Sramana: So one of the key value points is that you can provide a platform solution as opposed to various point solutions. Do you offer incremental access to the platform?
Ricardo Villadiego: Clients can start with one product and have the aspiration to implement the whole platform. The company was built around the crossover concept. We want to get into a deal with one piece of our platform and then we can work to gain the trust of the account so that they will want to use the entire platform.
Sramana: What percentage of your clientele are financial institutions?
Ricardo Villadiego: About 90% of our clientele are financial institutions. We have managed to keep it that way. We market and target those institutions. That is our sweet spot.
Sramana: Fraud is a burning problem in that segment. It is a segment that is a must have.
Ricardo Villadiego: That is the primary reason why everything is marketed in the way it is. When it comes to fraud, the bad guys are finding ways to target other verticals such as airlines and retail. They go to the airlines to buy tickets illicitly and then resell those tickets. Fraud activity is moving into other verticals. We see fraud coming into e-commerce and telecom business as well. Banks have been making fraud harder, so they have to find new areas to commit their fraud.
In 2011, the market was $400 million; a recent report says that the market was around $4 billion in 2013 and is expected to reach $7 billion in 2018. When you combine all the problems in this vertical, you can see why the market is growing. Building a global company is now more feasible than ever.
Sramana: Have you raised any additional funds?
Ricardo Villadiego: I have not. We are still deploying funds from our last round.
Sramana: Where are you at in terms of revenue at this point?
Ricardo Villadiego: We expect to be around $6 million in revenue by the end of 2014. We have a lot of visibility into our revenue because we have built our company around subscription revenue. We expect 100% growth in 2015, so we should exceed $12 million by that point.
Sramana: I love writing about international entrepreneurship, especially in Latin America because we don’t see as many companies coming out of Latin America. How do you see Latin America changing in terms of entrepreneurship?
Ricardo Villadiego: The world is starting to flatten. The level of knowledge and access that an engineer has from MIT compared to an engineer from a university in Latin America is not that different any more. The access to knowledge is real. The true differentiation is the environment. If you are coming out of MIT, then you have an environment that fosters entrepreneurship. You don’t get that graduating from Bogota. The fact that they, in Bogota, can now see successful stories, will change that. That will envision building the next MercadoLibre. I truly believe that will happen in the future. The number of new startups coming from Latin America is much different. The investment by the VC industry is also increasing. They are more confident in economies like ours.
Sramana: The US financial services industry was very insular. That is gradually changing. There are VCs who are now building bridges. Those ties in India and China are already strong, and in Latin America they will strengthen over the next 10 years. I have loved your story, thank you so much for taking the time to share your journey with us.