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Welcoming New Partner and Global Digital Transformation Expert Flavio Dias as We Step Up Our Presence in Brazil


I first met Flavio in 2013, when he co-invested alongside 500 Startups in Olist, one of Brazil’s largest online marketplaces–which recently raised a Series C round. Olist’s founder was in our San Francisco accelerator program, and in his next round of funding turned to Flavio, who was then president of Walmart.com in Brazil. He became instrumental in building Olist’s name. 

Flavio already had a solid reputation as an e-commerce pioneer and operator in the country. For nearly two decades, he helped multiple companies, including multinationals, launch their online operations in Brazil.

Flavio is the former CEO of Brazilian retail giant, Via Varejo

After a successful experience at Philips, Magazine Luiza, one of Brazil’s biggest retailers, hired him to re-launch its website and improve the user experience as head of e-commerce. Those accomplishments caught the eye of Walmart, which invited him to start its website from scratch. After catapulting online sales to $1 billion in just two years, Walmart management decided to spin off Walmart.com into a separate entity with 1,500 employees and Flavio as president. 

He took a little break from retail to try his hand at something new: establishing the first digital bank in Brazil, Banco Original, but before long he was back to driving digital and bricks-and-mortars operations at retail giant Via Varejo, a $7 billion revenue business with over 50,000 employees, where he was most recently CEO. 

Few CEOs in the world have risen through the ranks from Chief Digital Officer, and Flavio is one of them.

Over the years, he became familiar with a maturing entrepreneurial scene in Brazil, both as a corporate executive in search of the latest technology and as a savvy angel investor, with 12 retail and fintech investments in his portfolio. That’s how we reconnected again. Flavio decided to participate in our VC Unlocked program in August 2019 at Stanford. We found great alignment in the way we help companies grow. 

During the VC Unlocked program, Flavio met and invested in our Batch 25 company RestAR. He then introduced the Israeli startup to the CEO of Dafiti, one of the largest fashion e-commerce sites in Brazil, who also invested. A perfect match, which aligned with our mission to help startups scale globally. RestAR enables retail businesses to convert a simple video of their products into 3D/AR visualization using AI on any mobile device.

Flavio is now part of our 500 global family, based in São Paulo. He’s helping us increase our presence in Brazil, where we already have more than 40 investments in startups that include Conta Azul, Descomplica and IdWall. He will also build a bridge between startups and corporations that want to be successful at digital transformation globally.  500 is a pioneer in corporate partnerships and private initiatives, which we plan to facilitate to foster a vibrant and diverse ecosystem in the country.

Flavio’s extensive experience will be invaluable in reinforcing 500 Startups’ position as the most active early-stage venture capital firm in the world.

Bem Vindo, Flavio!

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