By Riley Kaminer
The next decade has a lot in store for Latin American startups. The region is teeming with talent, increasingly attractive to regional and international capital, and has no lack of tricky problems that innovative entrepreneurs can help solve.
As the linchpin between Latin America and the US market, Miami stands to gain from our neighbor’s growth. That’s exactly why Juan Manuel Barrero decided to relocate to Miami in June 2021.
Back in his native Argentina, Barrero built a business offering boutique financial and legal services to startups and VC firms. But when he moved to the US, Barrero launched Lazo: a platform that gives startups a single source of truth for all their financial needs.
“There are lots of solutions in the US,” Barrero said of the plethora of tools at founders’ disposal to keep on top of their company’s finances. The problem is, he explained to Refresh Miami, that getting all these platforms to work in harmony often proves challenging. That’s where Lazo steps in.
“We give founders the tech stack they need for all their back office functions,” said Barrero. “That way they can focus on things like their product, sales, and fundraising.”
70% of Lazo’s customers are Latin American founders that are breaking into the US market. “We are also building a strong network with the Latinx community in the US,” Barrero asserted.
To further this mission of helping founders leverage the Miami market, Lazo has teamed up with Draper to open a startup house in the Design District. Think of the house as part co-working space, part event space. The company will hold meetups, music events, mentoring sessions, and other startup-focused programming.
For Barrero, the Lazo Founders House offers an opportunity for the company’s network of startups, investors, and others to meet each other in a comfortable, informal setting. “We are a community-led company, and we wanted to create the Lazo house to bring everyone together.”
“We will host side events to the Miami Tech Month during April, including fireside chats with industry experts, after-hours networking events, founders meetups, and more,” he added.
Lazo currently has 40 employees, with imminent plans to hire another dozen or so. In Miami, the startup is hiring for business development and product roles. Barrero signaled that that company expects to raise a Series A next year.
“We want to be a major part of the Miami tech ecosystem,” he said. “We have to keep strengthening our ecosystem here. The opportunity is huge.”
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