We are super excited to announce that the founders of Brazil SaaS Forum have formally given us the keys to the house. We will be taking their incredible foundation, and venture into the beautiful continent for the very first time to carry the work of connecting and supporting the SaaS community in Latin America. After an incredible Brazil SaaS Forum 2018, on November 6th, we will be back on April 23-24, 2019 to Sao Paulo to bring 200+ founders, executives and investors together. Further conquering the massive domestic market, as well as expanding globally will be the first items on the agenda.
How did this all come about?
I first experienced Brazil SaaS Forum as a speaker last year. It was started back in 2014 by Redpoint eventures and DGF Investimentor as an intimate invite-only event. By design, it was geared towards entrepreneurs to connect and learn. A hundred people attended the first edition in Sao Paulo. The next one was in 2016, by which time it had already moved to Florianópolis. Home to companies such as Resultados Digitais, the city was establishing itself as something of a hotbed for SaaS.
The Forum has always been a side venture for both Redpoint and DGF. They make no profit from it and it hasn’t always been easy for both organisations to carve the time necessary to make it happen. As the two main SaaS-focused VC companies in Brazil, their commitments have exponentially risen with the growth of the Brazilian SaaS market the last few years.
By last year, both had realised that the time may have come to pass on the event to someone else who could devote the time necessary to run and grow it. Done with very little ego on their side, Redpoint and DGF had no unhealthy sense of ownership and instead saw that this was about further helping the community.
After in early 2018 we announced our plans to expand SaaStock to a global event series, Patrick Arippol, Managing Director of DGF and Rodrigo Baer, Partner at Redpoint eventures began considering the option of us taking over. In us, they saw a trustworthy partner. By the summer we began serious talks, in which they told me about the ecosystem in depth.
Time for the next level
The SaaS space in Brazil was very different 4 years ago when SaaS Brazil Forum started.
“The acceleration of Brazilian and LatAm SaaS companies has been outstanding,” Patrick told me. There was almost a surprise in his voice as he said that. One particular number is striking indeed: Brazil has had the same number of unicorns in the last six months as it did in the previous twenty years.
To say the market is super exciting right now would be a vast understatement. That sort of growth has brought with it the expected surge in more young upstarts and it has also refocused investors’ attention to SaaS. The industry is ripe for exploration but also in an urgent need of connecting.
Something we are particularly good at SaaStock. We know what it takes to bring the beautiful gathering into a next level conference, worthy of a next level SaaS ecosystem. Starting from today, we will work hard to make it a reality. We will avail of the local knowledge that both Patrick and Rodrigo have and will be looking to establish further partnerships to make the event the best it can be.
Why we are super excited to bring SaaStock to LatAm?
As Patrick told me, the Brazilian market is so vast that it has an uncanny amount of industry knowledge. It naturally breeds innovation, which as of late, manifests more and more into exciting SaaS offerings. It’s a laboratory for traction. As a result, there are more SaaS companies than ever popping from all parts of the country.
Which SaaS company, domestic or international, in their right mind, would not want to avail of this? Of course, that is easier said than done.
If we have learned anything from our European experience, companies even residing on the same street often need connecting. Sometimes next door neighbours may as well be universes away. An issue which increases exponentially as the geography expands into city, country or continent. We are excited once again to make an underdog city, the center of the SaaS Universe for a few days and connect the dots for everyone’s benefit. SaaStock LatAm will be as much a local event as it will be a global one.
Dublin has always been a very warm home for us, a cool city that our attendees would always love coming back to our flagship conference. As I have just spent the weekend in Sao Paulo, I got a very similar feeling from it. It is the beating heart of SaaS LatAm, a home to indigenous companies and a solid base for many multinationals. I cannot wait to see it show its true colours and beauty as workshops and bootcamps turn it into the SaaS.City, fringe parties avail of its nightlife and Brazilian hospitality melts each and every attendee.
I hope you are as excited about SaaStock LatAm as we are and will join us on the journey. I want to thank Patrick Arippol from DGF and Rodrigo Baer from Redpoint eventures for entrusting myself and the SaaStock team to carry the important work of connecting the community of SaaS trailblazers in Brazil and Latin America. See you all back in April, 2019. Register your interest to attend here.