By: Geraldo Samor and Pedro Arbex

When she proposed to assist Raia Drogasil in setting up her corporate venture fund, Fabiana Fagundes heard an uncomfortable question from the client: would she be willing to work in partnership with another firm?

Used to work by herself, to lead the teams and not sharing the work, the partner of BMA had to accept the client’s order; the other lawyer Rodrigo Menezes, partner at Derraik & Menezes, felt the same discomfort.

Three months later, the complementarity between them became a new firm: FM/Derraik, with nine partners and 21 lawyers that already starts with the largest ‘market share’ in the startups/VC market in Brazil, assisting clients such as Mercado Bitcoin, Creditas and Mercado Livre. The third partner is Carlos Augusto Derraik, an experienced lawyer from Rio de Janeiro who is the firm’s Managing Partner and who previously was partner of Rodrigo at Derraik & Menezes.

In the past two months, the firm advised Méliuz in the purchase of a Polish multinational with a presence in 43 countries, RD Station in its sale for R$ 2 billion to Totvs, in addition to the client who originated everything: the creation of the Raia Drogasil fund and its first investment, the purchase of Techfit.

The most recent project of the firm: the structuring of the first Internet of Things (IoT) fund in Brazil, with resources from Qualcomm and BNDES.

The specialization of the firm in startups/VC is a differentiator in a market in which big law firms have the practice of venture capital as only one more area.

In the last few years, big firms like Veirano and Pinheiro Neto started to invest more strongly in advising VC/startups, but the practices are largely dispersed, with one partner working on startups still in the PowerPoint stage and another working on late-stage companies.

The styles of the partners could not be more different. Rodrigo is a reserved guy who, after a skateboard accident, six years ago, started wearing only T-shirts and jeans. Fabiana is intense and expansive, wearing a cardigan, high heels and Chanel necklace.

The client list for the two is also quite different, generating what a banker would call “synergies”. Rodrigo has worked for more than 50 venture capital funds – names like Astella, Vox Capital, Z-Tech (AB Inbev), Kortex (Fleury/Sabin) and BigBets. In 20 years of BMA, Fabiana has followed the journey of more than 100 startups, several of them from Endeavor, which she helped to found in Brazil.

In addition to build something together, the two have another special connection: they have been adept at Access Bars for years, a technique in which a therapist touches 32 energetic points on the head, helping to eliminate life-limiting conditioning, judgments and polarities.

At least, the technique should help spark conversation with entrepreneurs under 30.

Source: Brazil Journal


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