Hi there, I’m Spiffy, an interplanetary journalist hanging out on Planet Earth. Today I’m thrilled to visit Mexico City, Mexico, and meet with someone set on creating opportunities for anyone with a smartphone! Join me as I talk to Sebastian Monroy, co-founder, and co-CEO of Zubale.
Spiffy: Welcome, Sebastian! I’m excited to hear about the challenge you’re addressing with Zubale!
Sebastian: Thanks for coming to interview me, Spiffy! At Zubale we are building the future of work in Latin America. Why? In our region, over 40% of the population lives in the informal economy with low or no access to traditional labor opportunities. Unemployment has skyrocketed during the Covid-19 pandemic, making the situation even worst. In addition, smartphone penetration has skyrocketed, enabling new labor models to emerge. That’s where we come in! We created a marketplace that connects independent workers, via their smartphone, to brands and retailers that need jobs to be done—from restocking shelves to delivering eCommerce orders.
Spiffy: What motivated you to seize this opportunity?
Sebastian: Technology is re-shaping everything in our lives—from how we communicate to how we work and learn. I'm originally from Medellin, Colombia, and I have lived in Mexico for over 12 years. So many people struggle to provide a better life to their loved ones. Like others, I've personally experienced the struggles of looking for decent work and finding that traditional job opportunities weren’t available. With technology, we can change that!
Spiffy: The possibilities are endless! What are you doing to help create a more equitable society?
Sebastian: Well, Spiffy, we are offering job opportunities to any individual who has a smartphone, and is willing to work!
A Zubale worker heads out to deliver an e-commerce order. (Image courtesy of Sebastian Monroy)
Spiffy: What about a recent milestone? How will Zubale continue to impact your communities?
Sebastian: We recently signed a deal with a big Latin American financial tech company, to provide financial services to thousands of people that work and earn through our App. This population has historically been rejected by the traditional banking system, leaving them with no access to credit. In Zubale, we can track how many jobs someone completes, how much they usually earn, their connection patterns, and more. As a result, with that information, we can create an accurate risk profile of the workers and help them connect with financial institutions to have access to credit.
Spiffy: Wow, Sebastian, that sounds like a potentially life-changing opportunity for many people! My last and favorite question: what kind of failure have you experienced?
Sebastian: Losing a big customer. It’s still hard to talk about!
Spiffy: I’m sorry to hear that, Sebastian. Let me know when you’re ready, I’d love to hear what you learned! It’s been an honor talking to you! All the best in your endeavors!
Sebastian Monroy is the co-founder and Co-CEO of Zubale. He's originally from Medellin, Colombia, and has lived in Mexico for over 10 years. Sebastian holds a BA from Tecnológico de Monterrey and an MBA from Harvard Business School.
© 2020 Ladderworks LLC. Edited by Jill Landis Jha. Spiffy’s illustration by Shreyas Navare. Follow Spiffy’s stories of founders building a more equitable world at www.ladderworks.co/blogs/spiffys-blog