We’ve caught up with Yolanda Perez, director of BStartup Banco Sabadell – the bank’s programme supporting startups and scaleup through specialised financial services and investments, to look back at the bank’s role in supporting the innovation ecosystem and 4YFN along the years. BStartup Banco Sabadell is 4YFN22 Platinum Sponsor, supporting the startup ecosystem one more year.
In a nutshell, for those who don’t know BStartup, what is it that you do?
BStartup is the pioneer financial partner for startups and scaleups in Spain, providing them with specialised banking services and equity investment in venture capital. This is the vision behind BStartup team’s daily activities.
Tell us more about the Spanish startups you invest in.
Our investment targets early-stage digital and tech companies, with strong growth potential and scalable, innovative business models. Additionally, Banco Sabadell provides follow-on investments to portfolio companies and is committed to Open Innovation.
We are sector agnostic, although we have launched two verticals: BStartupHealth and BStartupGreen.
Equality and diversity are always on the table when we talk about innovation, how do you support female entrepreneurs through your programme?
At BStartup, we do not have any specific policy or quota in place, but we do focus on finding the best entrepreneurs and our ratios are above the industry average: 30% of our investees have a woman among their founding teams, and in 20% of the companies the CEO is a woman.
In addition, we are very satisfied with the performance of companies led by women. We have very good experience with female founders. We can underscore companies such as RedPoints with Laura Urquizu in the top job, Mi Cuento with Muriel Bourgeois, Inbrain with Carolina Aguilar, Oxolife with Agnès Arbat, Raquel Valero from PlayFilmo or Emily Cebrián with Froged.
I would also like to point out that diversity seems essential to us for the proper operation and success of the companies, but not only at the gender level, but also in terms of culture, training, age, experiences, etc. The more diverse the companies are, the more we can capture the diversities and perceptions of society and customers, and the greater the variety of talent and skills the team has to address challenges.
Finally, we wanted to touch on your involvement at 4YFN. Banco Sabadell has been supporting 4YFN since the very beginning and we are very happy to have you on board as Platinum sponsor for 2022. How did you first get involved in 4YFN and how has it evolved through the years?
BStartup has been supporting 4YFN since its very first edition. We always like to tell that you presented the idea to us in a brief PowerPoint presentation, and from the start, we saw the potential of this initiative: the effort to leverage the multitude of business opportunities at MWC for the benefit of startups.
We are really happy with this joint collaboration year after year and with the growth that 4YFN has enjoyed. We even allow ourselves to say that we have grown in some way together, and we are proud to have supported you along the journey and of what you have achieved internationally and the role you play in the Spanish ecosystem.
Bstartups always brings great content to the 4YFN conference, but in addition you also have you own content programme running at the Bstartup stand. What are the highlights of your stand content, which session is an absolute must?
The truth is that we make a big effort every year to organise many sessions and activities at 4YFN. 2021 was a record year in Spain in terms of large international investment rounds and also interesting exits. So as regards the sessions on the main stages, on Monday 28 at 16:15 at the Banco Sabadell Stage, we will hold the panel “How I sold my startup”, in which we want to touch on the process and the keys to selling a startup based on the experience of three large Spanish startups sold in 2021 between €130m-€230m. We will speak to their founders: María Alegre from Chartboost, Javi Fondevila from Holded and Xavier Pladellorens from Deporvillage.
And on Wednesday 2, Jose Carol, BStartup’s Director of Operations, will moderate the panel “What are VCs looking for in 2022?” with the presence of four large international VCs: Jacky Abitbol from Chatay Partner; Miguel Kindelán from GP Bullhound; Sia Houchangnia from SeedCamp and Pauline Roux from Elaia.
Of course, our stand also takes on a very important role and becomes the centre of our activity: attendees will be able to get the best advice on banking solutions for startups and seed-stage investment.
We will also feature our startups. You will be able to meet at our stand 20 of the most promising seed-stage startups that are already part of our investment portfolio.
And throughout this edition, we will offer at our stand quick content sessions that we have prepared in collaboration with our partners in the Spanish ecosystem: SeedRocket, Global Legal Tech Hub, Barcelona Health Hub, Startup Valencia, Barcelona Global, Paycomet by Banco Sabadell, etc. And since you asked me about female entrepreneurship earlier, let me invite you to the talk that we will hold at our stand on Monday 28 at 5:00 p.m.: “In the shoes of a VC investor”, featuring large investors from the Spanish ecosystem. And on Tuesday, 1 March also at 5:00 p.m., EIT Food is organising a panel on women in Agrofood.
You can find more information in our blog and we will love to see you there!
Same here! Thank you Yolanda for sharing your thoughts with us!
See you 28/02-3/03 at 4YFN 2022!