Pro-tech business with Andrés Pla (Prontopiso) & Startups News

At Itnig, we know it’s hard to keep up with all the news and updates flying around. We have a special surprise for you this month. On our weekly podcast, we had the opportunity to welcome Andrés Pla, Founder and CEO of Prontopiso, and talk pro-tech business and more. You will discover an animated talk with Bernat Farrero (Itnig CEO) and Juan Rodríguez (Camaloon CEO). Moreover, you will discover startups news and other 2019 updates.

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The New Itnig Fund & Other Startups News

At Itnig, we know it’s hard to keep up with all the news and updates flying around. This month, well it is all about Itnig, because we launched our new fund, and we cannot be happier!

We prepared a special podcast where Bernat Farrero, Juan Rodriguez, and Jordi Romero reveal the launch of the Itnig Fund. It is an early stage fund that aims at investing 100.000€ in, at least 20 startups, in the following months. Itnig Fund is one of the few funds run by active company operators who are open to share and exchange resources, knowledge, network and ideas.

Our board members at itnig fund
Itnig fund at our Pitch to Investors event.
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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!

Challenges with Xavi Sans (Orain Technologies) & Startups News

At Itnig, we know it’s hard to keep up with all the startups news and updates flying around. We are quite delighted about this month’s podcasts. If you’re interested and passionate about tech, Xavi Sans, CEO of Orain Technologies, is having a talk about his company and their challenges on our weekly podcast.

Itnig Podcast

Orain converts vending and self-service machines into intelligent devices (“smart”) offering a communication interface to consumers via chatbots; using their own phones as a modem. They are connecting machines to the Internet while allowing them to keep their database synchronized.

The company faces a huge but highly atomized market with many possible verticals to conquer. Their business model is a SaaS, paying the companies that sell the machine’s products.

Orain has a double challenge in its ‘Go To Market operation’ through the engagement of the companies and users. They now have 20 employees and are pursuing both objectives and growth. He mentioned that their growth rate corresponds to 300% a month and that in the last year they closed 400k€ turnover between Spain and Italy.

The business-funded itself in a first phase, and at the end of 2017 closed a round of 1M€ with business angels and a vending machine plastic cups manufacturer. Xavi is currently preparing another much larger round to continue growing.

What about other successful businesses and their stories? Let’s move on to three other podcasts where you’ll learn about VR technologies, WeFitter and B2B. Finally, you will discover the great project and enterprise Bound4Blue, a tech product which is having a great environmental impact.

Startup Inside Stories Podcast

#82: Jordi Valls, from Mentor-VR

Jordi Valls claims that VR technologies are in its sweetest moment. Among other aspects, its market acceleration is caused by the hardware improvements and reductions in costs, with devices like the Oculus VR Gothat can be purchased for as little as 219€. Jordi anticipates that Oculus was a very visionary acquisition by Facebook with the potential to become even bigger than Facebook itself.

Today gaming is the main application we see on VR and Sony is the current vendor leader. However, there have been some new companies using it for therapies, training, and many other uses. In the b2b space Mentor VR is one of these new models, inspired by the American STRIVR that used VR to train over Walmart’s 1M employees. They plan to start as an agency that records and prepares the 3D videos and productize it along the way.

Jordi finishes by telling us his previous adventures as an entrepreneur, its stay in Palo Alto to found 1sleeve (customized iPad cases), then Startup Embassy (apartments for entrepreneurs), to come back to Spain to work for a packaging company and then move to Menorca to lead a “startup deacceleration program” called Menorca Millennials.

#83Carlos Rodés, founder of WeFitter.

Wefitter was founded in 2014. applied to Itnig’s “acceleration program” (when it still existed). They did not enter as it was too early for the team. At this time, he also lost his CTO. Carlos shares with the frustration and importance of having a good CTO to boost a startup on the Internet, which Wefitter did not get.

After long existential debates between B2b and B2c, a recurring theme in the stories of Itnig podcasts, WeFitter opted for the B2b. Its model is the sale of the sports information of its users to companies and insurers. Carlos debates with Jordi and Bernat how to evangelize in a market that is not yet ready (insurers). Bernat cites the models to Google performance, but also Marfeel and Red Points as a formula to explain new ways to solve problems.

One of the key elements of Wefitter’s story is the number of accelerators he’s been through. It passed through Seedrocket (Barcelona), H-Farm + Technogym (Italy), 500 startups (San Francisco), Articstartup (Finland) and Katapult Accelerator (Norway). Carlos jokes that being accelerated becomes a lifestyle and that he takes more learning into the next project than those that can be achieved in an MBA.

#85: José Miguel Bermúdez, from Bound4Blue

In this week’s podcast, Pau Fernandez (CFO of Quipu and Factorial), and Dan Kragt (CEO of Quipu) discuss with José Miguel Bermúdez, CEO of Bound4Blue.

José explains about being passionate about sailing and aeronautics all his life. He co-founded in April 2015, his company Bound4Blue. Boats use a lot of energy and resources that hurt the environment and the income statements of naval companies; Bound4Blue provides boats tailored complementary rigid wingsail technology. Their product uses the power of the wind to provide maritime transport with a solution to decrease emission levels and fuel consumption.

He explains that the combustibles of the boats are extremely dangerous for the environment, as well as dirty and of very low quality. Bound4Blue’s products could be applicable to 80% of the world’s fleet, representing more than 50.000 boats. Their technology is adaptable to existing boats and can be implemented to the design of new ones. The concept is not new, as the wind has been used since the beginning of ages; all Bound4Blue as done is to industrialize and transform it into promising technology.

José explains that fuel can represent over 50% of the costs of a trip and a solution like Bound4Blue’s can represent a big boost in the margins. José also explains how they design, install (with the actual production outsourced) and maintain the installations. Therefore they can have a margin on the setup of the sails and on the recurring revenue they can charge to their clients

José underlines that the maritime sector is very conservative and that the real challenge is to prove the positive impact their product would have on the industry and the environment. He mentions that some other well-known companies are working on the development of technologies in this sector; such as Airbus, working on the development of technological kites to pull boats.

To finish the discussion, José concludes that maritime transport is viable and that it’s all about modernizing it and giving it time to adapt to technology. In the future, he sees Bound4Blue the leader of this technology type.

April Startup News & Updates

New Funding for Startups


Random Tech News

Those are the April 2019 startups 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!

Working from home is possible

“Most companies in Spain were not prepared to send their staff to work from home”, but working from home is possible. We start the week with an interview in TVE with our CEO, Bernat Farrero and our Operations Manager Meritxell Viladomat, explaining the current WFH situation. Many companies have realized that working from home is possible and will cut in corporate offices. For those employees unable to work from home, Itnig offers coworking space with very affordable fees!

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