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2021-08-26 • EPISODE 54

#54 - Building a $30 billion "skyscraper": David Vélez, Nubank



When he was 12, David Vélez made his first investment: a cow. Bought with birthday money and savings from summer jobs, that one cow eventually became six, which were then sold and turned into his college tuition at Stanford.

After graduating, David spent a few years working at investment banking and private equity before he joined Sequoia Capital. As Partner, he was responsible for all Latin American investments, leading him to move to Brazil in 2011. But shortly after that, Sequoia decided to pull back: the tech space was just not developed enough.

David saw that as an opportunity. This time, as an entrepreneur. Nubank is a pioneer in digital banking, even though it doesn't see itself as a bank. Rather, it's a tech company that happens to be in financial services. Now valued at 30 billion dollars, Nubank is one of the fastest-growing fintechs in the world, with operations in Brazil, Mexico, Argentina and Colombia.

David is a father of three, a marathon runner, and him and his wife Mariel recently signed the Giving Pledge, committing to donate the majority of their wealth to philanthropy.

In this episode, he shares:

  • How he manages his time as cofounder and CEO
  • The most culture-defining moments at Nubank
  • How to balance speed, growth and quality in the long term
  • And some of the curve balls that could've changed this entire story.

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Gabriela Levy

Latitud Content Manager

Responsible for all of the content at Latitud, Gabriela has worked in diverse areas of communication at Endeavor, and produced content for great scale-ups within the ecosystem.

Outside of work, Gabriela is passionate about traveling and a lover of great stories.

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