David Poritz‘s fintech startup has already raised $310 million to help give small and medium-sized businesses the access to credit and capital they need to survive and thrive in Latin America.
During our interview on the DealMakers podcast, David and I talked about his trailblazing financial technology startup, the differences between startups in the US and Mexico, the post-COVID-19 market for SME credit, and financing, and the most important early moves to make for startup founders.
Travel & Entrepreneurship
One of the most common traits of hyper-successful entrepreneurs is having traveled. There is just something about it which equips individuals to become adept at entrepreneurship, and inspired to create something bigger.
David Poritz comes from a family of creatives and artists. As such, they always encouraged and empowered him to explore.
Although born in New England, this travel and habit of exploring showed up pretty early, and in a big way.
From the time he was just 12 years old Poritz began traveling and even living in the Latin American (LATAM) region. Through exchange programs and friends he was able to go to Colombia, Ecuador, the Amazon, and Mexico. Even through middle and high school.
Even at this incredibly young age, he had the opportunity to work as a paralegal for a pretty famous litigation attorney in Ecuador.
Exploring Meaningful Opportunities
David went on to study at Brown. He still assumed he was on a vague path to becoming a professor or something similar. He even went on to spend a couple of years at Oxford as well.
He believed this period gave him some room to explore different ideas and interests. Among them were the indigenous communities in the LATAM region. He became passionate about the energy industry and even launched Equitable Origin. An organization that developed the first environmental and social safety standards for the oil, gas, and energy industry.
They began in Latin America and still operate through Canada and the US as well.
He also became fascinated with fintech and financial inclusion.
One of his good friends and former student colleagues, Allan, had moved home to Mexico to work in the private equity sector. They stayed in touch and were both witnessing the surge in new alternative lending. They saw platforms like Prosper and Kabbage taking off.
They also saw that in emerging markets like Latin America there was significantly lower credit penetration and poor access to credit. As well as little competition. The idea struck them that if they could localize this to these countries, they may easily be able to dominate the market while providing an essential solution. This became the thesis for their startup Credijusto.
They spent months exploring all of the markets in the Americas from Argentina to Brazil, Peru, Colombia, and all the way up to the US border. They found Mexico was the low-hanging fruit. Then they spent months more exploring all of the financing and credit options and gaps. They found the biggest need in the SME financing sector.
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