Jon Etxeberria, on why startups should use their funds to scale their business
Jon Etxeberria is an investor in the venture capital sector. He stands out for being a founding partner of BAIBA and co-founder of Unitatea Capital. In addition, he was manager of the BBC Culinary Action Accelerator between 2015 and 2019. His field of action is usually startups in very early stages.
Jon Etxeberria has vast experience with startups that emerged from the university. He himself was part of the founding team of an incubator at a culinary university. Since he invests in early stages, many times these come from universities.
The main advice he offers is training. Before setting up your own project, he recommends that you become part of another existing company for a couple of years. Thus, it will be possible to obtain the necessary knowledge and “become impregnated with the culture of the teamwork model, technology...”.
As for undertaking out of necessity, Etxeberria also sees it as something illogical. You have to invest capital and dedicate many hours of work. If there is no financial cushion and no avenue of income, it is a “complicated fact when it comes to building a business.”
Among the validations it carries out to find out if a company is worth investing in, Etxeberria looks at whether they can validate a product with little capital. Subsequently, it looks at the market, its situation and the level of competition.
For Jon Etxeberria it doesn't matter where the teams are located. If “the project is there” and there is a common vision and purpose, the venture can work. Among his contacts there are many teams that work from Asia, Europe, USA. and Latin America.
From his experience with Latin American teams, he expresses that they have a good relationship both as a team and as an investment.
In relation to the Canary Islands, he has previously had the opportunity to invest, especially in software for tourism experiences or games for hotels. He emphasizes that it does not matter where the startup is located, whether in the archipelago or in Madrid, since the important thing is that it has an international vision.
In Spain, the ecosystem has evolved and is growing. Therefore, right now there is a huge amount of money, but there are hardly any metrics, so “company valuations skyrocket”. From his company they invest below “4 million value of the stock market”. They do it even in companies that are in the Power Point phase.
A company, before seeking investment, must prove that it has a minimum viable product and that it may be able to obtain sales with it. He has to validate his hypothesis and establish an auto market strategy.
Jon Etxeberria does not conceive of tokenization for the sake of doing it. To do so, there must be a model of tokens or mics that increases the value of the company and boosts the product or community behind it.
For those who want to invest in this type of initial phase, Etxeberria advises getting closer to the environment. It must be known, first, how is the ecosystem and the existing accelerators. He also recommends “surrounding yourself with people who are already investing and building relationships. This circle of contacts can help identify startups through a quality filter.