Our DNA

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OUR DNA

We live in a world where the best opportunities are heavily concentrated in a few postal codes, even though talent is globally distributed. This crude reality motivated us to build TheVentureCity. Our mission is to bridge this gap and provide the best entrepreneurs –regardless of location– the resources needed to elevate their businesses to extraordinary heights.

Back in 2017, we built an organization with values that reflect today’s Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) goals. We defined these values because we inherently believed that in order to change the world, we needed to start with ourselves. At TheVentureCity, the world’s minorities are our majority (100% female-founded company), thinking differently is the norm not the exception (who else talks about iguanacorns[1]?), and working to change billions of lives is our main KPI[2] (we have no small dreams). Since the very beginning, being different and making a difference has been in our DNA.

Cultural Relevance & Diversity

At TheVentureCity, we are committed to building a diverse network of portfolio companies, stakeholders, and an ecosystem of partners. We genuinely believe that diversity of gender, ethnicity, race, culture, religion and sexual orientation truly brings a wealth of ideas and resources that strengthen our collective resolve – to support diverse founders building the most impactful companies.

Our portfolio is comprised of a multicultural group of international founders from more than 20 countries, of which 50% of them are minorities. We are proud to say that our companies make a profound impact in their respective communities across Latin America, United States and Europe. Through the customers they serve and the people they employ, our companies touch over 50 countries. 11% of our portfolio companies have female founders— about 10 times the industry average, but we’re not satisfied. We are working hard to drive this number up to 50% by actively pushing our companies to involve more women at the management level and tapping into communities with higher densities of female founders to source deals. By being proactive, we are confident we will achieve a more gender-balanced portfolio going forward.

But it doesn’t stop at our portfolio companies. When you look at the internal team behind TheVentureCity, you’ll find that over 50% of our General Partners (GPs) and investment team are female. Our team spans religions, genders, cultures, sexual orientation and countries of origin. We welcome and celebrate the ‘power of difference’ which is why we work to not only recruit diverse talent but to retain it. This enables us to empathize with multiple stakeholders and attract strong talent no matter who or where they are.

Founder & Investor Friendly

Our mission is to empower founders in emerging tech hubs through capital and expertise while also providing exceptional returns to our investors. We source deals in tech hubs with an abundance of specialized talent but a deficit of venture capital investment.

In emerging tech hubs, we often see investors taking advantage of the lack of funding by incorporating unfavorable terms in their term sheets for founders. Founders often feel they have no other option but to accept these terms in order to continue to grow their business. It isn’t until later in their startup journey that they realize that this has effectively crippled their business by either giving away too much equity or welcoming an unfriendly investor to the cap table, or both. At TheVentureCity, we invest under fair terms for both parties, ensuring a win-win for founders and investors.

Our work doesn’t stop with a signed agreement. Post-investment we roll-up our sleeves and work very closely with our founders to support them with the necessary tools and expertise to maximize their potential. We actively provide strategic guidance on product, engineering, data, growth and internationalization. We meet with our portfolio companies on a weekly, monthly or quarterly basis to help them stay laser focused on the company’s growth opportunities and operational efficiencies.

At the same time, we aim to bring our Limited Partners (LPs) closer to where the returns are made – the founders themselves. Tired of seeing venture capital funds that are complete black boxes—where neither the performance of the fund nor the people behind it are clear— we challenged ourselves to launch a transparent fund. By bringing our LPs closer to our founders, they are able to exchange ideas, market expertise, best practices, and potentially even close partnerships or investment opportunities. This allows an LP – who usually comes from a different industry– to become more familiar with the tech sector and become an active member of the ecosystem. By allowing this knowledge transfer we can accomplish so much more. It is by unifying forces from all stakeholders –the investors, the founders and our team– that we can elevate our portfolio to unprecedented highs.

Sustainability

The protection of the environment plays an important role in our investment decision. Our investments are focused on early-stage startups that aim to improve efficiency by leveraging software. We do not invest in labor or resource-intensive sectors such as traditional manufacturing and agriculture. Beyond our portfolio companies meeting environmental standards, we are actively looking to source deals in resource efficiency and energy management. Cabify, one of our portfolio companies, became 100% Carbon Neutral back in 2018 as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility Plan.

Giving back to the community

Our community of founders and startups across the US, Europe and Latin America is strong and ever-growing. Since the very beginning, we have put a lot of effort in building and nurturing the community of founders and startups across these regions. We bring the community together through weekly speaker events, workshops, recruitment, and knowledge-sharing. In 2019, we organized over 60 workshops and speaker events across our campuses, participated in over 20 international conferences, published 43 blog posts and launched our own podcast series to share our team’s knowledge with the community.

RESPONSIBLE INVESTMENT PRACTICES

Pre-Investment

The ESG framework is a crucial part of our investment decision making. Any company that fails to fulfill its ESG mandate will not be considered for investment. Our extensive due diligence process includes an ESG compliance check which is thoroughly discussed during our Investment Committee meetings.

Post-Investment

We believe corporate responsibility is best built when it fits into the culture of the company (bottom-up) rather than being enforced upon (top-down).

Each portfolio company is unique in this aspect given that they operate in different sectors, geographies and business models. What remains consistent, however, is that each company takes active leadership in promoting equal opportunities, diversity, employee health and safety, and fair play. We work with our companies even at their earliest stages to develop their own culture of corporate responsibility that complements the product-led-growth culture that we help them build.

We are all about data-driven decision making, including our approach to ESG. This means that our regular portfolio management – encompassing financial and operational metrics – also tracks ESG compliance. We actively cover corporate responsibility and risk management with our founders in each quarterly meeting. We also ensure that corporate responsibility is covered in each board meeting, alongside financial and strategic discussions. Our LPs are always in the loop on ESG compliance of our companies, which we extensively cover in our LP reports and annual LP gatherings.

WE PRACTICE WHAT WE PREACH

Sustainability

In our day-to-day operations, every decision we make – no matter how small – directly or indirectly aims to minimize its own environmental impact. Our company policies govern all the daily choices we make, such as using video conferencing instead of traveling for in-person meetings, using digital signatures instead of printing, and actively sorting and recycling office waste.

Society

We are in the business of driving innovation through investment. Our companies directly promote economic growth by being the most innovative and competitive in their respective fields. Our exposure to cutting-edge and up-and-coming technologies allows us to reach underserved communities or individuals that are hard to reach through traditional channels. By investing in early-stage companies, we are positioned to create a large amount of jobs in the near future, impacting both local and global communities.

Corporate Governance

Good ethical principles, industry best practices and our Limited Partnership Agreement (LPA) guide our daily operations. We are ambassadors for promoting equal opportunities for all individuals, fair play among all team members and transparency in all relevant matters with our limited partners and our employees.

Integrity and transparency are the mantras we live by and we apply nothing but the highest standards for our team and for the companies we work with. We have an anti-corruption, anti-bribery and anti-money laundering policy, for which we constantly monitor compliance and complement it with regular internal training sessions for our team.

We want our LP base and our community to follow responsible and sustainable best practices. We take a proactive approach in communicating and reinforcing our corporate values and how we implement them in our investment strategy. We also actively engage our peers in the VC industry in sharing our values and modus operandi. We are a member of the Asociación Española de Capital, Crecimiento e Inversión (ASCRI), Latin American Venture Capital Association (LAVCA) and National Venture Capital Association (NVCA).

[1] ‘Iguanacorns’ is our term for unicorns – companies valued over $1 billion – founded in emerging tech hubs.

[2] KPI = Key Performance Indicator