Neil Patel

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In the bustling world of entrepreneurship, stories of resilience, determination, and innovation often emerge as guiding lights for aspiring founders. One such narrative is that of Ricardo Pero, a Brazilian-born entrepreneur who embarked on a transformative journey from the corporate world to building a multimillion-dollar empire in the heart of the United States.

In an exclusive interview on the Dealmakers Show, Ricardo shares the intricacies of his immigrant experience, the challenges he faced, and the triumphs that defined his path to success. He also talks about the factors that motivate him and his fundraising journey, where he raised funds worth $400M in equity and debt.

Listen to the full podcast episode and review the transcript here.

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A Childhood Rooted in Tradition

Ricardo Pero’s story begins in the serene landscapes of Brazil, where he spent his formative years on a family farm in the south. Despite the comfort of tradition, Ricardo felt a calling to carve out a different destiny for himself.

Armed with a degree in economics, he embarked on a journey that would lead him far beyond the familiar horizons of his homeland. The sudden loss of his father in his early twenties marked a pivotal moment for Ricardo, propelling him into a path of self-reliance and determination.

Ricardo changed his classes to the night and started studying at night while working full-time. At 21, he became an international treasurer of a Brazilian multinational company, which marked the beginning of his career.

Three years down the line, Ricardo got a job offer from Citibank, New York City. Someone at the trading desk had resigned, and he was asked to fill in for them on a temporary basis, which extended to 20 years.

Ricardo seized the opportunity to redefine his trajectory, setting his sights on the vibrant landscape of the United States.

In retrospect, on losing his father, Ricardo faced up to the fact that he would not have the emotional and financial support most kids enjoyed in Latin America. Without this luxury, he couldn’t wait for someone to tell him what he should do.

A Fateful Encounter with Opportunity

Arriving in the US in 1994, Ricardo found himself immersed in a world of endless possibilities, surrounded by like-minded individuals driven by ambition and innovation. The experience proved to be a revelation, igniting Ricardo’s conviction that his future lay beyond the borders of his native land.

Ricardo recalls how working two months in the trainee program in different departments of the bank was like a life-changing experience. He quickly realized that this was where he belonged. It was inspiring because most foreign college kids were studying and building careers.

But Ricardo was simultaneously studying and building a career out of Brazil. He would have been the first executive to have his MBS sponsored by the Brazilian company. Instead, Ricardo decided to take an offer from Citi. He completed his MBA just as he had done his education. He studied at night and worked full-time during the day.

Balancing work and studies was highly challenging. Ricardo remembers neglecting his health and surviving on coffee and ice cream to stay awake through the long nights to study. However, the experience changed his perceptions of the world and businesses.

Being an immigrant in the US shaped Ricardo’s thought processes to plan things differently and understand business dynamics better. He also saw how operations in other companies had a tremendous impact on the business he was building.

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From Corporate Ladders to Entrepreneurial Heights

Embarking on a distinguished corporate career spanning institutions like Citi, Morgan Stanley, Merrill Lynch, and J.P. Morgan, Ricardo honed his expertise in sales and trading, navigating the complexities of global finance with finesse. He started in sales, trading effects, rates, and multi-asset classes.

Ricardo was also managing a joint venture with Morgan Stanley Smith Barney and Citi, covering midmark institutions in Latin America, doing an amazing job. As Ricardo reveals, prior to the 2008 crisis, Citi was a strong business in LatAm with robust ties in the country, but it all quickly fell apart.

Transitioning to J.P. Morgan, Ricardo had to deal with different challenges since he wasn’t only managing relationships with some LatAm clients but also bringing investment opportunities from the region to the US.

Working in the US, Europe, and Asia each exposed him to different environments, and he also gained extra experience in these foreign markets.

However, after nearly two decades in the corporate world, Ricardo felt had a yearning for something more—a desire to chart his course and leave a lasting legacy of his own making.

The Genesis of a Vision

The transition from the corporate world to entrepreneurship was not without its challenges. Ricardo’s journey toward founding his venture began with meticulous research and introspection.

Drawing upon his background in finance and a keen eye for opportunity, he identified a niche in the burgeoning e-commerce landscape—an opportunity that would ultimately redefine the trajectory of his career.

Ricardo realized that the business was capital-intensive and that he would need to secure resources beyond what he’d already saved and put aside to build it. His first thought was how to make it scalable and competitive.

Ricardo’s first two hires were data scientists, which was a big change because he was applying a lot of his knowledge in areas where he had no expertise–data science and machine learning models, now called AI.

Coming from a trading desk environment that was very fast-paced and needed his entire brain power, attention, and long hours, this was very new for Ricardo.

They started off as a lending platform to Amazon sellers but quickly realized that staying with Amazon alone would probably offer little to no differentiation to customers and no value added to their shareholders.

Ricardo then started integrating with other platforms. Now, it has connectivity with almost 10 platforms, including all e-commerce platforms.

The second wave of evolution was building a banking infrastructure to mitigate operational risk and create another layer of incentives for customers to stay with the company for longer.

The SellersFi Business Model

SellersFi has a node banking model that allows users to borrow money at the cheapest rates and maximize their capital allocation. It makes money by providing working capital solutions to its clients.

It also earns revenues by offering a banking platform where users can pay their vendors in dollars or any other global currency to execute cross-border payments. Ricardo sees e-commerce as a global industry, so they need to have a global mindset to cover their target industry and clients.

Ricardo does not believe in the conventional milestones entrepreneurs should follow, such as the first $1M or $10M in revenues. SellersFi got to $1M in revenues within its first year and saw great traction. Initially, the company was Sellers Funding and had a high organic search engine.

When people went on Google and looked for Amazon sellers’ funding alternatives, SellersFi was one of the first results to pop up. There was high demand for the product, and the company was securely positioned in the industry.

The pandemic spurred growth, and the numbers they hoped to achieve in 10 years actually happened within a year or two. By 2020, SellersFi had surpassed the $10M revenue mark. In the same year, it had a 100% to 150% growth and has been growing consistently over 100% year-over-year.

Fundraising and Rebranding

As for funding, the company raised $400M in funding in equity and debt. As Ricardo explains, they have been using a different approach and have been proving that their technology, credit, and writing models work.

Storytelling is everything, which is something that Ricardo Pero was able to master. Being able to capture the essence of what you are doing in 15 to 20 slides is the key. For a winning deck, take a look at the pitch deck template created by Silicon Valley legend Peter Thiel (see it here), where the most critical slides are highlighted.

Remember to unlock the pitch deck template that is being used by founders around the world to raise millions below.

SellersFi is valued at more than $1B and has written off less than 2.5% at this time. The performance itself tells the story from an equity point of view.

Ricardo points out that they need to highlight not only the milestones and the growth trajectory they face but also the plans they have for the future and when they see the company moving forward.

There is a big shift happening right now. And it started with the company rebranding from Sellers Funding to SellersFi. The idea is to change the mindset of the team, starting with the team and going to what customers think of the company as a working capital provider.

Ricardo is ready to change this mindset and have customers think of the company as a financial platform that has a strong working capital solution. In addition, SellersFi offers assured bank accounts, which is just the beginning of a much more robust financial platform.

Being an immigrant, Ricardo understands how to navigate the journey of building a network and making sure they can go through the funding cycles.

A Vision for the Future

Ricardo talks about attending the first trade show with his business partner and being asked about the inspiration behind two Brazilians building an e-commerce lending platform for e-commerce sellers. He explained that he had been working for US financial institutions for more than 20 years.

When they examine pitches and presentations, they always focus on the slide that depicts the competitive landscape. They always point out that although founders have an amazing track record, they haven’t scaled yet. Next, lenders ask founders to reach $100M in origination.

However, once founders reach that point, they are asked if they have faced a negative credit cycle. SellersFi has been successfully running for the last six years.

And has faced every conceivable challenge. Ricardo is confident that they are doing something meaningful and have secured a relationship with Amazon this year.

As SellerFi continues to scale new heights, Ricardo remains steadfast in his commitment to innovation and excellence. He sees the company as a neobank for e-commerce sellers with strong embedded solutions for marketplaces.

With a vision to evolve into a multibillion-dollar enterprise and expand its global footprint, SellersFi is poised to redefine the landscape of e-commerce financing, empowering sellers worldwide to realize their full potential.

Ricardo sees SellersFi going public in the next two to three years and partnering with 5000 SMEs, predominantly in the US. He also wants to expand to global locations and underserved industries that traditional financial institutions don’t support.

Lessons Learned and Looking Ahead

Reflecting on his entrepreneurial journey, Ricardo emphasizes the importance of building a strong foundation rooted in teamwork, diversity, and a sense of ownership thanks to stock options.

While challenges abound, he believes that any obstacle can be overcome with the right mindset and unwavering determination.


In the annals of entrepreneurship, Ricardo Pero’s story stands as a testament to the transformative power of resilience, vision, and unwavering determination.

From humble beginnings in Brazil to the helm of a multimillion-dollar enterprise in the United States, Ricardo’s journey embodies the spirit of the American Dream—an inspiring narrative of triumph over adversity and the limitless potential of the human spirit.

As SellersFi continues to chart new territories and redefine industry standards, Ricardo’s legacy serves as a beacon of hope and inspiration for aspiring entrepreneurs around the globe.

Listen to the full podcast episode to know more, including:

  • Ricardo Pero’s journey from Brazil to the U.S. exemplifies the transformative power of determination in overcoming adversity.
  • Ricardo’s transition from a successful corporate career to founding SellersFi underscores the boundless possibilities of pursuing one’s passion.
  • Ricardo’s vision for revolutionizing e-commerce lending led to the creation of SellersFi, a pioneering platform shaping the future of online commerce.
  • Amidst global upheavals like the pandemic, SellersFi’s resilience and adaptability propelled it toward unprecedented growth and success.
  • SellersFi’s expansion beyond borders reflects Ricardo’s vision of empowering e-commerce sellers worldwide, transcending geographical constraints.
  • Ricardo emphasizes the importance of fostering a diverse and inclusive team culture, recognizing it as a cornerstone of SellersFi’s success.
  • Ricardo’s journey offers valuable lessons in perseverance, strategic planning, and unwavering commitment to realizing one’s entrepreneurial vision.



For a winning deck, see the commentary on a pitch deck from an Uber competitor that has raised over $400M (see it here). 

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Neil Patel

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