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Best of Bootstrapping: Bootstrapping a Marketplace from Brazil

Posted on Friday, Sep 25th 2020

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. 

Our conversation continues here.

This segment is a part in the series : Best of Bootstrapping


. Bootstrapping to an Exit
. Why is Bootstrapping Important?
. How Can You Play this Low-Probability Game Intelligently?
. Do NOT Go to VCs as Beggars - Go as Kings
. Excess is NOT Required for Success
. Bootstrap First and Raise Money Later
. Some Bootstrapping to Exit Case Studies
. The Buy Side of Bootstrapping to an Exit
. Blitzscaling vs. Bootstrapping
. Bootstrapping to Unicorns
. Cinedigm Acquires Bootstrapped 1Mby1M Company Future Today for $60 Million
. Mailchimp Bootstraps to $600M Revenue
. Bootstrapping from Arizona to $10 Million
. Bootstrapped Basecamp Executes a No Nonsense Strategy
. How Under30Experiences Bootstrapped to $5 Million
. Bootstrapping with a Paycheck
. How Algo.ai CEO Amjad Hussain Bootstrapped using Services from Michigan
. Seed Investors Who Like Bootstrapped Businesses
. How iHeartRaves CEO Bootstrapped a Niche e-Commerce Company to $20 Million
. Bootstrapping with Services
. How The Intern Group CEO David Lloyd Bootstrapped to $13 Million
. How Passageways CEO Paroon Chadha Bootstrapped from Indiana
. How SmartBuyGlasses CEO David Menning Bootstrapped to $50 Million
. Death by Overfunding
. How RainmakerForce CEO Mack Sundaram Bootstrapped Decisively to $5 Million+
. How FormAssembly CEO Bootstrapped a Virtual Company with a Paycheck
. TimeSlips CEO Mitch Russo Bootstrapped to Exit with Sage
. The VC-Entrepreneur Compensation Disbalance
. BioConnect CEO Bootstraps with Sophisticated Strategic Maneuvering
. Tremend CEO Marius Hanganu Bootstraps from Romania
. Gesture CEO Jim Alvarez Bootstraps to $10 Million
. SproutLoud CEO Bootstraps to $30 Million from Florida
. Tuft & Needle CEO Bootstraps to Over $100 Million
. Co-founders Bootstrap Linguamatics to Over $10M from the UK
. Ownership Matters
. Vainu Co-founder Mikko Honkanen Bootstraps from Finland
. Entrepreneur Couple Bootstraps to $10M from Colorado
. Power2Motivate CEO Bootstraps to $80M from Canada
. Financial DNA CEO Bootstraps to $10M+ from Australia
. Big Barker CEO Bootstraps a Niche E-commerce Brand
. PrecisionLender CEO Bootstraps to Over $10M from North Carolina
. Master Bootstrappers with Over $1B in Exits
. Ultra Mobile Founder Bootstraps to Over $100 Million
. Bootstrapping a Two-Sided Marketplace to $10M
. Can You Bootstrap a Virtual Company to Over $5 Million?
. Capital Efficient Entrepreneurs Turn $1M into $80M
. Discussing the Journey Through Failure to Success
. From a Small Town to $12 Million
. Bootstrapping to Y Combinator and $10 Million Series A
. Bootstrapping a Marketplace to Over $10 Million
. Freightwise Bootstraps to $33 Million
. Bootstraps First to $5M ARR, Raises $10M Later
. Bootstraps in Europe, Raises Money and Goes Global in the US
. English Major Bootstraps a Tech Company
. Bootstraps with a Paycheck to $15M from Tennessee
. Queue-It Bootstraps from Denmark to the US
. Bootstrapping A Virtual Company To $25M
. ActiveCampaign CEO Bootstraps Using Services to $40M
. Alteryx Bootstrapped with Services to a Public Unicorn
. Inspyrus Bootstraps Using Services to an Awesome Business Model
. CEO Bootstraps Using Services to Millions from Russia
. Wiredrive CEO Bootstraps Using Services to $10M
. Scaling to Over $10M by Bootstrapping Using Services
. Bootstraps Using Services from Poland to a US SaaS Company
. ButcherBox CEO Bootstraps a Perishable Meat Business to Significant Scale
. Waveform CEO Bootstraps to $8M
. Bootstrapped Entrepreneurship from Estonia
. From Laid-off Engineer to Successful Startup CEO
. Imagine Easy Solutions CEO Bootstraps to Exit
. BannerBuzz CEO Bootstraps to $35M
. Bootstrapping a Virtual Company to Scale
. Bootstrapping Using Services from Wisconsin
. Best Tactic for B2B Startups
. Bootstrapping by Piggybacking from Romania
. Bootstrap First, Then Scale with VC Funds
. Bootstrap to +$10M First, Raise Money Later
. Madwire CEO Bootstrapped First, Raised Money Later to $120M
. Bootstrap Using Services First, Raise Money Later
. Wonderful Bootstrap with a Paycheck Story
. RushOrderTees CEO Bootstraps to $23M
. Bootstrapping with Freemium and Free Trials to $13M
. Bootstrapping, Pivoting, Gaining Liquidity, Scaling to $100M+
. Bootstrapping with Affiliate Marketing
. Bootstrap to Exit, Bootstrap Again, Then Raise VC Money
. Bootstrapping Using Services to $12M
. Bootstrapping an Ad Tech Company from Paris
. Bootstrapping a 100% Virtual Company from Ireland
. MiQ CEO Bootstraps with Services from London
. Bootstrapping to $8M During the Covid Crisis
. Bootstrapping a Marketplace from Brazil
. Bootstrapping Using Services from Sweden
. What Should Startups Do To Raise Seed Capital in 2021?
. EdTech Unicorn Bootstrapped First from Canada
. Coalition Technologies Co-founders Bootstrap to $10M
. Bootstrapping a Virtual Company to $10M from Atlanta
. Bootstrapping a SaaS Company with a Paycheck and Scaling
. Bootstrapping with Services to $20 Million

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