Carlos Torres de la Cuba
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Carlos Torres de la Cuba

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Managing Director at AMG Block

Carlos Torres – Investing in Mexico

“Latin roots of people living in the US with Latin American backgrounds could eventually provide an entryway into the US market.”

ABOUT

Carlos Torres is a Managing Director at AMG Block, an early stage Venture Capital fund focused on fintech and blockchain opportunities in Mexico and Latin America.

Experience as a proven finance professional, entrepreneur and executive with experience in the US and Mexico giving him exposure to: venture capital, portfolio management, origination and structuring of transactions, fund raising and company valuations. He has an extensive knowledge in the Mexican and US financial markets.

Industrial engineer with an MBA, Masters in Fintech and Blockchain and post graduate degrees in Venture Capital, Private Equity, fintech and blockchain. He has worked with clients in various industries through strategic analysis, corporate finance, due diligence, valuations, negotiation, project finance, financing strategies, investment projects, credit structuring, among others; providing personalized financial solutions that resulted in cost effective resource and capital allocation.

He is very passionate about blockchain and financial technology as well as developing entrepreneurs, having been on both sides of the table, as an investor and as an entrepreneur.

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THE FULL INTERVIEW

Carlos Torres de la Cuba

The full #OPNAskAnAngel talk

Jeffery:
Well, Carlos, I want to appreciate it. And thank you very much for joining us today. And like we do, we just jump right into things. So I like to kind of casually kick off, and then we just jump right in and go right at it. So welcome to Ask an Angel. Thank you very much for joining us and the audience, as they know, that you’re in Mexico, in Mexico City, and very excited at the opportunity to dive into and learn more about the ecosystem and everything that’s going on in Mexico. But the first and the easiest way for us to start is maybe you could give us a little bit more on your background. So where you’ve come from, what you’ve been up to, where you are now and then where you’re looking to go so kind of that easy lifeline. And then, one thing about you that nobody would know.

Carlos:
Great. Thanks, Jeffrey, for having us here. So a little background on myself. I come from, you know, the traditional finance industry, working a corporate banking at HSBC here in Mexico. Then worked for a fund focused on sustainable projects, particularly in water and energy projects here in Mexico. Uh, then I continued my professional journey in corporate banking at a regional bank that’s one of the leading digital banks right now in Mexico. Then I decided to do my, uh, my MBA in the U. S. Uh, with a focus on private equity and venture capital. And after my MBA, I worked for the venture arm of a family office in Boston that wanted to tap into the entrepreneurial ecosystem. And then I returned to Mexico and joined US investor and director of finance for a Fintech startup that provides long to the underserved SME marketing in Mexico. And that’s when you know, we realized that there was a gap in this early stage funding ecosystem in fintech, particularly as well. So that’s when we decided to set up AMG block, which is a six stage, a busy fund focused on fintech in Mexico and Spanish speaking Latin. You know, Fintech. We sit across different business verticals, you know, payments, loans, wealth management and should take a Blockchain. We believe you know, technology will play a key role in financial inclusion in this region. And the Blockchain is definitely one of the technologies within our scope. Um, so that’s, you know, sort of the brief overview on how we got here and something that, you know most people don’t know about me. Uh huh. I’m so both my parents are from Peru. So, uh, my parents, they met in Peru, got married in Peru and then came here to Mexico over 40 years ago. So I was born and raised here, but I have a strong connection to other, you know, Latin American cultures. And that’s obviously one of the reasons that we’re also looking to expand sort of the Latin American opportunity through the farm. You know,

Jeffery:
I love it. I’m a big fan of Peru. I spent some time traveling through there. I’ve gone through lots of countries in Latin America, Central America. Big fan of, I guess you can say the Spanish culture and the Spanish speaking countries. But Peru was quite fun.I did some trekking through there and climbed some one, you’re only mountain that’s big in Peru, I guess. So that was fun. And overall, it’s a great experience and a lot of great people. But of course, Mexico is just as amazing too, um as we talked before. I’m a huge fan of Mexico City. It’s so active and crazy big that you can just get lost walking around there for five minutes and not know where you started. So it’s pretty amazing.

Carlos:
Yeah, it’s so it’s similar to, you know, New York and LA combined, you know, so big. But you have some, like, clusters around the city. You have to know where to move around and everything. But overall, it’s a great place to visit. You know, culturally, gastronomically — it’s amazing. So, yeah, I’m glad you’ve been a part of Latin America for a while.

Jeffery:
Yeah, big fan. I’ve been there a few times. Just from a side fact standpoint, I believe in and correct me if I’m wrong. But I think Mexico City in the last 10 years has sunk more than three inches. In the last three years, the entire city. Sorry. In the last 10 years, the entire city has dropped that much

Carlos:
Well, primarily in the city centre. Yeah, it was built on top of the lake. So when you go to the city center, you’ll see some buildings that are, you know, below ground level. I’m not sure about how much every year was safe, but, well, continue thinking for a while.

Jeffery:
Yeah, they were saying that it’s something that they can’t control. So they were actually considering at some point, building another city to offset the weight of everything that was going on in Mexico City and to see if they rebuild it in a different fashion because of it. And I think it was because it would screw up the aquifers and and everything else that’s running in the city at some point in time.

Carlos:
Yeah,. it’s a Yeah, It’s an interesting dynamics that we have here, and that’s you know what? One of the peculiarities, When when it, uh when we got some of these, uh, earthquakes right at the city center. I mean, if you’re there, which all the buildings are built on top of the water, right, you have a lot of movement. So whenever we have an earthquake here, that’s why it’s so chaotic. Uh, but I mean, we have the pros and kinds of living in Mexico City, you know?

Jeffery:
Yeah, I know. It’s pretty amazing. So I kind of want to dive back into your past because I find that a lot of what we’ve done gets as to where we are today. And, you know, you spend some time working in the banking side. And of course, oddly enough, you’re investing in Fintech and Blockchain. So I’m sure there has to be some coincidence thatR