Like many successful entrepreneurs, Gustavo Caetano has a good eye for business ideas. When he was 19 and frustrated with a lack of cool games for his smartphone in Brazil, he started the company Samba Mobile in 2005 to distribute mobile games.
Then, when Caetano noticed the popularity of videos, he started another company, Samba Tech, to offer video streaming services. Samba Tech is now a multi-national business in Latin America, working with universities that provide e-learning and broadcasters that stream popular content like the World Cup to millions of Latin Americans.
“The company is growing,” says Caetano, who opened Samba Tech’s first office in the U.S. this summer. “But we are always trying to stay connected to our roots, our Brazilian roots, and the culture that we’re building here and never stop having fun.” For Caetano, Brazilian culture is a unique, vibrant mix of samba, music, soccer and creativity.
A partnership with Microsoft is helping Samba Tech grow even more. A switch from Amazon’s AWS to Microsoft’s Azure Media Services helped the company run its video platform more efficiently. Azure now powers Samba Tech’s new Kast app, a mobile video-messaging app for businesses that integrates Office 365.
“I truly believe we wouldn’t be able to build out globally right now if it wasn’t for our strong partnership with Microsoft,” says Yolanda Vira Castro, Samba Tech’s head of product management.
Samba Tech used to have a complex supply chain with many technology suppliers from different countries. But the move to Microsoft Azure, which Caetano called a “no-brainer,” helped streamlined the system.
“Microsoft helped us to simplify all this, reducing like from 30 different suppliers to eight,” he says. “Also, Microsoft was presenting us the opportunity to partner with Samba Tech, and to help us to grow our business not just in Brazil, but also outside Brazil.”