Jorge Combe, CEO/Co-Founder of DD360 - Bootstrapping to a 91M Series A, The Intersection of PropTech & AI, Incredible Opportunities in Mexico & LatAm
Miguel Armaza travels to the heart of Mexico City, for a chat with Jorge Combe, CEO & Co-Founder of DD360 & DD3, one of Latin America's leading PropTech and real estate financing groups.
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In this episode, I travel to the heart of Mexico City, for a conversation with Jorge Combe, CEO & Co-Founder of DD360 and DD3 Capital Partners, one of Latin America's leading PropTech and real estate financing groups.
Prior to launching the firm, Jorge and his Co-Founder, Martin Werner, were co-heads of Goldman Sachs Mexico and Goldman Sachs Latin America. They left Goldman six years ago and bootstrapped DD3 into a $91 million Series A in 2022.
In this episode, we discuss:
Bootstrapping lessons and benefits, and why they set out to build a profitable company from day one
“Bootstrapping a company… gives you a lot of discipline, because you only spend whatever you have in the register.”
Bootstrapping, or building a business without raising equity, was the primary entrepreneurial method used prior to the advent of venture capital. Jorge took this approach for the first six years of the company they set out to build DD3 with “Reinvestment” as a core principle. This philosophy has guided their spending and hiring decisions and the company has maintained consecutive profitability each month since inception, reaching ~70 months of continual profits. Jorge credits bootstrapping and reinvestment as critical components for the ongoing survival and growth of their business.
The biggest mistake since his transition from Goldman to building a scrappy startup
“The biggest mistake that we did is that we brought technology within the company really, really late. We founded the company is 2017 and we didn't bring a CTO until the end of 2020.”
Jorge recognizes that bringing technology into the company too late was a mistake, but also a big learning. Despite launching in 2017, they did not hire a CTO until the end of 2020, resulting in three years that could have been used more effectively. However, the delayed onboarding of a CTO provided valuable experience in managing a loan book, fostering relationships with developers and clients, and other operational aspects. If given the chance to start again, Jorge would ensure a technical co-founder was included from the beginning to smooth the learning curve.
The incredible potential and opportunities in Mexico and Latin America… and a lot more!
“One of the things that has me extremely excited in Mexico and Latin America… is that you see a different Mexico, you see a Mexico that has a different vibe, you see a Mexico where everyone wants to become an entrepreneur or aspires to launch something, to be the next unicorn or big company.”
One of the biggest (and less talked about) advantages of operating in Mexico, is that the country boasts a young, productive population with an average age under 30 years old. This demographic bonus can be extremely favorable for entrepreneurship and innovation. In addition to the demographic advantage, Mexico also benefits from its geographical location, being a neighbor to the US and its powerful economy. However, despite these benefits, innovation will be crucial for success and the favorable conditions should encourage more entrepreneurial initiatives from business leaders.
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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.