TRULY INVESTING

Colombia 2018 | ECONOMY | COLUMN

TBY talks to Wenyi Cai, Managing Partner, Polymath Ventures, on the sector.

Wenyi Cai

What have been your main developments since setting up operations?

We have been in Colombia for five and a half years. Polymath has about 40 employees, most of which are in Colombia. Across the group, we have about 300 people, including those who work at the ventures. In the five and a half years that we have been operating, two were spent proving that the company-building model actually worked in Colombia, an emerging market environment, based on our thesis. During the next few years, we focused on building several ventures at a time. We have designed and built seven ventures, of which five are active. We have closed one and pivoted another, which is currently in the redesign phase, and we are in the process of launching three more. These new ventures will be located in Colombia, Mexico, and China, the latter two of which have had offices since 2017. We have raised USD23 million in early stage capital and proven that we are serious about company building.

What is your strategy to attract capital from outside investors?

We have different clusters of investors and incubation vehicles, so people are investing at early stages, often before the business is even designed. In addition to the quality of the team, what they are truly investing in is the thesis.