Interview With Eduardo Clavijo
Describe your product or service:
“Idoneo is the car subscription company with which to find the smart option for accessing a car. We help our customers to find the car subscription that best suits their needs in a comfortable and stress-free way.”
Describe your company values and mission:
“We try to adapt the way of accessing the car to the wishes of today's customer, evolving towards a ‘car as a service’ model.
Whether it is for individuals, freelancers, or companies, at our car subscription company, we work to find the best alternative and help the customer throughout the entire contracting process. Each profile has different characteristics that we know how to understand and value, [and] customer service is the cornerstone of the company.”
How are you funded? I.e. type of funding, number of funding rounds, total funding amount.
“Just one year after its foundation, Idoneo.com was incorporated into the ‘Lanzadera’ business accelerator. In 2021, the company raised a funding round of €550,000 [$623,800] led by DraperB1, and at the end of this year, ENISA has granted Idoneo.com a participatory loan for an amount of €200,000 [$226,800].
Currently, Idoneo.com has exceeded €19 million [$21.5 million] in sales contracts.”
How big is your team? Tell us a little about them (I.e. co-founders, freelancers, etc.)
“Eduardo Clavijo [is the] CEO and co-founder of Idoneo.com. He is a successful serial entrepreneur. He holds a degree in Industrial Engineering from the University of Navarra and a Master's in Strategy and Leadership from the London Business School.
David Eguizabal [is the] COO and co-founder of Idoneo.com and Digital Marketing Guru. He studied [for] a Bachelor's Degree in Computer Engineering and a Master's Degree in Electronic Business Administration at the University of Zaragoza. This year, Idoneo.com has expanded its team to a total of 35 people.”
How did you come up with and validate your startup idea? Tell us the story!
“Idoneo.com was formed from Eduardo and David's idea to enter the new car market following a past business experience. At the time, the perfect storm was brewing for the rise of car subscriptions, an easily digitised product.
In addition, the idea that the car would evolve and be understood as a service rather than a product was gaining momentum. Thus, targeting young people accustomed to pay-per-use consumption, the car was one more step towards this new trend.
At that time, car leasing was intended for companies, not for individuals. Through a test project, they were able to demonstrate that this trend was changing and that car subscriptions was a product valued by the market.”
How did you come up with your startup's name? Did you have other names you considered?
“Idoneo means ‘suitable,’ which was the perfect way to describe where and how to access this car subscription. The ideal way to access car subscriptions would be through our company. It is the epitome of the service we provide.”
Did you always want to start your own business? What made you want to become an entrepreneur?
“Eduardo and David had had entrepreneurial projects at different levels and sectors, always with the vision of improving and finding the best service for customers.”
Did you encounter any roadblocks when launching your startup? If so, what were they and what did you do to solve them?
“In terms of difficulties, selling cars online and getting them to the customer has always had the psychological barrier of seeing the product in order to buy it. In other words, in the automotive world, there was a belief that you couldn't sell online.
Idoneo.com has shown that this is not so. We understand that selling online is an advantage for the customer because of the agility of the management, which makes it a positive experience.
In addition, the automotive sector has always had large players that were large companies, so it is difficult to enter as a new agent. It is a very mature sector in which it can be difficult to gain a foothold. The company's success lies mainly in providing fast and efficient solutions to customers.”
Who is your target market? How did you establish the right market for your startup?
“Our current potential subscription market is over €11.25 billion [$12.7 billion], and by 2030 it is expected to be close to €87.5 billion [$99 billion].
This is established by analysing official figures from specialised automotive organisations, leasing and own sources.”
What's your marketing strategy?
“Our marketing strategy is based on consumer needs and the maturity cycle of the subscription (leasing) market in Spain. In a context where a large proportion of customers are new to leasing, we apply a hybrid strategy of ‘quality supplier at the best price.’
We offer consumers the cheapest offers in the subscription market, but only if they reach a level of quality that we consider to be a minimum. In this way, customers can enjoy their car without worries and have access to their car at the best price within this standard.”
How did you acquire your first 100 customers?
“It was easy. Before focusing on leasing, we were already in the automotive sector but focused on digitising traditional car purchases. It was the market itself that demanded this type of car ownership without us offering it.
Therefore, we set up a leasing vertical, and the first customers came organically and derived from other aspects of our previous approach.”
What are the key customer metrics / unit economics / KPIs you pay attention to to monitor the health of your business?
“If we had to keep only two KPIs, we would say that they are the percentage of customer growth and the total volume of active customers.”
What's your favorite startup book and podcast?
“Book: ‘The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers.’
Podcast: ‘El podcast de Lanzadera’ — Lanzadera's podcast.”
What is a song or artist that you listen to for motivation?
“The Julio Iglesias song ‘Vuela alto.’
It may seem a somewhat peculiar song, but the lyrics of this song perfectly reflect the mentality that an entrepreneur must have. We must fly high every day, without faltering any day because the day you do, you fall.“
Is there a tool, app, or resource that you swear by to help run your startup?
“CRM is the lifeblood of any startup. ‘What is not in the CRM does not exist.’”
What is something that surprised you about entrepreneurship?
“How hard it is and how beautifully it is described.”
What is a strategy you use to stay productive and focused?
“It is based on two points:
- Be very clear about the vision and the road map to get there.
- Communicate that vision and that road map very well to the rest of the components of the company.”
More on Idoneo
Eduardo Clavijo, founder of mobility startup Idoneo, shared valuable insights during our interview that will inspire and motivate aspiring entrepreneurs.
We asked Eduardo Clavijo, founder of Idoneo, to share the most impactful ways to support their startup, and this is what they had to say.