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Insights on the Spanish Tech Ecosystem Report 2024

Insights on the Spanish Tech Ecosystem Report 2024

For a second year in a row, we’ve partnered with Dealroom, Kfund, Wayra, SpainCap, Endeavor, BBVA Spark, and Enisa, to elaborate an annual report analyzing the state of Spain’s tech ecosystem.

The past few years have been a wild ride for startup investment in Spain. Steady growth from 2013 to 2019 took a sharp turn with the pandemic, sending the market on a rollercoaster.

The Spain Ecosystem Report 2024 visualizes a more stable picture in 2023 and so far in 2024. Last year, Spanish startups raised 2.2 billion euros across over 850 funding rounds —below the figures of 2022 and 2021, but surpassing the funding raised in 2019. And, for the moment, Spanish VC investment in Q1 2024, is tracking above 2019 and 2020.

Here are our five highlights of the report.

Early-stage Takes Center Stage

After two years of inflated valuations due to post-pandemic liquidity, investment ranges are returning to pre-pandemic levels (2013-2019), revealing a normalization of funding trends in Spain.

Notably, early-stage investments —up to €15 million— remain the most common, reaching a total of over €1 billion in 2023. Standing out among Spanish early-stage rounds in 2023, Depasify’s €2.2 million investment round led by GoHub Ventures and JME Ventures.

However, there’s a clear slowdown in growth and later-stage funding. Rounds between €15 million and €100 million saw a drop from €1 billion in 2022 to €782 million last year. The decline is even steeper for mega-rounds exceeding €100 million, dropping from €1 billion in 2022 to just €405 million in 2023.

Compared to the European market, Spain shines in early-stage investments and falls behind in larger funding rounds.

SaaS, a winning business model

In 2023, 47% of VC-backed investments in Spain were mainly in one business model: Software as a Service.

As part of a trend that’s being seen worldwide, SaaS startups overtook marketplaces and eCommerce companies for two successive years, reaffirming the course and maturity of the Spanish industry.

Data shows a strong support for the SaaS model in the Spanish tech sector, evidenced by a 50% market consolidation in recent years.” said Inés Calabuig, Managing Partner in GoHub Ventures. “This trend confirms the interest of both national and international funds in Spanish software startups, aligning with our investment thesis. As businesses continue to prioritize digital transformation, SaaS companies become essential in providing innovative tools that optimize operations, boost productivity, and automate processes.

An Eye on Climate Tech and Digital Health

Dealroom’s data shows that Climate Tech and Digital Health startups attracted the most Venture Capitalist investment in 2023.

From those €2.2 billion invested in startups in 2023, €404 million was directly to fundraise startups working on Climate Tech solutions, and €226 million was invested in companies implementing technology into the digital sector.

Two sectors with tremendous potential were GoHub Ventures has also an eye on, highlighting the proper alignment of the Spanish entrepreneurship ecosystem with the most significant trends around the world.

Spain in Rankings

To fully understand the maturity and path that the Spanish tech ecosystem is following, it is necessary to compare the data to fellow European countries.

In terms of VC investment, Spain ranks seventh, below the UK, France, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, and the Netherlands. But if we focus on early-stage VC investment, Spain is in fourth place.

When looking at the number of funding rounds closed in 2023, Spain takes the fourth position, above the Netherlands, Switzerland or Swedeen, but below the three big players of the European ecosystem: the UK, France and Germany.

With regards to the number of $1 billion exits, Spain ranks seventh with a total of 18 companies that earned the unicorn status. A notable difference if we compare it to the country that takes the first place with 171 unicorns: the United Kingdom.

Spanish Unicorns Breed New Startup Founders

Another sign of significant maturity in the Spanish startup ecosystem is the emergence of a new generation of founders who have gained valuable experience working in companies that have achieved unicorn status — that is, valuations exceeding €1 billion.

A group of over 90 new entrepreneurs coming from companies like Glovo, Cabify, Jobandtalent, Fever, Wallbox TravelPerk, and Factorial has garnered significant investor backing and stands out as prominent breeding grounds for this new generation of founders.

 

Access the report here to dive deeper into the state of the Spanish tech ecosystem and the challenges that it faces.

Sara Sanjuan, Head of Marketing & Communicarions at GoHub Ventures
May 27 · 2024 Sara Sanjuan Head of Marketing & Comms

Spanish Startups Reach €100B in Aggregate Value, a Historic Milestone in the Tech Ecosystem

Spanish Startups Reach €100B in Aggregate Value, a Historic Milestone in the Tech Ecosystem

The Spanish entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystem is advancing steadily. According to the latest ‘Spain Ecosystem Report‘ elaborated by Dealroom.co on the tech industry in Spain, the aggregate value of our startups exceeded €100 billion in 2023. This represents a 14% growth compared to 2022, highlighting Spain as an emerging power in European innovation.

The report, in collaboration with Kfund, Wayra, SpainCap, Endeavor, GoHub Ventures, BBVA Spark, and Enisa, emphasizes that in 2023, Spanish startups raised €2.2 billion through over 850 funding rounds. Of these, €1 billion went to rounds under €15 million; €782 million to rounds between €15 and €100 million; and €405 million to rounds exceeding €100 million.

Last year, Madrid positioned itself as the leading city in attracting investment, with €605 million, surpassing Barcelona, which reached €457 million. Seville (€70 million), Valencia (€46 million), and San Sebastián (€30 million) rounded out the national top 5.

 

Signs of Maturity

The Spanish market is consolidating certain positions that already allow for significant signs of maturity. One of the most relevant indicators is the emergence of a new generation of founders who have decided to embark on their ventures after working at companies that achieved valuations exceeding €1 billion. 

This group of entrepreneurs has already created more than 90 new investor-backed companies. Companies like Glovo, Cabify, Jobandtalent, Wallbox, Fever, Factorial, and TravelPerk stand out as the main entrepreneurial nests in Spain.

The Dealroom.co report highlights the consolidation of funding sources for these projects. Corporate investment saw significant growth in 2023, with a 6% increase in participation since 2019, reaching a record high of 16%. 

Additionally, the combination of corporate and venture capital funding now accounts for 49%. This is an increase of more than 14 percentage points since the year before the pandemic, showcasing the professionalization of investment in a sector where capital requirements are becoming increasingly sophisticated. 

 

Consolidated European Position

At a European level, although Spain continues to outperform its Southern European counterparts, it still lags behind ecosystems like France and Germany. The valuation of the tech sector of the major leaders of the Old Continent is three to four times higher than that of Spain, which is managing to stand out in the middle tier. The €100 billion valuation allows Spain to surpass countries like Norway, Italy, and Portugal. 

Our country occupies a prominent position in terms of the number of rounds and early-stage investment. Spain ranks fourth in the number of rounds and early-stage investment, behind only the United Kingdom, France, and Germany. 

This data is further reinforced by analyzing the evolution of early-stage investment. Spain has exceeded the European average in recent years. Dealroom.co’s tracking since 2013 shows significant progress compared to the continental average. 

In terms of creating large companies, Spain has consolidated its position in seventh place. The national market has 18 companies with valuations exceeding €1 billion. This category includes countries like Denmark, Ireland, Italy, and Belgium. Leading this ranking are the United Kingdom, with 171 unicorns, and Germany, with 70.

 

Snapshot of the Spanish Startup

Transversality being one of the main characteristics of the technological ecosystem, certain sectors are beginning to stand out as the pillars of the Spanish industry. Last year, the sectors that secured the most funding were primarily related to climate and health. Two verticals with tremendous potential, highlighting the strong alignment of Spanish entrepreneurship with significant trends. 

Another element reinforcing the maturity of Spanish companies is the analysis of their business models. Companies specializing in Software as a Service (SaaS) surpassed those developing marketplaces in 2023. This trend is also being observed globally and reaffirms the direction of the Spanish industry. 

Since 2019, €1.6 billion has been invested in Spanish startups founded by women. This figure represents 12% of the total funds raised by startups in Spain during this period. An indicator that shows us that much progress still has to be made, but it places our country in fifth position, only behind Finland, Luxembourg, Italy, and Norway, and ahead of big players like the United Kingdom, France, and Germany.

 

Challenges on the Horizon

One of the main challenges that the ecosystem needs to step up in the upcoming years is the size of advanced-stage funding rounds. Following the trend of the broader Spanish business community dominated by SMEs, the funding of large companies decreased last year, particularly in rounds exceeding €100 million, which have been declining for three years. 

This trend, also observed across Europe and globally, should garner significant attention from the sector. If Spain has managed to position itself as one of the most dynamic models in early-stage investments, it also needs to find ways to support these companies in their growth. 

This is not happening now. The graduation rate of Spanish startups (an indicator that signals companies closing a round that exceeds the valuation of the previous one) is below the European average for Series A, a similar trend in Series B+. Changing this trend will be crucial for the future health of the sector. 

  

About the Spain Ecosystem Report

The Spain Ecosystem Report is a report elaborated by the global data platform Dealroom.co in collaboration with Kfund, BBVA Spark, Endeavor Spain, GoHub Ventures, Wayra, SpainCap, and Enisa to study the state of the startup ecosystem in Spain in 2023. The study aims to provide information on the current state of the sector, understand the investments made over the last year, and position Spain relative to its European and global peers to evaluate and understand the current state of the ecosystem in Spain. 

May 27 · 2024 GoHub Ventures

How GoHub Ventures Led Indigitall’s €6M Series A Round

How GoHub Ventures Led Indigitall’s €6M Series A Round

A few weeks ago, we announced our investment in indigitall, a SaaS solution to personalize digital communications between brands and their customers. The Series A round of 6 million euros led by GoHub Ventures counted with the participation of Boston-based Data Point Capital and the Spanish VC firm Adara Ventures.

In this article we dive deep into the process behind the investment, revealing the motivations that led to the deal.

 

How We Crossed Paths with Indigitall

About two years ago, Private Equity giant Thoma Bravo acquired UserZoom, at a $800M valuation. After some time, UserZoom’s Founder and CEO, Alfonso de la Nuez decided to move on from his leadership role and, since then, he has been helping other entrepreneurs to grow.

GoHub Ventures has had a great relationship with him for years and, during a conversation in 2023, Alfonso told us how he was giving advice to some cool founders with a fast-growing, almost fully bootstrapped, SaaS startup.

The startup was starting to pick up its growth and the founders were thinking about raising capital to expand geographies. Needless to say, it made us very curious about it (spoiler alert: the startup was indigitall).

 

What Made Us Believe in Indigitall

Beyond the standard metrics, several unique factors caught our eye when GoHub Ventures decided to lead indigitall’s Series A round. This investment memo sample offers a glimpse into those key elements:

 

1. World Class Team

Juan Carlos de la Vela and Xavier Omella were both telecom executives when they decided to start a business together around 10 years ago. They first started doing consulting work for several corporations and ended up doing some of the first in-App ads in Spain.

This led to the creation of indigitall, a product to manage enterprise-customer communications.

Both Juan Carlos and Xavier are experienced business professionals with high ambition and a validated entrepreneurial track record. They showed they were attracting great talent by having Alfonso de la Nuez on board, both as an advisor and investor.

 

2. Huge Problem with Big Market Opportunity

What they do: indigitall creates a full-stack solution to manage all communications between enterprises and customers.

The problem: Nowadays most enterprises have multiple communications channels with their customers and potential customers: apps, websites, email, social media messages, instant messaging apps (WhatsApp). For customers, this huge number of channels creates an uncoordinated, non-personalized, and almost bothering experience. For enterprises, it is impossible to understand how customers behave because data is dispersed in those many different channels.

The solution: indigitall creates an all-in-one platform that allows to manage every communication channel, analize all the data and optimize the campaigns using personalized customer journeys. It also uses AI to create messages that have better conversion rates.

 

3. Traction and Metrics

When we started analyzing the indigitall at GoHub Ventures, the startup had +160 enterprise clients in around 19 different countries and doing +400K in MRR. Amongst their clients there are some renewed names such as Real Madrid CF, Decathlon, McDonald’s or Repsol.

All this being EBITDA positive and almost fully bootstrapped. Incredible, right?

The founders were feeling such a big market pull that they couldn’t keep up onboarding new clients, and that’s when they decided to raise a Series A round and take the company to the next level.

 

4. Go-To-Market Strategy

The company started with an sales led go-to-market strategy and it has started to open new customer acquisition channels like partnerships and inbound marketing.

On a note about partnerships, indigitall recently became a Meta Business Partner —very valuable to deliver instant messaging solutions on Facebook, Instagram, and WhatsApp.

 

5. Competition and Differentiation

The marketing automation market is super competitive with huge and well-funded direct competitors like Braze, and giants like Salesforce. However, at GoHub Ventures we felt like the market is still big and there is an opportunity for underserved enterprises in Europe and LatAm.

Indigitall has been able to become a market leader in Spain and it has big potential to do the same in LatAm and other European countries. Enterprises using Salesforce have integrated indigitall in their communications processes because of its usability and all-in-one product, a really good indicator!

What also stood out for us when deciding to lead indigitall’s Series A round is how fast the startup started integrating AI in its product.

 

To learn more about indigitall’s story, don’t miss the interview below.

May 27 · 2024 Guillermo Flor VC Investor

Why GoHub Ventures Reinforces its Investment in Wenalyze

Why GoHub Ventures Reinforces its Investment in Wenalyze

Backing founders with powerful ideas and great performance is part of GoHub Ventures’ motto. That’s why we are happy to share that we have led a follow-on strategic investment on Wenalyze to help this promising B2B SaaS startup consolidate its position in the European market, specially in the UK.

Wenalyze has been linked to GoHub Ventures since 2021 when the startup took part in our former acceleration program. Later in 2022, the startup raised a €1.7M investment round led by Athos Capital with the participation of GoHub Ventures, Bankinter’s Venture Capital Program, and astoryaVC.

With this new operation, GoHub Ventures reinforces its position in the startup due to the company’s potential, its focus on growth, the consolidation of Wenalyze’s team as a reference in the market, and the fund’s focus on the fintech and insurtech sector further strengthen with Depasify’s investment.

In this recently announced strategic investment, existing partners have participated as well as a new strategic partner, an investment vehicle in the insurance sector focused on the later stages of a startup.

Wenalyze, which helps banks and insurers optimize underwriting processes through the use of open data, will use this investment to prepare for its next stage and bolster up its growth goals for 2024.

Reinforcing our investment in Wenalyze is a real proof of our commitment to the founding team, the startup’s prospecting, and its potential to lead the banking and insurance market.” says Inés Calabuig, Managing Partner at GoHub Ventures.

 

Accurate Decisions Based on Real-Time Data

Founded in 2018 by Carlos Albo, David Delgado, Vicent Kun, and Roger Ferrandis, Wenalyze solves a common problem for insurance and banking operators. Thanks to open data analytics solutions, the startup provides these operators with insights to make accurate decisions about SME clients based on real-time data.

As Carlos Albo, CEO and co-founder of Wenayze, explains: “Our platform provides a comprehensive solution for insurance companies and banks to enhance their sales strategies, improve customer service and consequently increase their business success.

The startup classifies SME activities for commercial insurance and unlocks bancassurance opportunities. The use of data among insurance and banking operators is a trend to watch. The more information involved, the less risk for each operation.

Wenalyze will consolidate the development of Big Data and Artificial Intelligence for prediction, analysis and data management for banks and insurance companies, with already more than 25 large corporations using its platform daily.

The startup is currently present in most European countries, and it has offices in the United Kingdom, where it has several high-value clients and has positioned itself as a market leader, where the main efforts and recruitments are now being made.

In the last year, Wenalyze has brought together two products: activity classification and payment identification with information enrichment, both being used by the largest insurance companies in Europe, tripling their sales with international clients.

These products, which combine the use of AI, Big Data and massive data processing in the cloud, deliver results to a large insurance company with hit rates close to 100% and sales increases of 3-5 million euros per year.

May 20 · 2024 Jose Ignacio Ruiz Portfolio Manager

Rising Stars: Promising SaaS Startups Shaping the Industry

Rising Stars: Promising SaaS Startups Shaping the Industry

Once upon a time, companies of any size dedicated massive efforts to build, evolve and maintain customized software solutions for their problems… until entrepreneurs smelled opportunity. If those problems were common to many of the businesses, why shouldn’t solutions be too?

Suddenly, an era of powerful software applications over the internet without needing to install or maintain them on your own devices was born: SaaS, in a nutshell.

That’s where ‘Software as a Service’ comes from, a convenient, cost-effective, and utterly transformative way for companies to solve problems from day one without large and exhausting developments.

The SaaS industry has been on a wild ride, evolving from niche solutions to mainstream powerhouse tools. But what’s truly exciting is the fresh wave of innovation brought in by new startups. They’re tackling old problems in new ways, pushing boundaries, and daring to dream big.

 

Understanding the SaaS landscape

Understanding the SaaS landscape involves recognizing it as a model where software is provided over the internet, allowing users to access and use applications without installing them locally.

Since its inception, SaaS has evolved dramatically, transitioning from niche applications to widespread use across industries, driven by its scalability, cost-effectiveness, and ease of deployment.

Key growth drivers include technological advancements, increased internet accessibility, and changing business needs towards remote and flexible work solutions. However, new SaaS companies face challenges such as intense competition, customer acquisition and retention, and the need to continuously innovate while ensuring data security and compliance.

 

Criteria for Identifying Promising SaaS Startups

Diving into the world of SaaS startups is like exploring a treasure trove filled with gems waiting to be discovered. To find the real jewels, though, you need a map and a keen eye.

This guide focuses on the essential criteria to identify those promising startups poised for success. From innovation to financial health, these pointers offer a roadmap for navigating the bustling landscape of SaaS ventures, ensuring you can spot the stars destined to shine in the digital sky.

  • Innovation and Uniqueness: The distinct edge the solution offers.
  • Market Demand: Addressing genuine, significant user problems.
  • Scalability: The capacity to grow and evolve.
  • Leadership and Team: The driving force’s experience and vision.
  • Funding and Financial Health: Signs of investor confidence and a roadmap to sustainability.

 

Our Champions: 7 Top SaaS Startups in GoHub Ventures Portfolio

GoHub Ventures targets early-stage startups with highly technological B2B software solutions, that means SaaS and promising teams and entrepreneurs are part of our DNA. After all, we’re the believers behind the believers. We don’t change the world, our founders do.

Speaking about founders, here is a selection of B2B SaaS startups backed by GoHub Ventures:

 

Fracttal

Fracttal is a predictive maintenance and asset management software (CMMS/GMAO/EAM), 100% mobile, IoT enabled and fully cloud-based. The Chilean platform helps organizations streamline maintenance operations, track assets, schedule preventive maintenance tasks, and manage work orders efficiently.  

Fracttal’s software is designed to be user-friendly and scalable, catering to a wide range of industries, including manufacturing, utilities, healthcare, and facilities management. They focus on leveraging technology to improve asset performance, reduce downtime, and optimize maintenance processes for their clients. 

In this ‘Era of Data’, market demand for control and analysis of data is booming. Companies seek predictive maintenance that helps anticipate problems and be more cost-efficient. 

Fracttal has raised approximately $20M in funding over several rounds and currently serves about 1.400 clients worldwide, a market leader in this field. 

 

Wenalyze

Wenalyze classifies SME activities for commercial insurance and unlocks bancassurance opportunities. Thanks to open data analytics solutions, it provides insights to make accurate decisions about SME clients based on real-time data.

The Spanish company solves a common problem for insurance and banking operators. For commercial insurance, 47% of SME clients’ data insurers have is inaccurate. For bancassurance, financial institutions struggle to know the insurance products their clients need.

Use of data among insurance and banking operators is a trend to watch. The more information involved, the less risk for each operation.

Founded in 2018, Wenalyze has raised $2.95M as of today. The company targets a global problem and has the advantage of having a founding team with tons of experience in this sector.

 

Kenmei

Kenmei is a network intelligence and automation company aiming to boost teams’ performance by reducing operational expenditures.

In an extremely intense industry like telecommunications when it comes to infrastructure maintenance, solutions such as Kenmei provide a significant added value for big telcos. Applying AI to data, the company reduces by one third issues such as interference analysis, energy consumption optimization, anomalies management, procedures digitalization, among others.

So far, Kenmei has raised $2.5M in funding and is proven to be capital efficient billing over €4M.

 

Depasify

Depasify is a Web3 solution for dealing with digital assets. The Spanish company is an official provider regulated by Bank of Spain trust standards, becoming a one-stop shop for digital assets.

Depasify’s CEO Alberto Martín owns years of experience building core-banking infrastructure and together with an incredible team has built a simple API that automates business operations for Web3 startups.

Despite the initial boom and all the flashy news about cryptocurrencies, the truth is that adoption of digital assets and blockchain solutions within financial institutions keeps growing steady. On this matter, the company’s understanding of tech and banking industries plus the ‘official provider’ seal elevate Depasify as a safe and innovative partner to enter Web3 world.

Founded in 2021, Depasify is one of GoHub Ventures most recent investments with a seed round of $2.2M.

 

NeuralSpace

NeuralSpace is an AI-powered suite of software solutions for different building better workflows and automating tasks. Currently, they’ve launched: VoiceAI (transcription and analysis of audio data), DocAI (intelligent document processing platform), TextAI (improving conversational experiences), and LocAI (script, translation and subtitle solution).

Special mention for the accuracy and reach levels achieved by NeuralSpace solutions on regions (and languages!) like Asia, Africa and the Middle East.

Founded in 2019, the company has raised $3M in funding. Compared to other competitors and considering technology is core, it may not seem a significant amount. This gives us an idea of the extremely skilled team NeuralSpace has when it comes to applying AI to language in order to create a leading product.

 

Onirix

Technology to create Web AR projects. The Spanish company operates at the hot topic niche of Spatial Computing, transforming how users interact with websites from desktop or mobile experiences to interactive pages featuring AR.

Onirix started in 2018 as a Content Manager allowing personnel without technical knowledge to build different types of experiences, including 3D models, videos, interactive elements, or even geolocated maps.

They’re one of the first startups to develop a full stack AR Website builder for the Apple Vision Pro and the Meta Quest, and they serve more than a hundred clients in 34 different countries.

 

Auravant

Auravant helps improve the efficiency of the agricultural sector through the use of aerial monitoring platforms. The Argentinian company has raised a total of $5,8M in funding and GoHub Ventures was a lead investor at the most recent round.

Auravant targets one of the major markets in the area. Agriculture plays a significant role in Latin America’s economy and contributes significantly to the region’s GDP (Gross Domestic Product). It’s also a sustainability solution, thanks to software that helps track carbon footprint and facilitate compensation.

The company involves Satelital Technology, AI and Machine Learning to integrate data and covers more than 15M hectares belonging to +10K daily users.

 

Endnote

As we’ve journeyed through the evolving world of SaaS startups, from understanding the dynamic SaaS landscape to spotlighting top innovators shaping the industry, it’s clear that the future of software is here.

Each startup, with its unique approach, demonstrates the power of SaaS solutions in driving forward digital transformation. These companies not only adapt to user needs and market demands but also redefine how we interact with technology, making our digital experiences more intuitive, personalized, and efficient.

As we look ahead, these promising SaaS startups are not just participants in the industry; they’re leading the charge toward a more interconnected and automated future, making technology work smarter for us all.

These are the reasons why GoHub plans to keep investing strongly at early-stage B2B software solutions, from Seed to Series A, all across Europe, North America and Latam. After all, we are the believers behind the believers.

Sara Sanjuan, Head of Marketing & Communicarions at GoHub Ventures
May 13 · 2024 Sara Sanjuan Head of Marketing & Comms

Why GoHub Ventures Invests in Depasify: Web3 Game Changer

Why GoHub Ventures Invests in Depasify: Web3 Game Changer

GoHub Ventures is thrilled to share the inner-history on one of our fund’s most recent operations: investing in Depasify, a rising star in the financial technology landscape. Join us on this article to understand why we invested in Depasify and co-led its first investment round raising €2.2M on a deal involving JME Ventures and other players such as Actyus, Lanai Capital Partners, and Wayra (Telefónica).

 

Depasify: Digital Financing Made Easy

Depasify allows the construction of financial products based on digital assets in a quick and easy way, thus reducing go-to-market times by 80% through a single integration. The infrastructure unites the different stakeholders and orchestrates the entire value chain, focusing not only on technology, but also on regulatory compliance, simplifying transactional reconciliation between both worlds and allowing its customers to focus on what is important in their businesses.

In the words of the mastermind behind the company, Alberto Martín (CEO and Founder at Depasify), “we take care of the boring but essential part of digital assets. Financial institutions navigate the triangle between digitization, risk, and speed to market in the best possible way. Our proposal helps them take a step forward to gain capabilities without having to rebuild their entire house.

Depasify’s founder considers traditional core banking systems and their institutions as “sort of archaic” while his solution delivers “new capabilities without adding technical debt to the existing systems.

 

GoHub Ventures Motives for Investing in Depasify

As an early-stage VC fund investing in B2B SaaS startups you need to open your mind and think different when analyzing dealflow, specially in seed stage. 

That’s the case of our deal with Depasify. We didn’t walk away due to an absence of metrics and traction. It didn’t scare us talking to a solopreneur founded company. Market fit? Just not yet… 

Instead, we saw potential on Alberto’s knowledge and past experience within fintech and banking digitalization. For a year, we followed up monthly, built a relationship and tracked progress of Depasify’s MVP. It was his huge commitment with his vision together with market opportunity, scalability and exit potential what convinced us. All in all, GoHub Ventures is the believer behind the believers. 

Of course digital banking is a growing trend, but that’s not a guarantee of success. Execution is key. We believe Alberto’s network, experience, and understanding of the industry will make a difference together with GoHub Ventures deep technological knowledge and international focus. 

This deal comes at a moment of defrost for fintech investment, a tipping point for digital assets after a couple years of ‘incubation’. Depasify is already experiencing growing interest from companies plugging into their solution such as DeFi (Decentralized Finance) startups, crypto traders, banks, credit institutions… going from 0 to +$1Bn annual turnover processed. 

Once Depasify’s infrastructure is adopted, this sort of solutions are sticky due to a high degree of technological value despite their easy integration, plus facilitating a removal of compliance and licencing. 

 

Hear It From the Lead Investors: GoHub Ventures and JME Ventures

We are happy to share our reasons to team up with Depasify and see that GoHub Ventures is not the only VC or investor holding these motives. Iván Landabaso, Partner at JME Ventures (also lead investor on this deal), expressed that “Alberto is a founder with excellent technical knowledge and execution skills.” He believes that “his experience in fintech, his background as a programmer, and his vision of the world of digital assets make Depasify well-positioned to become a relevant company in this emerging high-potential sector.

On our side, Inés Calabuig, Managing Partner at GoHub Ventures, thinks that “in such a complex environment as Web3, the presence of solutions like Depasify is essential to simplify and facilitate operations with digital assets.” At GoHub Ventures, “we firmly believe in Alberto’s vision and experience to unlock the full potential of the startup, and we are confident in boosting its growth by providing our deep technological knowledge and international focus.

If you wish to know more on Web3, stay tuned for a new edition of GoHub Ventures ‘Tech Unpacked’. Our second event of this new series of gatherings around tech trending topics will cover ‘Fintech Goes Web3: Wallets, Nodes & Transfers in a Real-World Setting’. No need to say Depasify’s CEO will be one of the main speakers along with Felipe Talavera, former VP of Engineering at the unicorn Flywire, the first ever Spanish startup to go public on the Nasdaq.

May 05 · 2024 Pablo Perea Head of Investments

Indigitall Raises €6M in a Round Led by GoHub Ventures, Data Point Capital, and Adara Ventures

Indigitall Raises €6M in a Round Led by GoHub Ventures, Data Point Capital, and Adara Ventures

Indigitall, a Spanish company that provides a software-as-a-service (SaaS) solution to personalize digital communications between brands and their customers, has closed an over-subscribed €6M Series A funding round. The funding round was led by Data Point Capital, a venture capital firm based in the United States, along with GoHub Ventures and Adara Ventures, two Spain-based venture capital firms.

Headquartered in Madrid, Indigitall’s AI-powered software allows organizations to communicate with their customers across all incoming and outgoing digital channels and to personalize their messaging campaigns according to the unique audiences on each channel.

This new funding will enable us to expand our market-leading position with Spanish-speaking customers by investing further in Latin America and Spain and entering the US,” said Juan Carlos de la Vela, CEO and co-founder of Indigitall. “It represents a major step forward for Indigitall, bringing us closer to our goal of becoming a global leader in the digital communications industry,” added Xavier Omella, co-founder of Indigitall.

Their exponential growth, the potential of their product, combined with the knowledge and vision of the founders, and their ability to attract foreign capital, are the factors that lead us to bet on Indigitall. Throughout the process, the team has demonstrated a clear ambition to take the company to the next level, and at GoHub Ventures, we want to support them on that path,” points out Inés Calabuig, Managing Partner at GoHub Ventures.

We were very impressed by the strong position that Indigitall has staked out in the Spanish-speaking market,” said Mike Majors, Managing Partner at Data Point Capital. “Achieving triple digit revenue growth and profitability in the past three years signals the strength of business and validates the vision of Juan Carlos and Xavier. We are very excited to partner with them in this next phase of growth.

Indigitall has already demonstrated its transformative impact on businesses, and we believe they are well-positioned to become a global leader in applying an AI-driven approach to the customer journey,” said Rocío Pillado, Partner at Adara Ventures. “We look forward to supporting them in this next stage of growth.

 

AI for Personalized and Segmented Marketing Campaigns

Indigitall’s SaaS platform is uniquely able to personalize, segment, and automate all digital communications in one place. This comprehensive solution covers smartphones, mobile apps, web browsing, Google and Apple Wallet, and messaging apps like WhatsApp, Teams, Messenger, and Instagram. In addition, Indigitall can be seamlessly integrated with any CRM, making it a true omnichannel messaging solution that is unmatched in the market.

Indigitall works with over 200 enterprises and has established operations in over 20 countries, including Spain, Mexico, Brazil, Colombia, Chile, Peru, and Ecuador. Notable companies that have integrated Indigitall into their mobile applications and websites include McDonald’s, Bankinter, Banco de Crédito de Perú, Movistar, Televisa, and Grupo Claro. The company also powers customer experience AI chatbots for clients such as Mercadona, El Corte Inglés, and Sanitas. Indigitall is Meta’s exclusive partner for WhatsApp Business Platform services in Spain.

Apr 29 · 2024 GoHub Ventures

LatAm Calling: Venture Capital’s Journey to the region

LatAm Calling: Venture Capital’s Journey to the region

A new expedition of discovery is underway. In the dynamic landscape of global venture capital, Latin America stands as an emerging frontier ripe with promise and potential. As investors increasingly seek new opportunities beyond traditional hubs, the allure of Latin America -named “New World” by first questers- has become undeniable.

In this article, we cover the driving forces, key players, and transformative potential that define LatAm’s startup ecosystem. A new ‘New World’ for VC’s and a region of special interest for GoHub Ventures, as explained below.

But, before introducing our regional portfolio and getting deeper on our initiatives, let’s learn more about LatAm Startup Scene.

 

LatAm Startup Scene: Particularities & Success Stories

At first sight, why considering ‘region of interest’ a whole continent?

For instance, that doesn’t happen in Europe where you can find subregions such as Nordics, DACH or South Europe that represent single markets with their own unicorns, specialised funds and other entities.

However, that doesn’t really need to happen in LatAm and it may be one of their peculiarities and strongest advantages. A capacity to expand at the speed of light thanks to a less fragmented cultural and linguistic diversity.

This may explain the success of B2C’s such as MercadoLibre and Rappi, two of LatAm startups success stories. On the contrary, the economical, political and geographic fragmentation may slow down expansion of B2B startups, although there are some exceptions like Gympass.

All in all, Latin America is a region where cross-border cooperation is deeply rooted both on social and professional matters, plus their proximity to North America and decades of economical collaboration makes it easier for LatAm startups to expand. Especially now with Miami rivalring Silicon Valley as a reference hub in the United States.

Access to capital remains a significant challenge for startups in the region, but this represents an opportunity for funds like GoHub Ventures since more entrepreneurs need investment to grow and scale.

Ultimately, education and production of tech talent is at the highest levels in the region. National programs to improve education and upskill the workforce in areas such as software development, increase of freelancing and work remote, renowned entities like ITESTM (Instituto Tecnológico de Monterrey) form a tech talent pool that fosters innovation.

Considering these ingredients, here are some of the most famous startups from Latin America:

  • Nubank (Brazil): A fintech startup that offers digital banking services, including credit cards and banking accounts.
  • MercadoLibre (Argentina): One of the largest e-commerce platforms in Latin America, often referred to as “LatAm’s eBay”. Nasdaq admitted.
  • Rappi (Colombia): A delivery startup that offers a wide range of services, including food delivery, groceries, and pharmacy deliveries.
  • Globant (Argentina): A software development and IT consulting company that provides services such as digital transformation, cloud computing, and artificial intelligence solutions. Nasdaq admitted.
  • iFood (Brazil): A food delivery startup that connects consumers with restaurants and offers delivery services in various cities across Brazil.
  • Gympass (Brazil): A startup that offers a corporate wellness platform providing access to a network of gyms and fitness facilities.
  • Cornershop (Chile): An online grocery delivery service operating in various Latin American countries.
  • Ualá (Argentina): A fintech startup that offers a mobile banking app and prepaid Mastercard, providing financial services to individuals.
  • Creditas (Brazil): A fintech startup focused on providing secured loans, using assets such as real estate or vehicles as collateral.
  • VTEX (Brazil): A SaaS company providing an e-commerce platform for businesses to build and manage their online stores.

Some numbers and key facts about the Latin America startup scene include:

  • 9K+ funded startups which raised a combined $3.9B in VC investment in 2023.
  • Home of 64 unicorns.
  • Sao Paulo (Brazil) is LatAm’s Top Performing Ecosystem.
  • +143% increase in Series B+ amount in the period 2018–2022.
  • Fintech is particularly successful in this region, making up on average 37% of Series A deal count over the same period.

For more on LatAm’s startup scene, we recommend the following reports: The Global Startup Ecosystem Report 2023 by Startup Genome, and Latin America by Dealroom.

 

GoHub Ventures in LatAm: Vozy, Fracttal, and Auravant

GoHub Ventures presence in LatAm Startup Scene is quite recent, with our first investments in the region starting at the beginning of this decade. From that first moment we’ve always felt that this is a land full of opportunities, so we aim to increase the number of LatAm startups in our portfolio sooner than later.

As of today, the three LatAm companies present at GoHub Ventures portfolio operate in fields such as Conversational AI, Computerized Maintenance Management Systems (CMMS), and Data Analytics & Business Intelligence. All combined, represent over $30M in raised funding.

Get to know more about our champions from LatAm startup scene.

 

Fracttal

Fracttal is a predictive maintenance and asset management software (CMMS/GMAO/EAM), 100% mobile, IoT enabled and fully cloud-based. The Chilean platform helps organizations streamline maintenance operations, track assets, schedule preventive maintenance tasks, and manage work orders efficiently.

Fracttal’s software is designed to be user-friendly and scalable, catering to a wide range of industries, including manufacturing, utilities, healthcare, and facilities management. They focus on leveraging technology to improve asset performance, reduce downtime, and optimize maintenance processes for their clients.

Fracttal has raised around $20M in several rounds.

 

Vozy

Vozy provides a voice AI platform that helps evolve conversations at SCALE for the Enterprise. ​​The Colombian startup specializes in conversational AI solutions for businesses such as AI-powered virtual assistants and chatbots that enable companies to automate customer service, sales, and support interactions through natural language processing technology.

Vozy has raised a total of $8.1M in funding, being the latest one ($5M in 2022) our entry to the company. The goal is to expand into the US market and Europe, with Spain as primary access, thanks to the applications across multiple industries that Vozy’s solutions have, including telecommunications, banking, retail, healthcare and more.

 

Auravant

Auravant helps improve the efficiency of the agricultural sector through the use of aerial monitoring platforms. The Argentinian company has raised a total of $5.8M in funding and GoHub Ventures was a lead investor at the most recent round.

Auravant targets one of the major markets in the area. Agriculture plays a significant role in Latin America’s economy and contributes significantly to the region’s GDP (Gross Domestic Product).

 

GoHub Ventures presence in LatAm is bigger than just a portfolio of investments. Our commitment to support the region goes beyond pure investment, this is why we’ve recently launched an initiative targeting B2B SaaS Solutions for Utilities in this region.

The project is led by BID Lab, the innovation laboratory of the BID Group, in collaboration with GoHub Ventures and Idrica. Thanks to this, we’ll be on tour across LatAm on a ‘Pitch Roadshow’ to explain the project and meet founders to promote the development and adoption of innovative solutions in the water, sanitation, and solid waste sectors to achieve intelligent, inclusive, and sustainable services, with special attention to service providers in Latin America and the Caribbean.

Selected candidates will be able to run a pilot together with LatAm’s Utility leaders in order to validate problem-solution and test business models. A potential €4M funding awaits the most successful startups on this program.

This project is made possible thanks to the contribution of Fuente de Innovación, a partnership between the BID Group and external partners. Fuente de Innovación is funded by the Government of Switzerland, the FEMSA Foundation, the Government of Israel, the Republic of Korea, the Coca-Cola Foundation, and the Government of Spain.

Also, GoHub Ventures is partner with some of key players in the region such as AMEXCAP, ARCAP and LAVCA.

 

Expert’s Vision: Rafael Martín (VC Investor) Insights

Rafael Martín is a VC Investor at GoHub Ventures with focus on the Latin America region and the Digital Health sector. He’s been recently in LatAm to attend AMEXCAP Summit (CDMX, México) and VC LatAm Summit 2024 (Miami, USA) as well as the kickoff events of the above mentioned initiative ‘B2B SaaS Solutions for Utilities’ and was highly impressed. “We are meeting a lot of promising LatAm startups with innovative solutions for utilities and we hope that together with our support they can scale faster.

 

He has shared with us his vision and insights about the potential of the region for venture capitalists. “There’re not so many European VC’s actively investing in LatAm so we think there’s a big opportunity for funds like GoHub Ventures to support local startups seeking to expand to Europe and using Spain as an entry door”, speaks Martín about why GoHub Ventures has interest in LatAm market.

As mentioned above, Martín also spots ‘language’ as one of the particularities for this region. “In Europe we may have the EU, but at the end of the day countries have their languages, cultures, regulations… the speed of expansion is much faster in LatAm thanks to a common tongue. You may find interesting companies in smaller hubs and they could ‘easily’ jump into new countries, open markets and become regional leaders quite fast. However, since public infrastructure and support to startups is less developed, investors play a significant role to foster these movements.

Our expert highlights Fintech and Marketplaces as main verticals in the region but spots AI trend as a market changer.

Sara Sanjuan, Head of Marketing & Communicarions at GoHub Ventures
Apr 22 · 2024 Sara Sanjuan Head of Marketing & Comms

The Solver Case: How AI Turns Business Data into Gold

The Solver Case: How AI Turns Business Data into Gold

If there is one thing that any company anywhere in the world wants, it is to make the right decisions at the right time to make its business profitable and expand its horizons. Old-school methods relied on a blend of a nose for business, experience, leadership, and organization. Without relinquishing any of these factors, the age of artificial intelligence brings with it an additional linchpin: data.

In its most powerful form, data can be used to build predictive models. When will demand for a clothing brand’s e-commerce be highest? How likely is a factory machine going to break down in the next ten years? How can you better logistics by planning the best possible delivery routes? What price should a hotel charge for its rooms to attract more tourists?

Solver has the magic wand to turn thousands of statistics into business knowledge. Founded in 2016 as a spin-off from the Universidad Politécnica de Valencia (UPV), the startup began its journey through the hard work and vision of Jon Ander Gómez (CDO), Roberto Paredes (CTO), and Francisco Casacuberta.

“The idea was to market a technology that we knew was mature enough to help the business community,” said Jordi Mansanet (CEO). “AI is a very wide-ranging tool that can improve many processes, yet one common feature is extracting value from company data, automating operations that are not streamlined, and making the right decisions to attain levels of efficiency which would be impossible for humans to achieve.”

Solver’s software fits each customer like a glove. Today, with the current boom in AI, many companies are taking an interest in the Valencian startup’s solutions.

First of all, Solver explores the business model of the company in question to find out where it makes sense to apply artificial intelligence. “We are especially keen to learn what their challenges are and where they need to improve,” commented Mansanet. “Based on that we can then assess whether AI makes sense or not. Sufficient historical data is always a must for the answer to be ‘yes’.”

If industrial machinery is not fitted with sensors, there will also be no history to feed the algorithm’s knowledge. In contrast, if a retail business has previously digitally transformed its routine operations, AI can hone demand forecasts by 30% to 50%. The more data the platform receives, the better its predictions will be.

In tourism, which is highly digitalized in all its aspects (accommodation, flights, car rental, entertainment in the city visited), Solver moves like a fish in water. With its support, industry businesses can enhance the user experience and personalize purchasing processes by analyzing behavioral patterns and putting in place individualized strategies. Why didn’t the traveler book the hotel room they were looking at? At what point did they stop? What if they were emailed a deal? There are lots of options.

“If the project with a customer goes well, our AI usually spills over into other areas of the company,” pointed out Mansanet. “We normally set KPIs at the beginning of the job. This is how we quantify the project and how much the outcomes need to improve. We have extensive experience in a range of sectors: retail (fashion and food), industrial logistics, pharmaceuticals, and tourism.” Solver is also active in areas such as finance, insurance, and energy.

 

The AI chess board

Aside from the current crop of headliners (ChatGPT, DALL-E-2, Stable Diffusion, Midjourney), Mansanet said there are three types of companies competing on the artificial intelligence board. Some of them offer closed AI-based products. “This is not our business as it is extremely difficult to tailor these kinds of products to the customer’s specific needs.”

Another group are the more generalist, “almost consultancy” firms which are not specialists in this type of technology even though they are engaged in software development.

And then there are startups like Solver. “The fact that our niche is AI and we have a proven track record means we have a better chance of success” argued Mansanet. “There is not as much competition here.”

 

Entry barriers

Mansanet noted above that the secret of AI lies in the contracting company meticulously measuring its processes. These must be highly digitalized organizations. Once this requirement is met, the power of the algorithm is unleashed.

“A lot of companies put lots of resources into document analysis. If it takes a person 50 seconds to a minute to review a dossier and extract the fields by hand, AI will complete this task in two to three seconds.”

The algorithm cannot thrive without sufficient historical data. The other common mistake Mansanet identified has to do with the approach to AI projects. “It makes little sense for just the innovation department of a firm to be involved. Several departments in the company have to pitch in and everything must be geared towards addressing a business need.”

Next August Solver will be eight years old with sixteen professionals on its payroll (90% technology backgrounds). After consolidating its position in Spain with premium customers, the startup is now expanding internationally (finalizing agreement in Mexico) and taking part in two European Union flagship projects which might be joined by a third in 2024.

To round off two solutions it has successfully developed and tested in practice with numerous customers, the startup is soon to release two other tools: Forecaster (demand forecasting) and Docreader (document information search).

“AI has been around for a while even if it often works in a less showy way than ChatGPT,” said Mansanet. “This is no passing fad. We keep a close eye on what goes in universities, and we can see how fast this technology is evolving and the awesome impact it will have when it goes mainstream among users and companies.”

Solver is here to stay.

Apr 11 · 2024 GoHub Ventures

Aunoa and the AI Customer Service Revolution

Aunoa and the AI Customer Service Revolution

Ask any technophile about the latest buzzword and two words will immediately come to mind: artificial intelligence. No metaverse, no blockchain, no web3. No other phenomenon matches today’s most creative algorithm’s excitement, analysis, insights and potential, capable of mimicking human voices, solving complex equations and writing academic essays in the blink of an eye.

ChatGPT, Claude or Gemini have taken centre stage in front of a public eager for novelties. They are the current stars of today’s show, the benchmark tools on everyone’s lips, yet in the wings there are hundreds of other solutions created by highly disruptive startups. The Valencian startup Aunoa belongs to this avant-garde club.

Launched in 2019 by four founders who have been working together for more than two decades, Aunoa focuses on automating processes linked to customer service, “although it is not the only solution we market,” notes Fernando Pérez Borrajo, the startup’s Corporate Director.

“Our goal is to offer companies a comprehensive solution for all their customer management processes, from the resolution of queries to the management of transactional and documentary processes, also using other conversation channels such as WhatsApp and Instagram,” explained Pérez Borrajo.

The approach could not be simpler: free customer service departments from repetitive and tedious tasks and instead let the combination of machines and humans handle all consumer and citizen queries, as Aunoa’s software can be used in both the private sector and public agencies.

In addition, agents in these areas have a kind of internal chatbot that provides them with response suggestions based on what other agents have answered in similar situations; it helps them classify incidents and suggests semi-automatic responses. The goal is to save time and avoid bottlenecks.

All too often, customer service is a headache for companies. Turnover is high because people get in touch when they have a problem, but if the response is slow in coming, tempers start to flare.”

Losing an employee leaves a big void. Their skills disappear with them, and someone else has to be trained. This costs a lot of money. With our tools, we try to keep the workers from leaving. However, if they do, there are no big gaps because there is already a well-organized knowledge base,” says the Corporate Director.

Despite their shortcomings, large language models like ChatGPT are outstanding: they have been trained with all the data available on the Internet and provide an ideal environment for completing a battery of tasks. A human agent, for example, will give a relatively simple response to the consumer. Still, this action can be supplemented by the algorithm composing the response to make it friendly and assertive.

While this additional help is invaluable, Aunoa never leaves it up to these linguistic models to respond directly, adding instead an intermediate layer of self-experience in the form of supervision. In fact, the transformer models used by OpenAI are also the basis of Aunoa’s AI, designed ad hoc for each client.

The two systems are thus seamlessly connected: Aunoa has a variety of anonymized and pre-trained models for different industries. There are e-commerce and logistics models for utilities (electricity, water, gas, telecommunications, banking and insurance) and for the public administration. These models safeguard the rules imposed by Europe, where the algorithm cannot be trained with data provided by customers. Aunoa then connects to these other major dominant models for very specific tasks (summaries, document compilation, response improvement, etc.).

 

Business overview

Aunoa has more than 100 relevant clients in 10 countries and exceeds the 1 million € of ARR currently. Its artificial intelligence works in Spanish, English, Portuguese, Italian and the co-official languages in Spain (including Basque). To implement each language, it is necessary to have at least one linguist in what seems to be an ode to the humanities in extinction.

“Our average ticket is around 1,200 euros per month. This may seem like a high figure, but it is not. The language models downloaded from the Internet are not sophisticated. If a company really wants to turn customer service around, it needs complex structures that require training and follow-up. That’s what Aunoa offers.” summarizes Pérez Borrajo. The churn rate is practically non-existent with this service model.

In addition to not losing customers, Aunoa benefits from another competitive advantage. More than 40% of its revenue comes from product upgrades. A company usually starts with an essential service but typically chooses to up the ante and deploy more ambitious ideas and services in more channels.

 

New developments on the horizon

The startup’s next giant leap will come with the widespread adoption of generative AI, not just in text, but in voice, images, or video to deliver a fully integrated environment” in less than a year. These new services will not only deploy ‘multi-sense’ environments to help the frustrated consumer at any time of the day. Still, they will also provide powerful tools to human agents to help them analyze and understand customers’ problems and sentiments.

“The human service is often outsourced. Large companies are looking to pay the lowest possible price, so they turn to call centers located in other countries. However, if the service is poor, they lose a customer that has cost the company 700 or 800 euros to win over. Nobody can afford that, which is why customer service has become such a strategic issue. The potential of the combination of people and robots is extraordinary.”

Aunoa is not dazzled by the hype surrounding AI, and his pitch is as slick and thorough as his solutions.

Mar 25 · 2024 GoHub Ventures