TechCrunch’s Mary Ann Azevedo — Covering the Pulse of Fintech & Latin America’s Tech Scene
Miguel Armaza sits down with the fantastic Mary Ann Azevedo, Senior Reporter at TechCrunch covering all things Fintech and Latin America Tech.
Mary Ann is a renowned journalist, who’s been covering tech for 25 years! She’s seen and heard it all and this was a great conversation where we covered a ton of ground, including:
- Some of the biggest trends she’s seeing in the fintech space.
“I think FinTech is a really interesting space, because these startups — they’re competing, yet they’re partnering with and in some cases wanting to be acquired by incumbents… and the incumbents, they’re a little bit scared, but at the same time, recognize the value of fintechs.”
- Managing the insane volume of industry news on a daily basis. It’s no secret COVID accelerated the digital transformation of financial services. This tremendous increase in customer adoption has also resulted in an explosion of new companies and investment rounds in the fintech space. Mary Ann and TechCrunch are at the very center of the wave, trying to cover and document as much as they can.
“I cannot even tell you the number of pitches I get from fintechs on a daily basis. And I mean, there’s just too many, and a lot of them are very intriguing. But of course, there’s only so much time and in a day and only so many days in a week, so we can’t get to them all… There’s just so much happening. It’s crazy busy. And I’m in a lucky spot to be at the center of it for sure.”
- The main differences between US-based entrepreneurs and Latin American founders. Fintech in the US has been booming and thriving for close to a decade, but the Latin America ecosystem is only now starting to catch up in terms of digital innovation, adoption, and investment levels — which also means there is a lot more opportunity in the region. Additionally, Mary Ann has also observed a difference in attitudes from US and LatAm founders.
“So when it comes to the [Latin American] entrepreneurs, I really feel like there’s a certain excitement, passion, and hunger that you don’t necessarily see as much here in the US.”
- Ever wondered what goes behind the screen at Techcrunch HQ? We cover that too! Tech reporters have a lot in common with Venture Capitalists. They see 100s of startups every month and need to find a way to distinguish who’s really doing something unique and who’s not. For Mary Ann, ‘figuring out what’s different about a company, as opposed to the 10 others who are doing this thing’ is one of the challenges she enjoys the most.”
“I always joke with my colleagues… the writing is not the hard part at all, the interviewing is not hard. The hardest part is just managing that inbox and the volume of pitches!”
- Plus, tips and best practices to pitch a story to a reporter and some things you should absolutely avoid doing…
1. Be succinct in your pitch. Provide a few paragraphs describing why you’re reaching out, what your company does, why it’s unique, and, most importantly, why TechCrunch readers would care.
2. Have realistic expectations. You can reach out and have the coolest company, but be realistic that it’s going to be tough to get coverage, unless you have a really compelling offering, a unique origin story, or maybe even some cool investors.
3. Mary Ann also pays special attention to and is intrigued by early-stage startups that are actually making money! A rare thing these days…
4. And most importantly.. Be respectful! Bombarding a reporter with emails every day for multiple weeks will not help. “I would really encourage entrepreneurs, PR people, or investors. Send a couple of emails, if you don’t hear back, you need to let it go. Maybe try again at a later time.”
Mary Ann Azevedo
Mary Ann Azevedo has more than 20 years of business reporting and editing experience for publications such as FinLedger, Crunchbase News, Crain, Forbes and Silicon Valley Business Journal. Prior to joining TechCrunch in 2021, she earned numerous awards including the New York Times Chairman’s Award and others for breaking news coverage. She holds a Master’s degree in journalism from the University of Texas in Austin, where she currently lives.
TechCrunch, founded on June 11, 2005, is a global news website dedicated to the tech scene. The company provides breaking technology news, opinions, and analysis on tech companies from around the world. From publicly-traded tech companies to emerging startups and venture capital funding rounds, TechCrunch is the number one guide for all things technology.
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