneurs have become investors in the Endeavor Catalyst funds, including in Endeavor Catalyst III, which is currently being raised and is targeted to be a $120M+ fund. 

And while Endeavor Catalyst has gained significant momentum, Jackie Carmel, Endeavor Catalyst Managing Director, notes: “We are just getting started!  Endeavor continues to raise the bar in its selection process and the Endeavor Catalyst pipeline is as active as it has ever been. As Endeavor continues to grow and expand its global reach, so does Endeavor Catalyst.”

Learn more about Endeavor Catalyst here.

2019 Endeavor Impact Report

2019 provided many opportunities for us to reflect on just how far Endeavor has come over the past 22 years, while looking to the future as we recommit to our core belief — that high-impact entrepreneurs hold the key to sustainable economic growth.

Among our highlights:

  • Endeavor is more global than ever. We’re now a network of 500 team members, nearly 400 board members, and 5,000 mentors. And this year, we selected our 2,000th Endeavor Entrepreneur. Today, Endeavor supports entrepreneurs leading more than 1,200 companies across a wide variety of industries in 35+ growth markets around the world.
  • Following last year’s launches in Vietnam, Nigeria, and Puerto Rico, we continued to extend our reach by opening new offices in Northwest Arkansas, Western New York, Colorado, and Ireland. These offices strengthen our presence across key regions and remind us that, when it comes to high-impact entrepreneurship, we are undoubtedly a global network. Endeavor’s expansion team is currently scoping new launch opportunities in Romania, Singapore, India, Canada, and Germany.
  • We achieved a full deployment of Endeavor Catalyst’s Fund II, investing an additional $70 million to support the expansion of 126 Endeavor Entrepreneur companies. And we ended the year with $100 million committed to our third fund. Endeavor Catalyst LP partners include board members from over 30 Endeavor offices as well as over 50 Endeavor Entrepreneurs.
A spread from Endeavor’s 2019 Impact Report with eight photos of entrepreneurs, reading “We Are Borderless”
  • We defined and shared our core values that guide our work, and will continue to steer us forward as we grow. Endeavor’s network is spread across multiple continents, countries, and cultures — our values bring us together, making us a truly borderless community.
  • Finally, we celebrated four exceptional Endeavor Entrepreneurs with The Lindas, an award honoring the entrepreneurs in our network who most embody these core values and the Endeavor spirit of dreaming crazy, scaling up, and paying it forward. From breaking barriers as the first LatAm tech company to go public on the NYSE, to training the next generation of women in STEM, each of our 2019 winners are demonstrating that success is not only defined by going big but also by giving back.

We’re thrilled to share Endeavor’s values and our remarkable global community of entrepreneurs with you in our 2018–2019 Impact Report, and remain inspired by what we have built together.

Read our report hereand join us in supporting high-impact entrepreneurs around the world with a year-end gift.

Endeavor Reaches Milestone of 2,000 Entrepreneurs Selected Following 92nd International Selection Panel in Riviera Maya, Mexico

During the 92nd International Selection Panel in Riviera Maya, held December 11-13, 2019, Endeavor officially marked the milestone selection of the 2,000th Endeavor Entrepreneur since the organization’s founding in 1997. With 24 entrepreneurs leading 15 companies from 11 markets selected at this week’s panel, Endeavor now supports 2,016 entrepreneurs leading 1,258 companies in 35+ growth markets around the world. 

“Endeavor was founded on the belief that anyone, from anywhere, could launch a crazy idea, access the resources and network to take it to scale, and pay their success forward to the next generation. More than 20 years later, it’s a testament to the strength of the global network we have built together to reach — and surpass — the milestone of 2,000 Endeavor Entrepreneurs. We look forward to supporting our newest entrepreneurs selected in Riviera Maya in their journey to scale, and continuing to support many more in the future,” said Endeavor Co-founder and CEO Linda Rottenberg.

The ISP is the culmination of a rigorous multi-step selection process to identify high-impact entrepreneurs who demonstrate the potential to leverage Endeavor’s resources and mentorship to create large-scale wealth and jobs, and are committed to reinvesting their time and money in their local entrepreneurship ecosystems to help others take off.

Over the course of the three-day event, panelists drawn from Endeavor’s extensive network of board members, mentors, supporters, and experienced Endeavor Entrepreneurs, interview entrepreneur candidates about their businesses, evaluating them on their potential for high-impact growth, and deliberating on which candidates should be selected to become Endeavor Entrepreneurs. Panelists must vote unanimously for a candidate to become an Endeavor Entrepreneur.

From a South African chat-enabled commerce platform to a Brazilian wellness company, the entrepreneurs selected during the Riviera Maya ISP are leading companies spanning a wide variety of industry verticals and geographies. Once selected, Endeavor Entrepreneurs gain access to comprehensive customized services, including introductions to local and international business mentors and volunteers from Fortune 500 consulting firms who will help them address key needs.

Endeavor Entrepreneurs have had a significant track record of impact. Endeavor Entrepreneurs have created 3 million jobs, generated $20 billion in revenue in 2018, and help build sustainable growth models in their home countries.

Endeavor thanks 92nd ISP Gold Level sponsor SoftBank; sponsors Flor de Caña, Alltournative, ábito, and La Europea; and supporters Casa de las Artesanías, YEMA, Pacari Chocolate, Don’t Worry, and Cervecería de Colima. 

ISPs in 2020 will be held in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia (February 10-12), Brooklyn, New York (March 23-25), London, U.K. (May 11-13), Bali, Indonesia (June 30-July 2), Nairobi, Kenya (August 10-12), Lake Como, Italy (September 14-16), Palo Alto, California (October 26-28), and São Paulo, Brazil (December 9-11). For more information on these events, please contact ISP@endeavor.org.

Learn more about the companies and entrepreneurs selected in Mexico below:


Entrepreneurs: Julian Gurfinkiel, Andres Malenky and Martin Levy
Company: Turismocity
Description: Turismocity is an online metasearch and price comparison tool which allows travelers throughout Latin America the ability to compare flights, hotels, cruises, rental car and travel packages between thousands of service providers. Its tech platform detects price updates in real-time and delivers personalized emails to its 7M subscribers through its character named Carla, driving consumer purchase behavior. Started in Argentina in 2014, it has since expanded marketing operations to seven Latin American countries and has become the third most searched Latam travel brand among OTAs and metasearchers.

Entrepreneurs: Agustina Fainguersch and Luciana Reznik
Company: Wolox
Description: Wolox is a software company that specializes in providing technological solutions to start-ups and companies that are seeking to innovate and need support in developing their ideas. Using the product building method, the Wolox tech teams guide clients through every stage of the process through the implementation of agile methodologies, high-end technology, personalized solutions, and quality assurance. The company has more than seven years in the market, and today has >400 employees and 200 products to serve its clients across Latin America and the US.


Entrepreneur: Michael Jones
Company: Thrive Farmers
Description: The tired coffee supply chain is in need of a caffeine kick. Coffee and tea farmers have long been hindered by exploitative pricing, the unpredictability of commodity markets, and their distance from the end customer. The U.S. hot drinks market represents a $97B opportunity—one to which farmers can and should have access. Thrive Farmers is disrupting the traditional coffee and tea supply chain with an innovative revenue-sharing model that ties farmer payments to the end price paid by the customer, granting farmers higher incomes and greater stability. Founded in 2011, Thrive Farmers now works with over 1000 specialty coffee and tea farmers in 10 countries to bring sustainable, responsible coffee to the U.S with both B2B channels and a new retail concept. The company has also secured deals with large food and beverage corporations including Chick-fil-A, Jamba Juice, and Gordon Food Service.


Entrepreneurs: Eduardo Diniz and Lohran Schmidt
Company: Desinchá
Description: Lohran and Eduardo started Desinchá (meaning “deflate”) in 2017 with the mission to create a wellness company that would make healthy living more accessible for Brazilians. Their flagship product, Desinchá Dia, is made from eight simple ingredients, including green tea, guarana, yerba mate, peppermint, and carqueja. Less than two years later, Desinchá is now the #2 most popular tea in Brazil and its products are available in more than 20,000 points-of-sale throughout Brazil, including three company-owned stores. With more than 5 million followers on Instagram, Desinchá is one of the most representative brands on social media in Brazil.

Entrepreneurs: Britaldo Hernández Fernández, Rodrigo Iafelice dos Santos and Anselmo del Toro Arce
Company: Solinftec
Description: In response to the expected population-driven demand growth for food produced more sustainably and efficiently, Solinftec has developed a set of tech-solutions including proprietary hardware, telemetry communications, and a SaaS platform that helps farmers track and monitor the progress of their operations, in real time, helping them avoid mistakes, decrease costs and become more efficient. This enables them to increase the efficiency of their operations, resulting in decreased costs and pollution and increased yields. With the company’s IoT platform, smart black box installation on agricultural equipment, and its AI virtual assistance technology called ‘Alice,’ it has built its reputation on making several crops’ (sugarcane, soybeans, cotton, corn, wheat, grapes, orange, coffee, among others) operations digitized and more efficient. Today, Solinftec serves large international growers, including the top 10 Global sugar cane producers, dominating over 60% of the Brazilian sugarcane market. The company also holds a dominant position in agtech solutions for row crops in Brazil and sugarcane in Latin America, and is quickly growing in the US. In 2019 Solinftec started working very closely with 3 of the top 5 Ag Co-ops and Retailers, a combined 150 million acres in area of influence/reach. The company is also working successfully with over 35 small farmers in the US Midwest adapting its unique solutions to the smallholder’s needs.


Entrepreneur: Santiago Botero
Company: Finsocial
Description: Finsocial provides personal and payroll loans to teachers and pensioners, through a fully digital system that can analyze a customer’s credit-worthiness in minutes and disburse funds within a day. Twenty percent of Colombians are unbanked, 45% of the rural population lack access to financial services, and many more are too poorly rated or thin file to borrow. With wide coverage in rural areas, proprietary credit analysis software, a B-corps certification, and a low-risk lending profile due to government-backed payroll, Finsocial is ready to give teachers and pensioners the credit they deserve.


Entrepreneur: Fernando Moncayo
Company: Inspectorio
Description: Inspectorio is a quality control and supplier compliance verification platform that brings transparency to the global supply chain. The company’s web and mobile technologies allow users to visualize data and analytics, creating efficiencies and accountability among stakeholders. The company offers a fast and affordable solution to monitor and participate in the on-site inspection process to access analytical advantages that provide insights into supplier performance. With major clients such as Kohl’s, American Eagle, Target, and Zara already signed, Inspectorio is well on its way to setting the global standard for production and supply chain compliance.


Entrepreneur: Nicky Goulimis
Company: Nova Credit
Description: With global immigration growing from 258M people in 2017 to over 400M by 2050, the challenge of financial access for people who move is on the rise. Immigrants struggle to rent apartments, open bank accounts, and finance cell phones because their credit history is not portable, so they are forced to start over with every international move. Nova Credit provides seamless access to international credit history, enabling immigrants in the United States (46M) to restart their lives in a better position, and unlocking new consumers for lenders and other financial institutions.To ease the burden of immigration, Nova Credit works with three of the top five global banks, the largest tenant screening platforms, the leading credit bureaus across the world (Experian, Equifax, Transunion, CRIF, Creditinfo, etc.), and a broad range of fintech players and credit unions.


Entrepreneur: Aaron Gani
Company: BehaVR
Description: BehaVR develops general wellness and digital therapeutics (DTx) virtual reality “experiences” to help users address stress, pain, addiction, and other mental health issues. Widely-accepted medical science indicates that virtual reality provides unique psychological and neurological effects that smartphone-based DTx – or in some cases, traditional behavioral or drug-based treatments – cannot replicate. BehaVR is a pure-play software company that earns revenue from selling annual subscriptions and per-engaged patient access to clinics, who in turn offer treatment to patients. BehaVR’s revenue has ballooned in its second year of sales, and has closed landmark deals with its first partners in the pharmaceutical and mass-retail health clinic sectors.


Entrepreneur: Courtney McColgan
Company: Runa
Description: Runa is a cloud-based payroll solution that is modernizing operations for companies across Latin America. Existing local solutions still require extensive use of Excel, and the bi-weekly process of paying employees can take up to 18 hours, draining time and resources and proving to be a frustrating and error-prone experience. Runa streamlines this process into a 15 minute workflow, and serves as a one stop shop for managing attendance, performance and workplace incidents for companies with up to 600 employees.


Entrepreneur: Abetina Valenzuela
Company: Equilife Medical
Description: Equilife Medical (“Equilife”) makes critical care needs more available and affordable by offering medical device rental, on-site operating staff (e.g., respiratory therapists and nurses), and maintenance services (e.g., engineering calibration and repair) to intensive care units and homecare patients. Equilife is the only provider of medical equipment in the Philippines that offers “beyond-the-product” solutions that supplement equipment rentals, enabling it to slash costs of investment, procurement, and staff training far beyond its competitors.


Entrepreneur: Pieter De Villiers
Company: Clickatell
Description: Clickatell’s chat commerce platform takes brands and services provides to where their customers and target market are (WhatsApp, FB Messenger, SMS, etc.) vs. asking customers to come to them (store, website, app download, etc.) enabling them to interact & transact 24×7, in real-time directly from anywhere (no new app, website or location required). Clickatell’s patent pending technology allows for ‘app like’ functionality that enables you and I to ‘get things done’ such as paying a beneficiary through chat banking or re-setting a password via chat self-serve all within the messaging platforms you already use.

Entrepreneur: Tinashe Ruzane
Company: FlexClub
Description: FlexClub is a car rental platform for ride-hailing drivers that offers them a flexible path to car ownership. To acquire cars, the platform partners with people who own cars, or are looking to buy cars, with the intention of earning passive rental income from those cars. These Vehicle Partners lease the vehicles to FlexClub, which in turn rents the vehicles to ride-hailing drivers on a “Drive-to-Buy” plan. FlexClub takes full responsibility for all insurance, maintenance and fleet management, ensuring the Vehicle Partners are completely passive. Today the company operates in South Africa and Mexico, as a preferred partner to Uber, supporting drivers in achieving their dreams of car ownership. The company plans to unlock vehicle access and ownership opportunities for more than 100,000 drivers across Africa and Latin America over the next 5 years.


Entrepreneurs: Javier Rocha and Martín Barbot Barbot
Company: Funtour
Description: Funtour is a Uruguayan travel experience company that brings children and teenagers together to explore new parts of the world. Beyond the services of a traditional agency, Funtour crafts every moment from the planning sessions before a trip to reunions up to a year later to build community among students and trust among parents. With an app that shares photos, itineraries, and recaps, parents can rest assured that their children are safe and happy, while students are free to explore and form new friendships.

Entrepreneurs: Marcelo Daniel Lapi Cruz, Catalina María Prevett Vera and Andre Soares Buenos
Company: Softruck
Description: Softruck is an insurtech platform taking on car thieves across South America. Its AI-enabled software leverages billions of data points and works with off-the-shelf GPS systems to protect, track, and recover at-risk vehicles. Integrating seamlessly with local police forces, Softruck’s software can detect a theft before an owner realizes their car is missing, compare direction of travel to known patterns to determine where the vehicle is going, and recover it before the thief realizes what’s happening. With a 90%+ recover success rate, Softruck saves insurance carries money, gives vehicle owners peace of mind, and ensure would-be thieves think twice before making away with valuable property.

December 2019 Newsletter

To view Endeavor’s December newsletter, a recap of all the top news stories from the past month, please CLICK HERE.

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Global Founders Gather in New York City for Week of Curated Endeavor Programming

Endeavor Entrepreneurs hailing from more than 30 markets convened in New York City this November for a week of curated programming tailored to industry and stage of scale, providing them with unique opportunities to learn from and network with their peers and NYC-based CEOs, founders and leaders in their fields. The week featured the EndeavHer gender and diversity summit; industry tours for Endeavor Entrepreneurs leading Retail, Food & Beverage (F&B), and Fintech companies; an Endeavor Outliers gathering; and culminated in  the 2019 Endeavor Gala honoring PayPal President and CEO Dan Schulman on November 21.

Kicking off the EndeavHer Summit

Kicking off the week, the EndeavHer Global Summit gathered network members and New York City business leaders for conversations around gender and inclusivity in entrepreneurship. The event featured a workshop on Inclusive Leadership led by Equifax COO Robin Moriarty, a panel discussion on Gender and Raising capital with speakers such as Jordana Klier (Co-founder, LOLA) and Ellen DaSilva (Rough Draft Ventures, hims), and a keynote address on Diversity & Inclusion by Medici Group Director Deepali Bagati.

Highlights of the vertical tours included intimate talks with industry leaders such as Mariah Chase (CEO, Eloquii), Steve Kessel (SVP Physical Stores, Amazon), Christina Tosi (Founder, Milk Bar), Rachel Drori (Founder, Daily Harvest), Nicolas Kopp (US CEO, N26), Aaron Karczmer (EVP, Chief Risk and Compliance Officer, PayPal), and Matt Harris (Managing Partner, Bain Capital Ventures and Endeavor Board Member). From approaches to innovation at companies like Amazon and MasterCard, to challenge-specific sessions such as branding, customer experience, and compliance, the industry tours covered topics designed to help Endeavor Entrepreneurs think bigger and learn tangible skills they apply to their companies as they scale. Core to the gatherings was also designated time for entrepreneurs to network and develop relationships with each other.

Food and Beverage Tour Participants with Milk Bar Founder Christina Tosi (front, center)

“Synergies among fellow participants was quite substantial as we’re almost all facing similar problems in different markets and stages around the world. Sharing experiences and discussing how we manage to overcome certain challenges (or not) is a unique opportunity,” reflected a Fintech Tour participant. 

Tailored to stage of scale, rather than industry, the Endeavor Outliers event gathered 13 entrepreneurs from some of the fastest-growing companies within Endeavor’s network for discussions and speakers focused on leadership, growth, and functional challenges. Entrepreneurs participated in roundtable discussions with Josh Silverman (CEO, Etsy), Danny Meyer (Founder & CEO, Union Square Hospitality), and Kevin Ryan (Chairman & Founder, MongoDB, Nomad Health, Zola), with some attending a private session with Dan Schulman before the Gala on Thursday. 

The week’s events were part of Endeavor’s ongoing initiative to help entrepreneurs leverage the full power of Endeavor’s network by providing opportunities to build community with peers across geographic borders, and learn from relevant experts in intimate settings. In 2019, Endeavor hosted similar events around the world, including a Fintech tour in China, market-entry tours in Brazil, and a multi-day Endeavor Outliers gathering in San Francisco. 

2019 Endeavor Gala Honoring Dan Schulman Convenes Worldwide Network in New York City to Celebrate High-Impact Entrepreneurship

The 2019 Endeavor Gala, held Thursday November 21, 2019, at Spring Studios in New York City, convened nearly 500 Endeavor network members, including Endeavor Entrepreneurs, international business leaders, and top investors to raise critical funds to support the high-impact entrepreneurship movement around the world. 

The Gala honored Dan Schulman, President and CEO of PayPal, and presented him with the High-Impact Leader of the Year Award.

New this year, Endeavor also presented four entrepreneurs with The Lindas, an award honoring extraordinary Endeavor Entrepreneurs who most embody the Endeavor spirit of dreaming crazy, scaling up, and paying it forward. The inaugural Lindas were presented to Marcos Galperin (MercadoLibre, Argentina), Veronica Pascual Boe (ASTI, Spain), Nevzat Aydın (Yemeksepeti, Turkey), and Guibert Englebienne (Globant, Argentina). Learn more about The Lindas here.

Endeavor Co-founder and CEO Linda Rottenberg | Photography by Hannah Cohen

Kicking off the program, Endeavor Co-founder and CEO Linda Rottenberg highlighted the core values that guide Endeavor’s work, affirming the power that entrepreneurship coupled with a dedication to paying it forward has in bringing about groundbreaking and lasting change — a core philosophy, she emphasized, that both the winners of The Lindas and Gala Honoree Dan Schulman shared.

“By dreaming BIG and daring to challenge the status quo in places where that’s typically not an option, Endeavor Entrepreneurs are changing perceptions of what’s even possible,” Rottenberg said. “What links Dan’s story with the four winners tonight, is that these are stories of going BIG not just in the business sense, but also in the human —and humanitarian— sense.”

Endeavor Global Chairman Edgar Bronfman, Jr. also led a discussion with 2019 Honoree Dan Schulman, who shared his perspective on the moral responsibility companies have to society, and discussed PayPal’s work on financial inclusion as well as the company’s dedication to taking a stand publicly on some of today’s most pressing issues.

Following the Gala program, Endeavor’s celebration of high-impact entrepreneurship continued at High-Impact Night, where music by Hannah Bronfman set the tone for a lively night. Truly an event of, by, and for entrepreneurs, Gala attendees explored interactive installations showcasing Endeavor companies, including Bloomscape (Detroit), Artemest (Italy), Antelope Audio (Bulgaria), and more.

View photos from the event here, and share your own with the hashtag #EndeavorGala. 

If you didn’t get a chance to make a donation and would like to give a gift in honor of the honoree Dan Schulman, a Lindas winner, or in the spirit of the Endeavor pay-it-forward value, you may do so here.



Event production by Empire Entertainment. Catering by Pinch Food Design. All photos by Hannah Cohen Photography.


The Inaugural Lindas Honor Endeavor Entrepreneurs Marcos Galperin, Verónica Pascual Boé, Nevzat Aydın and Guibert Englebienne as Ambassadors of the Endeavor Spirit

Endeavor honored four Endeavor Entrepreneurs on November 21 with The Lindas, an award launched for the first time this year to recognize and celebrate entrepreneurs in the Endeavor network who most embody the Endeavor spirit of dreaming crazy, scaling up, and paying it forward. 

The inaugural recipients of The Lindas are: Marcos Galperin (MercadoLibre, Argentina), Verónica Pascual Boé (ASTI, Spain), Nevzat Aydın (Yemeksepeti, Turkey), Guibert Englebienne (Globant, Argentina). 

Winners of The Lindas were celebrated at the 2019 Endeavor Gala. From left: Chairman of the Endeavor Global Board Edgar Bronfman Jr., Guibert Englebienne, Verónica Pascual Boé, Nevzat Aydın, and Endeavor Co-founder and CEO Linda Rottenberg | Hannah Cohen Photography

From our inception in 1997, Endeavor has always been of, by, and for entrepreneurs. Our mission is to prove that anyone, from anywhere, can launch a “crazy idea;” access the networks, talent, and capital to build that idea to scale; achieve success; then, most importantly, pay it forward to inspire, nurture, and enable the next generation.

The Lindas, named in recognition of Endeavor Co-founder and CEO Linda Rottenberg’s legendary enthusiasm and passion, were created to honor entrepreneurs in our network who live Endeavor’s values by: becoming leaders who foster a community based on mutual trust and respect; personifying our “Going Big” ethos through job and wealth creation; embodying a “One Endeavor” mindset that transcends borders; bringing life to Endeavor’s “Of, By and For Entrepreneurs” philosophy by serving as selection panelists, mentors, board members, and Endeavor Catalyst LPs; and demonstrating a broader commitment to paying it forward through role modeling, mentorship, reinvestment, philanthropy, and ecosystem building.

Candidates from around the world were nominated from the Endeavor network by mentors, board members, staff members, colleagues, and other Endeavor Entrepreneurs, after which four winners were selected by the Endeavor Global Board:

Marcos Galperin, Endeavor Argentina Board Vice-Chair, and Co-founder and CEO of MercadoLibre. Co-founded in 1999 by Marcos Galperin (along with Endeavor Entrepreneurs Hernan Kazah and Nicolas Szekasy), MercadoLibre.com (Nasdaq: MELI) is the dominant online marketplace in Latin America. In 2007, the company went public on the Nasdaq as the first Endeavor company to IPO, and in 2017, MercadoLibre became the first Endeavor company to surpass a $10 billion market cap (today valued at $25B), replacing Yahoo on the Nasdaq-100. In addition to achieving unprecedented success with MercadoLibre, Marcos has been instrumental to the growth of Argentina’s entrepreneurship ecosystem as an investor, role model, mentor, and philanthropist. He has further reinvested his success into the Endeavor Network as a board member and Endeavor Catalyst LP, and in 2019, donated a new office to Endeavor Argentina.

Verónica Pascual Boé, CEO of ASTI Technologies Group. Headquartered in Burgos, Spain, ASTI is an international engineering company, which creates autonomous vehicle systems for the automation of internal logistics processes in the manufacturing industry. With major global clients such as Tesla and Apple, ASTI is advancing the global standard for production. Under Veronica’s leadership, ASTI launched the ASTI Talent and Technology Foundation, which is dedicated to fostering job experience and training in STEM and hard sciences for vocational and college-aged students to create and develop the skills needed to meet the growing digital economy. So far, ASTI has dedicated over 10,000 hours and trained over 100 students—many of whom ASTI themselves hired after.

Nevzat Aydın, Endeavor Turkey Board Member, and Co-founder and CEO of Yemeksepeti. Yemeksepeti is Turkey’s largest food delivery service. Selected as one of the first Endeavor Entrepreneurs from Turkey, and an early investment of Endeavor Catalyst, Yemeksepeti was acquired in 2015 by Delivery Hero in the largest internet related deal in Turkey. Nevzat and co-founder Melih Odemis made headlines around the world when they elected to share the $27 million profit with their 100+ employees. Soon after, Nevzat was identified by Turkish university students as one of their top three entrepreneurial role models in the world, alongside Steve Jobs and Mark Zuckerberg. Nevzat is widely credited with spurring the growth of the angel investment scene in Turkey, and is a frequent investor in and mentor to early stage entrepreneurs. Today, Nevzat also serves on Endeavor Turkey’s board.

Guibert Englebienne, Endeavor Argentina Chair, and Co-founder and CTO of Globant. Guibert Englebienne co-founded Globant (along with Endeavor Entrepreneurs Martin Migoya, Martin Umaran, and Nestor Nocetti) in the middle of Argentina’s economic depression. They were rejected the first time they attended an ISP. Today, the software company is one of Endeavor’s highest performing companies ever, and have grown to be a story of inspiration amidst chaos, employing over 6,000 people across four continents. In 2014, Globant became the first Latin American tech company to go public on the NYSE. Today, the company’s market cap is $3.9B and growing. Guibert pays it forward as a board member, mentor, ISP panelist, and donor, and often travels around the world to help Endeavor launch in new ecosystems — most recently Ireland. 

The Lindas awards were created by Artemest artisan Eros Raffael

Each winner received an award created specially by Italian artisan Eros Raffael through Artemest, the leading online marketplace for Italian crafts, co-founded by Endeavor Entrepreneurs Marco Credendino and Marco Deseri. Resembling a heart shape and comprised of singular pieces of mouth-blown Murano glass fused together, the sculpture is a meaningful embodiment of the award, and Endeavor’s powerful and diverse global network “of, by, and for” entrepreneurs.

The Endeavor Global Board also recognized eight finalists for their exceptional impact as entrepreneurs and commitment to paying it forward: Achmad Zaky (Bukalapak, Indonesia), Freddy Vega (Platzi, Colombia), Gigliola Aycardi (Bodytech, Colombia), Guillaume Pousaz (Checkout.com, UAE), Heather Hasson & Trina Spear (FIGS, Miami), Juan de Antonio (Cabify, Spain), Mario Chady (Grupo Trigo, Brazil), Markus Bihler (Builders Union, Indonesia), Nadine Hachach-Haram (Proximie, Lebanon), and Sergio Furio (Creditas, Brazil). 

The Lindas award ceremony was held November 21, 2019, at the Endeavor Gala in New York City. Learn more about the winners here:

Ualá Raises Us$150M in Series C Round Led by Tencent and SoftBank with Participation from Endeavor Catalyst

Buenos Aires, Argentina, November 25, 2019 – Ualá, the Argentina-based fintech, announced today that it has completed a Series C financing round totaling us$150 million. The round was led by Tencent, a leading provider of Internet value added services in China and owner of WeChat, the largest communication and social platform in China, and SoftBank Innovation Fund, the largest-ever technology fund focused exclusively in Latin America. Representatives of both Tencent and SoftBank will join Ualá’s Board of Directors.

Endeavor Catalyst, a co-investment vehicle designed to support Endeavor entrepreneurs, and existing Ualá investors – affiliates of Goldman Sachs Investment Partners (GSIP), Soros Fund Management LLC, Monashees, Ribbit Capital, and Jefferies LLC – also participated in the round. Hughes Hubbard & Reed LLP served as legal counsel to Ualá in its Series C financing round, and in all previous fundraisings.

Endeavor Entrepreneur Pierpaolo Barbier, co-founder and CEO of Ualá | Photo courtesy of Ualá

The financing will support the continued growth of Ualá, which issued more than 1.3M cards since inception two years ago and has most recently been focused on expanding its product offering. In early 2019, it launched a lending platform to originate personal loans and has just premiered mutual fund investments. The company will use the capital to further scale its business and aims to triple in size in the next year, hiring over 400 people between technology and operations.

Ualá has captured attention from international investors since before its launch to the public in October 2017. After a us$10M Series A round led by an affiliate of Soros Fund Management LLC, along with Jefferies LLC, Point72 Ventures, entrepreneur Kevin Ryan, and others, Ualá raised us$34M in 2018 in a Series B round led by an affiliate of Goldman Sachs Investment Partners (GSIP), with Ribbit Capital and Monashees. Tencent invested an undisclosed amount in April 2019.

According to the World Bank, only 41% of Argentines have a debit card and only 7% have requested a loan or saved at a traditional financial institution. Ualá aims to improve financial inclusion by helping users better manage their finances hassle-free. The personal finance management app is linked to a prepaid, global Mastercard and allows users to transfer money, invest in mutual funds, request loans, pay bills and top-up prepaid services.

James Mitchell, Tencent’s Chief Strategy Officer, said “We are glad to witness Ualá’ s rapid growth since we first invested in the company earlier this year. Through this stepped-up investment, we will strengthen our support for Ualá in its development into a full-fledged financial services platform, promoting the financial inclusion and technology innovation.”

“Uala’s growth has been truly remarkable. What the team is building has revolutionized financial services in Argentina. We believe the strategy and exceptional execution demonstrate great potential.” said Shu Nyatta, Managing Partner, SoftBank Innovation Fund.

“Ualá’s mobile-first finance technology brings access, transparency and convenience to the consumer,” said Christopher Dawe, Managing Director at Goldman Sachs. “This investment is consistent with our philosophy of backing mission-driven teams who are promoting financial inclusion.”

“Financial services are based on three basic pillars: payment, credit, and investments. Our objective is to disrupt access to those services, giving even more people the opportunity to build a credit history, inclusively and transparently. This round endorses our strategy and will allow us to boost our growth,” said Pierpaolo Barbieri, founder and CEO of Ualá.

“Ever since our time together in the classroom at Harvard, Pierpaolo and I have been obsessed with the idea that financial exclusion is a key driver of poverty. Eleven years ago, when I wrote about this in The Ascent of Money, there wasn’t a good solution. Now, thanks to advances in technology and the spread of the smartphone, there is. I am hugely excited by the rapid growth of Ualá and its success in attracting the world’s leading tech investors,” said Niall Ferguson, Founding Board Member of Ualá.
Ualá joined the Endeavor network in February 2019 at the 85th International Selection Panel in San Francisco, California, where founder and CEO Pierpaolo Barbieri was selected as an Endeavor Entrepreneur.

About Ualá

Ualá is a fintech that offers a personal finance mobile application tied to a global prepaid Mastercard. Founded by Pierpaolo Barbieri, it launched to the public in October 2017, with the goal of democratizing access to financial services.

Users load funds through cash networks Rapipago and Pago Fácil, as well as any bank or virtual account in the country, fully compliant with Argentina’s CVU interoperability standard. In addition, Ualá offers a wide variety of financial services such as money transfers, over 4,000 possible bill payment options, as well as mobile phone and transportation card (SUBE) top-ups. The app also allows users to track their expenses through a personal financial management tool (PFM), apply for loans, and invest in mutual funds with neither minimum investment nor lock-up period.

Ualá is available in Argentina for Android and iOS. Any person older than 13 that has an Argentine ID (DNI) can open an account for free in under five minutes.

About Tencent

Tencent uses technology to enrich the lives of Internet users. Our communications and social platforms, Weixin/WeChat and QQ, connect users with each other and with digital content and services, both online and offline, making their lives more convenient. Our targeted advertising platform helps advertisers reach out to hundreds of millions of consumers in China. Our FinTech and business services support our partners’ business growth and assist their digital upgrade.

Tencent invests heavily in talent and technological innovation, actively promoting the development of the Internet industry. Tencent was founded in Shenzhen, China, in 1998. Shares of Tencent (00700.HK) was listed on the Main Board of the Stock Exchange of Hong Kong in 2004.

About Endeavor Catalyst

Endeavor Catalyst is the innovative co-investment fund of Endeavor, set up to invest exclusively in Endeavor Entrepreneur-led companies and to sustain Endeavor’s long-term operations in a mission-aligned way. Since launching in January 2012, Endeavor Catalyst has raised over $110M in donated and invested capital, and invested in more than 100 Endeavor companies in over 25 markets. To date, Endeavor Catalyst has co-invested alongside a number of leading venture capital and growth equity funds, including Accel Partners, General Atlantic, NEA, Sequoia Capital and Tiger Global. Investments include Globant (NYSE: GLOB) in Argentina, Yemeksepeti.com (acquired by Delivery Hero) in Turkey, and dr. consulta in Brazil. Learn more here.

November 2019 Newsletter

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