Unicorns made in Brazil

At the annual BayBrazil 2019 conference Fabricio Bloisi, Founder and CEO of Movile, talked about how Brazil’s startup ecosystem has grown in recent years to the point that today the country is increasingly seeing unicorns.

Currently, ten Brazilian companies have reached the title of unicorns, which means that their value exceeds one billion dollars. Of these companies, five of them reached the title of unicorns in 2019, an indicator of the maturity of the startup ecosystem in Brazil.

Venture capital has played a crucial role in Brazilian startups to achieve this value. Both Latin American investment funds and Kaszek Ventures to large corporations such as Softbank have injected capital into Brazilian startups, which has allowed them to compete globally.

Learn more about the unicorns made in Brazil in this talk by Fabricio Bloisi.


DogHero, an AirBnB of dogs

When you go on vacation, try to be careful when choosing the place where you will stay and evaluate everything, not just the price. Check the comments of other guests, the ratings of the site, the activities to perform. However, if you have pets, one detail remains: “with whom do I leave the dog?”

DogHero is a platform where you can check places to leave your dog with the same care you choose the place where you will stay. You could say it’s an Airbnb for dogs.

On their web platform, you can search for hosts that can receive your dog. The page includes details of the hosts, such as photos of the residence, dogs that were previously there and customer evaluations.

After choosing a host, you establish contact with him from the app’s chat or on the same DogHero website. The reservation and payment are also from the same application. When you host your pet, you bring their food and toys with them.

In the end, you stay calm. Your pet’s host will send you photos and videos, so you can be sure that it enjoys the holidays as well as you.

DogHero also includes a veterinary guarantee of up to 15,000 pesos. The host receives 75% of the rate. DogHero also offers online training in the “School of Heroes.”

A market bigger than babies

The Brazilians Eduardo Baer and Fernando Gadotti are responsible for DogHero creation. The entrepreneurs met in an MBA from Standford. These two partners, lovers of dogs, founded the company in 2014.

In Brazil, DogHero has 15K hosts, 250 walkers and has a presence in 650 cities. In Argentina, 1K houses host pets in 100 cities. Moreover, in Mexico, where it arrived in 2018, it already has 250 homes in 20 cities, but its goal is to reach 1,5K hosts by the end of this year.

The pet market is more significant than you can imagine. Only in Mexico, has already exceeded the baby market, which speaks of a crucial generational change in consumer habits. Just in food, was invoiced $2 thousand 78 million, 112% more than the $980 million recorded in processed foods for babies (baby food and milk formulas) in the same period.

Eduardo Baer commented on this for Entrepreneur, “People can underestimate this market, but we have seen how it has evolved. Today there are already 100 million dogs in Latin America, which are part of their families and have an expectation of the higher quality of life and services.”

More investment for pets

Rover and IGNIA Partners have bet on the growth of DogHero for the coming years. This startup got an investment of 7 million dollars recently. Álvaro Rodríguez Arregui, co-founder and partner of IGNIA Partners, pointed out that “DogHero is one of the great protagonists in the ecosystem of the collaborative economy in Latam, its work team and effective growth strategies are two of its great attributes.”

“We are excited because we will show you our lately investment: DogHero, a marketplace that is revolutionizing pets hosting market”.

For his part, Baer said that “with this investment, we want, de facto, to consolidate as the leading Latin American player not only in Brazil, Argentina, and Mexico but in more countries in the region, because by 2020 we will reach Chile, Peru, Colombia, and Uruguay. “

The money from the investment will go to the areas of Technology and product development (30%), Marketing (30%), Human resources (20%). Also, they will begin with the DogWalk service in Mexico and Argentina during 2019 (20%). The purpose is to monopolize the market of more than 100 million dogs in Latin America.

“We want to provide more solutions for parents and moms of dogs, while we work on improving the current experience. That is what drives us, and this new investment helps us to do it faster, “said Baer.

The founders of DogHero expect double growth in Brazil, five times more in Argentina and seven times more in Mexico than in the same periods of 2018. Ricardo Plaschinski will be the Country Manager of the startup in Mexico to achieve this goal.

“Mexico has proven to be a key country for DogHero because, in the 11 months of operation, we have done twice as many services as they did in Brazil in that period,” he said.

The local team in Mexico will be reinforced to attract new talent and expand in such a way that they have a host for each municipality of the country.

In addition to this recent investment, DogHero has received more than $12 million from investors such as Kaszek Ventures (Argentina) and Monashees (Brazil), as well as Global Founders Capital (Germany).

How does DogHero work? (In Spanish).

An app to compare urban trips arrives in Mexico

The urban mobility market is reaching the saturation point in Mexico as in other countries of the world. Every day there are more apps and options to go from one side to another: new public transport routes, Uber or Cabify type apps, even bicycles, and skates. An app that allows users to choose the service that suits them best arises in this context. Its name is VAH.

Marcio Bern is one of VAH co-founders. He had the idea while a family member was in the hospital. Bern had to travel every day to visit him. Soon he realized that it was cheaper to move using other alternatives than going by car and spend on gasoline or parking. However, Bern noticed a problem, such as the lack of price consistency between the different apps.

Five VAH categories to choose

VAH centralizes all travel options in one place so that the passenger can choose the one that best fits in time and money to their needs.

VAH screen capture

The application arose in Brazil in mid-2016. Now it comes to Mexico with five categories:

  • VAH Urbano: to compare taxis, carpooling services, skates, and bicycles.
  • VAH Áreo: to compare air tickets.
  • VAH Bus: to compare buses.
  • VAH Rent: to rent vehicles.
  • VAH Aventón: to share trips in private cars such as Bla Bla Car.

VAH goal is to allow users to choose the closest, cheapest or fastest trip in any of the categories. The user chooses the way to make the trip then the app redirects it to the service of their preference. The app is free for users. It makes money by charging a commission to services or selling anonymous consumption data.

Improving mobility

VAH teamwork operates from Sao Paulo. They work with different web services, as well as the APIs of transport companies such as Uber, Cabify, Taxify, etc. Currently, the app has almost one million downloads and about 250,000 active users globally.

In the opinion of VAH teamwork, Mexico City is one of the places where the app could work best. Like Sao Paulo, Mexico City is a populated center where there are traffic problems. Driving a private car can be a tortuous journey. Users have the opportunity to travel more comfortable with VAH.