At Itnig, we know it’s hard to keep up with all the startups news and updates flying around. This month, we’re having a blast as we welcomed Javier Suárez, from Travelperk, for our weekly podcast. We discover how he got where he is today, his experience and more about Travelperk.
Javier started his career in Booking as a restless seller which quickly passed to the product and “innovation” section. Here he discovered the huge demand for business travel that the market leaders weren’t covering. This led him to write the business plan of Travelperk, for when he will meet the rights co-founders. He finally met them, and his new associate Avi Meir convinced him to move to Barcelona to start their journey.
His first proposition was an algorithm that was calculating the complete cost of the travel, but while selling it they realised that their potential clients were looking for a more complete solution that will allow them to buy directly the whole travel online. So they started working in order to close funding round ( from seed to series C) until being one of the only European companies that raise that much money in such a short period of time: 71M€ in 3 years.
The product to construct is infinite, but they did it quickly. According to Javier they were “building the plane in the middle of the flight!”. In order to do it, from the first day they used “manuals” operations to compensate the fact that parts of the product weren’t ready.
Their ambitions are huge, they already have a workforce of more than 300 employees and offices in the USA, Berlin, Londres and Barcelona and are currently opening ones in Paris and Amsterdam.
Let’s continue and discover other great podcasts we had during this month.
Startup Inside Stories Podcast
#79 : Jorge Dobon, from Demium Startups
Jorge explains the peculiar model of “pre-idea” and “pre-team” incubation. The entrepreneurs get to know each other at an event called “All startup”. There, they are forming teams and decide on which project they want to invest their time for the next few years. Demium is associated founder of every project with 15% of the capital, a team will involve itself during the first phases to help to raise the next funding round.
Bernat poses the problem of when an associate from the first steps continue with the project on the long-term (11:19) and the difficulty for the entrepreneurs to appreciate his contribution to middle-term. Juan delves (14:20) and finds it difficult to understand the “cover charge” of 15%. Jorge responds that a lot of entrepreneurs learn and decide to launch their projects thanks to Demium, and that the satisfaction level is really high. Concretely Demium launched 57 companies, even though it obviously counts with some unhappy entrepreneurs.
Jorge explains what exactly is it to incubate a company during the first 6 months (20:00) and how they study markets to assure an easy way to raise money. He gave us as well his comparative vision on the obvious reference of YCombinator (33:16) and why accelerators are models of brands building and of winner takes it all (42:30) and from there his international expansion strategy.
We finished joking about their last articles published on the press which made a buzz on Twitter (50:35).
This week Bernat Farrero (CEO @Itnig) and Jordi Romero (CEO @Factorial) discuss with Oriol Blanc (Product @Quipu) and César Miguelañez (Product @Factorial) on what criteria should be used to lead the construction of a digital product in 2019.
20 years ago Ben Horowitz described a good product director as the CEO of the product (05:17). Oriol and César give their views and insights on what this responsibility actually means on a daily basis and where they take their main inputs. Both explain how their teams are structured, what interesting profiles form them (21:00), and how they fight to continuously point efforts towards the customer while keeping a steady long term vision and strategy.
César and Oriol explain what methodology they use to generate roadmap, how they delegate responsibility on their multidisciplinary teams to fully focus on one problem at a time, what is the cycle from idea to production (25:15), what is a Minimum Viable Product and a Minimum Lovable Product (33:48), the differences between testable, usable and lovable. They also tackle the relationship with technology and marketing (42:40), with whom they constantly interact. Finally, they share what tools help them successfully coordinate efforts and people (52:30).
# 81: Javier Aracil, from Mr. Wonderful
This week Bernat Farrero (Itnig) and Juan Rodriguez (Camaloon) talk with Javier Aracil, who founded Mr Wonderful with his wife in 2011.
Mr. Wonderful is a Digitally Native Vertical Brand that was created by a creative couple in the spare time while they both worked at different creative agencies in Barcelona. Their particular vertical is optimistic messaging and design that they print on different products including mugs, notebooks, glasses, you name it!
Mr. Wonderful is also an example of a blog/community first business, as Angie (Javi’s wife) was already blogging in 2011 even before selling the first product online. Their starting niche market was “original weddings”, but they managed to extrapolate it to mothers, families and mass market. Early offline distribution was key to their success, but “without a powerful online community, they would have never convinced main retailers”.
Mr. Wonderful has been profitable since they one, as this is “how the founders understand business”. They alone brought the company from 0 to over 30M€ in 2016. However, last year they sold a part of their business and prepared their company for international expansion, letting a VC firm from Madrid in their capital and scaling their team from 70 to 140 people.
March Startup News & Updates
- On mobility, Cabify and Uber:
- The “Consell de Garanties” states Catalunya law for restraining Uber and Cabify anticonstitutional
- Following this law Vector Ronda, Uber-like company, will have to fire almost 400 persons
- The car-share company Car2Go changes its name to ShareNow and stars offering Mini and BMW cars to its clients
- Cabify is back to Barcelona, how?
- The city of Barcelona clearly expresses its intention to make it stop again
- At the same time, Cabify lands in Murcia
- Cabify recall how much they are bringing to the Spanish economy
- Legal conflict between Cabify and Catalunya
- Drivy takes advantage of Barcelona recent mobility situation to grow.
- A quick update of Madrid 18 e-scooter companies that should be operating by mid-April
- From April 1rst Uber and Cabify will have to record all their trajectsin a public registry
- Uber announced his intention to expand his app Uber Freight (B2B trucks on demand) to Europe
- About the MWC
- About equality in the workplace:
- February closes with 12€M invested in Spanish startups
- Samsung and the Spanish minister of education join their forces to digitize professional formations
- Telefónica will now have Microsoft as their digital and strategic associate
- Idealista bough 75% of the gestor for holidays rents, AvaiBook
- Santander invested in the London-based Nivaura
- In five years Banco Sabadell invested more than 200€M in startups
- A Spanish made his way to Forbes list of the best entrepreneurs with less than 30 years in Europe
- Mapfre AM launches a fund to investigate economics behaviours
- The third edition of IMF Emprende is now open
- Trenlab opens its second convocation
- Mercabarna Food & tech start-up’s program is now open for applications
- South Summit created a fund to invest in its future winners
- A list of the possible next Unicorns of Spain
- The German digital bank N26 foresee tripling its working force in Barcelona
- Citibox plans on installing 310.000 intelligent mailboxes in Madrid
- Feedbacks from the WMC
- EIT Climate-KIC Spain opens the call of its acceleration program for social and environmental startups
- Starts the new edition of the entrepreneurial program BBVA Momentum
- Startups Alcobendas launches the first edition of Startups Alcobendas Summit
- Alhambra Venture opens the inscription to its funding program
- Utopicus, Colonial’s coworking, project to open 5 new coworking space
- Glovo and N26 join their force
- Mercadona had a turnover of €593M in 2018
- Spanish women want their place in Venture Capital
- Open calls for startups during the month of March
- 3 Spanish startups selected for the Google Launchpad Miami
- Barcelona becomes the main technological hub of South Europe
- Barcelona Tech City launches health, mobility and blockchain technology hubs
- “dark kitchens” land in Spain
- Madrid will prohibit 95% of tourists flats in the city center in response, Airbnb accuse Madrid city of creating legal insecurities
- Correo will be in charge of AliExpress Plaza logistic for Europe and America while at the same time he entered the Portuguese market by buying 51% of the Portuguese delivery company Rangel Expresso.
- Nissan about to reduce its workforce of 400 people in Catalunya
- While opening a new co-working space in Madrid, Talent Garden just hired a new country manager for Spain
- Wework about to open its fifth co-working space in Madrid
- The English startup GoCardless about to open an office in Spain
- Madrid opens the call for the 9th edition of the women entrepreneur price
New Funding for Startups
- London-based security platform for emails Tessian closes a €37M Series B funding round
- London-based AI cyber defence platform Senseon secures €5.6M
- Berlin-based real-time speech analysis startup i2x closes a €10M series A
- Stockholm-based marketing and analytics SaaS Funnel raises €7M
- Manchester-based business analytics platform Planixs raises €4M
- Paris-based e-commerce solutions Mirakl raises €61.5M
- Dutch 3D foot scanning for e-commerce startup Safesize secures €10M
- Valencia-founded e-sports startup Streamloots raises €800K
- Barcelona-based platform to connect musicians and individuals Aqusticsecures €250K
- Barcelona-based e-commerce financing platform Pagantis raises €65M
- Madrid-based jewellery startup Apodemia closes a €440K funding round
- Granada-based personalised treatments startup DNActive secures €370K
- The Galicia-founded economic and financial analysis startup Livetopicraises €165K
- Barcelona-based Alzhemeir disease detection technologies ADmit Therapeutics secures €200K
- Madrid-based interior design social network Decoratio raises an undisclosed amount
- Berlin-based digital car insurance startup FRIDAY raises €114M
- Berlin-based insurtech startup wefox raises €111M
- Paris-based AI solutions for insurance industry Shift Technologies secures €53.3M
- Amsterdam-based customer feedback startup Usabilla got bought by SurveyMonkey for €70M
- Copenhagen-based customer review platform Trustpilot secures €48.5M
- London-based AI customer support platform PolyAI raises €10.7M
- Stockholm-based e-scooter startup VOI raises €26M
- Berlin-based mobile electric vehicle charging solution Ubitricity raises €20M
- Paris-based A.I. solution for dentistry and orthodontics Dental Monitoring raises €45M
- Austrian fertility tracking app SteadySense raises €6M
- Paris-based startup for A.I. based cancer diagnosis Therapixel secures €5M
- Paris-based cardiac implantable devices startup Implicity secures €4M
- Swedish sleep treatment startup Learning to sleep raises €1M
- Paris-based booking platform for doctors Doctolib secures €150M
- French infertility treatment startup Igyxos secures €7.5M
- French drug prescription platform Synapse Medicine secures €2.5M
- London-based medical cannabis company Jacana raises €22M
- London-based messaging service between doctors and their patients AccuRx raises €10.2M
- Amsterdam-based computer-aided diagnostics startup Aidence secures €10M
- Italian co-working space startup Talent Garden raises €44M
- London-based workplace mental health platform Umind secures €3.5M
- The Hague-based digital design tool kit Sketch secures €17.6M
- Amsterdam-based private messaging platform for artist I AM POP raises €2M
- Amsterdam-based neobank Brand New Day raises €25M
- London-based equity management platform Capdesk raises €1.7M
- Berlin-based investment app Donut raises €1.6M
- London-based startup for automating the issuance of financial instruments Nivaura raises €17.5M
- Hamburg-based mobile game studio Sviper raises €2.8M
- London-based chemistry kit subscription startup MEL sciences secures€1.8M
- Dutch peer-to-peer marketplace for local experiences Withlocals raises €8M
- Paris-based legal tech platform for SMEs Legalstart.fr raises €15M
- London-based A.I. based marketing search tool Adthena raises €12.4M
- Cologne-based Infrastructure as a service Gridscale closes a €7M Series A
- London-based hair colour startup Josh Wood raises €5.7M
- Dutch blockchain based invoice financing platform for SMEs Finturi secures €2M
- London-based vehicle data startup Cazana raises €1.7M
- Amsterdam-based solar energy system Solar Monkey raises €1M
- London-based UK Public Sector organisations cloud service UKCloud raises €29.1M
- London-based vacation rental booking platform The Plum Guide raises €16.3M
- Berlin-based cloud kitchen startup Keatz raises €12M
- Warsaw-based custom-branded packaging platform Packhelp closes a €8.8M Series A
- London-based automating robotics company Automata closes a €6.5M Series A
- Berlin-based carsharing startup MILES mobility raises €5M
- English retailers platform Veeqo raises €3.8M
- Dublin-based AR game studio WarDucks raises €3.3M
- Slovenian hydrofoiling personal watercraft startup Quadrofoil raises €3M
- London-based A.I. generated retail security platform ThirdEye raises €2.3M
- London-based pricing optimization SaaS BlackCurve raises €1.7M
- Paris-based B2B warehousing marketplace SpaceFill raises €1M
Random Tech News
- The best of MWC 2019.
- Huawei Facts, an open letter to the media.
- 1TB microSD cards are now a thing.
- SpaceX launches first Crew Dragon capsule mission, without real astronatus.
- TikTok fined for collecting children’s data.
- YouTube bans comments on all videos of children.
- 5G is fast and cool but also a threat to europe’s net neutrality and requires unlimited data.
- Tesla model 3 is available now while they cut car prices and shut stores.
- Revolut CFO resigns following money laundering controversy.
- China bans 23m from buying travel tickets as part of ‘social credit’ system.
- Lyft files to go public and reveals it lost so, so much money last year.
- Warren Buffett has sold his Oracle shares but retained his investment in Apple.
- Generation Z, Millennials report feeling lonely.
- Barking drones used on farms instead of sheep dogs.
- Y Combinator president Sam Altman is stepping down.
- Foursquare’s Hypertrending helps you spy on the coolest local happenings.
- Tim Cook explains why you don’t need a college degree to be successful.
- The new Skype for Web is live for Chrome and Edge.
- Mark Zuckerberg announces his firm’s next business model.
- Facebook to integrate WhatsApp, Instagram and Messenger.
- Huawei to sue U.S. government.
- The Gmail bug that’s been stealing $187M a year from Expedia.
- How startups are closing gaps in the gig economy.
- How TikTok Is Rewriting the World.
- Decade In Review: Trends In Seed And Early Stage Funding
- Instagram founders say losing autonomy at Facebook meant ‘winning’.
- Facebook declines for the first time in infinite dial history.
- 911 calls from Amazon warehouses show employees in severe emotional distress and threatening suicide.
- Amazon gets an edge with its secret squad of PhD economists
- The Economic Implications Behind The Cannabis Legalization Debate
- People think that data is in the cloud, but it’s not. It’s in the ocean.
- WhatsApp co-founder urges users to delete their Facebook accounts.
- Tumblr is losing millions of visits after its porn ban.
- What to watch for in a VC term sheet.
- Is Tesla’s Model Y Its Latest Vaporware?
- Apple Watch detects irregular heart beat in large U.S. study.
- Semantic Image Synthesis with Spatially-Adaptive Normalization, or generating beautiful landscapes with “MS Paint”
- Stadia will make YouTube livestreamers a lot more valuable.
- How YouTube is changing toys.
- Some AIs predict online trolling before it happens others are being trained on racist data but Facebook’s couldn’t spot a mass murder.
- UK scientists are growing ‘bacon’ in labs.
- Website secretly livestreamed 1,600 hotel guests for paying members.
- Epic Games CEO says Apex Legends hasn’t made a dent in Fortnite.
- Google fined 17billion for breaking eu antitrust rules over adsense.
- You can now buy directly from Instagram.
- Will owning a car soon be as quaint as owning a horse?
- Streaming video has surpassed cable subscriptions worldwide.
Those are the March 2019 startup news!
At Itnig, we write a weekly newsletter where we keep our community updated on everything related to startups, tech news, fundings, and we share our weekly podcast!
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