Rodrigo Baer’s first entrepreneurial experience was to set up a delivery service for one of Brazil’s largest pharmacy chains. He went on to get his MBA in the US, and then decided to go back home to Brazil where the venture capital industry was just getting started. Later, while working at McKinsey, Rodrigo and four friends built a track record that helped them found Warehouse Investimentos, one of Brazil’s pioneering venture capital firms that invest has invested in billion-dollar companies like iFood.
Today, Rodrigo is a Principal at Redpoint eVentures, a Latin America-focused fund based in Brazil. With three managing directors from Brazil and two partnering funds in the US, the Redpoint team leverages their experience and network to create and grow the tech startup ecosystem in Brazil. Redpoint eVentures has raised a total of $305M across two funds.
In this episode, we talk to Rodrigo about his journey from being an entrepreneur in Brazil to becoming an investor at Redpoint eVentures. We also discuss what it was like to start a venture capital firm in Brazil when the industry was almost nonexistent. Finally, Rodrigo explains how the ecosystem has changed to include more startups founded by women, and he also provides tips on how women can improve their pitching skills at the investment table.
DISCOVERING A CAREER IN VENTURE CAPITAL
Before becoming an investor at Redpoint eVentures, Rodrigo built and scaled one of the first ecommerce sites in Brazil for pharmaceutical company Droga Raia. He learned valuable lessons on setting up processes and training teams in a startup but realized that the day-to-day operations of running a business were not his strong suit. He went on to explore other industries like consulting and advisory positions but wasn’t feeling fulfilled.
In this episode, Rodrigo explains how he found a career by aligning his three interests –entrepreneurship, advising, and seeing results– through working in venture capital.
FEMALE ROLE MODELS
Rodrigo reflects on Redpoint eVentures’ pipeline, where 8% of companies are cofounded by women, and recognizes how harsh the ecosystem can be for female founders. He suggests that a key component to helping women thrive in the ecosystem is the importance of role models for upcoming female entrepreneurs. The success stories of women like Fabiana Salles from Gesto and Cristina Junqueira from Nubank are essential in paving the path for other women entrepreneurs to follow.
Check out this episode of the WeXchange podcast to find out how the ecosystem is evolving and overcoming different gender biases.
EVELING THE PLAYING FIELD
In this episode, Rodrigo explains that the main difference between male and female entrepreneurs is how they deliver their pitches. While both male and female entrepreneurs can look strong on paper, women tend to be less aggressive when delivering their pitches when they get to the investment table. As an investor, Rodrigo tries to be considerate of these different approaches while evaluating startups to level the playing field. He points to Cristina Junqueira as a great example of how women can be more forceful on stage.
Find out how women entrepreneurs can make a stronger impression on their investors in this episode of the WeXchange podcast.
Rodrigo Baer has over 20 years’ experience working in the US and Brazilian startup ecosystems. He has sat on both sides of the table, as an entrepreneur and advisor, and finally as an investor at a venture capital firm. As a Principal at Redpoint eVentures, he makes a conscious effort to overcome the gender biases that permeate the industry and open up the conversation for more gender-inclusive founding teams.
[0:52] – Sobre Rodrigo
[4:07] – Levantando rondas grandes
[5:18] – El camino de Rodrigo desde emprendedor a inversor
[8:32] – Consejos para Rodrigo en sus comienzos
[10:49] – Cerrando tratos
[12:20] – Invirtiendo en startups fundadas por mujeres
[14:03] – Impulsando mujeres emprendedoras
[15:27] – Qué ayuda a que mujeres emprendedoras tengan éxito en el ecosistema?
[17:31] – Analizando pitches: mujeres versus hombres
[18:45] – Consejos para mujeres emprendedoras
[21:41] – Aprendizajes de las mejores y peores inversiones
[24:15] – Qué sigue para Rodrigo y Redpoint eVentures?