The German venture capital firm aims to become one of the most influential funds in Chile and Latin America.
Picus Capital has at least 20 Latin American companies in its investment portfolio, including Clara, Xepelin, Aplazo, Neta, Cayena, BHub, and Caju. “Investors are more focused on unit economics, the quality of growth and its retention,” emphasizes Julian Roeoes.
The Munich-based company specializes in early investment at the pre-seed, seed, and series A stages.
At the regional level, comments Dañino, “the idea is to build our business in Latin America through a real physical presence in the region, with Latin American staff. We want to build a local presence with local talent.” Their roadmap includes opening an office in Sao Paulo and then another in Mexico City.
When asked about his investment outlook in the region, given Latin America’s current political and economic scenario, Dañino affirms that “we have a long-term outlook. For our investment horizon, we are thinking in the order of 10 to 15 years. That removes us somewhat from short-term risks. Some funds may see Latin America as an opportunity for speculative investment. We, however, are committed.”
The aim of Picus Capital is “to be the best and most important venture capital fund for early-stage investment in Latin America,” adds Roeoes. Some funds may see Latin America as an opportunity for speculative investment. We, however, are committed,” emphasizes Santiago Dañino.
Opportunities in the region
According to Dañino, they are currently studying investment opportunities for their portfolio in Chile, Peru, Argentina, and Colombia.
Roeoes highlights that many Latin American startups have “a very strong ability to be in different markets and well integrated for expansion.” He offers the example of Chilean Fintech Xepelin, which is expanding into Mexico at the moment.
Regarding which sectors present opportunities, they say they are “agnostics,” meaning they don’t prefer any one in particular. “What we often do is follow extraordinary founders who we believe are going to build the best companies in their class, or who define a category in which we see opportunities. There are still a good number of opportunities in financial technology,” explains Dañino.
Picus Capital projects that Latin America will see new startups valued at more than US$ 1 billion, and “we even hope that some companies in our portfolio can achieve that status,” says Dañino.
However, “I don’t think that it’s necessarily healthy for companies to pursue that status,” he qualifies.
Roeoes reflects that while 2021 was a record year in terms of activity- funds raised -, this year, investors are focused on the quality of companies. “Investors are more focused on unit economics, the quality of growth and its retention,” he stated.