Archive for November 10th, 2010

An exclusive with… Juan Lobato, CEO at Basekit

basekit_logo.jpg




What is Basekit and who are you targeting?

We are an online service helping to make the creation and publishing of websites easy. Both web professionals and small business owners can use BaseKit to greatly speed up website production.


What is the background of the business?  When was it founded?  How is it funded?


BaseKit won Seedcamp in 2008. I was part of the seed investment round then and took on the CEO role in June 2009. We have raised £2m from Eden Ventures and Nesta and we are preparing to raise some more funds in the coming months to accelerate our commercialisation plans.


What does the market look like? Who are the main competitors?


The space is hotting up with investors like Accel, Index and Benchmark having very recently backed similar companies. There are a few companies attacking the space but most of them from the US with a very US centric approach. While the US is important, this is a truly global opportunity and we think that BaseKit is better placed to capture it. We are already a pretty international company (12 nationalities among our staff…..I guess this is the beauty of being based in London!) with fully localised acquisition infrastructure/channels, etc.


What do you think are some of the reasons behind the investment interest in this area?

Big disruption across several markets:

  • Webhosting (a $50bn+ market)
  • Digital/marketing services for small businesses (a $10bn + market in US and UK)
  • Web authoring software (a $5bn + market)


How is the business performing?  What are your plans for ‘10/11?


We started commercialising in June 2010 and so far we are adding (500-1000) paid subscribers every month. We see the business scaling quite quickly and we are pressing ahead with our internationalisation/localisation plans.

Why did you join Basekit? As CEO, what was your mandate on joining?


I was a seed investor in the company right after the team won Seedcamp. After a few months helping the founders on a part time basis, it became clear to all of us that this opportunity had big potential and that I could help greatly to the success of it as a full time CEO.


What is your personal background prior to Basekit?

I guess I’m an active European investor/tech entrepreneur. Prior to BaseKit, I had a couple of exits with companies I ran and sold. I am also the co-founder of a very interesting fin-tech play that is doing quite well (also in London). These days I try not to dilute myself too much beyond BaseKit though. Before becoming an entrepreneur I was with McKinsey & Co in London.

What has been the main challenge since joining?

Building the company fast enough. We were 4 guys 18 months ago and now we employ 30 (some of them with your help. Thanks for that!) and there is a big sense of urgency across all our work streams.


What do you have to do to be successful in a start-up and how does this differ from a larger business?

 

Resilience, confidence, common sense.


The big difference with the large business world is that it drags all your energy if you want to move fast.

In the start-up world you cannot hide and there is no sense of inertia.

What do you think is hot in the internet/mobile space right now?


Every company that is solving a problem, has got customers and can scale to a decent size is interesting to me.


I think we should not be too biased towards trends when we make a judgement on interesting opportunities. Pack behaviour has destroyed lots of value for investors in the past.


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