Going from a ‘start-up’ to a successful company, the keys to achieving it and staying there

All start-up begins its journey with the firm intention that its project will not only have a good takeoff, but will continue to fly higher and higher and at cruising speed for years to come. But only a part of them succeed, and therefore knowing what worked for them and what did not is very useful for those entrepreneurs who embark on a new adventure.

On the occasion of the tenth edition of South Summit –the great connection platform for the entrepreneurial ecosystem, which took place in Madrid between June 8 and 10–, Banco Sabadell’s BStartup, global sponsor of the event since its inception, proposed to share their experiences to the founders of two successful companies that emerged with force around a decade ago: Laura Urquizu, CEO and president of RedPoints –one of the main Spanish SaaS, which is dedicated to fraud in online distribution– and Felipe Navío, co-founder and co-CEO of Job&Talent, a worldwide reference temporary work platform valued at more than 2,000 million.

Banco Sabadell’s BStartup has been a global sponsor of the South Summit event since its inception

Sabadell Bank

Looking back, both entrepreneurs pointed to the turning points that marked the most decisive growth for their companies. Thus, Urquizu highlighted two key moments: “in 2015, when we detected that although there were competitors targeting large companies, none were serving small and medium-sized companies and that they needed our solution. And the second big push to scale was in 2018, when we entered the US market.”

For his part, Navío explained that “during the first 7-8 years Job&Talent was working quite well, although speaking with clients we realized that what we offered seemed good but not excellent. We weren’t offering a great user experience. That is why we decided to completely change our business model. It was tough because it involved going through the downsizing of the company. But once we were able to make the switch, we suddenly had more revenue than ever.”

in 2015, when we detected that although there were competitors targeting large companies, none were serving small and medium-sized companies and that they needed our solution”

Laura UrquizuCEO and President of RedPoints

The importance of attracting and keeping talent in teams from the beginning is a fundamental aspect in the success of a company. start-up. In this sense, the director of BStartup, Yolanda Pérez, who moderated the session, considers it very important “to design a good strategy from the beginning to get the right people and know how to manage them, because they are the ones that make a project go ahead”.

When recruiting talent, the CEO of RedPoint advised entrepreneurs not to be dazzled by the resume of a candidate, no matter how technically brilliant, if he does not embrace the company’s culture. start-up: “It is a big mistake to hire a profile that has done incredibly well in a Silicon Valley company, no matter how much investors pressure you, if they are not really interested in your company or fit culturally with it. You will have paid him a fortune and you will have wasted a lot of time.”

The success of a start-up depends on knowing how to attract and keep talent and making it part of a well-defined company culture

Navío agreed that “it is not always easy to understand the type of culture of a company. That is why you have to take the time to define it in writing and be aware that each contract you make must fit 100% with it and connect with the team. Because in the end, everyone likes to hire, but nobody likes having to fire”.

As Yolanda Pérez endorses, “from my experience I see that in the first years of companies, it is difficult for entrepreneurs to dedicate enough time to having the company culture very well defined and to make sure that the people they hire share those values. . In the end, that’s what can make a big difference.”

South Summit 2022

The tenth edition of South Summit has been held

Sabadell Bank

Laura Urquizu also stressed that “taking momentum into account is relevant, because the profile of a person who joins the company at the beginning, who is usually quite enterprising, is not the same as eight years later, when he will surely be more process oriented.

Regarding his next challenges, he assured that “at Red Point we have a vision that is to become the absolute leaders of the sector. That when someone has a problem with online fraud, immediately think of contacting us to solve it”. In any case, according to Urquizu, “after the pandemic, the war, the macroeconomic situation… if new challenges come, we are going to go for them.”

At Red Point we have a vision that is to become the absolute leaders in the sector”

Laura UrquizuCEO and President of RedPoints

According to the CEO of Job&Talent, “despite our growth, for the size of the market we are still extremely small, so there is still a great opportunity to continue opening markets”. Yolanda Pérez commented that “in the session we talked about how before the start-ups their investors did not ask them to be profitable, but rather to grow very fast and demonstrate scalability, but now EBITDA becomes relevant. They can’t stop growing, but they may have to slow down

Going from a 'start-up' to a successful company, the keys to achieving it and staying there


Sabadell Bank

Very valuable support

The companies invested by BStartup found excellent opportunities to project themselves at South Summit. On the one hand, Napptive, Time Is Brain, Aplanet and Wegaw participated in the competition among a hundred future unicorns, after having been selected from more than 3,000 companies from more than 114 countries.

In addition, some of the latest additions to its portfolio, such as Amphora, offUgo, Trustiu and Napptive, and the three start-ups selected in the first call for BStartup Green (oriented towards ecological transition): Bia Power, MOA Foodtech and Wegaw, as well as Incapto Coffee. The latter, together with We are Knitters, PayComet and Google participated in a panel on e-commerce.

All these actions are one more example of BStartup’s support for emerging companies, to which it has provided banking services that are highly specialized in their needs and investment capital since 2013. In the words of Carlos Ventura, CEO of Banco Sabadell, “our objective is to be the financial partner of reference for start-ups and scaleups in Spain”.

BStartup supports startups by providing highly specialized banking services for their needs and investment capital since 2013

Currently, BStartup has more than 4,200 clients of these types of companies and is one of the main investors in Spain in early-stage technology companies, with a total of 66 in its portfolio today.

40% of the 78 investments it has made since 2014 have materialized in companies with a social impact. Likewise, 30% of the investee companies have a woman on their founding team, a percentage well above the industry average.

Start-ups facing their biggest challenge

The pessimistic omens that hover over the future of the start-ups They did not seem to intimidate the hundreds of entrepreneurs, investors and high level corporations that attended the South Summit eager to meet and make known and discover the most promising solutions of the entrepreneurial ecosystem.

“The influx of people has been spectacular, even higher than the last edition before the pandemic. There was a lot of desire to start things up despite the current situation, they have been very vibrant days with good energy”, stressed Yolanda Pérez, director of BStartup.

In the opinion of Laura Urquizu, CEO of Red Point, “despite the fact that there is a lot of pessimism about the economic situation, I don’t really see signs that everything is going so badly.” Just in case, she has the formula to overcome adversity: “we will have to find out how to grow without having so much financing available and, at the same time, make the company profitable. It’s a good challenge.”

For his part, Felipe Navío, co-founder and co-CEO of Job&Talent stressed that “despite the bad messages everywhere, the start-ups They will find a way to survive.”

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