SOURCE: LEAP Global Partners

LEAP Global Partners

August 15, 2017 07:00 ET

Cross-Border Venture Capital Fund, LEAP Global Partners Expands Portfolio with Investments in Insikt and Wizeline

LEAP Global Partners I focuses on investing in tech companies with Latin American founders based in the US or Mexico; Newest funding follows recent investments in PayStand and Listo

PALO ALTO, CA--(Marketwired - Aug 15, 2017) - LEAP Global Partners, the first fund focused on cross-border investing, announces its latest strategic investments in two more Latino-founded companies, Insikt, a fintech startup specializing in "lending as a service" and Wizeline, an AI driven talent and software as a service company. Founded by Goldman Sachs alumni, Roman Leal and Pablo Perez III, LEAP Global Partners concentrates on investing in LatinX-led companies in Mexico and the United States. Founded by Goldman Sachs alumni, Roman Leal and Pablo Perez III, LEAP Global Partners concentrates on investing in LatinX-led companies in Mexico and the United States. These two new investments follow their recent investments in PayStand and Listo Financial.

While stage agnostic, LEAP Global Partners Fund I will focus investments in seed and series A investment rounds. "According to Stanford University, 86% of Small Business growth is attributed to Latino founded businesses," said Roman Leal, Managing Partner, LEAP Global Partners. "In the last ten years, the number of Latino students in computer science at major Universities has more than doubled. Add to that the emerging opportunities in Latin America, and we believe that we are at the beginning of an important secular growth trend of LatinX led companies." With only 1% of venture capital backing LatinX led companies, LEAP sees ample opportunity for outsized returns in backing talented entrepreneurs across the Americas. 

"With the launch, just weeks ago, of our LEAP Partner I fund, we are excited to have identified four outstanding companies with extraordinarily talented founders," said Leal. "The first four investments, PayStand, Listo, Insikt and Wizeline are perfect examples of the disruptive companies we will invest in."

Insikt: Insikt, founded by James Gutierrez (founder and former CEO of Oportun, which has lent over $4 billion to the US Latino community) is an online lending as a service (LaaS) loan origination and investing platform. It enables brands to lend to its customers, and gives accredited investors access to invest in consumer loan portfolios. 

"LEAP is exactly the type of fund that is needed in the tech ecosystem today," said James Gutierrez. "It exemplifies the same core values of Insikt, which is to provide access to capital to the most qualified individuals often overlooked or underserved."

Wizeline: A 300-person startup founded in 2014 by Bismarck Lepe, founder of Ooyala (sold to Telstra for $410 million in 2014) and early Google employee. Wizeline works with Fortune 2,000 companies to drive product development and innovation. Its data-drive Project and Portfolio Management platform and network of engineers help companies to more efficiently develop and release software. Bismarck's parents immigrated from Mexico.

"We are excited to be partnering with LEAP," says Bismarck Lepe. "At Wizeline, we have over 200 employees in Mexico that design and develop innovative technologies that are used by millions of people around the world. The LEAP thesis is very much in-line with our approach to building Wizeline."

PayStand: Founded by Jeremy Almond, PayStand's uses modern Internet, Blockchain, and SaaS technologies to transform B2B payments. PayStand's "Payments as a Service" model creates a smart billing and payment network that can digitize receivables, automate processing, reduce time-to-cash, lower transaction costs, and enable new revenue. Jeremy's mother immigrated from Mexico.

Listo: Listo, founded by Samuel Ulloa and Gustavo Lasala (former executives at Oportun) is a socially responsible consumer facing company that offers life changing financial services to the hard-working yet underserved Latinos in the US in a highly transparent and aspirational way. Samuel and Gustavo were born in Mexico and Uruguay, respectively.

Images: https://drive.google.com/drive/folders/0B7YvaqXWIctIcUc3YXBjZzN1SjA?usp=sharing

About LEAP Global Partners
LEAP Global Partners is a cross-border venture capital firm aimed at identifying and investing in the most impactful technologies created by talented entrepreneurs across the Americas. LEAP held its first close to its $15 million debut fund led by members of prominent Mexican corporations. This first LEAP fund will target ten more investments, split between US and Mexican based companies. For more information visit visit www.leapglobalpartners.com.

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