Introduce yourself – what is your background, passions and ‘day job’?
My name is Javier Latorre, I am a 36 years old MSc in Telecommunications Engineering and hold an MBA and Masters in Structured Finance and Private Equity. In addition to that, I am the father to two amazing babies – 27 months and 8 months old – which drives me crazy on a daily basis. I am also the founder/CEO of two companies relating to professional corporate events and entertainment engineering, and a mentor at the IE Venture Lab in Madrid. I love to play blues rock guitar with my bandmates, although I had to postpone my many other hobbies due to my limited brain capacities – you try having two babies under two! My day job keeps me quite busy, as I have to manage two different companies in different physical locations, which forces me to be very sharp and disciplined. However, I’m lucky that I have an amazing team and a wonderful wife that make my life much easier. Additionally, I am a Spanish crowdfunding investor via FundedByMe.
How did you first get familiar with crowdfunding and why does it appeal to you?
At IE’s Venture day in 2012 I first met FundedByMe. I had only heard about crowdfunding before as an emerging trend, but didn’t know about Spanish crowdfunding options – or much else about what crowdfunding was all about. At that event I spoke with some of the other IE mentors and some investors, and I noticed that crowdfunding was a reality. I was fascinated by the concept and decided to do some research, which involved making my first crowdfunding investment. I fully support this way of financing startups, and I think that FundedByMe is absolutely needed in the actual situation, where the number of entrepreneurs and investors is rapidly growing. With crowdfunding and FundedByMe anyone can be an investor, which “socializes” a process that used to be quite complex in the past.
Which project(s) on FundedByMe did you invest in? What made you want to get involved?
I invested into Eggs Inc, a Swedish healthy and low fat/low carb fast food company offering meals made of eggs – perfect for the LCHF and Paleo tendencies that are everywhere in Europe! Due to my “offline” entrepreneur and investor profile, I don’t feel too comfortable investing in those businesses that have volume (viral) as a value driver. I prefer to invest in businesses where I fully understand the concept, where the value driver is clear and is not based on a soft potentials. That’s the first point. The second one, and specifically for projects where I don’t know the team behind it personally (which, by the way, is crucial for me for doing bigger investments), is that it should do something good for society. In this case, I would definitely become a customer of Eggs Inc, as my dynamic lifestyle is usually based on no-meals or fast food, which is currently a nightmare.
What do you expect to get out of these investments on the long run?
This first investment in FBM is mainly to learn and feel the “user experience” of the platform, which has been very successful thus far. For this kind of company, I am a long-term Spanish crowdfunding investor, not a share speculator, so my idea is to build a solid portfolio of investments for the future. What I really enjoy about the investments offered on FundedByMe is that I, a Spanish crowdfunding investor, have access to opportunities to invest in interesting campaigns from all over Europe.
What is the most important tip you’d give other investors considering crowdfunding?
You have to be patient and research, ask the entrepreneurs for information and small details, do a small amount investments to test and feel the user experience, and only invest in businesses that you understand and believe in. For larger investments, it’s absolutely critical to personally meet the management team – FundedByMe often hosts investor events where you can meet the entrepreneurs. I would recommend going to these events and shaking hands with the entrepreneurs – take the online world offline.
Are there any new investment rounds on FundedByMe that you have your eyes on at the moment?
Eggs Inc is currently in Open Round on FundedByMe. Spanish crowdfunding guru Miguel Ángel (FundedByMe Spain Country Manager) and I had some beers the other day, and I’m currently looking at two companies that sounded super interesting – particularly an exciting Spanish one that is launching on the platform soon! For sure I will crowd-invest more…but right now I can’t yet give you names. We will see…