Polymath Ventures plans $100 mln Latin American fund

Polymath Ventures is planning a $100 million fund that will develop and invest in high-impact companies in Latin America. Based in Colombia and Mexico, Polymath is company builder focused on the middle class in emerging markets.


Bogotá, October 30, 2018

Polymath Ventures, a company builder focused on the middle class in emerging markets is planning its largest investment fund to date – the Horizon Fund – to develop and invest US$100M in high-impact companies across Latin America.

The Horizon Fund will mark the next stage in growth for the Colombia and Mexico-based Polymath, combining follow-on investments in its successful company-building initiatives with investments in other promising Latin American start-ups. Polymath, founded by current partners Wenyi Cai, Craig Edelman and Carlos F. Pradilla, has built a track record of successful companies in Colombia, Peru and Mexico. The firm’s aim is to drive digital revolution in service sectors for the underserved Latin American middle class.

Polymath Ventures also announced its new board of independent advisors that will strategically support its leadership team. The Board features the following members with deep expertise in global venture investing, institutional asset management and Latin American entrepreneurship:

Luis Javier Castro
Mr. Castro is Founder, President and Managing Director of leading Latin American private equity firm, Mesoamerica Investment, and director of several of the firm’s portfolio companies. Mr. Castro was a founding partner of Central America’s first private equity fund, a former consultant at Bain & Co. and is a member of G-50, a select group of business leaders of the Americas. He brings 25+ years of senior private equity and company building experience across the region.

Greg Sands
Mr. Sands is the Founder and Managing Director of California-based venture capital firm, Costanoa Ventures. Prior to this, he was Managing Director of Sutter Hill Ventures, a private equity firm investing in early stage enterprise software startups like Merced Systems, Youku and Feedburner. Mr. Sands was the first product manager at Netscape Communications where he wrote the first business plan, coined the name Netscape and built his business unit from $0-$140M. He brings 25+ years of experience in tech entrepreneurship and venture capital investing

Matt Scanlan, CFA
Mr. Scanlan is Operating Executive at Golden Gate Capital LLC and Senior Advisor at Pluribus Labs. He previously served as the CEO of Barclays Global Investors’ Institutional Business, and CEO of RS Investments and Renaissance Institutional Management, where he was responsible for overseeing the firm’s institutional investment business. Mr. Scanlan is a CFA charterholder and served on the Board of Governors of the CFA Institute. He has managed three different multibillion-dollar global asset managers and brings 35+ years of experience in the investment management industry.

Rafael Febres-Cordero
Mr. Febres-Cordero is Managing Director of Capgemini Invent and former Managing Director of International Wealth Management at Brown Brothers Harriman. He also held several executive roles in various affiliated companies at Fidelity Investments in the Americas and Europe, including at Devonshire Investors, a private equity investment firm ($6 billion AUM). In the last 5 years, Mr. Febres-Cordero has advised numerous asset and wealth managers, family offices, private equity and venture capital funds. A board member and advisor of several regional start-ups, he brings 25+ years of experience investing across US and Latin America.

Juan Emilio Posada
Mr. Posada is Founder, former CEO and Executive Chairman of VivaAir, the leading Colombian low-cost airline, and former CEO of Avianca Airlines. Mr. Posada is Board Member for Grupo Odinsa, which builds infrastructure projects across Latin America, and holds board positions at several other Latin America-based companies and NGOs. A Founder and Partner at Colombian investment firm, NT3, he brings 25+ years of entrepreneurship, executive, and advisory experience.

According to Polymath’s Edelman, “The Horizon Fund principally aims to fill the Series A and B funding gap that curbs many promising Latin American ventures and to create a virtuous cycle of impact in the region”.
The Horizon Fund anticipates its first close in June 2019.

Polymath Ventures
Operating since 2012, Polymath Ventures is a company builder designed for emerging markets.
Polymath’s proprietary methodology fuses business and design-thinking to create innovative platform businesses that disrupt major service sectors like transportation, financial services, employment, and health & wellness, where solution sets will be different in high-density, low-income cities. Each venture emphasizes business model innovation, while leveraging existing online-offline consumer behaviors and intelligent algorithms. Companies are designed in-house, and then world-class founders recruited to lead the ventures. Polymath remains a co-founder and continues to support the venture in strategy, investment, product, finance, and talent through the lifecycle of the company. Polymath has built and launched 8 ventures over the past 6 years and has raised US$27M+ of equity financing for those companies. Polymath has offices in Bogotá, Mexico City, Los Angeles and Shanghai.