Responding to a popular request, we are now sharing transcripts of our investor podcast interviews in this new series. The following interview with Daniel Ibri was recorded in April 2019.
Daniel Ibri, Co-Founder and Managing Partner at Mindset Ventures, talks about his firm’s investment thesis in enabling US and Israeli companies to enter Brazil.
Sramana Mitra: Tell us about yourself and about Mindset Ventures. Let’s get you introduced to our entrepreneur audience.
Daniel Ibri: Mindset is an early-stage tech investor both in the US and Israel. We invest in these two geographies only and we try to help companies expand, later, into Latin America, especially Brazil. We have a Brazilian presence. I’m Brazilian.
Most of my time, I’m in Sao Paulo. We have partners in San Francisco and Tel Aviv. We mainly raise money from Brazilian high net worth individuals and family offices. We help companies come and do business here.
Sramana Mitra: How big is the fund?
Daniel Ibri: We are now running $22 million. We should start raising our next fund in the middle of the year, which is probably going to be much bigger.
Sramana Mitra: What kinds of stuff do you like to invest in? B2B or B2C? What’s your sweet spot?
Daniel Ibri: We invest in B2B only. I would say that we are more focused on five segments – healthcare, education, FinTech, agriculture, and cyber security. We now have 36 companies in our portfolio. It’s quite a lot. They are mostly concentrated in the five segments I mentioned.
Sramana Mitra: Are you saying that these companies are born in Israel and they’re coming to Brazil? Is that the normal trajectory of a company that you participate in?
Daniel Ibri: It’s not a need for the company to come to Brazil for us to invest. We can invest in anything that’s a good opportunity. Normally, when we join the rounds, it’s because entrepreneurs and founders see that our value is not only the money, but the ability to help them expand to a new geography.
We really believe Brazil is a big country. It’s a huge market for a lot of startups especially in those segments that I mentioned. If you’re talking about Israel, it’s a little bit more obvious because Israel is such a small country. They don’t have a good internal market. They need to develop something there and go abroad.
The normal route has always been going to the US but that has become more competitive and more expensive. It’s hard to test and scale in the US. If you mess up, you don’t have another chance. If you come to Brazil and gain scale, you’re much more confident that you have what it takes to scale when you come to the US.