Friday, October 14, 2016

In the Spotlight: Obuu - Attracting investors in the high-tech industry

Obuu was born 1 year ago, at a time when all founders quit their jobs in big engineering companies and jumped into this adventure. In a short period of time, we were the only Spanish company selected for the Airbus Bizlab, Airbus’ first corporate accelerator. As you can imagine, the press coverage was huge: a lot of calls, interviews and pressure.

We successfully went through the acceleration program, in which we managed to do several tests of concepts with different interested Airbus departments, and from which we obtained the commercial contacts that we have now. We’re now established in the ESA Business Incubation Centre, in Leganés (Madrid), and we receive a lot of support from logistics experts from ESA and Fundación Madri+d.

Our field of expertise is based on the strategic logistic optimisation, so we help companies from aerospatial, railway, renewable energies and similar industries to improve their profitability. The objective is to make complex machines work for more hours with a smaller investment in maintenance stock, such as spare parts, specific tools or consumables. We are currently offering this service; however, we are planning to launch a software product in early 2017.

When it comes to funding, we have received NeocTec's subsidy from the Spanish Ministry of Economy and Competitivy (through the CDTI). This fund is oriented to help recently created and new technologies-based companies. We also have gained an incentive of 50 thousand euro from the ESA and Comunidad de Madrid, thanks to the ESA-BIC program.

In addition, we have talked with plenty of VCs and Business Angels over the last year. We would like to share these pieces of advice based on our experience:

1. Wait until it is strictly necessary to search for private funding. Choose the right  time to grow your business, and ask for funding only when you really need that capital to improve your product so you could increase your benefits.

2. Work hard and sell as soon as you can. Once I heard from an entrepreneur the silly phrase “the money from the selling is like investment without equity”. Even though it shows the wrong focused mindset of the start-up bubble, the idea behind that statement is true. it might be known as start-up, but it is essentially a company, so sell as much you can and you will not need external investment. 

3. Remain one hundred percent engaged with your company. If you are not willing to invest your own time and effort, you cannot ask other people to invest their money. 

4. Gather a good team. To be perfectly coordinated and on the same page with your partners and employees is vital in order to show how amazing you are!

Mario Inglés