How Sergio and Ricardo took a small startup with a magical product-market fit to become the free-trading platform in Spanish-speaking LatAm in a matter of months.
A large, vibrant and ambitious generation of young Latin Americans is causing the clearest revolution in the region in decades. This youth is now digital, informed, and want a better future. They understand what has kept their families, their communities, their countries behind for so long, and are now taking control of their own destiny. With a cellphone in hand, access to information, individual and collective dreams, and the determination to pursue a better life in a better world, they are seizing the moment and will not let it go.
FLINK, an ALLVP portfolio company, is empowering millions of young Mexicans today to become active investors. They can buy and sell fractional shares in global markets without hustle, without intimidating barriers or hidden costs, and with the appeal that is rapidly turning this startup into the most promising fintech offering in Latin America.
Purpose is the difference between honorable success and legendary performance, between fame and a legacy. FLINK is building that legacy, and ALLVP’s involvement in this journey is becoming the privilege of my life.
We have heard ad nauseam how technology “disrupts” markets to improve people’s lives. Yet most of the startup hype orbits around marginal improvements to those with access, often centered on comfort and convenience. Most people in this world dream of and struggle for new opportunities. It is not convenience they strive for, but access to a chance. A chance to create wealth, to benefit from the system, to improve their lives. A chance to belong to something bigger.
Saving and Investing are activities not typically associated with the low and middle classes in LatAm. Yet it is precisely through them that people can change their destiny. If social mobility is desired and income inequality is to be reduced, access to saving and investing are essential. Public markets have historically been reserved for those privileged enough to start with some heritage, and there’re little incentives for incumbents to change the status quo. A perfect recipe for a startup to disrupt and use technology to change the rules of the game, right?
Not necessarily. Not as obvious when the rules are written by incumbents. There are many obstacles, yet this is where FLINK ‘s purpose is essential, as it provides the strength, tenacity and ambition to navigate the storm.
When we met Sergio and Ricardo back in the fall of 2020, we knew we had to be involved. ALLVP invested in FLINK since October 2020 because, as our dear Chloé Novene so eloquently wrote, “by transforming the way people invest and by creating a new market, FLINK truly has the potential to reshuffle the cards of financial inclusion in LatAm.” We co-led the Series A round with Accel.
Working with the FLINK team these first ten months has reinforced our conviction that something very unique is being built; the zero-bullshit, hard work, fresh culture of its team, the high moral compass and mission driven leadership of Sergio Jimenez, the set of unique investors and advisors aligned with our commitment and vision, and a community of users that encourage us to raise our game, is creating a movement beyond what the unprecedented traction reveals. Given our close collaboration on Cornershop, working with Andrew Braccia on FLINK’s Board felt very natural and was critical as we supported Sergio navigate a complex regulatory and technical challenge.
Our operations in Mexico have already radically transformed access to public markets. Its purpose obliges FLINK to work hand in hand with authorities and to comply fully with the regulation while simultaneously pushing the envelope towards better long term market dynamics. The company is Ready, Able, Willing and Impelled to Scale successfully
The more than 1.5 million users in its first 9 months -evidence of a product-market fit I’d never witnessed before-, and the confidence of our community constantly encourages the firm to massively improve its value proposition.
Today we are announcing FLINK’s Series B, a $57 Million USD round led by Lightspeed Ventures, jointly with Accel and ALLVP, which will accelerate FLINK toward implementing its vision of a new generation of investors who continue to diversify their investment portfolios with regulated, accessible, and safe products.
As dozens of millions of Latin Americans access global public securities, the purpose will materialize. A Colombian waitress trading $TSLA, an Ecuadorian student owning a piece of $APPLE, a Honduran student and a Peruvian teacher trading on #BTC or a Mexican entrepreneur riding on $UBER performance. Empowerment. Financial Education. Hope & Personal Growth.
The challenges are vast. Regulatory fine-tunings, talent attraction, product development, multi-country, multi-currency, incumbents… and yet every day Sergio and his team move closer to clearing these obstacles and really maximize their potential at full speed. Organizations are changed, lives are changed, the world is changed, by the determination, talent and commitment of amazing young people. Sofia, Pam, Vero, Rick, Sergio and 150+ Flinkers are building an ambitious rocket, and it has taken off!