A Venezuelan in Silicon Valley Finds a Niche in Finance


Meyer Malka, the Venezuelan founder of Ribbit Capital, is one of the few Latin Americans to crack Silicon Valley’s top echelon. The carpet came with the misspelling of Ribbit; Mr. Malka said that in the spirit of the company’s culture of working through anything, it was decided to keep the carpet and spray paint an “i” over the “a.” CreditJim Wilson/The New York Times

PALO ALTO, Calif. — Jonathan Gheller went from selling tequeños, a Venezuelan fried, cheese-filled appetizer, in Caracas to building a company that he sold to Facebook. Now, working at its placid Menlo Park, Calif., headquarters, he credits mostly one person for his change in fortune.

Likewise, Kenneth Lin struggled in the early days of Credit Karma, the online personal finance company he founded in 2007 in San Francisco. The field called fintech, financial technology, is now hotly pursued by investors. But through 2012, he raised only $2.5 million. The company’s outlook changed in 2013 after he found a kindred spirit…

A Venezuelan in Silicon Valley Finds a Niche in Finance

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