The rest of the 50 (in alphabetical order): Carlos Kokron, vice-president and managing director, Qualcomm Ventures

Carlos ‘CK’ Kokron has been in the VC business for more than 15 years, having joined mobile semiconductor technology producer Qualcomm’s corporate venture capital (CVC) arm, Qualcomm Ventures (QCV), first in 2012 as a Brazil-based vice-president (VP) and managing director (MD) of ventures and new business development of Latin America (LatAm).

Kokron has been involved in Brazil-based deals such as an undisclosed amount in 2013 for ride hailing platform 99, then known as 99Taxi, before joining the $25m round in 2015. 99 was acquired by its China-based peer Didi Chuxing in January 2018, which came as he moved to the US to assume the dual role of VP and MD of Americas and operations.

Two months later, Switzerland-based agribusiness Syngenta bought Brazil-based agriculture management software provider Strider for an undisclosed amount, whose $3m series B September 2016 round QCV had participated in.

Regarding these exists, Kokron said: “In both cases we were able to identify very strong entrepreneurs who had a vision of how to use mobile technology to impact their respective industries; ride hailing which at the time we invested was still nascent, and the other being agriculture.

“The entrepreneurs were also able to develop solid business models around the opportunities. In both cases, we bet on the right teams with strong, value-adding co-investors who also saw the opportunity to build a large business with a strong value proposition despite the companies’ very early stages. It is this magic combination of smart, seasoned entrepreneurs with strong co-investors that allows you to build something exciting.”

Comparing the US with the LatAm ecosystem, Kokron noted: “In general, things are more fluid in the US and things also tend to move faster. The US market is larger, has much more capital and a more mature entrepreneurial and VC ecosystem. In Latin America, you have a few dozen funds in the region while in the US you have hundreds of funds, the implication being that in the US you tend to see more companies in the same space. Notwithstanding the market in the US is still more competitive from a funding standpoint and thus it is important to develop relationships early.”

Edison Fu

Edison Fu is a reporter and Asia liaison at Global Corporate Venturing.