Maria D. Luna is a serial entrepreneur, Co-founder and CEO of BRAVO, Inc (DBA FAMIGO). With her Co-Founder Hector Rodriguez, she sold her prior company to Covenant/KKR in 2019. She has an MBA from McCombs Business School (University of Texas at Austin) and has worked in International Marketing and Administration for Fortune 500 companies such as Abbvie, BMS and Nabisco where she developed an expertise in lean operations and building functional teams. Maria’s leadership contributes not only to FAMIGO’s growth and profitability, but also to the
financial empowerment of artists and content creators. She has established a culture and vision compatible with conscientious capitalism that is inspiring to all around her. Ms. Luna is fluent in several languages and volunteers for minority entrepreneurship programs, animal rescue and enjoys painting and writing.
Can you tell us a little about your background and the company?
I was born and raised in Puerto Rico where I overcame extreme poverty. With the help of my family and committed teachers I was able to go to college and graduate school. Growing up I saw too many talented artists abandoning their passion to bring money home and that is why I am so driven about our purpose. FAMIGO was created to help artists and content creators make more money while creating deeper connections with their fan base. Our platform FAMIGO, provides creators with a suite of business tools to rightfully monetize their content. Users can offer single-store items or subscription-based access to unreleased music, videos, documentaries, podcasts, meet-and-greets, VIP experiences, merchandise and more.
How did the idea come to you for the company?
The idea of FAMIGO was inspired by my own mother story who had to forget about her own creative inclinations in order to raise 5 children as a widow. I always had the desire to solve that problem for millions of artists and creators. One day while traveling, my Co-Founder Hector had an AHA! moment shared with me for a solution to solve the tipping aspects of artists’ monetization. During our customer discovery phase, we discovered other needs like monetizing their premium content, fan-base management and growing their loyal communities beyond local reach and that is how the idea evolved into what FAMIGO is today.
How did you achieve awareness?
Our go-to-market strategy has been to communicate the value and best practices of FAMIGO to content creators so that they in turn communicate with their fan base. At FAMIGO we believe in the power of the network effect and encouraging referrals.
How have you been able to gain funding and grow?
With the sale of our previous company, we self-funded the MVP and after proving traction, we did a friends and family round. This year we just closed our seed round.
What are the key successes?
Since our launch in September, 2021, we have built a community that already surpasses 2 million people across the globe with a 20% MoM growth. Our platform continues its global growth entering a hypergrowth stage in USA, LATAM and Europe and we will launch our native applications in July, 2023.
What were/are the challenges and how have you overcome these?
Main challenges have a lot to do with human resources, not only attracting top talent, but also building a culture that fosters creativity and mutual respect. We have opened our horizons by constructing a distributed team that communicates frequently and effectively.
What are your plans now/for the future?
We will continue to add more solutions for our artists and creators to make more money and will provide them with better business intelligence and tools to grow their communities around the world.
What would you like to share with others to encourage them to start their own entrepreneurship journey?
Sounds simple, but is probably the hardest thing to do: find a simple problem and then decide if solving it will make you feel important and millions of people happier. If so, you found your purpose and the rest will fall into place in a great messy everchanging journey.
Can you share your top tips for entrepreneurial success?
Talk to as many people as possible that you think can be affected by the problem you are trying to solve
Be open to many ways of the s solving the same problem
Take time to just think every day and stay focused
Spend as little as possible in your Minimal Viable product
Think of obstacles as great opportunities to show your creativity
Who are the 5 people who inspire you the most and why?
Sarah Blakely (Founder & CEO of Spandex), she is focused, knows what she wants and authentic
Reshma Saujani (Founder & CEO Girls Who Code): I love her purpose to reduce the gender gap in technology
Antonio Martorell (painter, graphic artist and writer), Martorell is truly talented and transforms any moment around him into an unforgettable experience. I had the privilege to visit him in his home and can tell you without a doubt, he is someone that will forever inspire me.
Hector Rodriguez, my Co-Founder, he has great work and personal ethics, is one of the smartest people on earth and a straight shooter.
My mother, Carmen Luciano, she preserved her sense of humor and a heart of gold regardless of her circumstances
What are your favourite inspirational /motivational quotes?
“A business that makes nothing but money is a poor business.” – Henry Ford
“The best way to predict the future is to create it.” – Peter Drucker
What are your Instagram, Facebook and LinkedIn social handles and also website links so our readers can connect with you?
Instagram handle: @mariafamigoceo
Facebook handle: @mariafamigoceo
LinkedIn URL: https://www.linkedin.com/in/mlunaceofamigo