Interview With Adolfo Delibes
Describe your product or service:
“Furniture subscription and vertical marketplace.”
Describe your company values and mission:
“All the alternatives to furnish a home regardless of your circumstances: simple, flexible, and sustainable.”
How are you funded? I.e. venture capital, angel investors, etc.
“We have recently raised €750,000 [$847,000] on our first funding round, which involved a VC and investors from the United States, Dubai, Argentina, and Spain.”
How big is your team? Tell us a little about them (I.e. co-founders, freelancers, etc.)
“Our team is made up of 20 people, including the co-founders and experts in the different areas of our business.”
Did you always want to start your own business? What made you want to become an entrepreneur?
“Entrepreneurship has always appealed to both founders. We come from families of entrepreneurs, and we have already launched ourselves into the business world with other projects before.”
How did you come up with your startup idea? How did you decide to actually act on the idea? What gave you confidence that you were on the right track?
“Adolfo, one of the founders, was living in Dubai when he decided to return to Spain. Moving back was a tedious process in which he had to get rid of the perfectly usable furniture he had bought, in a short period of time. We realized that this was not efficient considering the time, money, and sustainability aspects and looked for another alternative. In Spain, there were no other options than buying the furniture or moving to a furnished apartment, so we decided to create the solution ourselves to the problem that so many people encounter when they have to move temporarily.”
How did you come up with your company name? Did you have other names you considered?
“We wanted a name that would quickly identify what we do, and what better icon for furniture than a chester sofa?
In fact, in the beginning, the company was simply called Chester, but we wanted to include in the name our added value: renting in this sector. Thus, the name became "Rentchester."”
What is the greatest challenge you faced in starting your business, and how did you overcome it?
“Undoubtedly, the biggest challenge we faced was the COVID-19 pandemic. It came right at the beginning of our startup and we had to face it with few resources and in a world where it was illegal to be on the streets. Luckily, we were able to adapt to the situation by looking for other audiences and taking advantage of the WFH boom, providing the necessary furniture for it.”
Who is your product or service made for? Who is your target market?
“We are currently targeting real estate companies, proptech, coworking, colivings, and other companies as well as private clients.
The usual profile of our general public is the nomad who does not want furniture to be a burden. They are looking for an easy solution to furnish their home that adapts to their circumstances. In addition, they are concerned about the environment.”
What's your marketing strategy?
“We address our public mainly through digital channels since we offer a service that is managed 100% online. We also carry out careful commercial action to give our customers the best service, close and personalized.”
How did you acquire your first 100 customers?
“Online marketing and mouth to mouth.”
What are the key customer metrics / unit economics / KPIs you pay attention to to monitor the health of your business?
“Acquisition cost, lead cost, conversion rates, lifetime value, [and] churn rate.
At Bechester, we pay special attention to customer loyalty.”
What's your favorite book on entrepreneurship?
“There are many books that have inspired and guided us on this path, but if we have to choose one, we will choose the classic ‘Blue Ocean Strategy.’”
What is your favorite startup or business podcast?
“Again, how to choose just one, but we are big fans of the ‘HBR IdeaCast’ podcast which allows us to keep up with all the great ideas.”
What is something that surprised you about entrepreneurship?
“Being able to create something from nothing is a beautiful process. It takes a lot of work and effort, but it is so rewarding that it is totally worth it.”
How do you achieve work/life balance as a founder?
“We try to disconnect from work during the little free time we have. For example, one of our rules as friends as well as co-founders is not to talk about work outside the office.”
How do you stay motivated?
“It is impossible for motivation to wane when you have such an interesting project that you have created from scratch. Even if there are days that are harder than others, motivation always wins out.”
Did you have to develop any habits that helped lead you to success? If so, what are they?
“One of our habits is to be in constant training. It is impossible to grow in something without continually learning. Since we don't have much time, we have set a goal of one book per month, and we almost always meet it.”
What are you most proud of as an entrepreneur?
“Undoubtedly, what we are most proud of as entrepreneurs is the team we have at our side. We are very grateful to be surrounded by professionals as committed and enthusiastic as we are.”
More on Bechester
We were fortunate enough to hear some valuable insights during our interview with Adolfo Delibes of Bechester that will inspire, motivate, and teach aspiring and established entrepreneurs alike.