By Sramana Mitra and guest author Rajesh Nair
Sramana Mitra: What kind of investors have you been able to attract ?
Martin Migoya: Well, we have investors from Silicon Valley with private equity funds, which do not invest in early stage companies. They invest in companies that have the potential to grow, that are tapping into very large market opportunities with strong and solid delivery strategies. Those are the kinds of investors. In the case of Riverwood [and] FTV, they have other investments in the region. They know the region, and they trust our management team and the founder team. We have a great management team to take the company to the next level.
Sramana: And the early stage financing was from whom? FTV and Riverwood are late stage financing. What about early stage financing?
Martin: We started in 2007 with Riverwood alone. In 2008, we got FTV on board, and the last round was from both of them.
Sramana: OK, so it is all later stage financing, and in 2007 you were already worth $10 million to $22 million.
Martin: In 2007, we were around a $20 million company.
Sramana: And what are you now?
Martin: We will close this year at $90 million.
Sramana: What are your plans? Are you planning to go public or do you plan to continue as a private company? What is the game plan?
Martin: We have different plans. We are analyzing different options. We want to keep on growing; that is the main objective. We want to be the leader in our region and to be a global leader in what we do. This is our mission. How to do that, what are the tools to do that with, we do not know. We may go for private equity. We may go for an IPO. There are different ways, but our ambition is to be the global leader from Latin America. We would use any means to make it happen.
Sramana: So, you have not decided yet?
Martin: No. We have not decided. We have our plans but nothing concrete yet. Whenever we have a clear picture, we may go for an IPO or private equity rounds and so on, but we want to keep growing that is for sure.
Sramana: OK. I am going to switch the line of questioning to a final topic. This interview is part of a series that I do to support the One Million by One Million global initiative, which is a program to help a million entrepreneurs to reach $1 million dollars in annual revenue and beyond globally. We support entrepreneurs, and we try to help entrepreneurs identify ideas and markets and so on and so forth. What I am asking you now is to give some pointers to young entrepreneurs or aspiring entrepreneurs in Latin America about gaps that you see in the market. Where can they come in and build a company today?
Martin: Would you please elaborate ?
Sramana: What part of the market, what kind of industry, what kind of segments, what kind of opportunities do you see that are open in the Latin America market today for entrepreneurs to come in and build businesses?
Martin: I don’t want to mention any specific industry, although you know technology is one sector, of course.
Sramana: I am interested only in the technology sector.
Martin: Yes, technology is one sector. Mobile applications are going to be big, of course. Gaming and social networking are things that are big today. So, those places are hard, although I think a lot will be happening in the future, in the semantic land, although the big phenomena are still not ready, they will grow a lot in the future. We are innovating in many aspects. I would suggest, for young entrepreneurs, it’s important to believe that they can be a global company and challenge the current school of thought that Latin American entrepreneurs can do only domestic markets, and go for global success.