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.
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.
#83: Carlos 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
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
- Find out about the 60+ investors you’ll meet at this year’s EU-Startups Summit in Barcelona!
- How the crisis damaged the Spanish upward mobility?
- Spain is attracting plenty of UK’s investors but very few companies
- Gibraltar is satisfied with the tax treaty post Brexit that could remove it from Spain’s blacklist
- Spain’s minimum wage just jumped. What does it mean?
- You can now access Glovo in more than 100 cities worldwide
- The Battle for the Legalization of Cannabis: an Industry that could soon be worth €50 Billion.
- Nadia Calvino commented that the rise of minimum wages will not impact job creation
- Madrid is hustling to compete with the other European Startup Hubs
- Startup Laws: the A to Z by Techcrunch
- From Startup to Unicorn, How Meero is on its way achievement
- The 5 International Events that will help you get funding for your ideas!
- Meet the 10 fastest growing companies in Europe
- Europe’s New Copyright Law that could spook many Startups
- Who made it on the list of the 1st Global Gastronomy Startup competition?
- Samsung Electronics sees the lowest quarterly profit in more than two years
- Making Startup’s Stock Options Better Deals for your Employees
New Funding for Startups
- Barcelona’s based Biotech Startup SOM has raised 7€ Million Euros
- Streamloots Valentia Based startup raised 800k from Samaipata
- Semaipata is preparing a European VC fund of 100€ Million
- Red Point raised €33.8 Million in Funding
- The Chinese rival of Tesla Xpeng looks for at least 444.73€ million funding and may try a US IPO
- Cooltra is aiming to raise 50€ Million in Debt to increase sales
- Airwallex raises 88.95€ M in Series C Funding
- The Amsterdam based online based pension bank Brand New Day raises 25€ million from existing investors
- Matador Raises 8.01€M in Seed Financing
- Dutch startup Go Lemon is raising €700k for its Apple subscription service
- Tioga Medical closed Series A with €13 Million
- Osimis Belgian Startup raised €2.3 Million for its collaborative medical imagining software
- Inanovate secured €2.7 Million during Serie C Funding
- How Rewire Raises 10.67€M in Series A Funding
- Elicio Therapeutics Raises 26.68€M in Financing
- The German AI startup Teraki raises €2 million and launches DevCenter for customers
- Nashville based TN-based Music Creation startup Artiphon Raises 1.78€ Million in Seed Funding
- DFW Capital Partners closed Fifth round at €320M
- Segment raised $175M in Series D Funding
- Kurly Raised €78.3M in Series D Funding
- Nauta Capital launches a new €55M fund to invest in later stage portfolio companies
- Nauta Capital Launched €55M Sidecar Fund
- Rippling raised €40M in Serie A Funding
- Tonal Raises €40M in Series C Funding
- Deepwatch raised $23M in Series A Funding
- Inscripta raised €17.8M in Series C funding
- Hometalk raised €13.3M in funding
- OpenGamma Raised €8.9M in Funding
- Amsterdam-based Close raises €3 million for its event engagement app
- Rollbox, Spanish payroll startup acquired by Personio
- Madrid-based startup Movo closed a €20 million Series A funding round
- Personal Finance startup Fintonic raised €19M
- Madrid-based car-sharing startup Eccocar raised €495k
- LumApps raised €24M in Series B Funding
- Mintos marketplace reaches €2B in loans and launches an initiative to protect the Baltic Sea
- Clicpiso has raised €8M in venture debt from Grupo LaFinca
- Cobee raised €375k from Encomenda Smart Capital, Banc Sabadell, Lanai Partners and Abac Nest
- Beringea raised €73M across two funds
- Cytora Secured €28M in Series B Funding
- Salary Finance raised €28M in Series C Funding
- Bankin’ raises €20 million Series B
- Zencargo raised €18M in Series A funding
- Weengs, a logistics startup for e-commerce, raised €7.5M
- Porto-based startup SWORD Health raises €7M to scale in the US
- Skoove raised €3M in Funding
- Credit Kudos raised €2.5M in funding
- Howamigoing raised €1M in seed funding
Random Tech News
- Laptops to Stay in Bags as TSA Brings New Technology to Airports.
- Is remote work the future?
- Apple’s AirPower wireless charger is cancelled.
- Everything Apple announced in last week’s event and how their card works.
- McDonald’s wants to use machine learning to serve fast food.
- Article 13 will wreck the internet because Swedish MEPs accidentally pushed the wrong voting button.
- Streaming become live and bidirectional.
- An all “A” url lengthener.
- 200 key players making Barcelona one of the most important innovation hubs in Europe.
- Bitcoin surges, hitting $5,000 for the first time this year.
- Tesla Model 3 = 60% Of US Electric Vehicle Market.
- Prince Harry and Meghan took my Instagram name.
- How the Tech Giants Make Their Billions.
- How Japan’s new imperial era broke the internet in a very tiny way.
- Justice Department warns Academy over potentially excluding Netflix.
- Netflix confirms it killed AirPlay support.
- Why so many people type ‘lol’ with a straight face.
- TikTok’s next ambitious goal is to discover future music stars.
- Amazon will launch thousands of satellites to provide internet around the world.
- Google patches ads into Android TV home screens without warning.
- Linus Torvalds, says Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram are ‘a disease’.
- Bitcoin mining ban considered by China’s economic planner.
- 40 years of console wars, spellbindingly charted for your viewing pleasure.
- Why airlines make flights longer on purpose.
- The creation of the algorithm that made the first black hole image possible was led by MIT grad student Katie Bouman.
- Coinbase launches crypto Visa debit card in the UK, rest of Europe coming soon
- Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos challenges rival retailers to raise their minimum wages, too.
- Tinder becomes the top-grossing, non-game app in Q1 2019, ending Netflix’s reign.
- Scott Kelly Spent a Year in Orbit. His Body Is Not Quite the Same.
- YouTube is trying to reward “quality” content.
- Google’s remote work employee survey.
- Here’s who will die on ‘Game of Thrones’ according to AI.
- Data tells us that investors love a good story.
- Spy on your smart home with this open source research tool.
- Use Deep Learning to Automatically Colorize Black and White Photos.
- Cars dominate cities today. Barcelona has set out to change that.
- New Wikileaks File Dump.
- We might be regulating the web, too fast!
- The Biggest Bias in Tech no one talks about!
- The Pull Back from World’s records high in VC
- 360Learning raised €36.5M SeriesB
- Pinterest prices IPO at $19 per share, valuation tops 10B.
- Uber raised $1B for its self driving unit
- 27 European startups that reached the unicorn status.
- Salesforce is buying MapAnything a startup that raised $84M.
- Qualcomm and Apple agree to drop all litigation.
- India asks Google and Apple to ban TikTok — because ‘porn’.
- Researchers report high performance solid-state sodium-ion battery.
- 3 Awesome Visualization Techniques for every dataset.
- Pixel takes way better Aurora photos than iPhone X.
- Why Alan Turing Wanted AI Agents to Make Mistakes.
- Facebook now says its password leak affected ‘millions’ of Instagram users.
- The drones and robots that helped save Notre Dame.
- Sony shares some details about the PlayStation 5.
- The Game Boy turns 30.
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!
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