Pygma 2.0 Embracing the process.

March 27, 2024


Building a company is very hard… This is what we often hear in the media by other founders and surprisingly, it is not only true but an understatement as well. We wanted to tell you more about our story and why we decided to make a small shift in our business model and focus on sector-specific cohorts.

First a little history:

A worthy mention is that Pygma is alive thanks to great ecosystem believers that have invested money and time in making sure we take the right path. We have been invested by funds like First Check Ventures, YC founders, General Partners, Emerging Managers, Entrepreneurs (Including one from our very own batch) and of course friends and family.

Birds-eye view:

On a top level we have 74 startups on the portfolio, they come from 14 different countries.

76.7% of them are still alive after 2 years which is a great statistic for a pre-seed accelerator in such a “risky” region as LatAm.

Of this 74 startups we have invested in 17 of them, most with our micro VC Scala (already in de-investment stage) and with our own resources.

16M have been raised by these startups and almost 2M has been raised through our programs.

67% get their valuations marked up during the program by at least 20%.

Ideal Pygmalion:

After years of working with entrepreneurs and mountains of data, we were able to compress our learnings into what we call the Pygmalion DNA. A comprehensive tool that allows us to quantify data from the application process into actionable insight that help us to act fast during the application cycles.

Within each variable there is a subset of questions that help us avoid bias when decision making, however, we still enormously value overall perception and intangible characteristics of the companies being reviewed.

Where are we heading:

Nowadays, after 4 incredible cohorts and a BUNCH of learnings, we have decided to give Pygma a little spin. We are now focusing on vertical-specific programs for the following reasons:

  • Access: It’s easier to gain a deeper access to top deal flow when your program is only focusing on one vertical, as the value of what you can give increases exponentially.
  • Curriculum Depth: When you have an agnostic cohort, and have multiple industries, the level of depth into which you can enter is limited
  • Community and network: When you tell sector experts to help you out they get more excited once they know that their domain of expertise will be the only one you will be talking about.
  • Fundraising: You can raise a lot more if you become a flagship program for that specific niche.
  • Focus is key: At the end of the day the more focused you are, the more nuanced you can get and the better you can serve your existing base. We traded off more diversification for quality and focus.
  • Long-term sustainability: Keeping the lights on is not only a challenge for startups! What a surprise. By focusing on a fintech batch, we can attract great industry supporters like Brex, Carta, AWS, Latam Fintech Hub and many more.

Our Institutional Advisor model:

As you grow as a company, you also recognize your spot in the market.

Startup: At first, we thought we could be a startup…, but that wasn’t the case. We simply didn’t have the “scalable” side yet. We still think we could, in the future, come up with more scalable products and projects like NFX. This is not our current focus, though.

VC Firm: Then we thought we could be a VC firm. 2022 was a terrible year to be an emerging manager in LatAm on fund I or II. So yeah, this wasn’t the case.

Accelerator: This is what made more sense, however our deal is not similar to that of a traditional accelerator. We have no fund and we take a lot less than in equity percentage.

Institutional Advisor: Now, what we have found is that we are a great institutional advisor. What do we mean by this? We’ve seen many founders give up to 1% to advisors who add tons of value, but their main focus is not advising startups. They usually have a LOT of other things to do. Well, we don’t. We only have that role. We think that the support of today compounds tomorrow (in 5-10 years), and that’s why our best way to align interests with you is by going long-term. Still looking for a more catchy phrase for the name ;) dm me at & for any ideas.

What’s the deal?

We do not ask for revenue sharing, commissions, or upfront cash fees. We believe in you and want you to believe in us. As the portfolio shows, we already have experience with the model.

The deal is simple: We take approximately one per cent through an in-kind SAFE with a 3M post-money cap. If you are interested in the program and have raised at higher caps, we can double-check your specific case to make things work.

Think of us as the advisor who will go the extra mile, answer your late-night calls, and connect you to an amazing network of founders, mentors, and investors who will definitely hypercharge your startup.

So what the hell do we want?

Simple. We want to build incredible ecosystems within different verticals so that Latinx founders worldwide can hyper-focus on building and closing new revenue and fundraising lines while we become the launchpad for them to connect, learn, and provide deep, curated knowledge for their industries.

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