Diego Gomes, CEO of Rock Content, has built a terrific content marketing company from Brazil. He bootstrapped first, raised money later, and has recently acquired a sizable US company to scale. Excellent story!
Sramana Mitra: Let’s start at the beginning of your journey. Tell me about your background. Where are you from? Where were you raised?
Diego Gomes: I am from Brazil. I lived most of my life in Belo Horizonte. I started our company Rock Content around seven years ago with two co-founders, Edmar Ferreira and Vitor Pecanha.
We started the business because we shared a passion for content marketing, blogging, and the changes that were happening in the industry back then. I decided to build tools to connect brands with creative talents that could help them accelerate their digital marketing and content marketing strategies.
We started building a content marketing software platform, then we noticed that our customers were looking for more than that. They were looking to scale their creative talents and adding freelancers to help. That’s how we started in the direction that we are today.
Sramana Mitra: Let’s go back to the year that you started. What year was that again?
Diego Gomes: It was in 2013.
Sramana Mitra: What did you do up to that point? What were you and your co-founders’ background? What were you coming into this project with?
Diego Gomes: In 2008, I made a big decision in my career. I was previously working in advertising, but I wanted to work with technology companies. I wanted to help foster the local entrepreneurial ecosystem in Latin America, so I dropped out of my advertising career.
I used to work for AGC. I started a project and that was the start of my entrepreneurial adventure. I created a blog to start covering the Brazilian and the Latin American startup scene which was starting to bloom. I got in touch with the folks at ReadWrite Labs. It was one of the biggest tech blogs back then.
We agreed to have a license to translate and also to create local content there. This session with blogging and building the community is what connected me to my co-founders. Edmar Ferreira had a blog on machine learning, AI, and cloud computing.
We started commenting on each other’s blog and it resulted in a friendship between two guys who were passionate about the startup scene, technology, and content marketing.
My other co-founder, Vitor Pecanha, had been a long-term friend. We studied together. He had a technology blog in Brazil. He was also successfully building content and growing his audience. We decided to join forces to start a business in a space that we were all interested in.