by Philipp Schroeder – Partner at Active Venture Partners

“All good things come in Twos” – Just after having announced the >€30M funding round of NEWSTORE Inc., I am so glad to bring you another fantastic piece of news.

Userzoom Inc. (UZ), a company out of our 1st fund in which we invested in 2008 just raised a €30M funding round led by TC Growth Partners together with Trident Capital and StepStone Group.

We invested in Xperience Consulting S.L. (Userzoom’s original name) in October 2008, just a couple of days before the financial crisis. What timing – what a great start!! The US financial markets were collapsing and so were those in Europe, and as a consequence the Spanish economy went down the drain as well. I remember the first board meeting and concluding: “Yes, you’ve got money now, but the next 24 months are going to be hell”.

Luckily, the company was far less hit than originally anticipated. Already back then, user experiences turned out to be at the core of consumer web and mobile propositions and this also held true for digital enterprise products. And while the entire enterprise world was launching cost cutting programs reducing expenditure, the company saw that enterprise customers turned towards technology to automize user experience testing.

We saw Userzoom thrive in those tough years, expand geographically into new markets such as the US, UK & Germany, and become one of the leading Enterprise SaaS companies for User Experience (UX) testing. People continue to ask me whether there are any great companies in Spain with the potential to become successful internationally. YES – we have backed several of those teams including Ticketbis (live in 50+ countries) and BuyVIP (live in 5+ countries, sold to AMAZON).

I am extremely proud of Javier, Xavier and Alfonso – for converting a consulting business to a SaaS company, expanding to the US early on, hanging in there in 2008-2010, establishing a state of the art sales machine and key account management processes – all of which resulted in annual sales growth accelerating from, on average, 50% (in previous years) to 100% now – and all of this whilst maintaining profitability.

ENHORABUENA CHICOS – now it is time to ignite the second booster with your new partners. Make this company THE undisputed global leader in your category. This is the end of our common chapter with a very nice return of approx. 4.5x for us – thank you for that one as well, Your ACTIVE Team!