The number of startup accelerators and incubators in Spain keeps growing every year, but venture builders are somewhat more rare.
People outside Barcelona, know Antai mainly from Wallapop, in Barcelona however, the venture builder is known for several companies including Deliberry, Glovo (merger between JustBell and Glovo), Shopery and CornerJob.
We sat down with Marc Jordana, one of Antai’s partners, for a chat about 2016, a year which will at least include one new company launch for Antai.
The Rocket Internet of Spain?
Several of Antai’s companies is what is popularly called copycats, a word some people think is negative, but others take to their heart. Jordana is in the middle.
“Sometimes we get inspired by other companies, but we also showed the capacity to be more innovative, and create something from scratch. Some people think the term copycat is a negative thing, other do not. I’m an agnostic”.
Even though Rocket Internet is one of the copycats and venture builders which have tremendously succeeded with their model, Jordana doesn’t want to be compared with their German brethren.
“We don’t want the Rocket Internet stamp”, he says, though he emphasizes that they respect Rocket Internet, but see themselves as different.
Much more than Wallapop
It’s normal that people know Antai mostly because of one of the few spanish unicorns, Wallapop, but this will soon change, according to Jordana.
Without revealing to much, he can say that they’re launching another new company in 2016.
Antai is planning to launch one more company in 2016.
“I can’t say to much about it, but I can say that we like marketplaces, and we still like e-commerce, but not in a traditional way. And pure mobile, is a key word”, the partner explains.
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The year of consolidation
Partner Jordana explains that 2015 was a special year for Antai.
“2015 was the year of consolidation of companies, but it was most of all, the year we started picking up the results of the hard work we’ve been laying down since early 2012”, he says.
The past year the Antai delivery startup Glovo merged with Justbell, and they also launched Cornerjob, a job matching platform that enables users to find geolocated job offers, apply to them, chat directly with the recruiters and according to them, get an answer in 24 hours.
“What we do is not easy and we often have to fight for our projects. We don’t accept defeat and will keep on fighting for all of our businesses”, Jordana explains.
Believe in Barcelona
Even though the global startup market in terms of investments and valuations are cooling down, especially in the US, Jordana continues to believe in growth both in Europe and Barcelona.
“We think that Europe and Spain will continue to mature and grow. But investors will definitely be more demanding”.
Antai and Jordana is for the moment crammed like sardines in a can, in their office in Eixample, in Barcelona. They look forward to move into the Barcelona Tech Factory, the city’s new tech hub we wrote about before christmas.
“Barcelona is the place to be right now. It’s growing fast, and the ecosystem is good. But what Barcelona really needs is more exits, and more entrepreneurs that use their exit capital and knowledge to keep building the community”, says Jordana.