Riding Unicorns

S3E8 - Sacha Michaud, Co-Founder @ Glovo

January 26, 2022 Riding Unicorns Season 3 Episode 8
Riding Unicorns
S3E8 - Sacha Michaud, Co-Founder @ Glovo
Show Notes Transcript

Sacha Michaud is the co-founder of commerce start-up Glovo. Shortly after recording the episode with Sacha the company made headlines after it was announced that German multinational online food-delivery service Delivery Hero had acquired a majority stake in the company. 

The former jockey turned entrepreneur and investor sat down with Riding Unicorns to reveal what keeps drawing him back to entrepreneurship, the similarities between being an athlete and a founder and the areas of the business he wished he had invested in earlier. James and Hector also get Sacha’s thoughts on building a sustainable business whilst maintaining a healthy appetite to grow. 

Make sure to like and subscribe to the Riding Unicorns podcast to never miss an episode. Also don't forget to give Riding Unicorns a follow on Twitter and LinkedIn to keep on top of the latest developments.

[00:00:00] James: Welcome to riding unicorns, the podcast about growth startups. I'm James Pringle, and I'm a technology entrepreneur and investor and the founder of Pringle capital. My co-host is Hector Mason from episode one ventures for season three, we are sitting down with some of the most successful founders to better understand what entrepreneurship means to them. The operational processes they have employed on their startup journey and what lessons they've learned along the way.

[00:00:36] Today's episode is with Sacha Michaud. co-founder at Glovo. Glovo is a startup that is transforming the way consumers, access, local goods, enabling anyone to get nearly any product delivered in under one hour. Glovo's on demand delivery platform, connects customers with local careers who purchase and deliver goods from any restaurant or shop in a city.

[00:00:58] Now since the time of recording, there's been [00:01:00] a big announcement, which is that delivery hero. Has acquired a majority stake in Glovo at a 2.3 billion Euro valuation. This is a huge deal for a European venture I'm really exciting that we've got Sacha on

[00:01:13] we obviously didn't cover the deal, but we get to hear about how he's built the company, some really interesting stuff. So let's get started. Hi, Sacha. Welcome to riding unicorns.

[00:01:26] Sacha: Thanks. Thanks. My pleasure.

[00:01:29] James: It's all pleasure. so we was like to get started by asking art successful founder guests. What does entrepreneurship mean to.

[00:01:38] Sacha: It's a pretty wide question. To me, it's anyone who really starts a business and in some way, or another is creative or disruptive in the way they're tackling the problem. And entrepreneurship has been very associated in the last couple of decades to tech companies. I think, [00:02:00] but a friend of mine told me when I was very young, you know, I want to start.

[00:02:03] But then an entrepreneur was, could be somebody who opens a high street store next to another ICU store saying the absolute same things. And who's going to sell more is the one who's more creative. And that to me is, is a good example of something very simple, but it's equally entrepreneurial.

[00:02:18] Now you have two stores on the same street next to each other and sending it the one who's going to sell more. It's going to be the more creative person I think. That to me is creative and disruptive and, you know, fixing things that are broken, optimizing things, maybe that before technology and our technology has done is his thing.

[00:02:36] And that's pretty much my definition of it's pretty wide entrepreneurship covers so many things.

[00:02:42] Hector: Yeah, I think that's super interesting. I think probably entrepreneurs aren't given enough credit for their creativity. but you have been a serial entrepreneur with a few other bits and pieces, sprinkled between your endeavors. did you, did you always think you are going to be an entrepreneur and what keeps [00:03:00] on drawing you back?

[00:03:01] Sacha: it's probably in my DNA. I'll give you an example. I was, I've traveled quite a bit as a child. Um, in fact, I grew up, for four years in central America and there was a, you know, the 10 and there's a local market and I started selling popcorn. whenever I moved back to the UK, I was I used to do in newspapers and help milk

[00:03:21] So I've always been doing things. And, since a very young age, I think. It's in my DNA, but to be honest, when I came to Spain, I was, I used to be a race horse jockey in the UK and the U S so I came to Spain. I wasn't planning to stay. but I really loved the country and I said, well, what am I going to do?

[00:03:38] So luckily I decided to learn computer program, which turned out to be a very correct decision. and then as I didn't really have much of a career. in computers and, I didn't have a university degree or anything like that to really move very quickly. The only way was to create my own job.

[00:03:57] so it was sort of, you know, how can I do something? [00:04:00] And so luckily the internet came and when I set up a little company went quite well and I've never looked back. So it's, it's more, a lot about being the right place at the right time. a bit of, a lot of luck as usual with, with everything people doing.

[00:04:14] So, I mean, that's really how I got into it. and since then, obviously it so much fun to have an idea and try and make it work and it doesn't always happen, but that that's the most important thing for me. really enjoying it.

[00:04:27] James: Essentially, you mentioned that you were a jockey. So, I mean, what does the experience of being a pro athlete and now being a founder, what what's similar about those types of things and what have you, what did you take and learnings that made you, made you a, better founder? And that takes me onto the sort of question we actually asked a lot of people, which is, what do you think gives you an edge as a founder?

[00:04:49] What do you think makes you a great.

[00:04:52] Sacha: first of all, I wouldn't consider myself a great founder. I generally surround myself with great founders. I'm very good at surrounding myself really good talent. [00:05:00] I think that's my Don, I think I'm become very good at choosing people and very early on, in fact, my question company, the first person I hired turned out to be a rockstar.

[00:05:07] We've gone back to the first bit that from racing, I think there's two things, specifically that sport I was in, which is although it's very individual because it's one person on the horse, but at the end, there's a lot of. As a trainer there's obviously the horse as yourself and there's the people around.

[00:05:22] So I think this is a lot of teamwork and then discipline in racing. There's a lot of sort of discipline, not only sports wise, but also, I mean, weight joggers have to get their weight down. They have to control that. there's quite a lot of discipline early hours. so I think those are, those are two things I think teamwork and, being focused and disciplined, I think, uh, quite good traits that.

[00:05:43] Hector: Yeah, I think it's really interesting. I mean, we, we were actually just talking as a team this morning. the types of people we like to invest in. And it often is people who've excelled at other things than business. You know, people who've set big goals in other areas of life and have succeeded.

[00:05:57] and I think it's kind of a signal for like [00:06:00] expansive minds. It goes back to the creativity point. I think it's a signal for that. so no, really, really, really good to hear about your various different careers. had you had any major successes prior to. in business or was that really the first great success?

[00:06:16] And what do you think made it? Was it the idea? Was it, the ability to put into action? What you'd learned from previous businesses?

[00:06:23] Sacha: you know, I've had a couple of successes at one reference, I think in the time with. In the late nineties, I was the co-founders of a company called Latin red, which in its day was, it type of Jasko. in Spanish we launched it from Barcelona, but, by the name of the product, it just grew virally in Latin America.

[00:06:43] So we became the largest Spanish speaking portal of services in the world at the time. we had, you know, for email. Chats homepages search, to build a Ray of, services. Um, and we ended up selling that to our main [00:07:00] competitor, which is comparable to star media, which went flipped on the NASDAQ.

[00:07:03] they had much less traffic than us, but they had a lot of money and we had all the traffic. So from them, it was an ideal match because then they can shut these show that they were leading the market and specifically Latin America. And that wouldn't be today was, was a big thing. It was the biggest sale, I think, for a Spanish company.

[00:07:18] Tiny compared to today's numbers, but, that was success. And I stayed with star media for two years and I ended up being a CTO and they're based out of New York, but, we built most of the technology out of my team in Barcelona. And then that ended up being bought by friends, Telekom, and orange today.

[00:07:36] She turns orange and, um, I ended up being with them for, I think a year and half. which again, I, you know, that's a good example of going back to entrepreneur, you know, it was a massive conglomerate and old French telephone, more so, and it's something that I didn't really have a fit. the way I work when they dynamics, you know, didn't really fit into an organization so structured and in a way, slow to make decisions, which, is general, you [00:08:00] know, these big companies, and I'm not saying it's wrong, it's just that some people fit into that.

[00:08:03] And some don't, I definitely don't.

[00:08:05] James: Yeah, absolutely different cultures for different people. And a lot of the founders we have are definitely hungry for speed. Um, so Sasha, what is the mission statement at Globo? Where do you want to take it? And has it been the same since day one? Or has it evolved over time

[00:08:23] Sacha: we don't have a mission statement and in fact, we have a vision which is to give everyone easy access to anything in your city. So I think. there's a few key words there. No, anything. So we've always been multi-category. This has become a very popular now is the food delivery companies are moving into groceries and the moving into pharmacy and they're moving into retail.

[00:08:44] We've been doing that from day one. everyone. So I think there's also a component that is super important as in if you want to get to everyone, you know, cost is very important. so to get access to goods has to be fairly. unless you want to go [00:09:00] to a pure segment and then city, I think, you know, we're, hyper-local, so we're not a logistics company.

[00:09:04] We're not somebody who's gonna start moving things, across the country and everything. We're very hyper local, cities, towns, smaller times now as we evolve. So I think that's our vision. we don't really have a mission statement. Maybe we'll create them one day, when we know, but, um, I think that really defines what we are as a, as a company and what we do in the 24 countries where we operate today.

[00:09:27] Hector: I think you're right. And so we had 23 countries down, obviously that's out of date, it's now 24, about 900 cities. Um, according to our research, but not London. so is that, is there a reason, for that and why not London yet? you know, without obviously giving away too much, Yeah.

[00:09:44] W what, what are your plans and what, what do you use as the, the sort of criteria for moving into new cities and new new geographies?

[00:09:51] Sacha: Yeah, actually, we were launching London next week. No joke. We're not. , is a simple reason, two simple reasons. I think, first of all, sometimes, you know, [00:10:00] we're seeing, now is this unicorn and, in Spain, as a funded company, we've received the highest amount of funding for any Spanish company, but yet we're still very tiny compared to.

[00:10:11] pretty much all our competition is as far as market size funding valuation. And we're talking, like did every hero, Uber, et cetera. These are, billionaires, you know, just to take away, for example, the new merger. So we're competing against companies that are much bigger than us have a lot more. So we have to choose our battles. So that one's a pretty easy one. and then number two, we do have a focus on markets where we believe we can lead or at least be very close to leadership. And we think there's a lot of value in leadership with three common marketplace. the consumer, the customer wants something. we have, the stores, restaurants. who actually, you know, want to incremental sales and we have, our, our Kodiak and blowers actually, you know, make it all [00:11:00] work.

[00:11:00] So the more demand we can give our stores, better we can work with them to they're happy with us. We're their preferred platform. We can get more, more jobs to the careers. So they're earning more so they can earn more brown. and all that makes that, then we have the best service.

[00:11:19] We have the best content. We have the best partners in the city and that reversed the customers then again. so there's a lot of value, I think in being one of the top two. So that's our, that's the two main reasons why we choose the markets we've been in. So, so we won't be going to the UK anytime soon.

[00:11:36] we're going to go into the U S we're going to go into Asia, very compelling. Markets where the cost of entering and, to, get to those first two positions is very expensive. and you know, we're not that size company yet.

[00:11:49] James: You mentioned capital raising them. I mean, you have been still very successful at capital raising, as you said that the most fun. Spanish company. So what would you [00:12:00] say has helped you raise that amount of money? And is there any advice you would give to founders earlier in their journey about how to fundraise tips and tricks along the way?

[00:12:11] And how do you make rounds competitive and How do you land at like a mega round? Like some of the rounds.

[00:12:18] Sacha: internally we're actually quite critical of, our fundraising. I don't think we've done a great job. and I think it's not only our fault. I think, being born out of, of Spain, I think there's been no massive success stories that one of the things I think VCs look a little bit at less so now, but, certainly, you know, they'd like referencing.

[00:12:40] Like a good ecosystem and you guys should know that better than me. I think that that has been a handicap one question we've asked is, you know, how is the small Spanish company going to be there to compete against these giant companies now? and the doubt that we would be able to So I think we've struggled to fundraise, been tough to get to where we are today.[00:13:00] you know, one of our rounds we had, I think it was 99 nos, and then we finally got a yes. So just shows you, so I would say that, and then you know I get asked the question about, you know, what advice, and to be honest, we haven't been able to be that choosy, with our investors.

[00:13:17] But I think it's, very important to get investors on if you can, and not all, you know, you're not all startups can choose. Right. So that's when. And it's not just this free money out there and you can just go and pick it's generally the other way round. So, I think, try and get investors who are very aligned with, your vision, knowing how you want to build a company.

[00:13:36] I think that's key because they're going to be partners writing. And when, when you have to make tough decisions, when things are going easy it's easy. but when things get tough, that's when you really want, good partners in your corner to help you. want to jump or be, you know, so I think that's, if you can, I think, you know, that would be my main advice.

[00:13:56] Hector: Yeah. And obviously you've now, they'll Glover into [00:14:00] a multi-billion dollar company. what have been the hardest things, building a huge business and our listeners always like anecdotes, you know, examples of times where things have gone through. or been really difficult. Can you think of any times where that's been.

[00:14:15] Sacha: Yeah. I think that the toughest for us is as founders, I think because. We're both very people, people, um, and the team and the engagement is, you know, when you have to close the market, we've closed on Brazil, Egypt, Turkey, for example. So these are markets where again, we took a decision that, the cost of opportunity of growing those markets to become lead or co-leader were huge and probably the best option.

[00:14:43] To invest those funds somewhere else. So those are tough decisions because you have local teams, super engaged, often, in their own little startup, no one country doing very well as well. They're growing. So they're doing absolutely nothing wrong and, and you have to choose your battles where I said earlier, and I [00:15:00] think that's tough one now.

[00:15:02] but also in, you know, it's also, we, we learn a lot from mistakes now, I think from going regions expanding very quickly and then suddenly saying, well, um, you know, you haven't entered this market well, and you learn from that. And then you build the playbook. So you build a better playbook, the next country launch.

[00:15:19] So it's been a bit of that as well, which I think is really good. And some of the best learnings we've had. Has been, you know, specifically I Brazil, for example, central, we don't very quickly, very aggressively and we quickly realized well, so that, that was great learning for the company.

[00:15:34] We go from that.

[00:15:35] Hector: Definitely. And is it is one of the challenges with that keeping morale high? What's the response, from your employees when something like that happens.

[00:15:46] Sacha: Well, I think we're very transparent company in weird. So you know, there's a general acceptance that, you know, this is, a magical one that we're going to do everything right. I think, there's an understanding of what our strategy is. and we're very open and transparent about [00:16:00] it and we're gonna have tough decisions to make in the future.

[00:16:02] And, and we've had yesterday. But I think we're in a good place now. as far as, you know, funding, but it's strategically how we're doing in the regions where we operate, but great local teams. Amazing. we've run the business with a lot of autonomy. So we give a lot of strength and decision-making to the local teams of how to run their business.

[00:16:20] and not from headquarters. You know, I was in Africa, Ugandan and I be coached to bomb on markets there. And see how the teams really know the markets and what am I going to tell them from headquarters, how to run those businesses?

[00:16:33] James: Yeah. It was really, really interesting. And giving people that kind of responsibility and accountability, I'm sure. is a good way to go. you mentioned a couple of times the importance of people. I mean, it's pretty much a theme that's run through every answer. Is there any role or team that you wish you'd hired earlier in the journey that would have helped growth and support the, plans.

[00:16:59] Sacha: Yeah, [00:17:00] no surprise tech. we're always going to be short of engineers. probably capable of doing 15% of what we really want to do. But if I had 10 times, as many engineers, I'd be doing a lot more, but I'd still have the only thing 50%. And I think that's any, tech company.

[00:17:15] and you know, now we're we're really building that out and growing, and we've got, obviously, I mean, tech hub is in Barcelona. We've also got a tech hub in Warsaw. Now we opened a second one in Spain, Madrid, Kia. So expanding that much, quicker, would have loved to have done that sooner.

[00:17:30] There's a couple of reasons partially we should have focused on building on the tech team maybe earlier, but second as well, at the end you need capital to do that. No. so certain extent and certainly in the beginning, We didn't have enough funding to, hire 50 engineers.

[00:17:45] So we had to make, do with what we had. So there's that, that's probably one and maybe, HR, I think, you know, we've got a great leader of our people team now, and I think it would have been great to have that fairly early on, the importance of having a team [00:18:00] engaged we're, you know, we're over 3000 employees now.

[00:18:03] I think that's that's key. And there's often in startups early on. It's not given the value that, that it should. And maybe, and then to be honest, maybe we wouldn't have been able to hire a rockstar early on because we were so early on. So those websites continue to choose where they want to go and they probably wanted to make it.

[00:18:19] So there's also a bit of Latin when's the right moment when you can bring in the right people and attract the right time. And it's not always about economics. And it's about, you know, where you are as a company and the potential.

[00:18:30] James: there's a stat about the U S bringing in head of people much earlier than we traditionally have done. We're starting to see that change. So it's really interesting that that's the case. It would be.

[00:18:41] Sacha: that's interesting. I hadn't read that. I'll check that one out.

[00:18:44] Hector: Yeah. I always really liked hearing about how founders think about product. I'm kind of in the context of there being a shortage of engineers, do you think the users of the app would kind of notice a change had you, if you did have access to all of the engineers you [00:19:00] wanted, or is it other changes that you would have made and the product you would have dealt with enough engineers have been mostly in the background and, what would it have looked like? How different do you think Bravo would be if you had, all of the engineers that you wanted.

[00:19:15] Sacha: there's probably two things. you know, I don't think on the general interface or what they see or maybe the flow of, you know, we're doing on our platform would have changed that much. probably me more around operations and optimizing the different parts of the delivery process, the algorithms we are out of in dispatching Jarvis.

[00:19:35] so. I think that would have been much more efficient and that's key, to make sure you know, that the orders work better. The customer has a better UX, cause it's not just about having a great UX in the app. And at the end of the day, we deliver things and we get them from partners So optimizing that, that would inevitably benefit the courier is if it's more efficient, And he'll have more orders, we'll get better orders and then be able to earn more. So [00:20:00] there's a mix of things And then maybe you could launch, you know, we're multi-category we have been, I'll perceived restaurant food is under one category, but groceries are second, but we also do any retail and more and more high street retailers, like, clothes now joining the app.

[00:20:14] I see the opportunity on demand, pharmacists. et cetera. so I think, we could probably enhance and go quick with multi-category. some segments which have a very different UX, for the customer, then maybe, ordering.

[00:20:27] James: And such that every company nowadays is sort of looking at quite similar metrics across. CAC and LTV and retention and things like that. But every company has a slightly different way of viewing those in terms of a kind of north star metric. So what's your north star metric? Is it number of users, number of deliveries?

[00:20:49] Like what are you guys constantly striving towards and measuring.

[00:20:54] Sacha: It's a mixture of everything want to acquire customers to the platform would valuable known, and then you want to [00:21:00] re retain them. So it's a mixture. I don't think there's one, there's no point in growing at all costs, right?

[00:21:04] Because you can just throw money at that problem. it's identifying, bringing in valuable customers. So we're, not promo driven company. We obviously do promotions to some customers or with some partners, for example, that we do activity, but we're not a promoter.

[00:21:19] And we generally think that, you know, the quality of the users generally, less valuable because they come in because they've got a freebie, right. And then tomorrow you competitive offers them another freebie and others jumps up. so we mix, I think, to be fair, a lot of the key metrics but I think are you have to say one, where am I picking unions obsessed.

[00:21:37] And who's bringing valuable customers and who can stay around.

[00:21:41] Hector: really interested, Sasha. I think you've spoken publicly about, you know, how important sustainability is. I wonder if there's any tension between, you know, your keenness on being sustainable, and, and running a business that delivers stuff that otherwise might've been picked up on first or by other, potentially more [00:22:00] sustainable means.

[00:22:00] So how do you guys think about sustainability?

[00:22:03] Sacha: you know, especially impacting, it's quite big for the moment in the stage of the company is so important and actually reporting to me. It doesn't mean that much, but it does assume that it's quite important for the company. I think there's two answers to this for.

[00:22:16] So when we started early on with Oscar, you know, in the first year we wanted to look at the sustainability of the business and how we could get better. and he made a very good reflection at the time. He said, look, we can focus on a lot of different things right now, but we're probably not gonna be.

[00:22:30] A massive company, that's going to have massive, positive impact. so why don't we focus on that? And then we can have even better positive impact. And that's a little bit what we did. and now for the last, I think two years we've been really focusing on not just sustainability. From a, you know, carbon neutral perspective, but also the positive impacts of our ecosystem, how we can identify for our careers, how it can be a trampoline.

[00:22:54] We don't believe it's the job of their life. We believe we can help them move on to another job. I've got job boards, my [00:23:00] partners, but that help them. You know, they're looking, after six months with us, then come, they want to move on to something else which is maybe endorsed or something that we were given that opportunity we've got online.

[00:23:10] Courses for them So there's a lot of things about us that all about social positive impact, going back more the planet part of it. Well, I deliveries have been carbon neutral. We, compensate them, for over a year now. but at the end of this year, as a company, we'll be carbon neutral.

[00:23:27] So we're reducing, but at the same time, we're not reducing nuts. So therefore we compensate. What we haven't reduced. And then from a business perspective, I feel very comfortable with what we do because, 30% of groceries worldwide, picked up in a car today. and many of the things we do and deliver, might not be done on foot.

[00:23:49] and then, in many of our cities, Barcelona, for example, I mean 70% of bicycles and there's a tendency as well to move to electronic bicycles as they [00:24:00] advanced the technology becomes cheaper. So there's a lot of cities now where courteous. It makes more sense for them to use an electronic based within a motorbike.

[00:24:08] So that's happening anyway. We're gonna obviously push that more proactively and what resources we have to do that. And it depends on the region. So I think, we're moving in the right way. We're definitely having a massive positive impact another good example of positive impact. In my opinion, is, digitalization of SMEs, you know, I think it's fair to say that retailers, pretty much in the last commercial to actually join this, thing, you know, online.

[00:24:34] And I think COVID is accelerated that and with. Uh, part of that, the first sale, many of these stores have done online has been through us. so we're definitely having an impact in that. And I think there needs to be something done because, things are moving very quick online. And so we're also having a positive impact on SMEs.

[00:24:52] And as I said earlier, you know, about global partners and we work with a lot of the big chains, but 90% of our partners are [00:25:00] in fact, small businesses with pretty much one or two startups.

[00:25:03] Hector: Yeah, it's really great to hear hopefully more and more stuff. Stop following suit and, you know, making impact an important piece of their strategy. But yeah, I mean, I've, I've enjoyed seeing more and more of the current delivery vehicles, turning electric and loaded the mopeds now as well or electric, which is just great to see.

[00:25:19] Sacha: And if you want to see some of the stuff we're doing, we have a project called global access, which what we're doing is giving our platform, and make it available. To NGOs, to local councils, to non-profits. So they can basically plug into a platform, a platform, not just a technology, it's a cruelty as, but also our partners end up engaging with our partners.

[00:25:37] And obviously we want to get our customers as well to be part of that. And you can, look on nice global access. We have a website and you can just see some of the projects we've done worldwide. Uh, the funding we've put into that, how many deliveries, social diverse we've done, and we're going to be, continue investing in.

[00:25:52] And our dream, you know, you know, KPIs, you know, okay. I used to have, a 5% or 10% of our OD give it to me for social Kohl's.[00:26:00]

[00:26:00] James: Yeah, that's great. Definitely good initiative from Glover. And yeah, as I said, hopefully we'll see more large scale companies doing more and more and also lobbying as well and using their commercial power to have an impact. So yeah, opening up more cycle lanes in cities and things like that.

[00:26:17] I'm sure there's things that you guys are probably looking at. just slightly away from glow. You are also an angel investor in a few companies. So I was interested to kind of just get your view as, one is, you know, being a founder yourself. Yeah. How much does that help you when looking at angel investments and secondly, what do you look for?

[00:26:37] And do you like to invest in people who are very similar to you or do you like to invest in people that are sort of wildly different than doing something that you would never sort of end up going and doing? And you'll see, you're happy to put your capital to work on, a project that you wouldn't ever really get.

[00:26:53] Sacha: Unfortunately, very systematic. I'm probably terrible investors. for me, the first and most important question is, is the. [00:27:00] I have to like them. not like the machine because they're smart, but like them actually, you know, that feel like, you know, we might go for beer with these guys.

[00:27:09] I mean, I wouldn't mind working with these, people, because I think, you know, you have to have a good vibe, I think, with the people you work with. I think, so I think that's, that's one that, you know, apart from being, you know, focused and sharp and you think that so that's and then it's, the project has to fit in with.

[00:27:25] With me with my, you know, with my persona that it's fun. and then, yeah, I mean, apart from that's pretty much it lately. I stopped when I, when we set up global, I just didn't have time. I'm quite hands-on with, founders. I like to be very active. And so I for a few years, didn't invest in pretty much anything because I was pretty focused, but lately, and one of the great things about global is now we've had.

[00:27:50] Um, I think over 30 now, employees set up funded startups and not just an idea pitching they've received external funding, which is fantastic.[00:28:00] some really good ideas out there. And I think some of them, it could be. And then I just talked about this yesterday, actually that today we have over 3000 employees.

[00:28:08] So imagine how many startups it can actually come out of global because this is it's just come out of a company with 102 hundred employees and 300 now. So that's amazing. And we obviously like to help them and also going to be like, we get, have an opportunity to invest in some of the global ecosystem as we would like that.

[00:28:25] So I'm getting, quite active, small tickets, and. I think January it's the, it's the team. obviously the project fits in with my personas. It's just not very mathematical, unfortunately.

[00:28:36] Hector: There's no reason for it to be mathematical. I mean, it's good

[00:28:38] Sacha: we'll see.

[00:28:40] James: such a, yeah, it's really cool that you've got employees and people from the ecosystem coming out and setting up their own companies. I mean, it's, as the company that's raised the most money in Spain, you obviously actually hold quite an important kind of pillar within the tech ecosystem.

[00:28:55] That, so that's great. That's great to hear.

[00:28:57] Sacha: The tech cup, it should be, you know, I mean, it's, an [00:29:00] amazing city. they've got a historic entrepreneurship built in years. Some of the biggest Spanish companies in born in Barcelona, Catalonia, and also it's a great place to live. So more and more, you know, Europeans, even a lot of Americans now coming to work for tech companies here.

[00:29:15] And it's an amazing place to mix, uh, entrepreneurship projects, tech projects with, a great. And, you know, and then to see some of these ex-employees that stay here often, they're not Spanish, or they're not from Barstow, not stayed here to build this startup as also just makes us really proud.

[00:29:33] Hector: so we, we always like to do, uh, the dinner party guests game, with our guests. And, we ask them to pick three people who they would like to ask to a business lunch or a business dinner. Um, and they can be whoever you want. Who would you.

[00:29:47] Sacha: Well, let's make it a. And go on later. so I generally do this anyway. I invite random people who are very different and they often don't know each other beforehand and it becomes quite fun most of the time, not always. but anyway, so I think [00:30:00] I've put my three passions. So, um, I'm always been amazing fan uh, bill gates probably for my age, because I saw Microsoft what it was doing and, and I think he's been an astounding tech leader.

[00:30:12] And, not many people know this and maybe they do, but apple, when they were going bankrupt, literally bailed them out and he said, you know, the plant's a better place with, with apple in it. So he, you know, I think, you know, from Microsoft invested in saved apple now apple then later became the most valuable company in the world.

[00:30:27] But, and also he was, I think his peak, he was able just to cut and suddenly dedicate the rest of his life for social causes. And I think, he's always a reference built a company with, an overtook, a company with a much worse product, um, you know, windows and it was nothing compared to apple yet.

[00:30:45] He was able to do that. So that's, you know, when you've got the best product and the best team, but when you, when you don't even have the best product and you aren't able to do that just as something about them. So that's, one person, I think, from the tech space that I've always been a fan and.

[00:30:59] Learn a lot [00:31:00] from women in the dinner. also I'm a big sports fan, obviously used to race, but I'm expression. And I think it'd be quite fun to invite. Eric Cantona he's a personality that I think very different, you know, from football. I think he's a philosopher. He's an actor.

[00:31:15] I think he's controversial. I think you'd bring a lot of fun conversation to this. and I think that'd be a good mix. and then finally music, I can't sing, I can't play anything, but my dad was a musician and I've always had music No, not many people know him, a backward Gil Scott Heron, and he actually died, but he was.

[00:31:30] It was a poet too, began mixing music in the seventies. And they called him sometimes that started rap to a certain extent. And then he had a lot of problems. He was a heroin addict and everything. So he was a very quick visionary on people's rights and everything. I think there's three would make a funny homeless section

[00:31:48] Hector: It'd be a great dinner. Are you, is it going to be tap us or also on the menu?

[00:31:51] Sacha: Yeah, I think I'm actually cooking. yeah, I'll probably cook if there's no vegetarian, which is oxtail stew. it's a [00:32:00] typical dish in Spain if it's done well. It's absolutely amazing.

[00:32:03] Hector: That sounds awesome. send a piece back to London.

[00:32:05] Great. it's been an absolute pleasure having you on the, on the show. Sasha, we've really enjoyed hearing a bit about the operational side of, running a multi-billion dollar company and setting one up and, you know, all the issues and excitement that comes along with that. it's been a real, real pleasure and hope you've enjoyed it too.

[00:32:22] Sacha: Yeah, thanks. No it's been, it's been a great conversation

[00:32:25] James: That's it for this week. I hope you were able to take away many learnings from this episode. Thankfully, we have plenty, more amazing guests and insightful conversations coming your way. Every week, every Wednesday. Be sure to subscribe to riding unicorns on apple, Spotify, or wherever else you get your podcasts. Thank you again for listening. If you're interested in supporting the show.

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