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Follow the Leader: Alec Oxenford, founder of OLX and letgo

Read the first in Naspers’ new Follow the Leader series, where it profile entrepreneurs making waves in high growth tech markets around the world.

For its inaugural post, it spoke with Alec Oxenford, co-founder of Naspers companies OLX and letgo.

Q: What is your role at Naspers?
A: I have an entrepreneurial role at one of Naspers more recent investments, letgo. I guide the company’s vision, I oversee operations, fund raising, key hires and motivate the team together with my partners Jordi and Enrique.

I am also Chairman at OLX and help there on demand.

Q: Why does the world need letgo?
A: letgo helps to solve the world’s number one problem – the excessive resource consumption and pollution that is causing vastly negative effects on the sustainability of the environment and putting life on the planet at risk.

Q: What is the geographical scope of your work?
A: letgo is focused on the USA primarily but also on several European markets.

Q: What’s the most important thing you are working on right now?
A: How to better communicate the advantages of using our product to our American audience and also how to simplify the use of our products even further.

Q: And why is it important?
A: Because this will increase user adoption.

Q: What was the most important technology innovation in the last 100 years?
A: I´ll offer two: the advancements made thanks to the use of penicillin in 1941 and the creation of the cell phone in 1973.

Q: And what technology or societal trend will have the largest impact on our future?
A: Green energy.

Q: What is the one piece of advice you’d give to other entrepreneurs?
A: Don´t be afraid.

Q: What is the biggest lesson you have ever learned?
A: Each one of us is a unique event in the history of the universe. Each one of us can contribute something that nobody else can.

Q: How would you describe working with Naspers in 140 characters? 
A: Very fast paced and fun, promoting an ‘adventure feeling’. The top management of Naspers is very approachable and good guys abound.

Q: What are the three things you can’t live without?
A: 1) My morning walk in the park to feel alive and in contact with nature.
2) My iPhone, to be able to work without having to go to the office every day.
3) WhatsApp, to stay connected with friends and family.

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