One of the projects we had been working on was an acquisition strategy for old PC video games. The plan was to find games under 7 years old that had small but dedicated audiences. We wanted to purchase the rights and then create new multiplayer experiences under a subscription model.
We had other projects we were working on, but we were really excited about video games and wanted to make progress. We decided it was time to bring another Associate onboard.
Michael decided to start the search. We received tons of applications — but one stood out in particular. A guy named Franco from Argentina applied. He was working as a financial analyst at a Brazilian ecom tech company, but wanted to bridge the gap to entrepreneurship.
Franco’s first task when he joined was quite literally: “figure out how we can pay you.” Turns out it was much more complicated than we thought. It took us several weeks to figure it out (and we even paid him in bitcoin in the meantime).
Once he was onboarded, we started getting tons of questions from folks on Twitter and at other companies in the San Antonio tech ecosystem — they all went something like: “How can I hire a Franco?”
We decided we’d help out for free. Our “aha” moment was when we started spending more time helping folks source and hire remote financial analysts from LatAm than we were spending on our own projects.
Still, we weren’t interested in building another recruitment agency. We wanted to build a scalable business, as well as a community of excellent talent from Latin America. We initially planned to focus on Financial Analysts.
Then we got our lucky break. We needed candidates, so Franco randomly decided to write a Tweet thread about Near. In one weekend (and after asking a few LatAm twitter influencers to retweet) that thread got hundreds of thousands of impressions. Before we knew it, over 1500 candidates signed up on our waitlist.
At that point, we went 100% in on Near. We spun up a job board that let candidates create profiles and employers review applications. That was back in May 2020.
Since then, we’ve helped startups, public companies, large enterprises, agencies, law firms, VCs, and more hire hundreds of incredible candidates from Latin America for remote roles. We’ve helped developers, marketers, salespeople, financial analysts, accountants, ops leaders, and more land incredible remote jobs at US companies.
Co-Founder of Near