Dog years

As someone said, startups years are just like dog years.
So, 3 years might feel to be 21: you definitely have to assimilate fast and time is precious if you want to test and validate ideas.

In 3 years we’ve been invested 2 times and we are preparing a new one.
We built a great product from scratch and it gets better every day!
We’ve found profitable targets and we are experiencing some exciting new ones!
We became relevant players and we built a blog that is already a reference.
We also failed many times but we’ve just learned to deal with it.

“Everyone can do business in Internet” — the biggest lie ever.

The only fact is that entrance barriers are very low, but in the end, like any business you need money. And if you really want to build something notorious, you need to do relevant stuff, and stuff consume resources.

“The more stuff you make, the more good stuff you’ll make.”

Every extra dollar allows you to grow. Return can be better or worst but the only truth is that with an extra dollar you will grow (at least) a little bit more. This seems something obvious, but is not.

Build your team

The most important thing is to build an A-Team.
I need people around, much better than me. Better in marketing, better in sales, better managers, more skilled. Assume fast is not just about dealing with daily issues, is to learn as fast as possible from fabulous people.

And this is not (just) about seniority. Is about filling the blanks in your company with some skills that someone in your team is able to deal with it better than no one else.

Oh, by the way, you have to build a C-Team as well!

Love (and manage) your team

Nowadays I definitely don’t DO anything: I just try to empower my team.
I tell people that I will do many things but at the end is the people of my team that make them happen.

I try to provide appropriate — both professional and emotional — conditions to allow my team work as better as possible given scarcity.

That’s why I spend most of the time looking for people that will make Quipu grow so as managing and motivating my current team. Making them proud and happy to work with us.

Focus, please.

Because everything goes so fast, you have to be aware all the time where to put the focus on.
Time is scarce and you should focus on the REAL important things. I must avoid the “task-dealing” job.

At the end is all about guessing where to put the focus on

Your role changes every month and you should understand it, and act consequently.
You must assume that although you start doing every task into the company and you end up stop doing none of them.

Balance your emotions

People asks me, which is the most complicated thing you face? And definitely the most complicated thing is to balance my emotions.

You will face joy and disappointment: enjoy it.

Sometimes you’re the dog; sometimes you’re the hydrant. Try to balance it and always go ahead, there are lot of opportunities to reach.

For the last 3 years I’ve dedicated my whole life to Quipu and although some times is too much frenetic is worryingly addictive.

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VCs come into action — Breakdown of Spanish investment activity of January 2018

January closes with €195.3 million investments in Spanish startups within 24 operations

  • The Spanish entrepreneurial ecosystem is maturing thanks to investment rounds of more than €10 millions.
  • Barcelona and Madrid continue leading the Spanish ecosystem.

This is the first in a series of posts in which we will do an analysis of the Spanish startup investment landscape. We will look at the overall funding numbers and trends in the country month by month and compare it with data of the previous year.

What are the Spanish investment activities like on a month to month basis? What deals and volumes are we talking about? At what stages are startups prone to search investment and which regions in Spain attract the most funding?

The year 2017 brought us plenty in terms of innovation and investment activity within the area of technological startups, although Spain has been driven by political problems. The developments we have seen in 2018 so far are picking up at just the same fast pace.

January has closed with €195.3 million investments in Spanish startups within 24 operations. Of these funding rounds, highlights are the round of Cabify, Hawkers and Redpoints :

  • Cabify: The ride-hailing app that competes against Uber, has raised €143.3 million ($160) Series E funding round from a mix of previous and new investors, including Rakuten Capital, TheVentureCity, Endeavor Catalyst, GAT Investments, Liil Ventures and WTI, as well as prominent local investors from Spain and Latin America.

When analyzing the structure of financing deals, the increase in venture capital activity in Jan-18 is noticeable in comparison with Jan-17.

#Deals and volume in the Spanish startup investment landscape in January

In terms of the number of deals closed, we have seen a slight downward trend in the country. With a broad participation of Venture Capital, there have been less deals but more capital invested in each transaction. The reason for such a boost is mostly the gigantic financing round of Cabify with participation of giants’ VCs like Rakuten Capital, TheVentureCity and others.

The entry of European, American and Japanese funds investing in Spanish startups are accounting for a large percentage of the growth of the investments in Spain. At the same time, this global investment rise is making the average value of the financial rounds soar up to more than 1.5 times that of the previous year (without taking account of Cabify’s investment, that would turn this factor to more than 6 times the previous year)

The differences between January-2017 and January 2018 in terms of the increase in venture capital activity is shown below:

Startup investment deals by size of round

As we expected to see, the number of operations closed by investment size tends to a larger number in larger deals. While the number of deals of €500k or less have decreased considerably, the number of larger deals have gone up notably. This might be understood as an increasing number of companies maturing and reaching later stages of funding.

To properly ensure the aforementioned, in the following figure we show the breakdown of the investment activity by year of foundation of the company:

Startup investment activity (Jan-18) by year of foundation

Our previous statement is reinforced by this figure. The large transactions take place on established companies. In general, the more years a startup survives, the more established it is. As we observed, in average, the startups that were previously founded are those who raised more funding. That makes sense because normally an older startup has a bigger team and unless it has reached breakeven, it will need more funds to survive.

Startup investment deals by Region

Regarding the breakdown of startup investments by region, Barcelona, Madrid and Valencia bolster their position in the top of Spanish regions:

  • Cataluña (mostly in Barcelona) stands with 9 deals closed and an investment of €19 millions
  • Madrid gathers 7 deals and an investment of €148 million (€143 million in Cabify)
  • Valencia up to 3 deals and €23 million (€20 million in Hawkers)

Operations January 2018: