Aron Schwarzkopf, CEO of Kushki - Ecuador's First Unicorn, Hidden Benefits of a Digital Economy, & Why We Should Get Rid of Cash
Miguel Armaza sits down with Aron Schwarzkopf, CEO & Co-Founder of Kushki, one of the largest digital payments companies in Latin America and the first Ecuadorian unicorn.
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In this episode, I head down to sunny Miami for the Fintech Nexus LatAm Conference, where I sit down with Aron Schwarzkopf, CEO & Co-Founder of Kushki, one of the largest digital payments companies in Latin America that’s helping companies across the region digitize their payments under a single integration.
Founded in 2017, Kushki now operates across most of Spanish-speaking Latin America, was last valued at $1.5 billion and has raised almost $200 million in equity capital from Kaszek, Softbank, Clocktower, DILA, and many more.
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In this episode, we discuss:
Societal benefits of a digitized economy, and how digital payments can reduce corruption and increase the velocity of a market
“The concept of being able to move your money with a single click or storing it from a digit-to-digit and just moving it really fast, makes economies much faster, right? And that has a ridiculous amount of macro-economic benefits as well.”
Working with financial regulators across the region and why he sees evidence that regulators understand the benefits of fintech and is optimistic for the future of the industry
“As a whole, I think regulators understand that this is a precursor to many other things. And they understand that the status quo was great for the 90s and maybe early 2000s, but needs to change and evolve, right? ... we are evidence that the regulators are moving towards that trend positively.”
Growing the company from zero to 1,000 people and some of the biggest lessons learned along the way
“One of the big misconceptions of the investment community that's in the northern hemisphere, is they feel that in a [US] bear market, there's a bear market in Latin America, right? And we're used to having bear markets all the time. We're complaining on the Wall Street Journal here about inflation – it’s just another Tuesday in Latin America."
What it means to be the first Ecuadorian unicorn and why he hopes to inspire more entrepreneurs to follow his path… and a lot more!
“In the end, nations are not important, in my opinion, for companies. It’s about performance and talent… We love speaking with other entrepreneurs from smaller countries in Latin America, they're like, ‘How did you do it?’ - I don't know. I didn't do anything different, but you can do it too!”
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Miguel Armaza is Co-Founder & Managing General Partner of Gilgamesh Ventures, a seed-stage investment fund focused on fintech in the Americas. He also hosts and writes the Fintech Leaders podcast and newsletter.