Interview With Alejandro Zelaya
Fund / GroupInvariantes Fund
LocationGuatemala City, Guatemala
Number of portfolio companiesInvariantes Fund I: 23
Fund II: 5 (founded on January 2020)
Focus AreasSoftware, Enterprise Software, Sector Agnostic, B2B Models
Stage(s)Seed and Series A
HOW AND WHY DID YOU GET STARTED IN PRIVATE INVESTING?
Started as a Principal with Invariantes Fund I and quickly became Managing Partner of Invariantes Fund II four months after. We are anchored to a multi-family office that invests heavily on Private Equity thus knowing the asset class allowed us to launch Invariantes Fund, the very first early-stage VC fund in Guatemala.
WHAT IS THE SINGLE MOST IMPORTANT THING YOU VALUE IN AN INVESTMENT OPPORTUNITY?
Team. Investing in such early stages of a company, aside of market size, product-market fit, and other variables... the single most important thing we value at Invariantes is the team.
WHAT ARE THE BEST INNOVATION THEMES THAT YOU SEE IN THE MARKET TODAY?
- Autonomous vehicles
BEYOND ECONOMIC RETURN, WHAT KIND OF IMPACT DO YOU HOPE TO MAKE WITH YOUR PORTFOLIO?
Even though we tend to shy away from impact investing thesis, such as recycling companies and so on, we strongly believe that the deep tech companies we are investing in are making a global impact. Luminar, a Lidar system for autonomous vehicles, that will make safer the driving ecosystem for everyone.
WHAT ARE THE MOST PRESSING CHALLENGES OR PAIN POINTS IN MANAGING YOUR DAY-TO-DAY PRIVATE INVESTMENT ACTIVITY?
Being able to support your founders in every single step along their way.
WHAT IS THE HARDEST INVESTMENT LESSON YOU’VE LEARNED AND/OR THE BIGGEST INVESTMENT MISTAKE YOU’VE MADE?
Support a team that is outsourcing key components of their product/service and not addressing a massive market. Those two things are of vital importance when raising capital and entering new markets.
WHAT ARE YOUR FAVORITE INDUSTRY INFORMATION SOURCES AND/OR SERVICES?
Speaking with other VC managers that we collaborate with.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE NON-BUSINESS INTEREST OR HOBBY?
Spending time at the beach reading books and going out with my friends and family.
PLEASE LEAVE US A BOOK RECOMMENDATION (BUSINESS OR OTHERWISE).
By far, "Zero to One" from Peter Thiel with Blake Masters
WHAT’S YOUR TAKE ON THE PRIVATE MARKET OVERALL?