Shooting the turnover by 14% to 3.2 million euros while that of the sector collapses by 15% is possible. If not, ask Smileat, a startup specializing in organic baby food. The secret? The e-commerce.
“We have grown 14% thanks to the e-commerce part. We have been working for years to have a very good e-commerce at an operational level, to have everything digitized and, it is true that the results did not finish arriving and the pandemic has allowed us grow 200% “, details to elEconomista Alberto Jiménez, co-founder of Smileat.
Electronic commerce has been its great ally during the months of crisis in large part because it is a company that was born multi-channel with a very important weight of the online part since its inception. “What we are trying to do is be on all available channels , something that happens very little in food,” says Jiménez. Its products are available both in food stores to use and in pharmacies, as well as on its website.
This last part has been “his bet from the beginning.” The importance of online channels, especially as a result of the pandemic, has caught many companies “with a changed foot. There are leaders in the food category that still do not sell online. For us, it has been a strategic bet from the first minute and after several years of work we have begun to see the fruits “, he explains.
Being a digital native brand, having a good online positioning and an operational e-commerce before confinement has provided them with significant benefits in recent months, increasing their online sales by 177% . Figures that want to continue improving in the coming months. Their goal is to close 2021 with a turnover of 4 million, a figure that everything indicates that they will be able to achieve.
Despite the fact that it is a much smaller company than its main competitors, it is being able to stand up to giants such as Hero and Nestlé , with turnover of 183.5 million and 17,715 million euros, respectively. “The first difference with them is that they have two lines, one conventional and the other organic, while we have all our organic products and the second is in the quality of the product, we are above the competition. Our cookie, for example, does not it has no added sugars and getting this is super complicated, “says the founder.
The startup is not only aware of infant feeding, it is also aware of the planet. In fact, all its products are in sustainable packaging, “this for the food industry is years and years of change and we have been the first. These small details what they do is that the consumer has more empathy with our brand”, aim.
The Spanish firm has just closed a financing round for 1.8 million euros . An operation led by the Creas fund, and in which Quadia (with the Impact Investment mandate of the Daniel and Nina Carasso Foundation), Tech Transfer Agrifood, managed by Clave Capital, and minority shareholders, who have accompanied to the project in all its phases.
The capital injection will be used to consolidate Smileat’s position as the leading Spanish organic baby food brand and to continue increasing its market share. In fact, they are preparing the launch of new products in the third quarter of 2021.
“This gives us the lung to continue growing in market share in Spain, which is where we are growing the most. We are leading the category and fighting with Hero and Nestlé,” explains Jiménez. One of the objectives of the startup with this capital increase is to be able to continue developing its strategic plan, very much based on e-commerce and innovation.
“The capital increase of this financing round represents the definitive endorsement of the project , we are very excited to enter a new phase of the business plan; consolidate our position as a leading brand in Spain, grow in digital presence, always be at the forefront in the development of an innovative portfolio of new products and gradually taking a share in those international strategic areas marked in our roadmap “, says Alberto Jiménez.