Ambitions with Javier Suárez (Travelperk) & Startups News

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.

Itnig Podcast

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).

#80: Oriol Blanc, from Quipu and César Miguelañez, from Factorial

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

New Funding for Startups

Cyber defence
Costumer review/support

Random Tech News

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!
Subscribe and keep up with the startup universe, or feel free to come back for more startup news of the month here!

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