Federico is the CEO and co-founder of Kupay, a company that allows user to make their online purchases in just one click, improving the buying experience and increasing conversion rates for the stores. He is an entrepreneur from Argentina, who won our AllStartup in April 2021 and decided to turn the pains he experienced working as a consultant into a solution for e-commerce companies. But how was the process of launching his company and who is Fede? Discover more in this interview.
I used to work in a consultancy company, where I met and worked with who is nowadays my co-founder in Kupay, Jaf. We were in the same team for three years and worked together in the e-commerce module of SAP, where we experienced the pain of the long checkout process in e-commerce.
After this, I started working in a startup in Israel. I joined the two co-founders as the first employee and we launched software that helped the decision-making in open innovation when companies wanted to collaborate with startups. This was one big introduction to the entrepreneurship and startup world.
I decided to leave the company and right away I started connecting with the entrepreneurship ecosystem in Spain because something I knew for sure was that I craved being an entrepreneur. I contacted different incubators and accelerators, one of them being Demium. It was by chance that I crossed paths with Demium one week before the AllStartup in April. I already knew them by the recommendation of a friend, so I decided to contact them again. The selection process was super quick and I was one of the selected to participate in the weekend hackathon.
As I mentioned, I had already worked with Jaf in consultancy. By the time I was starting Kupay, he was in a great job position in the consultancy company he was working for. As I started to move forward with Kupay, and while I was looking for a CTO, I needed some technical advice and I always went to him, as I highly admired him because of the professional he was. He ended up helping me develop the MVP, leading the process with the Novolabs team. Jaf started to fall in love with the project, and the moment he took the decision to be my co-founder, it was a dream come true for me. This also happened thanks to Demium. Why? You would ask. I highly believe that it was thanks to them. If I wasn’t in the incubator framework, with the potential €100.000 investment from Demium Capital, Jaf wouldn’t have the security to risk everything, leave a well-paid job with great conditions, and go all in for what was only an idea at the time. I believe Demium was that certainty inside the startup uncertainty for Jaf.
Demium gives you key connections. It’s perfect for somebody who wants to turn their professional life around by becoming an entrepreneur but who has no experience in the field. I had already launched my business in Argentina and had already worked in startups and corporations, so I thought I had all the ecosystem knowledge. That was where Demium surprised me. It gave me a framework, without which I couldn’t have created my own startup. I could have been at home on my own, looking for projects to join or looking for people with whom to start a company and find no success. Being in Demium, I found synergies, I found myself being 24/7 “breathing the entrepreneurship air”, meeting new people with the same ambitions as me.
All of this ended up transforming on what I anticipated from the beginning: investors for my project that Demium introduced me to, mentors, clients, and all this network I didn’t have in Spain before joining Demium.
It was just great. Any person who has the thought of starting a business should take part. It was one of the greatest challenges I’ve faced in my life. It’s a game for a weekend, which proves your capacity to launch a company in 48h. You build a team with completely unknown people, which also proves your social skills.
In fact, my team was the winner of the hackathon. The idea we developed during the weekend, and which the two other co-founders kept working on during the Incubation Programme, turned out to be a real company, invested by Demium, Wozala.
It had different stages but something that was key for us was to be pragmatic and to do things. There will be lots of hypotheses, but we focused on getting things done, even if we had to step back and correct things in the way. This was super important for us because it made us go faster.
We started developing the solution using our personal savings and we put the engine running. I think this commitment was well-seen by the investors.
As soon as Demium Capital decided to invest in Kupay, all the introductions to potential investors that Demium had made to us started to become real investors in our company.
I think we would need a separate interview in order to tell you all my learnings from this process. Indeed, this is something that Jaf and I usually talk about. If by any chance, things didn’t go as expected and we had to close the company, the experience itself would have been totally worth it because of what we learned along the way.
For instance, I had experience in project management and I was very good at it, but you start creating your own company and you find yourself having to manage 15 different departments. You never stop learning and never stop being outside of your comfort zone, but that’s exactly the thing I like the most about entrepreneurship. You need to know about human resources to design a hiring process, investment, and finance to have an overview of your company, about technology and product… literally every pillar of a company.
I would highlight a few key moments, not only one.
The first one, no doubt, would be when we incorporated the company. For us, this was important because Jaf was making the decision of leaving his consultancy job and that was the day he really took the plunge. We were turning all this work into a real company.
The second one was when we got the news that Demium Capital made the decision to do the first investment in Kupay. Not only that but also the confirmation of investment from the business angels in the first round. The fact that people from outside the company trusted that the team and the idea has enough value to risk their own money so that you can make the company a reality.
The third one would be the first implementation. Seeing that the product works, the first purchase made through Kupay in Malferida, the first e-commerce that implemented our solution.
First, I would ask them what they really want. There are many ways of entrepreneurship. You can build a small company or family business to make money and have an income source, but Demium wouldn’t be your place then. If you have the ambition of growing a business, having a scalable startup, and having an impact with your solution on a big scale, you won’t find a better partner than Demium. They will be with you every step of the way, every day, to make things happen.