La portada de mañana
Acceder
Un sacerdote del Opus 'compró' el silencio de una víctima de abusos
La contaminación y su efecto para la vida en el Mar Menor
Opinión – Pecados capitales, por Elia Barceló

Rubén Ferreiro highlights the differences between the Canarian and the Latin American markets

Rubén Ferreiro stands out for his hybrid profile, on the one hand, as a businessman he has founded and is president of Grupo VIKO, a company specialized in digital marketing for other partners. This company has been around for more than twenty years and has grown to be relatively large, with more than 200 employees. On the other hand, as an entrepreneur, he stands out for participating as a co-founder in different initiatives, such as Yaba, an Amazon aggregator. In addition, he is also a great investor, he works at Lanai Partners, a group of business angels, founded by himself, together with two colleagues and they are dedicated to investing in the seed phase.

His career as an entrepreneur began in 2001, when he began to invest in a Galician startup called Galicia Banner, a company set up from the university and the first invested by Unirisco Galicia. After this success, Ferreiro closely joined the startups created from the university environment. In fact, he focused on projects that had a more technological part (with BTEC concepts). Of these he explains: “I think it is a great quarry to have a certain background of innovation within the university umbrella to later launch business projects. It should be promoted more and more should happen, because less of the potential that exists happens”. Although he says that he has not yet invested in any, he does not rule it out. In addition to the university, you can take another path to found a startup, Vocational Training, a way to get higher education without the subjects being so theoretical. Ferreiro says that the path taken to undertake is not important, but rather the level of entrepreneurial capacity that one has. “We have hired a lot of people and a lot of people are hired who come from professional training, especially technical profiles, and I don't see any significant difference,” he concludes.

For all those people who, as soon as they finish their studies, want to set up a startup, he gives them some advice: they have to train as an employee. He explains that the best way to find out how it works and know how to start a business is to work first in different companies. “I think that today working in a scale-up, which is a startup that has a certain size and a certain affiliation, allows you to learn about the dynamics of a company that has a certain volume but maintains startup dynamics,” he says. He says that there are many entrepreneurs who started working in this way and ended up setting up big startups, such as Paypal, Glovo or Tuenti. “A more common path and one that improves the chances of success is to have some experience working for someone else,” he concludes.

But it is not only young people who are betting more and more on entrepreneurship. After the great crisis that occurred in 2008, there are many Spaniards who decided to take that path out of necessity. Given this option, Ferreiro is not in favor “undertaking out of necessity is complicated because, apart from the fact that undertaking itself is difficult, if you have the need and the economic pressure of needing to have a monthly income to cover your minimum needs, this complicates everything a bit. plus”. He explains that to be an entrepreneur you have to have an environment that generates some security for you, because without help the path becomes even more complicated and if you do it out of necessity, without having knowledge and without having a foundation on which to lean, it will be more complicated than the project works: “You have to start from a minimally comfortable situation. It does not have to be abundant, but minimally stable” he concludes.

With the bases of the idea already macerated is when you can start building the company. Once it is done, investors always highlight certain important points, which depend on each one, to see if that company is going to work or not and therefore, decide if they are going to invest in it. Ferreiro invests in early stages, so the focus is above all on the entrepreneur. He explains that he focuses above all on the team, more than on the idea, since being in the seed phase, business thinking can vary. “We try to do a back round check of the entrepreneur, find out about someone who worked with him or studied with him, who tells us what kind of person he is, what ability he has to solve problems, what capacity for initiative he has, what capacity for resilience he has... that is, things that have more to do with the entrepreneur” he comments that it is more similar to a job selection process than anything else. He is not so concerned about the idea, it does not seem so relevant in the initial phase: “The idea, if it is in a good category and more or less makes sense and is investable, because it has a foundation of technology and scalability, the detail of the idea can mutate, it can evolve, it can pivot as it is commonly said, and it is not so relevant. We evaluate it, but it is not that relevant” he concludes.

In Spain less and less is being invested in initial phases, Ferreiro says that this form of investment is being abandoned because there is a lot of liquidity in the market right now: “if you have to manage a fund of 80 million euros, go to phases so early with very small tickets, you can no longer due to the very size of the fund and it forces you to go to a more mature phase of the startup”. For this reason, he explains, that there are business angels, investors for startups with less funds. For those companies that want to seek investment in the initial phase, he explains that it is difficult to give general advice, since each model is different: “I think that the track record of the entrepreneur depends on each startup. If a successful former entrepreneur who sold a company for several million euros is going to launch a startup, people are likely to invest. On the other hand, if you are at the other extreme, if you have just graduated from university, that you do not have a track record, you do not have work experience and such, then you will have to prove more so that investors bet on you,” he explains.

The post-pandemic effect means that we are all just a phone call away

With the advancement of technology coupled with the global pandemic of 2020, telecommuting and collaboration in various jobs from different parts of the world has changed. Distances have shortened and more and more companies are found working with mixed teams. Ferreiro is in favor of this way of working: I believe that a natural expansion of startups born in Spain is the Latin American market and that having someone in the founding team who knows that geography well is fundamental to success, it maximizes the probabilities, without a doubt. “ he explains, adding that they have also just invested in a new company called Ritmo.

Ferreiro tells in the interview that apart from investing, he also works as a supplier for Latin American companies, carrying out digital marketing for different companies. “In fact, at the VIKO Group we have offices in Mexico, and we work with startups there. There are many startups in the portfolio that are expanding to Latin America. What is very important to understand is that the market is not one” he explains that it is not enough just to have offices in a country on the continent, but that you have to have in each of those that you think about investing, studying the casuistry: “If you don't have people with experience there among your employees, you should travel and do a local analysis to understand the market. You have to be there on the ground, it's not worth what they tell you, because it's a market full of culture, of people, of the differences that many times from here we find difficult to understand. It is a market that seems easy because of the similarity of language, but it has a totally different culture, as a Swede or a Russian can have it”, he affirms.

The union of different cultures can also polarize Spain, for example with the creation of Spanish startups in the Canary Islands, the farthest place on the peninsula. Ferreiro explains that, although he has never invested in a Canarian startup, it seems like a good place to do so. conditions of quality of life, climate, even certain tax advantages, which can be very attractive for many people“. In addition, he says that with the passage of the pandemic, many workers have gone to live there and work remotely, even more overweighting a region that until recently was much worse off.

The importance of financing

Tokenization is a form of investment that is increasingly on the rise. Ferreiro is not very much in favor of this trend: “I think there is now an overweighting of the need to use tokens or some type of instrument of this type based on blockchains, when they are not always necessary.” He explains that there are many startups that, to try to appear more, use blockchains when they are not necessary and that he sees the same thing going to happen with tokens. “I think that unless there is a differential element in the business model of the startup that involves raising money via financing to use, that is, via a tokenization of its assets, I think that in many cases it is not relevant. And it can even subtract more than accelerate ”he concludes.

As a final part of the interview, Rubén Ferreiro gives advice to all those who want to invest in the initial phases: “It is not like investing in the stock market, that everyone has access to the same opportunities, another thing is that I can choose. But here you first have to have access to opportunities and then choose ”he informs. First of all, you have to meet someone who is in the world in order to learn, who will guide you and train with him. To conclude, he concludes: “my advice is to get as close as possible to someone who already has this experience so that they can facilitate this and I can add my financial capacity and let myself be advised and guided by someone who already has this experience and this knowledge, who takes time investing and that allows me to minimize the risk”.

Rubén Ferreiro stands out for his hybrid profile, on the one hand, as a businessman he has founded and is president of Grupo VIKO, a company specialized in digital marketing for other partners. This company has been around for more than twenty years and has grown to be relatively large, with more than 200 employees. On the other hand, as an entrepreneur, he stands out for participating as a co-founder in different initiatives, such as Yaba, an Amazon aggregator. In addition, he is also a great investor, he works at Lanai Partners, a group of business angels, founded by himself, together with two colleagues and they are dedicated to investing in the seed phase.

His career as an entrepreneur began in 2001, when he began to invest in a Galician startup called Galicia Banner, a company set up from the university and the first invested by Unirisco Galicia. After this success, Ferreiro closely joined the startups created from the university environment. In fact, he focused on projects that had a more technological part (with BTEC concepts). Of these he explains: “I think it is a great quarry to have a certain background of innovation within the university umbrella to later launch business projects. It should be promoted more and more should happen, because less of the potential that exists happens”. Although he says that he has not yet invested in any, he does not rule it out. In addition to the university, you can take another path to found a startup, Vocational Training, a way to get higher education without the subjects being so theoretical. Ferreiro says that the path taken to undertake is not important, but rather the level of entrepreneurial capacity that one has. “We have hired a lot of people and a lot of people are hired who come from professional training, especially technical profiles, and I don't see any significant difference,” he concludes.

For all those people who, as soon as they finish their studies, want to set up a startup, he gives them some advice: they have to train as an employee. He explains that the best way to find out how it works and know how to start a business is to work first in different companies. “I think that today working in a scale-up, which is a startup that has a certain size and a certain affiliation, allows you to learn about the dynamics of a company that has a certain volume but maintains startup dynamics,” he says. He says that there are many entrepreneurs who started working in this way and ended up setting up big startups, such as Paypal, Glovo or Tuenti. “A more common path and one that improves the chances of success is to have some experience working for someone else,” he concludes.

But it is not only young people who are betting more and more on entrepreneurship. After the great crisis that occurred in 2008, there are many Spaniards who decided to take that path out of necessity. Given this option, Ferreiro is not in favor “undertaking out of necessity is complicated because, apart from the fact that undertaking itself is difficult, if you have the need and the economic pressure of needing to have a monthly income to cover your minimum needs, this complicates everything a bit. plus”. He explains that to be an entrepreneur you have to have an environment that generates some security for you, because without help the path becomes even more complicated and if you do it out of necessity, without having knowledge and without having a foundation on which to lean, it will be more complicated than the project works: “You have to start from a minimally comfortable situation. It does not have to be abundant, but minimally stable” he concludes.

With the bases of the idea already macerated is when you can start building the company. Once it is done, investors always highlight certain important points, which depend on each one, to see if that company is going to work or not and therefore, decide if they are going to invest in it. Ferreiro invests in early stages, so the focus is above all on the entrepreneur. He explains that he focuses above all on the team, more than on the idea, since being in the seed phase, business thinking can vary. “We try to do a back round check of the entrepreneur, find out about someone who worked with him or studied with him, who tells us what kind of person he is, what ability he has to solve problems, what capacity for initiative he has, what capacity for resilience he has... that is, things that have more to do with the entrepreneur” he comments that it is more similar to a job selection process than anything else. He is not so concerned about the idea, it does not seem so relevant in the initial phase: “The idea, if it is in a good category and more or less makes sense and is investable, because it has a foundation of technology and scalability, the detail of the idea can mutate, it can evolve, it can pivot as it is commonly said, and it is not so relevant. We evaluate it, but it is not that relevant” he concludes.

In Spain less and less is being invested in initial phases, Ferreiro says that this form of investment is being abandoned because there is a lot of liquidity in the market right now: “if you have to manage a fund of 80 million euros, go to phases so early with very small tickets, you can no longer due to the very size of the fund and it forces you to go to a more mature phase of the startup”. For this reason, he explains, that there are business angels, investors for startups with less funds. For those companies that want to seek investment in the initial phase, he explains that it is difficult to give general advice, since each model is different: “I think that the track record of the entrepreneur depends on each startup. If a successful former entrepreneur who sold a company for several million euros is going to launch a startup, people are likely to invest. On the other hand, if you are at the other extreme, if you have just graduated from university, that you do not have a track record, you do not have work experience and such, then you will have to prove more so that investors bet on you,” he explains.

The post-pandemic effect means that we are all just a phone call away

With the advancement of technology coupled with the global pandemic of 2020, telecommuting and collaboration in various jobs from different parts of the world has changed. Distances have shortened and more and more companies are found working with mixed teams. Ferreiro is in favor of this way of working: I believe that a natural expansion of startups born in Spain is the Latin American market and that having someone in the founding team who knows that geography well is fundamental to success, it maximizes the probabilities, without a doubt. “ he explains, adding that they have also just invested in a new company called Ritmo.

Ferreiro tells in the interview that apart from investing, he also works as a supplier for Latin American companies, carrying out digital marketing for different companies. “In fact, at the VIKO Group we have offices in Mexico, and we work with startups there. There are many startups in the portfolio that are expanding to Latin America. What is very important to understand is that the market is not one” he explains that it is not enough just to have offices in a country on the continent, but that you have to have in each of those that you think about investing, studying the casuistry: “If you don't have people with experience there among your employees, you should travel and do a local analysis to understand the market. You have to be there on the ground, it's not worth what they tell you, because it's a market full of culture, of people, of the differences that many times from here we find difficult to understand. It is a market that seems easy because of the similarity of language, but it has a totally different culture, as a Swede or a Russian can have it”, he affirms.

The union of different cultures can also polarize Spain, for example with the creation of Spanish startups in the Canary Islands, the farthest place on the peninsula. Ferreiro explains that, although he has never invested in a Canarian startup, it seems like a good place to do so. conditions of quality of life, climate, even certain tax advantages, which can be very attractive for many people“. In addition, he says that with the passage of the pandemic, many workers have gone to live there and work remotely, even more overweighting a region that until recently was much worse off.

The importance of financing

Tokenization is a form of investment that is increasingly on the rise. Ferreiro is not very much in favor of this trend: “I think there is now an overweighting of the need to use tokens or some type of instrument of this type based on blockchains, when they are not always necessary.” He explains that there are many startups that, to try to appear more, use blockchains when they are not necessary and that he sees the same thing going to happen with tokens. “I think that unless there is a differential element in the business model of the startup that involves raising money via financing to use, that is, via a tokenization of its assets, I think that in many cases it is not relevant. And it can even subtract more than accelerate ”he concludes.

As a final part of the interview, Rubén Ferreiro gives advice to all those who want to invest in the initial phases: “It is not like investing in the stock market, that everyone has access to the same opportunities, another thing is that I can choose. But here you first have to have access to opportunities and then choose ”he informs. First of all, you have to meet someone who is in the world in order to learn, who will guide you and train with him. To conclude, he concludes: “my advice is to get as close as possible to someone who already has this experience so that they can facilitate this and I can add my financial capacity and let myself be advised and guided by someone who already has this experience and this knowledge, who takes time investing and that allows me to minimize the risk”.

Rubén Ferreiro stands out for his hybrid profile, on the one hand, as a businessman he has founded and is president of Grupo VIKO, a company specialized in digital marketing for other partners. This company has been around for more than twenty years and has grown to be relatively large, with more than 200 employees. On the other hand, as an entrepreneur, he stands out for participating as a co-founder in different initiatives, such as Yaba, an Amazon aggregator. In addition, he is also a great investor, he works at Lanai Partners, a group of business angels, founded by himself, together with two colleagues and they are dedicated to investing in the seed phase.

His career as an entrepreneur began in 2001, when he began to invest in a Galician startup called Galicia Banner, a company set up from the university and the first invested by Unirisco Galicia. After this success, Ferreiro closely joined the startups created from the university environment. In fact, he focused on projects that had a more technological part (with BTEC concepts). Of these he explains: “I think it is a great quarry to have a certain background of innovation within the university umbrella to later launch business projects. It should be promoted more and more should happen, because less of the potential that exists happens”. Although he says that he has not yet invested in any, he does not rule it out. In addition to the university, you can take another path to found a startup, Vocational Training, a way to get higher education without the subjects being so theoretical. Ferreiro says that the path taken to undertake is not important, but rather the level of entrepreneurial capacity that one has. “We have hired a lot of people and a lot of people are hired who come from professional training, especially technical profiles, and I don't see any significant difference,” he concludes.

Startups Incubator & Canary Islands softlanding

Impulsa Ventures is an incubator for early-stage startups settled in the Canary Islands. This incubator works with talent from the university (both in Spain and Latin America), focused on areas such as energy, government, blue economy, culture, tourism...

Impulsa Ventures works hand in hand with public and private partners, aligned with the SDGs and the 2030 Agenda. The incubator helps British, Italian and other European startups to establish themselves in the Canary Islands as a space with exclusive tax treatment in Europe, and a climate and services that attract millions of people from all over the world every year.

Given the geographical location of the Canary Islands, Impulsa Ventures also facilitates connections between startups & entrepreneurs from Latin America, Arab countries, Africa or Asia.

To share news with Impulsa Startups or develop activities with Impulsa Ventures, you can contact through WhatsApp with Impulsa Startups at +34 662 156 672