Dave McClure’s 500 Startups has pretty much always been interested in world domination. Now it’s taking one step closer, by snapping up the Latin America startup accelerator Mexican.VC. By doing so, 500 Startups will gain an even stronger foothold in the LatAm market, as it brings Mexican.VC partners César Salazar and Santiago Zavala onto the team, making them its venture partners in Mexico.
The move comes as 500 Startups is looking to accelerate its international investments. Already, a significant portion of its portfolio companies came from outside the U.S.: According to McClure, about 10 percent of the investments in its first fund were international companies. But with its new, $50 million second fund, 500 Startups wants to increase that even further, with about 25 percent of the fund going to companies overseas.
With that in mind, it’s made some recent key hires to accelerate investment in international markets. While raising its new fund, 500 Startups also hired Bedy Yang and George Kellerman as venture partners. Yang oversees investments in Brazil and Latin America, while Kellerman has his eye on the Japanese market. Salazar and Zavala will aid in the LatAm market, where their accelerator has already invested in a number of Mexican startups.
Mexico has a lot of things going for it, from en entrepreneurial perspective: It’s the world’s 12th largest economy, according to Salazar, and might even be growing faster than Brazil. It also expects to see the number of Internet users double over the next five years, providing a huge opportunity for young tech companies.
Of course, this move is merely an extension of 500 Startups’ existing investment strategy, as 500 Startups has already been pretty active in Latin America. According to McClure, it’s made nine investments in Brazil, with another five or six in Chile, Argentina, and Mexico. With Mexican.VC, it expects to make an additional 20-30 investments in the region each year.