The social booking platform Inbed.me, founded by Alexander Torrenegra -Colombia- and Diego Saez-Gil -Argentina-, announced yesterday, that they have already raised a seed round of $1.2 million that will assist them in the development and growth of their product.
The investment was made by a very international group of investors from Europe, USA and South America, including Ventech (France), Quotidian Ventures (New York), CAP Ventures (Buenos Aires) and people like Fabrice Grinda (OLX, Zingy), Dave Lerner (Columbia Labs Venture, Venture Studio), Roeland Boonstoppel (Amber Ventures), Alec Oxenford (OLX, DeRemate), Javier Tenessa (eDreams, ODIGEO), Justin Siegel (JSmart, JNJ Mobile) among others.
The funds will be used to accelerate growth and create more services in the platform, through «social features» to integrate with other social networks, focusing on mobile tools for access and platform management. The expansion will begin in Latin America and especially Brazil, where the population of backpackers tourists has grown considerably, and is the host country of the next FIFA World Cup in 2014.
The partnership with Hostelworld, the largest online hostels network, enables Inbed.me to offer more than 250,000 properties that Hostelworld has in its inventory.
Maca Lara, our editor, talked about the Inbed.me fundraising process with Diego Saez-Gil.
Maca: Tell me about the process of negotiation, how long did they last? Which were your key points?
Diego: The fundraising process was long and exhausting. More than 4 months. We pitched more than 50 investors in all geographies: USA, LatAm, Europe … even India. The good news is we learned a lot in the process and all the feedback that investors gave us, we incorporated into our model.
A round with as many investors as we did, has its positive and negative sides. It is difficult to coordinate so many people simultaneously, but the good thing is that we have access to a large network of contacts and they all contribute with their knowledge and experience.
Maca: What is your perspective of getting investment for Latin American entrepreneurs?
Diego: I think it is becoming more possible to raise foreign capital for projects born in LatAm. I think a good scheme is to assemble a team of marketing/business development in USA and sustaining development team in LatAm. Investors in USA like to see part of the team there, but they are ok with development ‘nearshore’. On the other hand, Brazil as a market has become very interesting, and investors want to see projects to drive there. I think it is a very interesting decade for the region.
The office has its HQ in New York and its product development in Bogota, Colombia. Inbed.me started in a Startup Weekend, was part of Start-Up Chile and participated in the NXTP Labs accelerator program.
Also part of the founding team:
Chris Piazza. U.S, VP Global Inventory.
Juanda Zapata. Colombia, Lead Developer.
Sebastian Maglio. Argentina, Spanish Markets Manager.
Can I host my facebook fan page as well?