Spanish Cabify recently raised €1.5m in its first funding round (read here). While writing the news, I visited their website and remained impressed by their classy style and their different (high end) service. Given the above, I sent some questions to their CEO, Juan de Antonio, who gently accepted to answer them.
FinSMEs: Hello Juan, thank you for joining us. First, can you tell us a little bit more about you?
Juan: “Sure, I love great food, rock music and surfing and I hate getting sunburned. I majored in Telecommunication Engineering at Universidad Politécnica in Madrid, one of the most prestigious universities in Spain in this field. Here I learnt how to overcome difficulties, but it was during my MBA at Stanford Universitywhere I got a more practical view of the entrepreneurial world.
“I have worked in companies like Boston Consulting Group and afterwards in Zero Motorcyles. At the age of 32, I am currently CEO of Cabify“.
FinSMEs: Why did you decide to launch Cabify?
Juan: “We officially started the business in 2011 but my colleagues and I had been thinking of such an idea for a while. During our trips all over the world, we realized the difficulty to understand taxi rates and how annoying it was to pay with cash. Besides, nowadays it is getting more and more uncomfortable to drive a car around the city.
“Cabify was launched as a solution for these headaches: an excellent service withclear rates andautomatic payment through credit card“.
FinSMEs: What is it? How does it work?
Juan: “We wanted to offer a more exclusive service, different to any other conventional transport, at a reasonable price and with all the comfort.
“First of all, we decided not to use taxis. Instead, we collaborate with companies that supply us with elegant cars such as Mercedes or Audi.
“You are able to request the service making a reservation or immediately.Our purpose is that the client only pays for what it gets; so you start paying at the moment that your driver gets to your place and not before. Besides, there are noluggage or airportsupplements applicable.
“We also aimed to offer a better user experience. Therefore, once you have been assigned a driver, you can contact them if you have any question. In addition, you can monitor from your screen devicethe path that your driver makes until picks you up.
“Finally, you have the option of rating your trip, in order to maximize the quality we want to offer“.
FinSMEs: What’s the business model?
Juan: “We offer an alternative for travelers’ transportation by providing you with high-end cars with a chauffeur. We create a market place and work as “brokers” between car rental companies with chauffeur and customers. We are able to set such competitive prices as we present ourselves as a solution to the excess of capacity of our partners“.
FinSMEs: Could you introduce us to the other team members?
Juan: “Of course. Before co-founding Cabify, our CTO Sam Lown worked as freelance for five years in projects and enterprises such as FloresFrescas.com, Jobandtalent, Vostok Studio and Planetaki. He graduated inComputer Science at Staffordshire University and collaborated as a student in the support area in CERN, Geneva.
“Vicente Pascual, our COO, has been working in companies like BBVA and Boston Consulting Group in Europe and Asia.
FinSMEs: Today, many tech companies try to raise venture capital, I know that this is not easy. What did you do to reach the target? Was it easy to close the deal?
Juan: “Our innovative idea and the brilliant team we were gathering together helped us to reach our goal faster. We were able to attract the interest of different investors ofSilicon Valley, raising a total amount of $1,6m in our first round“.
FinSMEs: Who are the investors?
Juan: “Among the main investors of our young company you can find The Hit Forge, Red Swan Ventures, Maurice Werdegar and Resolute Partners”.
FinSMEs: How are you using the capital?
Juan: “Cabify is now a team of more than 20 members, most of whom are located in Spain. Our capital is being used to continue our international expansion. We also invest in R&D to improve the quality of our service”.
FinSMEs: Do you already plan to raise an additional round?
Juan: “We are concentrated on executing right now”.
FinSMEs: What’s your future plans?
Juan: “We want to grow and improve our service. We constantly redesign our website and the app to make it easier for clients to use it. At the moment, we are present in Spain, Chile and Peru. We are also working onlaunching in more countries”.