Susana comes with 20 years of experience investing in seed and VC funds in LAC (Latin American and Caribbean) and building entrepreneurial ecosystems working in partnership with LAC governments and the private sector.
Here is her outlook on the challenges that lie ahead and her plan –
What is your professional background that is relevant to what you would be doing at Capria?
Through my work at the IDB Lab since 1999, I’ve been developing the venture capital industry in Latin America and the Caribbean, having supported through investment and training over 90 funds in the region. I’ve created a lot of programs to develop and consolidate the entrepreneurial ecosystems of that region, and helped create the VC/PE associations in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Mexico, and Peru. In 2012 I co-founded WeXchange, the first regional (LAC) platform for women STEMpreneurs providing training, mentoring, access to networking and a pitch competition. Since then, thousands of women have benefitted from this platform, initiating their own activities once back in their countries. Last year I started a WeXchange podcast series to showcase women entrepreneurs as well as fund managers who invest in gender diversified teams. While my work has been focused on LatAm, I’m confident that the principles I and my colleagues used can be applied globally.
What is your role and what are your plans for Capria?
I’m joining as a Venture Partner. My skills in sourcing and analyzing fund management teams, implementing processes and best practices of the industry, coaching managers as they grow their AUM, and offering the intimate knowledge of the LAC region are all areas which I’ll bring to Capria.
What is your outlook for Capria over the next 3 and 5 years? How do you think Capria will make a difference?
Capria is one of the few fund of funds focused exclusively on emerging markets, therefore it has a key role for the industry to grow and consolidate. Emerging markets don’t lack talent but access to financing for those who have companies that can scale and go global. Capria’s thesis to look for impact with a clear mandate of profitability, that is to say, mainstreaming impact rather than to look at it as a “nice to have”, is what made me interested in the Group. I see Capria playing a very relevant role in the next 5 years, making a difference in what type of funds will make it in emerging regions, and the type of companies they will invest in.”
What is the opportunity for fund managers from emerging markets? How do you think they should be thinking to achieve superior returns with scaled impact in their regions and sectors of operation?
In the end, it’s all about investing in people at both levels: at the fund management team and the investee’s levels. Honing our due diligence skills will make us go for the best teams that can make great returns in the regions where Capria operates. There are a lot of challenges, and entrepreneurs are addressing those challenges providing solutions that are innovative and inclusive. The key is to profitably provide access to the underserved: access to finance, to basic services like education and health, clean water and sanitation, among other sectors. These are global challenges and the companies that will provide the best solutions are those that come from the countries experiencing those challenges. They should be looking to invest in companies that can go global and address a USD $1 billion or larger market, that are focused on growth with a logic, not a bubble or growing beyond its capacities, and that build or work with local teams where they want to operate.