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From working at Microsoft to sell organic mushrooms

pagoskawaii 16 de May del 2017 Business
The ‘startup’ Smileat produces and distributes fresh infant food and expands abroad. Consumer groups, kilometer products, labeled increasingly demanding. Eco is business. The trends change and it is becoming more and more worrisome to know what is being eaten and what is being fed to the children.

With this idea in mind, the company was born in 2013. A Spanish startup that competes with the big baby food companies -Hero, Nestlé, Ordesa (Blevit) and Grupo Alter (Nutriben) -and offers food jars with fresh and organic products. They closed 2016 billing almost €400.000, reaching, in addition, the profitability threshold in its second year.

They sell in Portugal and France, and they also opened market in Poland and Italy last April. Before summer, they will launch two more products to reach older children, and thus become an infant feeding brand.

The partners.

They are three partners. Two of them have been friends since they were kids. Alberto Jiménez and Javier Quintana. They share age and experience abroad. It was there where they learnt everything about the ecological trend. In Ireland, Alberto Jimenez worked at Microsoft.

Now in SmileAt he is responsible for sales and marketing. Javier Quintana is the operations director and Rocio de la Iglesia, a nutritionist, is responsible for the formula. At the end of the last financial year, Smileat had produced 350,000 units, which sell in cans of 130 and 230 grams for a price ranging from €1.85 to €2.00. 8% of their sales come from the website, but they also distributed in ecological stores, herbalists and in large areas such as Carrefour, Alcampo, Dia or El Corte Inglés. The great consumption gives them a 50% of the sales volume.

The company’s growth.

Besides what the three of them do in the company, they have personnel dedicated to national and international sales, accounting and quality.

Awarded success

Their work has earned them an IESE award – which awarded them the title of best entrepreneurial project, and the company has been supported by the Rothschild Foundation. They started with an initial capital of €35,000, contributed by the two main partners.

Then came the first funding round, €,000 from family and friends, and a year later, they already had the product on the street. The second has left them another €260,000, which has been completed with private investors in the consumer sector.

They say that what they do reflects what they are: young people who have lived outside and dominate new languages and tendencies. Thus, they take advantage of social networks strength, as well as discounts by recommending friends on the web. And, in addition, they have used a phenomenon that guarantees many answers: parents with influence that are on the Internet.



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