Contxto – Mobilized to transform growth models for startups, Argentine software factory redbee Studios recently launched its own venture builder, venturebees. After receiving $27 million Argentine pesos from redbee to incubate new projects, the company builder plans to invest the money into three projects by the end of the year.
With new emphasis comes a new way to incubate, co-create and transform ideas into viable business models for startups in any stage. However, special attention will be given to early-stage companies still in the hypothesis stages as well as those raising seed capital.
“At venturebees, we construct companies around very good ideas,” said Ezequiel Apfel, co-founder and CEO of redbee. Compared to Argentina’s prevailing capital-centric business market, “we believe that we deserve a more transparent and collaborative alternative to generate business,” he added.
If all goes as planned, there won’t be anymore frantic searching for the next potential unicorn. Rather, venturebees will use a “zebra” model promoting sustainable growth over time. Instead of betting on the next unicorn, zebras encourage collaborative work, sustainable prosperity, as well as plurality.
As of today, venturebees has already identified 39 potential projects to support. By the end of the year, three of these proposals may be public.
“We want to be the technological leg (for these companies),” said Juan Manuel Santucci, Business & Portfolio representative of venturebees. “For that, we offer experience, time and money. We have the know-how in various areas such as UX, UI, business mentoring, lean startup, growth hacking, etc.”
There are two areas within venturebee’s model specifically for companies and entrepreneurs. For business partners, the goal is to “unite words and create bridges” while entrepreneurs will receive developmental guidance.
Fintech, insurtech, marketing, as well as digital media are the four categories venturebees intends to promote. All the while, the new group is searching for high-impact projects within these areas. Redbee allocated $27 million Argentine pesos to venturebees to make this possible.
What underlies its proposal is not only startups’ potential to build profitable businesses but also sustainable ones. In that regard, venturebees wants to bolster startups with long-lasting sustainable impact for all, not just a select few.
“We want to help build companies that generate value with meaning that are sustainable over time, but above all, that growth impacts the lives of all, not just some,” said Santiago Lorenzo, Tech & Digital Innovation in venturebees.
Financial aspects also seem to focus more on the startup’s long-term wellbeing.
“venturebees decided to position itself in a different way than traditional capital risk models in the region,” said Juan Carlos Ferraris, Idea Amplifier & Product Design of venturebees. “Our focus is the prosperity of the project before that of the shareholders, (so) we have a more organic and sustainable ecosystem.”
The Dow Jones Venture Sources paints a damning picture for many startups. According to them, over 65 percent of ventures go under or barely recover the amount of money originally invested.
Meanwhile, only 25 percent will recover invested funds and earn up to five times what was invested. In the long run, a measly 0.4 percent (around 1 out of 250) will become a unicorn. The same percentage will earn 50 times more than the investment, making prospects pretty bleak.
Keeping these figures in mind, this is why early-stage startups experience the greatest risks. With this model comes skewed images of success only defined by the amount of money raised or exit profits. Much of the dynamics solely revolve around capital, and that’s exactly what ventureebees wants to change.
“Many times, entrepreneurs are mistreated before and after financing,” said Ferraris. “They do not give them the right feedback to improve their ideas or too many explanations. The same entrepreneurs often crash in an attempt to be unicorns and lose control of their ventures because investors take more control.”