When we think of Wances Casares “The reluctant serial entrepreneur” is what comes to mind as he has sold multiple companies for a combined total of more than $1billion. He is a college dropout and self -taught coder. He has made more successful companies in a short period of time than anyone has in their entire lifetime. Let us talk about 15 Things that you did not know about the serial entrepreneur.
Wences Casares is from Argentina. He belongs to a family of sheep rangers from Patagonia. He is the eldest of four in his family. For him family is important and he credits his parents for teaching him to be an effective doer. He grew up on the ranch which taught him to be independent and not depend on others to get a job done. He saw his parents lose their life savings thrice in hyperinflation.
2.Life changing point
Wences won Rotary Club scholarship as an exchange student in Washington when he was in high school. The scholarship changed his life. He lived in western Pennsylvania. The country made him fall in love with it. He found the people in States to be very straightforward, and their attitude was that everything is possible.
3.Dropped out of college
After completing his studies in the states he went back to Buenos Aires to complete college. But he did not complete college and dropped out so that he could start an internet service provider. But it was not an easy path for him as his background and lack of connections made raising capital difficult for him. His meetings with potential investors were not fruitful and they wanted to know who his father was or which private school he went to and not providing the right answer resulted in the end of the meeting.
4.Family and home
Winces lives in a 500,000 acre ranch in northern Patagonia with his wife and kids. After the sale of Patagon, Wences along with his wife and children sailed around the world for three years, he was regular in blogging about their adventures.
5.Revolution for Argentina
In 1994, when he was just 20 he made history by founding Argentina’s first internet service provider.
The mere fact that information could be moved from anywhere to anywhere was revolutionary at that time and today it is taken for granted.
6.Learnt a lesson
Wences says that he was kicked out of his own company. According to him he signed papers which he should not have. One day when he came to work and the security guard told him that he was fired; he thought it was a prank. He went from nothing to having the most successful company in Argentina and then again went back to have nothing. That was a harsh lesson he learnt in life.
Wences started Patagon in 1997 and it is an Argentina online brokerage, an Internet-based financial services portal and expanded its online banking services to the United States, Spain and Germany.
Patagon was scooped up for $750 million by the Spanish bank, Banco Santander and became Santander Online worldwide.
8.Mentoring the youth
Wences is a role model for many people. He mentors youth in South America and Silicon Valley. He follows ‘pay it forward’ spirit that tells the entrepreneurs that if they want to make a lasting impact, they should not stop at just creating jobs and achieve great exits but inspire and mentor the next generation. In his mentoring Wences makes it clear that being an entrepreneur is often about failure.
Wences founded Wanako Games in 2002. It has headquarters in New York City.
Its blockbuster game Assault Heroes was an award winning game and was also honored as “Game of the Year” for Microsoft Xbox in 2007. It was acquired by Activision in 2007.
10.His skepticism for bitcoin was soon overruled by his growing passion
Wences was not always a staunch bitcoin believer. He first got to know about cryptocurrency in 2011and he was very skeptical.
His passion for bitcoin only ignited when a friend of his from Argentina asked him to send money for a project they were working on together in the form of virtual cash.
He then bought some bitcoins in Palo Alto from some person. He met the seller at a café and paid him in fiat currency for BTC. The funds were sent to his friend by him using a desktop bitcoin client and he was amazed when his friend actually received it. It was then that something clicked and he started reading, learning and meeting people and tried to understand what bitcoin was.
Wences founded Banco Lemon in 2002. It is a bank based in Brazil. It grew to more than 7,000 branches throughout Brazil and provided 15 million customers with their first bank accounts. It was acquired by Banco do Brasil in 2009.
He has also served on the Board of Directors of Endeavor Global from March 2007 to October 2011.
Wences then founded Lemon, a digital wallet platform. It was purchased by LifeLock an American firm for around $43 million in 2013.
PayPal Holdings Inc is an American company which operates worldwide online payments system that supports online money transfers and serves as an electronic alternative to traditional paper methods.
Wences joined the Board of Directors of PayPal in January 2016. He served on PayPal’s Compensation Committee. He was an early adapter of Bitcoin and has managed to get a head start in the digital currency ecosystem.
Wences is the founder and CEO of Xapo, a bitcoin wallet startup which is based in Palo Alto, California. Wences realized that bitcon had security challenges that were never seen before and to safeguard this first digital asset is very valuable. He took up this challenge himself and the result was an early secure bitcoin wallet platform which evolved into Xapo. Wences describes Xapo as the “Swiss bank of bitcoin” and is the first bitcoin vault whichis fully protected and insured against hacking and bankruptcy.
Xapo is the largest custodian of bitcoin in the world and is said to hold around $10 billion of cryptocurrency in underground vaults on five continents including in a former Swiss military bunker.
14.Philanthropy and other roles
- In 2010, Wences in partnership with Pablo Bosh found Las Majadas de Pirque, a social capital and innovation facility which is owned by Wences in Santiago, Chile.
- In 2011, he was on the jury of the Cartier Women’s Initiative awards.
- He was the member of the 2017 Class of Henry Crown Fellows in the Aspen Global Leadership Network at the Aspen Institute.
- He is a member of the Young Presidents Organization.
- He regularly attends the World Economic Forum annual meetings in Davos, Switzerland and is also an elected member of the Forum’s “Young Global Leaders” Class of 2011.
15.Bitcoin price prediction
Bitcoin prices can go from zero to over a million dollars. In an essay published on Kana and Katana, a research platform Wences predicted that one bitcoin would be worth more than $1million but in reasonable timeframe. His forecast emphasized on stats which are overlooked.
- Ten years of uninterrupted progress.
- Over 60 million holders.
- 1 million new holders each month.
- Global transactions of over $ 1 billion per day.