Wayra’s Mexican division has a new partner: Startup Labs. The seed fund organization will sit in on Mexico City pitches to help Wayra Mexico select its next 10 startups for acceleration.
Based in San Francisco, Startup Labs is a global seed stage investment fund focused largely on emerging markets. The organization co-invests with local entities – in this case, Wayra Mexico – and also operates post-investment boot camps to build its global network. Startup Labs has already invested in several Mexican startups, including Yaxi and Bandtastic, and in 2013, it plans to visit over 25 cities on four continents, working alongside at least 100 local investors to invest in over 125 startups.
With this partnership, the startups from Wayra Mexico’s portfolio will be granted access to Startup Labs’ global investment and training ecosystem. They will also be able to explore expansion opportunities around the world, including and perhaps especially Silicon Valley.
“Mexico is one of the most exciting markets for us, and I am very excited to be partnering up with Wayra Mexico in their efforts to create and promote a quality entrepreneurial ecosystem,” said Tugce Ergul, Startup Labs Director. “We will be mixing Wayra’s expertise with a global Silicon Valley context, and we are very committed to the region’s entrepreneurial development.”
Wayra Mexico’s Marcus Dantus echoed similar optimism, “We are very excited to partner with Startup Labs, their emerging market focus as well as their experience accelerating and supporting startups in general is an ideal complement to Wayra Mexico´s skills and reach. As Mexico becomes an innovation-based economy, being accompanied by a Silicon Valley firm in our investments is truly inspirational for both ourselves and our entrepreneurs.” This partnership will also likely help Wayra Mexico to overcome some of the challenges Dantus mentioned to us in an interview last year.
The announcement of the Wayra Mexico – Startup Labs partnership comes on the heels of Wayra Global’s agreement with PayPal, which was revealed in January. Following its very first international demo day in Miami last December, the Telefónica accelerator has kicked off 2013 in full force with an approach that clearly entails strategic agreements and deal-making.