Chilean entrepreneur Isidoro Quiroga may not be a household name, but this billionaire investor is one of the most-watched business leaders in the financial sector. Quiroga has gained the reputation of having a Midas touch when it comes to investments, turning unknown companies into international leaders and cashing in for near-billion dollar exits.
Savvy investors have been following his movements for years and have enjoyed near-guaranteed gains on the companies he manages. His latest movement was the sale of California-based Enphase Energy, which he acquired in 2018 for $20 million USD and sold in 2021 for $819 million. Investors who entered with Quiroga when the stock price was at ~$6.00 could have sold for gains of over 3,000% just three years later.
What is Quiroga’s secret, and why are his investments watched so closely across the business world?
Humble Beginnings and Hard Work
Isidoro Quiroga does not come from a background of wealth and he didn’t learn business from Ivy League analysts. He earned a degree in commercial engineering from the University of Chile and began his career as an entrepreneur shortly thereafter in the 1970s.
He was responsible for importing the kiwi fruit to Chile, which was relatively unknown in the country at the time. This became his first great success. Quiroga was responsible for identifying a potential market for the kiwi and then creating that market nationally, giving him key insight into grassroots growth, global trade, supply chain management, and marketing—all at a young age.
Isidoro Quiroga honed his entrepreneurial expertise by investing in multiple ventures in the energy, mining, and real estate sectors in the following years. Businesses he helped scale include Soquimich (SQM), PIlmaiquén Electric Company, Minera Fuego, Telefónica, Banco de Chile, and many others.
A Hands-on Approach
Quiroga is known for his unique hands-on approach to management. When he acquires a business or becomes an investor, he often makes drastic changes to the company’s business model and growth goals. While these appear as risks to some investors, Quiroga has a keen eye for growth potential and the global reach to market products where demand is high.
For example, when Quiroga acquired Enphas Energy, it was a small company offering home energy solutions to a US market that wasn’t ready for the product. Quiroga transformed Enphase into a powerful international brand, offering its products to new markets with higher demand and less competition.
Another company transformed by Quiroga, Australis Seafoods, was acquired by the investor in 2007. He took the small salmon company public on the Santiago Stock Exchange and soon turned it into an international competitor in the global seafood trade. As owner and CEO of Australis, Isidoro Quiroga was responsible for the company’s massive growth over the course of a decade. He sold the company in 2017 for $880 million USD.
Isidoro Quiroga is admired by investors for having a global perspective from the outset of an acquisition. While most CEOs scale their companies by taking baby steps, Quiroga blitz-scales by building global supply chains from day 1. That’s how he was able to turn Enphase Energy from a million-dollar company to an S&P 500 company in just a few years.
Thanks to his 50 years of experience investing around the globe, Quiroga is able to assess global markets as easily as other investors assess national ones.
Investors are confident Isidoro Quiroga, as he has proved he can navigate companies through crises. He was the owner of Australis Seafoods when the salmon industry was hit by an outbreak of Infectious Salmon Anemia Virus, a deadly disease that killed much of the global salmon stock.
Quiroga navigated the company through the crisis and managed to produce record profits while his competitors were declaring bankruptcy.
Isidoro Quiroga’s Next Move
Isidoro Quiroga is currently searching for his next investment opportunity, and the business world is watching closely. He is said to be eyeing acquisitions in Silicon Valley. After the stellar growth of the California startup Enphase Energy, Quiroga is poised to continue his success on the US west coast in the technology sector.