Booksy, a Polish mobile app for booking appointments at salons, has received 3 million zł (approx. €679,000) from investment funds, including Inovo (1.7 million zł, or approx. €385,000) and the UK’s Piton Capital. “We have been convinced to invest in Booksy by the potential of this market, good quality of the product, and the vast experience of the team behind the website. Booksy is rapidly growing in the US,” says Inovo’s Tomasz Swieboda. “We believe it could be the Polish app that will conquer the world – service providers are very satisfied with it and prefer Booksy to competing websites and mobile apps.”
How does a venture capital fund look for startups? Funds are like companies – they have to sell well. To a fund, ‘selling’ means acquiring companies – in other words, investing only in those companies that are going to generate income for the fund in the future. To get fished out, it’s useful to know where the funds cast their fishing nets.
When negotiating with a fund, just a concept for developing your business might not be enough. It’s better to have some strong arguments up your sleeve. “From an investor’s point of view, the important things are, for instance, the sales growth rate, as well as the cost of acquiring a customer, the transaction, the churn and the average revenue the young company is getting from working with the customer,” explains Michał Rokosz, Inovo’s partner.
We invest in companies led by entrepreneurs. We spend a lot of time on determining whether we are dealing with a startup, or an actual entrepreneur. In Inovo’s case, the following observation has proved true so far: enterprises with the highest chances of success are those that are established by people who are experts in a specific field. When you work in the hotel industry, you can probably see some of its deficiencies, so you can already build something on that niche. That approach is much better than ‘let’s make an app for ordering food online, I’m sure there’s a demand for that.’