Bogota, Colombia, February 2, 2022 – Marathon Ventures, a Colombian-based venture capital firm, announced that it has closed its first fund of $26M. The fund, one of the largest in Colombia, will be used to invest in nearly 20 B2B platforms in fintech, SaaS, and marketplaces. The fund plans to bring a concentrated, value-add approach to seed capital in the region. A smaller portfolio gives Marathon the bandwidth to spend more time and resources on each company to focus on building partnerships, conducting research, connecting to advisors and investors, and, most importantly, recruiting talent. To date, the fund has invested in eight B2B platforms, representing an approximate 2x return over the total fund size.
According to Crunchbase, Latin America saw $19.5B in investments in 2021, more than triple from previous annual investments, making it the fastest-growing region in the world for VC funding in 2021. The potential growth in the region seems set to continue with massive, record-breaking investments in Latin American tech companies.
“Many people praise the technology adoption driven by the pandemic for the spike in investment in Latin America, but really it’s the first cohort of startup alumni and experienced founders with a history of formidable execution that helped global funds warm up to the region,” said Pablo Navarro, co-founder and Operating Partner of Marathon Ventures. “Marathon’s mission is to maximize the potential of talent in emerging markets. Our approach is to invest in promising operators, at the earliest stage by matching them with some of the best companies in the ecosystem, while at the same time helping our select group of portfolio companies build teams and products faster.”
“The first wave of successful companies in Latin America digitized the consumer and we believe the next wave of successful companies will build business-facing solutions that help leapfrog the competition,” said Alejandro Echavarria, co-founder and Managing Partner of Marathon Ventures. “For example, we believe small and midsize enterprises (SMEs)are sleeping giants and we are very excited about solutions that leverage SaaS and B2B marketplaces to enable them for success.”
Marathon portfolio companies like Tul, Sumer, Estoca, and Meru are building solutions to change the status quo for SMEs. Additionally, Marathon has invested in companies including Neivor, Welbe, and Hello Guru because they are driving a similar transformation for larger enterprise companies. Marathon is confident that by investing in technology platforms it will create the opportunities business of all sizes in emerging markets need to close the gap on the developed world.”
“By specializing in B2B we can create more synergies within our portfolio and quickly repurpose learnings, enable cross-selling, curate advisors and, host impactful events to attract and bring large enterprises, founders, and key talent together,” said Leon Papu, co-founder and Managing Partner of Marathon Ventures.
One of Marathon’s first seed investments was in Tul, a B2B e-commerce marketplace that optimizes the construction-material supply chain for hardware stores across Latin America. Tul recently announced a $181M Series B round and an $800M valuation.
“Having Marathon as one of our seed investors has been like another, extremely valuable member of the team,” said Enrique Villamarin Lafaurie. Co-Founder & CEO at Tul. “From recruiting key hires who now lead strategic areas of the company, to helping us develop partnerships, to connecting us with top-tier investors, Marathon has always been with us in the trenches.”
In addition to Tul, Marathon’s portfolio includes companies that are redesigning industries in emerging markets, including Estoteca, HelloGuru, Meru, Neivor, Sprout, Sumer, Welbe, Wonder Brands, and a B2B payments company in stealth. Marathon is looking for additional core portfolio companies. Marathon will establish an office in Mexico City by the end of Q1 2022. More information about Marathon’s portfolio companies can be found here.
About Marathon Ventures
Marathon Ventures, founded in 2020 by Alejandro Echavarria, Leon Papu, and Pablo Navarro, is an early-stage fund focused on investing in B2B startups in emerging markets. Its approach is to track and catalyze talent in order to accelerate business growth and economic development in these regions. It creates and customizes a community rich in knowledge and resources to support the best founders from job search to ideation and beyond. Marathon leverages its diverse and strategic network of talent, best-in-class investors, and founder-friendly approach to accelerate funding and team development at the crucial, early stages of a company’s lifecycle. For more information, please visit www.marathonvc.com.
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