ChileGlobal Ventures is one of Chile’s pioneering venture capital firms. But, to merely call them an investment firm is to undersell its value to Chile’s startup ecosystem. Yes, ChileGlobal does invest money into startups, but they also provide many different services that go above and beyond traditional funding.
ChileGlobal itself is representative of the ever-changing nature of the startup world, evolving as the venture capital arm of Fundación Chile (FCh). Founded in 1982, FCh has been promoting the creation of new and innovative companies to help bolster Chile’s economy. One example of this organization’s impact includes the development of Chile’s salmon business, a nonnative species, in the Southern Pacific ocean. Through partnering with the government, FCh was able to conduct studies for the conditions of the water and ecosystem, creating a brand new industry from scratch.
“Fundación Chile was born as an institution with a mission to promote Chile’s economy through innovation in the primary industries where the country has competitive advantages,” says María de Los Ángeles Besoain (Angie), who leads marketing for the firm. “So, it made sense to push that through the trade of venture capital.” Formally founded in 2008 as the ChileGlobal Angels network, ChileGlobal Ventures has continued to expand its program to help develop the entrepreneurship landscape in the country. Today, ChileGlobal is run by managing partner Jamie Riggs, previously of Silicon Valley Bank, and operates four separate arms for developing Chile’s startup ecosystem.
“These four areas have three types of support systems beyond just financing.” says Angie, “We have a mentor network, events, and a network of national and international partners to support the whole ecosystem through all the stages of growth for early-stage startups.”
The first arm is ChileGlobal Angels, which credits itself as both the longest-running and most active network of angel investors in Chile. This program not only provides deal flow to the investors who participate in it but also includes training for traditional investors to become angel investors themselves. With over 35 active partners and over 90 since its inception, the network here has continued to democratize investor education and diversify capital sources, leading to a more productive ecosystem for the country.
Second, is ChileGlobal Accelerator, an accelerator program for early-stage companies that provides both funding and mentorship for entrepreneurs. This program partners with the other arms of ChileGlobal, allowing mutual access to entrepreneurs and investors. For mentorship, ChileGlobal has individuals with specific core competencies who can partner with portfolio companies on a particular aspect of their business, ranging from marketing to public relations and finance.
The third arm is ChileGlobal Funds, which partners with the VC arms of large institutions. The latest addition to this area is CLIN, an $18M fund focused on investing in companies associated with sustainability and technology. Currently, this fund writes checks from $500K to $1M, intending to invest in around 25 different startups who aim to make a global impact.
Lastly, ChileGlobal Corporate partners with large Chilean and international corporations to leverage their needs with the offerings of ChileGlobal’s portfolio companies. Through this segment, corporations can participate in open innovation projects, and startups can test their products with potential corporate customers.
It’s an ambitious program, but one that may be necessary for Chile. The country currently has a high focus on the very early stages of companies, with most local funds investing in Pre-Seed, Seed, and Series A financing rounds. “By having these different arms, we are active in many different stages of a business beyond the early stage” continues Angie, “The idea is that we can have an entire ecosystem where we can help startups grow inside Chile, then expand globally.”
ChileGlobal also offers many different resources to its almost two hundred portfolio companies and the startup ecosystem as a whole. They host monthly free talks that focus on different areas for business development, from creating a website to sales tactics. They also send newsletters with information, tips, and news to their community. “We want to help startups from our portfolio grow in every way and every area that companies need to grow, from marketing, sales, finance, accounting,” says Angie.
Throughout its 40-year history, Fundación Chile has continued to transform itself, and the introduction of ChileGlobal Ventures is just one example. Currently, ChileGlobal is raising a new fund, as well as expanding its partnerships. They became the first Chilean institution to partner with Google for Startups, highlighting their international expansion plan and helping their startups grow beyond Latin American borders. “Going forward, we will continue to focus on our international partnerships,” continues Angie, “Particularly, we are part of the Pacific Alliance along with Mexico, Colombia, and Peru. Last year, a VC partnership was announced with these countries to help promote startup deal flow and collaboration.” Considering those four countries combined amount to the eighth most powerful economy in the world, it doesn’t seem like ChileGlobal Ventures will be slowing down anytime soon.
For more information on ChileGlobal Ventures, their program, and their portfolio companies, please check out their website here.