Going to entrepreneurs: fear of a Mexican tech startups shun spotlight

MEXICO CITY (reuters) – In Mexico’s fast-growing startup scene, the publicity is the last thing many business owners want to be.

A unit of the Mexican payments to boot, the Clip can be seen in this photo illustration in Mexico City, Mexico, on October 11, 2019. REUTERS/Luis Cortés/Illustration

In contrast to many of their P. R.-starved counterparts in the Silicon Valley of Mexico startup, the founders will often decline interviews with the media, do public service announcements, and in suppressing the details of financial success.

A big reason for this: they don’t want to have to pull codes.

“And you’ll find yourself in a position where you will be able to be the subject of a ransom,” being an entrepreneur Ulises Vazquez said of the drug-fueled violence and kidnappings that have signed up to society.

“You want to have a low profile and to be able to keep your freedom,” he added. Vazquez is two times and still held on to the big startup milestones: when he sold a stake in his advertising agency, ergos in 2010, and if the acquiring company Matomy (MTMY.TA), went public in the year 2014.

While this is understandable, and the low-profile approach, it is putting a stop to some of the world’s technology industry, investors and experts are saying, which makes it more difficult to attract talent and capital, especially from abroad.

Mexico’s technology sector last year, attracted just $175 million in venture capital, according to the Association of Private sector Investment in Latin America. That is, it was eclipsed by Brazil, the region’s powerhouse, which was $1.3 billion, but are also drawn to Colombia, where he made $334 million in venture capital, even though the economy is worth about one-quarter of Mexico’s.

Reuters spoke to two dozen of the investors and the start-up’s founders, who recognized that there were concerns about safety are widespread in the engineering community, and had even pushed some of the entrepreneurs in the foreign country.

In order to illustrate the concern, the majority declined to speak on the record.

Without advertising, businesses struggle to recruit the best of the best, and to bring in money, and to inspire the next generation of the said Daniel Green, who is a partner in the Silicon Valley law firm Gunderson Dettmer, which advises start-ups in Latin America.

“It certainly stunts the growth,” he said.


To be sure, violence is rampant, and elsewhere in Latin America, the drug-ridden Columbia to the crime ridden Brazil.

However, the problem is particularly acute in Mexico, an escalation of violence in more than a decade ago, when the government sent the army into the streets to crack down on the cartels. At the same time, drug gangs began, with the branches in the case of extortion.

In a series of high-profile child abductions and murders, including the death of an executive at the broadcaster, Televisa to death on his bike in a shoot-out in 2017, if no the elite of the elite.

That is generated by the business of executive protection companies, bullet proof vehicles, GPS trackers, and armed bodyguards, and the real-time monitoring and control.

For starters, the fears may be more a perception than a reality, and there have been no known cases of traders being attacked in the parts of their business to be a success.

And some of them are still to announce their deals.

Bismarck Lepe, chief executive of the company Wizeline, it is of the opinion that the group’s over-cautious, in spite of the horrors of Mexico have suffered.

“More to communicate with you about your success with the help of the community, and helps the company helps the investors,” said Slick, who divides his time between Silicon Valley and Mexico.

“As long as you are not involved in the drug trade, nothing will happen to you.”

The mexican entrepreneur’s Domingo Guerra, who founded the cyber security startup Appthority, California, said he is generally not worried about safety, and when he returned to the house. But he was feeling uneasy after the announcement of the funding round.

“People have asked me how I was going to have the money to spend, and what I was going to buy it,” said Guerra, now a senior director at cyber security giant Symantec (SYMC.(O) after the acquisition of the company by 2018. “I spent a lot of time to explain to them that there really is nothing like that amount of money for the family.”

As a startup founder, is assigned to a U.S. Army veteran, trained in anti-kidnapping driving maneuvers by a company for acquisition of its business was of a different route home every day, and eventually moved with his family to the United States of america.

A man who founded his start-up in San Francisco, said the American employees were frustrated by the peaceful approach and, as a result of fear for his relatives back in Mexico.

“There is a de facto tax to the mining and life in Mexico, and that the tax was in the life be in danger,” he said.


Some who have just faded from the general public.

Adolfo Babatz, the chief executive of the Mexican payments company with Her, and it was once a staple of the business press. In 2018, he taught for a minimum of five interviews that have been published, and has graced the cover of the business magazine, Expansion, in addition to the title: “Think big.”

He took a different tack this year, after the SoftBank (9984.(T) can be pumped around $20 million in the company, making it one of the first Mexican businessmen in order to win, the Japanese conglomerate’s stamp of approval. Babatz is not to announce the deal, and it seems to have taken on some of the discussions to date, in 2019.

SoftBank, which plans to pour $5 billion in Latin America, declined to comment.

Some who advocate for solutions.

Gabriel-Leon, who just recently launched the fintech company Oyster Financial and in Mexico, it plans to disclose the company’s funding rounds are on an online database rather than through the media.

“We never talk about money,” he said. “We have to talk about the product we’re building, the opportunity to be in the market and our competitors. That’s the way to get the attention of the investment community.”

Are some who say that the political climate and the left-wing President, Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador is often a crusade against the elite, it has also a tough time to get to the point of multi-million deals, and in a culture that frowns on bragging.

The mexican Economy Ministry did not respond to Reuters ‘ requests, in order to discuss the start-up of the sector is safety and security.

Sergio Romo, the chief executive of the Mexican, scooter, boot, Smiling, and followed a similar route-to-Babatz, after a $45.7 million funding round last year.

Earlier this year, but Romo, who was known to be the instruments around the capital in his company, and the neon-green scooter, on the left, a meeting in Mexico City, the regulators, in a big SUV with tinted windows, according to a person who took part in the meeting.

Romo told Reuters that it was unusual, and he can still use the scooter, but acknowledged that keeping a low profile is advised.

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“People from outside the startup world, have a tendency to think that the founders, who have a lot of money to be rich for yourself, but sometimes that is not the case,” he said.

“We are just the founders, to try to make it happen.”

Once you are active on Twitter, and his posts have been deleted.

Reporting by Daina Beth Solomon and Julia, with Love, in Mexico City; Additional reporting by Sam Nussey, in Tokyo; Editing by Frank Jack Daniel and Andrew Cawthorne

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