Expanding to new markets can be both costly and time consuming. So having help from a seasoned entrepreneur can make the process significantly easier. Enter Kairos Venture Studios. The fund specializes in SaaS companies entering the Latin American market. Read all about this unique model in this week’s Small Business Spotlight.
What the Business Does
Funds SaaS products in the Latin American market.
Founder and CEO Ray Blakney told Small Business Trends, “Kairos Venture Studios is a venture studio focusing on bringing SaaS and digital product ideas from the US to the LatAm market.
“We launch multiple new ‘experiments’ per year and decide within 12-18 months if there is a product market fit. We then spin the companies out, hire a leadership team and retain majority ownership in them.
“Internally, the team that built the MVP then goes on to start on the next project.
KVS allows our team members to combine the best of two worlds: we provide a stable place to work like working in larger companies, but combine it with the excitement and fun of constantly growing and working on new projects offered by a start up.”
Small Business Deals
Focusing on unique markets.
Blakney says, “KVS distinguishes itself in two ways. First, it is one of the few venture studios focusing on the LatAm market. It then distinguishes itself further by focusing not on building the next Unicorn company, but by focusing on building solid ‘boring’ online businesses that generate about $5M ARR per year within 3-5 years.”
How the Business Got Started
Because of a unique opportunity.
Blakney explains, “I had just completed my 4th exit. The CEO of the company who purchased us — he was also a long-time friend — approached me and asked if I was interested in trying to build companies with funding. Up until that time, I had bootstrapped all my companies.
“He offered me an 8-figure war chest, full autonomy, a good salary, and equity in every company I created within the studio. It sounded fun, so I said ‘yes,’ and Kairos Venture Studios was born.”
Hiring the team’s first A-player.
Blakney adds, “This person pretty much took all of our extra capital to pay for and if it had not worked, we would have very little cushion on our financial books to account for even a small downturn or road bump on the way.
“For us, it worked out. Due in large part to this person, our net operating profit grew 40% over the next 12 months. This helped not only pay their salary, but also it helped build our buffer back up.”
Take plenty of rest, but get results!
Blakney explains, “We work 4 days a week (9 hours a day, 36 hours a week) and have unlimited vacation days. There is, of course, a caveat with that in that we are very results driven.”
‘If you don’t know where you are going, you’re never going to get there.’ – Yogi Berra
Blakney adds, “This quote accentuates the importance of thinking about the trajectory of your business and life, setting goals, and making plans to achieve them.”
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Image: Kairos Venture Studios, Ray Blakney