For many startups, the toughest early problem is figuring out a market and a product to serve it. That wasn’t the case for Nubank CEO David Velez, who understood the large potential for achievement if he might break into Latin America’s most useful financial system with even a reasonably trendy banking providing.
As a substitute, the problem was how you can rebuild the idea of a financial institution in a rustic the place banking is extensively hated, all whereas the incumbents closely entrenched with the state labored to dam each transfer.
Nubank knew its market and geography, and thru tenacious fundraising, creative advertising and product improvement, and a collection of contrarian hires, Velez and his staff stripped naked the morass of Brazilian banking to construct one of many world’s nice fintech corporations.
The problem was how you can rebuild the idea of a financial institution in a rustic the place banking is extensively hated, all whereas the incumbents closely entrenched with the state labored to dam each transfer.
Within the first a part of this EC-1, I’ll have a look at how Velez introduced his expertise and expertise to bear on this market, how Nubank was based in 2013, and the way the staff introduced a Californian reasonably than Brazilian vibe to their first workplace on — no joke — California Road, in a neighborhood referred to as Brooklin within the metropolis of São Paulo.
The makings of an entrepreneur
The thought of being his personal boss was ingrained in Velez from his earliest days in Colombia, the place he grew up in an entrepreneurial household, with a father who owned a button manufacturing facility. “I heard from my dad again and again that it’s essential to begin your individual firm,” Velez stated.
However years would move and Velez nonetheless had no concept what he wished to do. To “kill time,” and likewise to encompass himself with entrepreneurial vitality, Velez attended Stanford College — partially financed by the sale of some livestock — after which labored as an analyst at Goldman Sachs and Morgan Stanley earlier than switching to enterprise capital at Basic Atlantic and Sequoia.