The Portuguese startup and Lisbon Challenge alumnus, 360imprimir, just closed a round of $20.4M in investment.
At Beta-i, we are proud to see their success, as they were one of the first startups that joined one of the earliest editions of our acceleration program – Lisbon Challenge. Like Pedro Rocha Vieira, Beta-i’s founder and CEO, put it:
When we decided to launch Lisbon Challenge, the idea was to empower a new generation of entrepreneurs and companies, in order to give these actors the ideal tools to compete in the global digital market. 360imprimir was one of the first startups that went through this process, and it is with great pride that we have noted its success story ever since. Naturally, the fact that they have now raised an investment of €18 million is due, in the first place, to their great management, vision and execution. But I’d like to believe that part of this success also came from the training Lisbon Challenge gave them, of which Uniplaces, Eggy, Attentive, Knok, Impraise, Sparkl or Eat Tasty are also good examples. I hope that this round will open new horizons for them, but I believe that it will also allow them to contribute actively to the ecosystem, fueling a kind of virtuous cycle that Lisbon Challenge helped to start.
Sérgio Vieira, CEO and co-founder, also praised Beta-i for the work done in the portuguese entrepreneurial ecosystem, highlighting the role that Lisbon Challenge played: “For us, as an early stage startup LC gave us the opportunity to see other groups with different realities and different solutions to problems that were ours too. Moreover, the mentoring and pitch sessions played an important role in self-evaluation and communication positioning.”
“Since LC we have observed closely the role of Beta-i in the Portuguese ecosystem and praised their effort to keep pushing the startup scene to the next level – this also happened with 360imprimir.”
Created in 2013, 360imprimir is an e-commerce platform focused on the clients’ (SME’s and independent professionals) do-it-yourself method and delivery of quality and low-cost of printed communications. Operating on a fabless model, the company differentiates through technology: it has an intelligent aggregation software, that ensures the best prices in the market for their clients.
With a business based on technology – from the platform and its many mechanisms to the technology made available to production and logistic partners -, the company will continue to invest in technology and R&D.
In rapid development context like ours, we have to be one step (or two!) ahead of the challenges, so that we may be enablers of the market. 360imprimir is a tech and innovative company, so we’re always updated on the most recent trends in Performance, Scalability, Automation, Artificial Intelligence or Augmented Reality. It’s our DNA and what makes us unique. – Hugo Neto, Chief Technology Officer at 360imprimir
This investment will also give 360imprimir the chance to extend their product range with 20.000 new products and enter 17 new markets.
The company hopes their path will be an inspiration for other portuguese businesses to follow:
“360imprimir is the proof that every company can achieve success if the idea is different and adds value to customer experience. So yes, we believe that our path inspires other entrepreneurs to develop great and innovative ideas.” added the CEO.
José Salgado, CO-founder and Chief Growth Officer at 360imprimir, will also be at Lisbon Investment Summit to speak on a panel that is of interest to all startups following in their footsteps – Scaling Up: Tips and Tricks to Go Global. Get your tickets to LIS here.
The morning dawned rainy in Lisbon – the kind that makes you wanna stay on the sofa all morning, but for our Lisbon Challenge teams that was not an option – they just got to the busiest part of the challenge.
Lisbon Challenge wraps up today its Product Phase. After Validation Phase – where the teams worked on improving their understanding of the problem they are trying to solve and (re)validating their customers (how they feel, interact and behave around this problem in the) – they started Product Phase, where they went on to work through how their products deliver the benefits that solve those problems.
Turning Pains into Gains
The product phase focuses solely on the startup’s solution. Are they delivering the benefits their customers require? It’s all about taking the pains identified during validation phase and the benefits that solve them and turning them into product features that deliver what the customers want.
But more than just features (and having the right features), it’s about understanding and building a journey through the product that takes them straight to core value.
Taking a page from Andrew Chen’s Engagement Wall and “next feature fallacy”, the teams focus on understanding what is working and why, and also what they should just stop doing, instead of just building new things. So, it’s about weeding out the unnecessary stuff and getting as close as possible to the #nobullshit product that makes users fall in love with it.
A Mentorship Driven Program
As their Lisbon Challenge journey takes them closer and closer to a product-market fit, the teams are lucky to have a strong network of mentors, who have been through the same processes and similar experiences as entrepreneurs themselves. They stepped up to the challenge to give serious, honest and helpful feedback to our teams.
Rita Ribeiro da Silva, from SKOACH, detailed the challenges of the phase:
This has been, so far, the most challenging phase. The problem with creating a product is that there are many opportunities and you have to decide on what exactly do you want to choose, and where you want to focus. And the temptations are huge, and sometimes it’s hard to keep the focus on creating a product that is focused and having a focused message of what it is. It’s hard to keep it simple.
The team, who is tackling the challenge of high employee turnover with a solution that enables high-performing teams through gamified change of individual behavior, has taken full advantage of the mentors’ advice:
“I would say that the best advice has been from people who have used products that have tried to solve the same problem, and we’ve got some feedback about the pitfalls, the mistakes that they made, and that’s helpful so we don’t… do them (laughs)”, completed João Ferreira, also from Skoach.
Next up, the teams will focus on finding the right metrics, messaging and channels for their product. But for now, we celebrate the end of the phase and the great group of mentors that imparted some of their knowledge and experience, with the incredible Beta-i community experience – this time delivered through the feature of brazilian-style-mouth-watering-BBQ.
These energy startups are all alumni from open-innovation programs powered by Beta-i. We’re proud to see their achievement, as we were of the collaborations and projects they worked on while in the programs. They were distinguished in the categories of Intelligent Grids, Innovative Mobility and Energy Efficiency.
Free Electrons Alumni
Category: Intelligent Grids
Adaptricity offers data driven grid analytics tools and services that enable distribution system operators to better understand grid behaviour, leading to smarter grid planning and asset management. The highly automated, intuitive system allows for better investment decisions requiring less engineering time.
Chakratec has developed a special energy storage device – a kinetic battery with unlimited charge cycles, 100% DoD, instant reaction that is sustainable. They aim to speed up battery charging through a unique floating flywheels suspended in mid-air by magnetic levitation technology.
envelio provides the software as a service solution Intelligent Grid Platform (IGP) to make grid operators ready for the future. By digitising and automating essential grid planning and operation processes, the IGP is a key component for the implementation of smart grids and the integration of distributed generation.
Equota’s services cover both the energy supply and the demand side, including energy efficiency optimization, operation & maintenance monitoring, carbon emission management, energy planning, electricity trading services, micro-grid services and other technology solutions in the industrial chain.
Description: Hygge Power combines smart sensors, tier-1 lithium ion and AI to create the next-gen storage that people want in their homes/offices. Real-time data is collected and transmitted to an encrypted repository to integrate energy partners & Hygge’s own web-based dashboard.
OneWatt, focuses on predictive maintenance for industrial motors. They use their Embedded Acoustic Recognition Sensor (EARS), machine learning, and frequency analysis to detect and predict motor faults before they occur.
Relectrify is an Australian start-up enabling uniquely capable, affordable and sustainable battery storage. They have developed advanced battery control solutions that give used batteries, including from EVs, a second life as energy storage in solar homes, businesses and the power grid.
WePower is the next generation green energy procurement and trading platform. Their platform is a one-stop-shop solution that provides companies with tools to help in understanding electricity consumption patterns, finding a best fit renewable electricity producer, contracting with them digitally and then monitoring generators.
Odit-e develops software for supervision and decision support, dedicated to distribution system operators. Odit-e builds an empirical model of low voltage electrical networks from smart meter data without using physical characteristics.
Enerbrain aims to revolutionise the market of non-residential Building Energy Management Systems thanks to its groundbreaking IoT innovation. Their solution make inefficient nonresidential buildings into smarter and more sustainable ones by using innovative IoT sensors, actuators and learning algorithms.
Present since its early stage in the USA and Europe, Attila’s co-founders traveled to Lisbon to join the fall edition 2018 of Lisbon Challenge. With a product directed at commercial banks, they made their way through Lisbon Challenge and are trying to conquer the Portuguese market.
What is your product?
Attila is an AI-based Virtual Financial Advisor able to engage retail banks’ customers in meaningful and automated financial conversations with a deep focus on customer understanding.
What made you apply to Lisbon Challenge?
The Portugal banking industry is a favorable market for Attila due to the strategic orientation of the Portuguese banks. Today they are focused, more than ever before, on improving their customer experience and customer journey’s to ensure their survival in the digital era. Lisbon Challenge represented a perfect soft landing opportunity for us in this unique and growing market.
Why is Portugal an attractive market for Attila?
Right now, is a good moment for us because the Portuguese banks are willing to do a leapfrog in their digital processes and that’s what Attila stands for: enabling banks to quickly catch up tech companies in terms of UX thanks to Machine Learning. There’s also a growing and dynamic tech ecosystem we can learn from and build partnerships with.
What are Attila’s goals for the Portuguese market?
Our main objective is to build successful case studies by finetuning our product to the needs of south European market. This represents a gateway and solid reference for the European market as a whole and the markets across the Atlantic.
What was the biggest win for Attila in the programme?
Having the opportunity to meet customers allowed us to reach a higher level of validation, adjust our value proposition and generate a pipeline of leads including top Portuguese and international Banks.
In which way Lisbon Challenge’s team helped you the best?
Lisbon Challenge’s team gave us honest and straightforward feedback that helped us challenge our ideas and plans.
What have been your biggest accomplishments since Lisbon Challenge?
Unlocking a project with one of the largest banks in Portugal – we’re very excited about it!
What is your advice for startups trying to make it in Lisbon?
Don’t hesitate to directly knock on the relevant doors, whether it be customers, partners, or investors, you will absolutely find people willing to listen and open to new ideas. Do not wait for some miracle to happen.
This is a guest blogpost by Guilherme Guerra, co-founder of Rnters, one of our Lisbon Challenge alumni. They have just launched their new platform and they want to tell the whole story behind it.
“It all began when I was travelling around Southeast Asia. I took my surfboard to Bali but had to ditch it before heading to Laos. It didn’t make any sense: why couldn’t I just have rented one?”
Guilherme Guerra, Founder
Rnters was born out of frustration with a problem that many of us face: we only need some goods for a small period of time, afterwards they become idle. In these circumstances, why buy when you can rent? And what about the stuff you’ve already bought that’s just laying around the house? Wouldn’t it be nice to put it to good use?
Now you can, rnters.com is live and you can use it to make money from the things you own and save money by choosing to rent, rather than buy, the things you need. What sort of things you may ask? Almost anything. So far we’ve rented bikes, phones, household appliances, camping gear and items for catering and events. With the exception of motorised vehicles and real estate we welcome anything on our platform.
The Rnters team
And what if you can’t find what you want?
Don’t worry, we’ll find it for you. Chat with us on rnters.com, Facebook or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll help you.
What about safety? Will your things be ok?
Sure, we protect the owner! All payments require identification and the use of a credit card. We’ve got your back.
Renting is all about the upside: you can save money, make money, reduce futile consumption and be a friend to the environment. What else can you ask for?