How Beek Is Bringing Audiobooks to LATAM — With Lightspeed’s Help

There’s never been a better time to build a Spanish language audio platform.

Guillermo y Pamela

We are thrilled to announce that Lightspeed Venture Partners is leading Beek’s Series A round, and to welcome the whole team to the Lightspeed family and our LATAM portfolio along with angels Sam Altman (OpenAI), Dylan Field (Figma), Sebastian Mejia (Rappi), and more. Beek is a consumer subscription audiobook company based in Mexico City.

We met cofounders Pamela Valdés Esteva and Guillermo Sequeria in 2020 and knew then they were incredibly special. We were taken by Pam’s vision to build the Latin American Dream and solve the inspiration crisis Beek says faces the Latino community, especially the Mexican community:

“When most Latinos are born, they’re born into a society where the most successful stories are about their town’s drug cartel. Sadly, this has turned into a self fulfilling prophecy, because Latinos can only achieve the things they can dream about, and they can only dream about things they know about, so if all the success stories Latinos listen to growing up are the ones from the Narcos series, we will continue to produce the most successful drug cartels in the world, but nothing else.”

Beek exists to build that Latin American Dream, and is doing so by making it financially viable for creators to tell inspiring stories that help people grow, so that Latinos can grow up hearing them, inspiring and dreaming of bigger possibilities.

It’s a very timely mission. Spanish is the second most spoken native language in the world. Latino media is dominating global charts. Just look at Bad Bunny, who has been the #1 streamed artist for several years now. There has never been a better time for a Spanish language audio platform to emerge.

When Lightspeed first invested in Beek in 2022, we were blown away not just by the incredibly fast growth but also by the founding team, who are the definition of “force of nature” founders. Their command of their business is years beyond what is typical for founders at Series A.

We believe in the Latin American dream and that this is the team to build it. Pamela has incredible grit; something she ascribes to what she calls her ‘Surfnicorn’ philosophy of building companies:

“I believe that to build a business, especially one that aims to generate over $1B+ in revenue in its first 10 years, will at times feel like a long and excruciating journey. So there’s a big risk of the founders giving up. So I trained my mind to fall in love with the sometimes painful process of building something extraordinary, the same way I fell in love with surfing. When I surf, I spend 99% of the time in the struggle: paddling, getting sunburnt, or getting washed over by gigantic scary waves… all of that for 1% of time in the beautiful feeling of riding a good wave. If you want to be a surfer, you have to fall in love with the struggle of catching good waves… If you want to build a unicorn, you have to fall in love with the process of building something extraordinary.”

Pamela’s grit is matched by her cofounder Guillermo’s discipline and habit-building powers. Pamela describes her cofounder by saying “Guille’s superpower is building habits and he’s damn good at it. He has a level of discipline that enables him to develop any new skill he wants. Also, he’s very objective and skeptical, so he always helps me see ‘another part of the elephant’ that I’m not seeing.”

Bullied as a teen, Pamela always felt like an outsider, but used that drive to continually push harder. She received tons of rejections along the way:

“I was convinced that we would make it into TechStars. We made it to the final round so I rented an apartment in Austin, and the day I arrived they told us we had not made it. For some reason, my immediate reaction was to send an email to YCombinator, who had already rejected us twice, and tell them what I was going to do for them to give me an interview in the next cycle.” source: Ana Carolina Mexia Ponce interview

The persistence paid off and Beek ended up in YC. Pamela would go on to become Mexico’s first female Thiel Fellow, dropping out of college to pursue Beek: “I realized I loved working on Beek more, and I couldn’t go back to Mexico right then. I could not go back to studying, I needed to start creating.”

We enjoy working with teams whose values match our own. Below are some top examples of how Beek’s team lives the Lightspeed values:

Mercedes: One of our values at Lightspeed is #Earn It. What’s the best story of someone earning it that you’ve seen at Beek?

Beek: 6 years ago we hired an entry level graphic designer with no prior working experience. 6 years later Emir is now running our design team, having consistently grown and developed within the organization with a true self-learner attitude. Emir is now Beek’s Product Design Lead.

Mercedes: One of our values at Lightspeed is #Put People First. What’s the best story of someone putting people first that you’ve seen at Beek?

Beek: During a Beek offsite, one of our team members was unexpectedly hospitalized with appendicitis. As he was an international employee, he was far from his family during this difficult time. Nevertheless, many members of the company came to his support and assistance. They were there for him, from calling to check in on his condition, to helping with his insurance, and even visiting him in the hospital. This act of kindness and compassion from colleagues was really remarkable and it highlights the strong sense of community that exists at Beek.

Mercedes: One of our values at Lightspeed is #One Lightspeed. What’s the best story of someone dropping everything to help a teammate that you’ve seen at Beek?

Beek: Estephania on our team has had a diverse career at Beek, starting as an Executive Assistant and now working as Recruiting Lead on our People team. She is widely regarded as one of the most approachable and helpful people in the company. She is known for going above and beyond to assist others, from helping plan trips and answering questions before even joining the Beek, to being there for everyone in times of emergency. Esteph is truly a valuable asset to the team, and a shining example of dedication and commitment to helping others.

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