In every startup and company there is always a “first office” where everything began: this office is never planned and it can be whatever space that you get as cheap as possible.

You are just at the beginning, just trying things and there is no need to have expenses before the idea has been validated. As so many before us, itnig started in a small cubicle inside a parking-lot that belonged to the CEO’s family. It has no natural light nor ventilation.

Even though it’s all good memories, we quickly (and luckily) moved into a big desk that the young Teambox (now Redbooth) borrowed us in exchange of support. And then later to the first office we actually paid for, a weird space of 50/sqm with low ceilings in a passageway close to Sagrada Familia (huge cathedral in Barcelona). We were just jumping from one space to another looking for the cheapest place where we could fit all our members.

The reasons why I’m telling you about all of our weird offices, is to make the point that you don’t need a fancy place until you have regular income. Before that, you only need internet, enough desk and coffee.

So, how to design offices for startups in high growth?

The main requirement is to have flexibility. When looking for an office check that you have more space available in the same floor or building to keep fitting all the new employees. If you’re a startups your main goal is often to grow fast, and jumping from office to office creates unnecessary expenses.

We want everything at itnig to be as transparent as possible.

Co-working spaces can be a good choice but check first that they have more free spaces where to fit your growing team. Also, when signing the rental contract, negotiate a 3 and 6 month rolling break so you have more flexibility to leave the office once it for some reason doesn’t fit your startup anymore.

AIR!

Go for an open space, it’s everything. It makes it easier to be flexible, as we already talked about, but it also makes it easier for your team to interact, be social, share knowledge and be creativity.

Just as humans, rooms need air to breathe.

Even though everyone at itnig has a desk, you’re of course free to work from where ever you want.

It can be hard to find an affordable office that also has a lot of space. A smart thing can be to look for an office with a lot of windows, or high ceiling, at least if you pay per square meter, and want the rent to remain as low as possible.

Have fun

When you close your eyes and picture a startup office, you might think of ping pong tables, colorful walls, big comfy sofas and big kitchens with company breakfasts. If this is what you imagined, you saw the itnig office.

When you work in a startup, going against the stream, betting against the odds, it helps a lot if the office you’re working in support your hard work with elements of fun.

The itnig salsa lessons is always the highlight of the week.

Don’t have a boring office. For almost three years we had a white and grey office, it looked like the inside of a bank. Sterile, serious, boring. We’re lucky that the office has a lot of light with huge windows showing beautiful Barcelona, but we didn’t add any value to it.

When you work with startups, one of the biggest goals is to attract talent. And when you’re able to hire the best people, you want to keep them. You want them to feel like home at the office. Investigate your employees, find out what they like and don’t like, and in the end make the office reflect the people that are working there.

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V.

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: