Play Business is a Mexican collective investment platform (crowdfunding) that today has more than 60 thousand users
After finishing university, Joan Segura earned more money than he spent because he still lived with his parents, so he also started saving money.
When I came to the savings of 20,000 pesos, I wanted to invest them – because everyone tells you ‘you have to invest’ – but then I came to the brokerage house and they told me I needed a million, to put a taqueria I could not afford it, so I joined with friends, but neither was it enough for a business, “he recalls.
“Then we decided that what we had to do was create a platform that would allow all people to invest, because those who have 20 million already have different options, such as executives in banks or brokerage houses and friends who lend them, but those who have 20,000 we do not have anyone. ”
Thus, this entrepreneur created Play Business three years ago, a Mexican collective investment platform (crowdfunding) that today has more than 60 thousand users, 5,000 companies and more than 200 million pesos transacted.
The objective of this startup is that practically any person of legal age and with a bank account can be an investor in different companies, investing minimum amounts that can be around 5,000 or 7,000 pesos, carrying out all the procedures through the internet.
That way, Joan explains, a person can own a company and receive benefits for it every so often.
The regulation in Mexico
Companies like this operate under the regulation of Fintech (financial technology) in Mexico and operate as intermediaries in transactions such as loans, purchases, sales, money transfers and sale of financial securities.
In recent years, this model has experienced significant growth worldwide (66% in Latin America during 2018) and in Mexico, it is an option for people who do not have access to banking services but require services such as financing.
The legislation in this respect is new all over the world, but in Mexico, there have been important steps in this regard in recent years, so now many companies that are dedicated to this business are in the process of certification.
The owner is not only the one who gives orders
Joan, a Mechatronics Engineering graduate who is 32 years old, says that an investor is also the owner of a company.
Owning a place is not necessarily the one that gets up early and gives orders, but it can also mean that at the end of the month or the year they see the numbers and the money that the company won, a part is distributed among the owners “, explains. “That’s what Coca-Cola does every quarter and a taqueria does it every month.”
During the presentation of the incorporation of La Cervecería del Barrio restaurant to this model (in which people can invest from 7,500 pesos and that so far has more than a thousand investors and more than 20 million pesos collected in a month), the entrepreneur said that companies always need financing to grow.
But in Mexico, bank financing is complicated, interest rates are high and few companies have access to cheap financing; In addition, in terms of capital, public markets are efficient, but they are reserved for very few companies, only 150 have access to public markets, “he explains.
Thus, this Fintech goes for small investors, an area of opportunity that few have wanted to explore in Mexico. “We chose the difficult path because it is more difficult to convince a thousand than to sit down with someone who has 20 million, but we believe that we are on the right track,” says Joan.
“Being an investor sounds like something complicated and only the ‘Wolf of Wall Street’ can do it, but the reality is different,” he reiterates.
Tips to become an investor
For someone who wants to invest, Joan advises that it should always be in an area known to the potential investor or in which he has experience: “For example, if you do not understand bitcoin, do not invest in that,” he says.
Another tip is that you do not invest all your money, you can start with a little while you know how it works, “he adds.
Finally, it indicates that it is important to diversify investments, not have all the money in the same place and do it through different companies.
Joan says that the money that is generated from this type of investment works as an “extra” and that it helps to have the capital for some unforeseen event, such as a layoff or an emergency.
“In the United States, the average millionaire, that is, people who have more than one million dollars, have 60 different sources of income,” he explains.
Also published on Medium.