Lanai Partners doubles its investment in startups with a third fund with 2.5 million

Lanai Partners, one of the groups of business angels best known in Spain, which invests in startups In the seed phase, it has launched its third fund. It will invest 2.5 million euros in different rounds of financing in disruptive and scalable companies over the next three years. A bet that leads you to increase your investment by more than 100%.

In the last five years, this investment group, led by Rubén Ferreiro (president of the Viko group, dedicated to marketing for ecommerce), Jeroen Merchiers (former CEO of Airbnb EMEA) and Guillermo Llibre (CEO of proptech Housell), has invested 2.2 million in 25 startups. Among others, it has supported Cabify, Landbot, Fotawa, Avuxi, Noken, Atani, Reby or Brokoli.

Ferreiro, who was an investor and director of startups like Glovo, points out that the most differential thing about Lanai Partners’ proposal is that they have a large networking in the ecosystem startups with nine partners who are CEOs, founders and directors of companies such as Airbnb, Privalia, iSalud, Ulabox, Revolut, Elogia, DAS, Hoteles Catalonia, Holaluz, Letgo, Kiwoco, Typeform, Osborne Clarke Cash Converters and Lazada.

All of them act as specialists in different areas of knowledge “which allows us to analyze all types of sectors and create the maximum value for the group’s investments,” continues Ferreiro, who highlights that his group has an entrepreneurial rather than an investor mind. “At the same time that we are launching our projects and doing financing rounds for ourselves, we are investing in other projects. This is perceived by the entrepreneur and we can help him better. Not only funding you, but also know-how acquired from our entrepreneurial, investment and work experience ”.

In early rounds

Lanai Partners invests in first rounds, between 10,000 and 50,000 euros, and a maximum per company of 200,000 euros. Their vehicles are still too recent to have made divestments, but of the first vehicle (which was 200,000 euros) they have already made a sale, from QAshops to Vente-Privee, and another partial sale from Landbot. “In the second vehicle we are still in the investment phase (after the first tickets we are investing in some up to those 200,000 euros) and we calculate to start making divestments throughout 2022 ”, clarifies Ferreiro, who points out that there are 40 investors among the three launched funds, some international.

The founding partner of Lanai Partners remarks that they invest in entrepreneurs in attractive markets (fundamentally those that are little digitized and with scale so that companies can capture enough value), and not in projects. “People always make a difference and in the case of women startups much more. We evaluate the entrepreneur more than the idea itself, because it can evolve depending on the market, as in fact happened in Landbot ”.

With their third fund just launched, they have already invested 135,000 euros in four startups: ChatWith.io (a tool for small businesses to easily set up a communication interface through WhatsApp with their customers and even pay through the application), Blok (a company that makes supermarket deliveries in 10 minutes), Ritmo (which finances digitized businesses by analyzing their metrics, solving the needs not covered by banks or venture capital) and Pulpo, which offers a service that allows users to share subscriptions.

Balance your investments

The manager points out that the balance of the investments they have made so far is very positive, “although you never know until the end.” But he does point out some data that make him optimistic: “Between 30-40% of the companies invested with our second fund are raising significant financing rounds, even with international investors; 60% of investors in the third vehicle already invested in the second, and we have entrepreneurs in whom we have invested, and who have financial capacity, who in turn are accompanying us as investors ”.

Ferreiro points out that there is more money than ever in the market to invest in startups. This first quarter of 2021, with 1,080 million euros, has set a historical record in investment in venture capital in Spain, reaching the total investment of 2020 in practically a single quarter. A fact that is caused by the million-dollar rounds announced by companies such as Jobandtalent, Idealista, Wallapop, Glovo and Travelperk, among others.

“Investment vehicles are also becoming larger in size and this implies that due to their own management they are forced to invest in more mature phases, leaving the initial stages a little emptier, where we are,” continues Ferreiro, who also highlights all those important rounds are also an indicator of maturity of the Spanish entrepreneurial ecosystem. “Until recently, all series A rounds and, of course, series B, were covered with international money, but now there is beginning to be financial capacity in Spain to cover the first ones without going to the international market.” The founding partner of Lanai Partners also highlights how divestments of the business angels they are generating a virtuous cycle, because they buy their participation and invest again ”.

Impact of the pandemic

Ferreiro admits that everything is a bit accelerated by the pandemic, because everything digital is overweight, “and many startups have benefited, unless they were very impacted by the Covid. But, even some like Travelperk have closed a very important round [de 123 millones de euros], despite the crisis in the tourism sector ”.

Within the investments of Lanai Partners there are some startups impacted by the pandemic, as is the case of Miss Tipsi, who sells software for the hospitality sector. “But, even so, this April it was already selling much more than in February 2020 and it has recovered everything lost by the pandemic, and that we are still half confined and with restaurants at half gas. Although they have suffered and have had to spend as little as possible, they are ready for the rebound effect due to the sensitivity of this sector to digitization ”.

Regarding the Government’s proposals to turn Spain into an entrepreneurial nation, Ferreiro assures that “I neither ask nor expect too much. I believe that the Government can generate advantages in many ways in the ecosystem, but I am also convinced that it is the private initiative that has to make the difference. Letting them do it is more than enough ”, he emphasizes.

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