Even though Jaime now is working on the VC side of the table, he assured me that he doesn’t wear a suit every day.

There’s not a lot of information in English about the Spanish startup ecosystem out there, but there is one person that has dedicated half a decade to covering tech and startups in Spain and that’s Jaime Novoa.

He recently went from writing stories about startups to writing checks as a part of the K Fund team.

Even though he’s not chasing breaking tech news anymore, he’s still doing a lot of the same work:

When I was a journalist I tried to find interesting companies before anyone knew about them, and that’s something I still do today at K Fund.

But there’s also a lot of obvious differences:

The biggest change is the amount of information that startups share with me now, compared to before. When you’re a journalist companies doesn’t share much with you, and they often don’t tell you the truth. But as a potential investor, they have to open their books and show you everything, and that’s pretty amazing.

Surprising

Even though Jaime has been known as a well-informed person in tech circles, being a VC opened his eyes to a different kind of information flow:

As a VC I was surprised to know how little I knew about the companies I was covering as a journalist.

And that makes him respect the journalists writing about startups and technology ever more than before:

I usually defend journalists writing critical articles about startups, because from the outside it’s very hard to know what’s the truth and have good data points. That’s why so many publications only write about funding rounds because that’s the one thing both investors and companies actually share.

A failed business

Even though Jaime succeeded in making Novobrief into one of the main sources of breaking startups news in Spain, creating a sustainable company was harder than he though:

I totally failed with making Novobrief into a business, but I see now that I should have been monetizing from day one. My idea was to build a brand first, and then make money, but that was my biggest mistake.

He adds that the blog is actually making him more money today, than back when he was doing it full-time.

The world of venture capital is new, but not rocket science according to Jaime, which explains that the things he needed to learn were the different stages of how an investment work, certain metrics and legal issues.

It’s a great time to be in venture capital in Spain, and that’s because it’s a great time for startups in general in the country. The ecosystem is growing tremendously and will continue to change and grow the next years for sure.

He always envisioned himself continuing to work as a journalist.

I never ever thought that I would be working in a VC firm, neither to work for a startup, I always thought that I would go on to work as a journalist. But Iñaki Arrola approached me and said they were looking for someone with my profile for K Fund, and for me, it was plainly the right time to do something different.

Bullshit detector

Many say journalists make good VC’s because they’re good at asking the right questions and seeing through founders attempt to paint a better picture of their company than what’s the truth. Jaime agrees:

I think journalists build up a bullshit detector, and that is helpful also as a VC.

These days he sees between 5–10 companies per week, mostly in Spain, but also outside the country.

Looking back to when he started writing around 6–7 years ago, he can with certainty say that the community of founders and tech companies has matured a lot.

There are so many things going on these days, in the whole country, not only in Madrid and Barcelona. These days Barcelona has the most momentum, but that can change overnight. I don’t spend time thinking about which city performs best, I think it’s a childish mindset.

B2B SaaS

What Jaime however does think about is young tech companies, and even though he doesn’t like trying to guess what kind of verticals or industries that will do well the next years, he has his thoughts:

I really like the B2B SaaS vertical and although I’m not a good at predicting, I think that Spain will foster more of these great B2B SaaS companies going forward.

And if you’re missing breaking startup news from Novobrief, Jaime is not here to comfort you:

I’m not planning on working as a journalist anytime soon. I have my full focus on K Fund and I have so much left to learn in this industry.

But there’s one thing he does miss about his old career:

There’s something special about the adrenaline you get by breaking news before anyone else, I do miss that thrill sometimes. If journalism is in your blood, you’ll write some way or another, and I’m happy to be able to write on the K Fund blog these days.

Previous ArticleNext Article

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

T.

The story of Nitya’s vocation and dedication for Sales

A Sales profile detected in the Administration department

 

Nitya, Sales Manager in Quipu, has more than 20 years of experience in Sales. She started working very young, as she wanted to be independent as soon as possible. Thanks to her parents, both entrepreneurs, she started doing some administration and accounting very young, helping them in their daily tasks.

But her vocation for Sales was actually born a few years later, while she was working in a real estate agency. Although she was in charge of the administration, she succeeded in selling flats to the clients. This is the reason why she was offered a position in the Sales area in order to benefit from this potential. And here started her career in Sales.

Nitya’s passion for Sales

Today, Nitya has a passion for Sales. She likes being in contact with the clients since the beginning in order to create trust, listening to them and empathizing with them. For Nitya, it is important to understand the clients’ needs to know how to help them using the product she sells. Because if a client does not have the specific needs to be fulfilled by the service offered, they won’t buy it. A seller has to know what he is selling to know who and how he can help, because this is the final satisfaction: closing a deal by helping a client in his business.

A lonely but experienced start in Quipu which led to a team management

Nitya had the opportunity to develop her career in Sales in different firms. This is how Nitya arrived in Quipu with more than 20 years of her professional life dedicated to Sales in SMEs, more precisely in the area of technology and B2B software.

When Nitya started in Quipu, two years ago, she was alone in the Sales department. She was in charge of all the SDR part (Sales Development Representative), she was finding and generating leads, obtaining visits, doing demos of the product, as well as all the follow-up part until closing the sale. Later, people started joining the team as the startup was growing. Today, Nitya is our Sales Manager and she is in charge of the team capturing new firms as potential clients.

Nitya’s definition of the perfect Sales profile

To be able to sell a product to the clients, it is important to have a particular profile. Nitya explained to us what are the most important characteristics according to her to be a perfect salesperson.  

The Sales profile is extroverted and curious. Someone cheeky and shameless who is not embarrassed to ask lots of questions and able to entertain the relationship with the clients through a follow-up. A good salesperson also needs to be able to control their frustration so that if you don’t sell you are not discouraged.

Then, it is important to be flexible and to be able to adapt yourself. However, being able to express yourself and to share your opinion is also important. It is crucial to be able to learn and unlearn, and these are two things totally different according to Nitya. Every person can learn from anyone : juniors, seniors, interns and colleagues from any department.

“There are some things that look good to me, but maybe they aren’t. Sometimes there are new things better than the old ones, and we need to be able to change.”

 

Her daily life in Quipu

Once the acquisition team found people with the needs we cover or people who are looking for our services, these potential clients go to the Sales Team, and a Sales Development Representative listens to them and tries to get to know their business and needs. The aim is to teach them how the software works.

 

Nitya has lots of memories in Quipu. One of her best memories, although, is her first sale. Every time they close a sale, they celebrate it and communicate it to the others by ringing the bell. This is such a satisfaction for her because the whole firm learns of the good news and applause fills the room. She also remembers the first time she called the clients to talk with them about the product, her first demo, etc. Although it was a lot of pressure, it is now a good memory for her.

“In a startup, you have plenty of memories, and they are really good.

This is not a monotonous job, you are in contact with all the teams of the startups.

Things happen every day, this is nothing boring.”

 

As a Sales Manager, Nitya has to make sure the whole Sales Team has all the tools needed to develop the business. Everything needs to be 100% clear so the Sales Team can work. They need to know the pitch to tell to the clients, theirs needs, etc. Individually, they try to achieve common goals.

When Nitya was asked to describe Quipu in three words, she answered that, above all, “eQuipu” is the most important for her.

 

“I could say words like technology, simplifying, etc. But these words you can also find them in many other firms. For me the most important in eQuipu is the energy, vitality, movement, connection, etc.”

 

If you are eager to develop your career in the Sales department of a growing startup and to join this Sales Team which is facing new challenges every day, apply here!