Daniel Heise has always exhibited an entrepreneurial spirit, even when the Brazilian economy was considered to be unstable. In 1994, for example, while studying management at university and interning at Arthur Andersen, he founded Cozumel Restaurant with friends in São Paulo, which was enormously successful. Despite its success, he sold his share after three months with a return of 300% on the invested capital. Between 1994 and 1998, he worked at Banco Matrix on securities operations in international markets.
In 1999, Daniel Heise, with a childhood friend, created an Internet incubator, which generated 12 projects. One of the successful projects was Ingresso Fácil (Easy Ticket), in partnership with BWA, a site that began selling tickets for soccer games and currently sells tickets for theatrical productions, movies, and concerts, among other events.
In 2000, Daniel and his team set up an online chat service for Ingresso Fácil. This chat service appeared to be an enormous business opportunity and they therefore spun it off, creating Customer First, which soon attracted BancoItaú as a client. In the same year, Daniel sold his share in Ingresso Fácil, dismantled the incubator and focused his energy on this new project. He also negotiated a merger with the startup Direct Talk during the same year and at the same time secured funding from Rio Bravo Investimentos.
Participation in the Third Venture Capital Forum of FINEP in April 2001 greatly facilitated the reception of the first rounds of investment. DGF INVESTIMENTOS began plans to expand Daniel’s businesses in 2004, with the creation of Grupo Direct, which today consists of Direct Talk, DTM, Direct B2, and Scup. In 2011, DGF INVESTIMENTOS exited from Grupo Direct by selling its shares to Fundo 1188. In 2012, the group had 150 employees and forecasted revenues of approximately US$ 14.5 million.
Professor Gilberto Sarfati, FGV-EAESP
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