Having been brought in-house after being outsourced, Gerdau Next Ventures points to the growing confidence of Brazilian corporates when it comes to CVC.
With each passing year, the Latin American corporate venturing market gets more mature. Five years ago you would have had a hard time finding more than a handful of CVCs in the region – today they’re all over the place, and especially in Brazil.
In the first, learning phase, many companies used third-party partners to manage their CVC activity. But as the corporates mature in their understanding of venturing, some are starting to handle that activity themselves.
Arthur Alves, corporate venture capital manager of Gerdau Next Ventures, the CVC arm of Brazilian steel manufacturer Gerdau, is one of those. The venture fund was established in 2020 in partnership with American CVC-as-a-service firm Touchdown Ventures, but Alves was hired last year to fully integrate Gerdau Next Ventures into its parent company.
Alves talks about the challenges involved in making the transition, the relationship building with the existing portfolio companies, and how – if at all – the thesis has changed since the handover.
He also touches on the internationalisation of the unit and its ambitions beyond the Brazilian market, the prospects of the LatAm venture market, and the bottlenecks that remain.
Alves, who had previously worked with CVCs as a consultant and founded his own startup, gives great insight into the workings of a CVC that is finding its feet, with ambitions to establish a name for itself in its own right.