On itnig’s Podcast #41 Sacha Michaud, one of the cofounders of Glovo shares his take and experience on the hypergrowth of the Barcelona based delivery startup with us, talks about market about delivery and on-demand user experience.

Bernat Farrero, CEO at itnig and Jordi Romero, CEO at Factorial speak with Sacha Michaud about his own personal story, how he grew as an entrepreneur and last but not least his perspective on Glovo in this podcast. Listen to our podcast on Youtube, iTunes or iVoox.

Sacha, we know each other as partners in Playfulbet from a few years ago but tell us about you, please. What’s your story?

I am English by family, Canadian father but born in London. As a kid I travelled a lot to different countries and I ended up in United Kingdom. When I was16 years old I stated to run as a jockey and through the sport I went on to live in the US. But my mother lived in Barcelona at that time: I went to visit, loved it and stayed.

At the end of the 90s I learned to program, it was the time Internet was taking off. At that time I create Latinred, which went very well, I was able to sell it to a US Nasdaq listed corporate. We sold to a competitor, with less users and traffic but much more capital.

You were able to sell before the crisis.

Yes you could say it like that but there are also other examples. After three years I left to create what is now known as Betfair, first here in Spain and then Portugal and Latin America.

That’s where the circle closes. I come from the horse racing world, filled with bets, I knew the world and I was a big fan of Betfair.

At that time Betfair was very strong in London and Ireland — I really liked their model of betting against other users. The more traditional way is betting against the house, which is earning a margin. Betting exchanges on the other hand are against other users and the house gains a commission. Betfair invented this model and I was already a big fan when they called me up to launch Spain.


Their way of launching was “Create a business plan”, I had a very entrepreneur role, very open. You have the platform and capital and you can run and create. I learned a lot, before I had been focused more on technological side but here I learned a lot about Sales. It was a more strategic role where I spent 9 years.

How did you leave Betfair?

After 9 years many things had changed, we went public, the way of managing the business turned to become much more centralized. I would have had to go to London or Dublin to continue to have an impact but I decided to leave.

At that time I was already really interested in Peer to Peer and On Demand and the sector Glovo is in now.

I joined forces with Oscar, a kid who just came back from the US and had the same idea. To get started we became part of Connector, an accelerator, a group of mentors with Carlos Blanco.

How was this experience with you?

When you start out it’s a good place. A secure place to start. In the beginning Glovo was a text field — you introduced what you wanted delivered and to which address.

“Bring me a pizza from this restaurant to this address.”

We grew organically in Barcelona and Madrid, launching within an interval of 6 months. We grew without marketing by giving excellent services. This allowed us in the first phase to grow — even though it was not scalable.

Then in the summer of the next year we launched Glovo Marketplace ,— with the restaurants and catalogues of products you see now.

The text box is still there, right?

Yes, it’s magic! And it’s very important that you have it. Its the WOW — it’s these the orders that you comment to your friends. You won’t talk about having received a pizza delivery but something custom, yes.

User Experience is everything. It’s not the App but everything : the service to the customer, the speed of delivery.

More than weird things that are bought and delivered, I am surprised by the quantity of things like keys. Kids get home from school and forget their keys so their parents send a Glovo or Real Estate agents and Airbnb renters who use Glovo to send keys.


Here at Camaloon we’ve tried different providers. Now we are at a 2% of cases in which packages do not arrive. Lost packages, accidents…You really don’t have ?

Yes but you don’t control the transportation chain. There are different delivery providers involved and the user might not be at home when the package arrives. But at Glovo it’s the opposite. We have control and it’s in demand.

Glovo is sharing economy. Were you sure from teh beginning that you wnated to have an external fleet of riders?

For me sharing economy is a project between individuals. Sharing living space or a garage between two peers. We are economy on-demand. This is very different – here is a peer and a professional involved. We are a marketplace with professional sellers and the delivery is done by a professional, freelancer.

There are two arguments in the discussions: Flexibility and liquitidy to everybody and on the other side, precarity and worsening of the job conditions, giving control to one industry over a lot of workers.

I don’t think so. The big majority is not looking for a fixed, full time position so we combine it. Glovo is not the work of your life. It can be something nice to do but it’s not the main aspiration.

Somebody who has been working many years in a restaurant kitchen, small space, no air, as a Glover possible to make the same.

How much does a Glover make?

It depends on the city and the volume of orders — 5 /6 € per order and in high times the average is serving two orders per hour.


What do you earn then?

Commission and fee that the user pays, minimum 1,90 Euro.

Would it make sense to have Glovo with own riders like DHL?

This would mean changing the dynamics. Flexibility would not exist anymore — it’s something we would have to look into. It’s an option but at the moment we are compliant with the current model.

What’s the trade-off by dealing with big funds?

Dilution. But I think it’s about choosing the right partners.

What about Rakuten? Why did they join Glovo?

Because it’s a company which has a vision about the sector Glovo is operating in. Rakuten is the Amazon of Japan — they are very interested in on-Demand, they entered the taxi market with an investment in Cabity. I see them as a very good partner, I hope in the future they will continue.

Next steps: Latin America, reaching more cities and becoming leader where we operate and we are looking for other cities like Istanbul, Cairo, Bucharest…Each one very different but we see a big opportunity.

Jump to the podcast to hear the end of the conversation with Sacha:


Listen to our podcast to learn more about Sacha Michaud’s journey and his perspective on entrepreneurship and startups. Learn more in this Podcast in Spanish on our Youtube channel, listen to it on iTunes or enjoy it through iVoox and subscribe to our newsletter to stay always up to date.

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O.

On sales leadership

These are some values that I learned that define a leader:

– A leader is somebody who reaches their goals and achieves beyond their individual abilities aligned with their own values and the organization’s values. A leader without a team is not a leader. A leader works for the team, not the other way around.

– Humbleness. Leaders must get to know themselves first, acknowledge their limitations. Acknowledge they have no recipe for success (no one does). They will succeed only by being curious and trying things faster, testing, changing things again, failing again, learning as fast as possible. In sales, everybody notices when things work well, success is measured in € vs budget. A leader must embrace results with no buts and take action to reach the goals.

– A leader works harder, a leader cares about the goals more than anybody else, they took full ownership of the goals. A leader does about anything to remove bottlenecks away on his team, they assist, train, support everybody, anything it takes. They are always the best resource for their team.

– A leader will always be available for everybody in their team, for personal and professional issues. They go the extra mile. They make sure everybody knows that. They earn the team’s trust.

– A leader makes everyone aware that teamwork is not negotiable. Without a cooperative team, there’s no leader. Lone wolves kill the growing/changing organization. Growth happens only WITH the team, not at their expense.

– Leaders communicate all the time, they don’t keep things to themselves, they are honest with their team. They share good and bad. They share the why’s. They trust their team. Trust precedes process and it is the only path to grow at a scale.

– Leaders learn fast and learn mostly from their team. The team has the most valuable knowledge a leader can get, it doesn’t come from books, blog posts, degrees or mentors. The team gets the real shit from the front line. A leader listens to their teams’ impressions and ideas, they explore them all and give feedback. Leaders generate a culture of idea generation and idea sharing. Leaders stay away from guru preaching.

– It’s important to understand people’s personal and professional ultimate goals and motivations. Leaders spend time asking them on their one on ones and they think about them. They write them down. Everybody is playing the movie of their lives, a leader must find out which one is it, they make sure each team member keeps being the hero of their movie.

– Leaders always lead by example, not by title. They show real bravery. Leaders go first to battle. They call leads and close customers. They apologize to customers when the company screws up. They take the shit first. They don’t leave anyone behind. They don’t show their rank, their status, their difference, their pedigree. Startups are flat meritocratic organizations. Leaders must understand well the company goals and they put them first, they are prepared to step down, or step aside, or leave the company at any moment if needed. Company goals are what matters most. Leaders show this to everyone. Company/collective oriented leaders always thrive.

– Leaders celebrate every victory. They visibly show the pain of every defeat. They take every opportunity to show they care. They analyze why/what/how and find out always changes to be made. Then they go and make the changes. They change anything or everything, but never keep on doing what doesn’t work. They shake the whole company inside out before/when goals are not met.

– Leaders set goals that are both ambitious and achievable. They work along the team to make sure they meet the goals. They are flexible when the goals are set wrong. They are implacable when goals are not met.

Most people will never be a leader. It takes time and patience, it takes survival skills, it takes real personal strength. But after committing to all these things, things start to work. Leaders are such when and only when they brought teams to make things work, nobody becomes a leader just by trying it. True leaders make sure they don’t leave the boat until things work (as they will work, ultimately!). They don’t leave the job undone.

– Bernat Farrero CEO at Itnig