In 2009, serial entrepreneur Ambassador Clifford M. Sobel completed his second tour of government service as the U.S. Ambassador of Brazil (previously he served as U.S. Ambassador to the Netherlands). While Ambassador, he saw first-hand the promise of the growth of Brazil, cultural proximity to the U.S., and the opportunity to build an investment bridge between the US and Brazil.
Based on common interests and passions to create value while having a positive social impact, Cliff partnered with Ray Chambers (Wesray Capital and Special Envoy to the UN Secretary General for the Health Millennium Development Goals), and his son, Scott Sobel who has built a career as an executive in consumer and enterprise technology companies (NCR, Symbol Technologies, and part of the founding team of Net2Phone the pioneer internet telephone company that went public and was acquired by AT&T) to form Valor Capital Group, LLC.
Valor began as a quasi-multi-family office with two additional families and partners, Gabriel Jaramillo (former President of Santander in Brazil, and former Head of the UN Global Fund) and Wim Kooyker (Founder of Blenheim Capital) designed to diversify and invest their family assets into Brazil following the macro trends in 2009 / 2010. Valor made growth equity investments into RK Partners (formerly Angra Partners) the preeminent turnaround and distress asset group in Brazil and Cantagalo General Grains (CGG) the only indigenous vertically integrated agriculture platform in Brazil.
In 2012, Valor’s partners started to support their close friends in the U.S. technology sector with their companies’ market entries into Brazil. In addition, being on the ground in Brazil, it was clear that there were huge white space gaps in the Brazilian tech market analogous to the late 90’s in the U.S.. Based on the cross-border and local Brazilian opportunity, Valor began a venture practice investing it’s proprietary capital in consumer and enterprise Internet and software based businesses where Valor can be a measure of a company’s ability to win in market. Valor expanded the team to bring on a new partner, Antoine Colaço (former COO of Google in APAC/LATAM, responsible for setting up Google operations in Brazil, Argentina, Mexico and India). Scott and Antoine met while living and working in Singapore, six years prior, both sharing entrepreneurial successes, a passion for working in the emerging markets and a desire to collaborate. Shortly thereafter, Valor brought on a local partner, Michael Nicklas (former MD of Ideiasnet, and CTO of Univision Online,) to expand its presence in the country and help manage the growing venture portfolio.
Today, Valor is an institutional asset manager that concentrates on US and Brazil cross-border opportunities. The firm is based in three strategic locations: New York, Menlo Park and Rio de Janeiro. Valor’s Venture Fund is an early to late stage investor in U.S. and International technology companies looking to expand to Brazil and Brazilian technology based companies. Valor believes the greatest opportunities for Innovation & Impact support the unmet needs of the middle class, specifically within key sectors: Education, Financial Services, and Health & Wellness (Valor’s largest concentration of investments).
Valor’s Mission: With the proliferation of the Internet, mobility, and the globalization of technology, we will see the transformation of cultures, industries, and economies faster than ever before. We are excited to partner with entrepreneurs on this journey and are committed to their success by providing financial and operational support and connectivity to the global markets.