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3 Classes from A Founder of two Million-Greenback Corporations


Elevating hundreds of thousands for a startup is not any straightforward feat, as anybody who’s raised enterprise capital will let you know. However Beatriz Acevedo did it twice, and in wildly totally different sectors – digital media and fintech.

She co-founded:

  • Mitú: A media community that makes a speciality of content material common amongst younger Latinos. It attracted 2B+ month-to-month video views and raised a complete of $62m, earlier than getting acquired in 2020.
  • SUMA Wealth: A fintech app that goals to assist younger Latinos construct wealth in a enjoyable, culture-forward means, which not too long ago raised $2.2m and hit 1m+ customers.

She additionally received 3 Emmys…

Supply: Tenor

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As a result of I requested properly, Beatriz spilled the key sauce that led to her entrepreneurial success — apart from being a “Kind A Virgo particular person,” that’s.

Listed here are three issues she did proper to deliver SUMA Wealth to the place it’s at this time.

1. Concentrate on The Proper Viewers

From the get-go, Beatriz wished to construct SUMA for the “200% era” – younger US Latinos. They’re:

  • 100% American: US-born, communicate English, college-educated, and deeply ingrained within the American tradition

  • 100% Latino: Raised by Latino households, which implies distinctive customs, expectations, and relationships with cash

  • Underrepresented in media and underestimated as clients

There’s no scarcity of fintech merchandise that wish to seize the US Latino viewers — in spite of everything, it is a demographic with $3.2T of GDP, $3.4T of spending energy, and a hole in monetary literacy.

Most of those firms concentrate on the Spanish-dominant immigrants and their ache factors, such because the mistrust of banks or the battle with English.

However youths are the driving power for the group’s monetary development, and 74% of US Latinos beneath 34 years previous (Millennials or youthful) are literally born right here, and proficient in English.

Supply: Pew Analysis Heart

Beatriz sensed a giant alternative right here. Due to Mitú, she already knew the right way to attain these Latino youths, and what content material resonated with them.

She additionally understood that they are typically the monetary navigators and influencers of their households.

“They’re managing as much as three monetary accounts for different members of the family, so if we undergo the youths, the ROI is just not one-to-one, however one-to-many,” Beatriz mentioned.

2. Let Neighborhood Drive The Product

You may assume constructing a media community and a fintech startup are utterly totally different beasts, however in Beatriz’s case, they’re truly fairly comparable.

Her mantra? Neighborhood earlier than product.

With Mitú’s success, Beatriz realized that Latino youths reply effectively to popular culture, are lively on social media, and must really feel belonged. So her group applied an edu-tainment technique to develop the SUMA neighborhood:

🎓 Partnering with Arizona State College to determine bootcamps and certificates in monetary literacy

❤️ Creating social content material and distributing it via media partnerships, together with with Mitú, to broaden their model’s attain

📰 Constructing a e-newsletter that now has 200k+ extremely engaged subscribers

“We have been doing plenty of social listening, studying and testing, after which we let the viewers neighborhood inform our product roadmap,” Beatriz mentioned.

Conversations in the neighborhood confirmed that these youths aren’t savvy with investing, saving, or enhancing credit score, and really feel anxious about their monetary position within the household.

So the app pairs finance with cultural background to ease the anxiousness, utilizing references from each Latin tradition and American popular culture to interrupt down advanced ideas – like utilizing arduous and delicate shell tortillas to elucidate arduous and delicate credit score, or dissecting cash strikes of JLo.

Meals is a giant theme in SUMA’s monetary training. Supply: SUMA Wealth pitch deck

SUMA additionally helps younger Latinos navigate the traumatic funds of courting, via a partnership with Latino courting app Chispa (a part of Match.com).

AI personalization is a core function for the product – what every consumer sees displays their distinct experiences, from presents which are particular to their monetary journeys, to personalized meals metaphors for, say, Mexicans and Caribbeans.

“Our viewers would say, ‘somebody lastly will get me,’ or ‘the place have you ever been all my life,’ which reveals a must belong. So we constructed the neighborhood and product round that emotional connection,” Beatriz mentioned.

And that connection led to SUMA’s 62% annual consumer development and almost 5x income improve.

3. Believing and Investing in Your self

Elevating hundreds of thousands of capital in your startup is commonly glorified, nevertheless it’s a tough street for founders, Beatriz mentioned.

So that you higher consider you’re the suitable particular person for the job.

“The primary checks that are available are betting on you as a founder, greater than on the income or the expansion,” she mentioned. “Just be sure you actually love what you are doing, that it’s one thing private, larger than you, and greater than cash.”

Discovering the investor-founder match can be key.

Early SUMA traders didn’t embrace POC or women-led VCs, and it was more durable for Beatriz to elucidate sure cultural and neighborhood points of the corporate. So within the newest spherical, her group prioritized Latino new fund managers, ladies and POC-led VCs, and impression funds.

Since she believed within the trigger – to assist younger Latinos construct wealth – and her personal skill to steer the cost, Beatriz was in a position to entice like-minded traders.

Supply: LinkedIn

The one problem that remained? Beatriz had no background in finance.

As CEO, she wished to be well-versed within the developments and alternatives within the fintech world, regardless that she’s not the one giving monetary recommendation.

So she spent nights and weekends taking as many fintech courses as doable, and earned skilled certifications from Wharton, Harvard, and Stanford. Investing in her personal training provides her the boldness to steer the imaginative and prescient for SUMA.

“I actually began this firm after I turned 50, so that you’re by no means too previous to begin one thing new that you just’ve completely by no means finished earlier than,” Beatriz mentioned. “It’s scary however thrilling which you can study and reinvent your self in that means.”

For extra content material like this, be a part of the Developments e-newsletter or take a look at our Breaking the Blueprint collection.

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