How Spanish HOMYHUB Succeeds By Entering Strategic Partnerships With Corporates

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Spanish startup HOMYHUB lets customers control, monitor, and manage access to their garage anywhere at any time. With StartUs Magazine, the team spoke about why entering strategic partnerships is key for success.

Earlier this month, we sat down with Enzo Zamora, CEO, and Ankit Pareek, Head of Communications at HOMYHUB. Chances are you have already heard about this Spanish startup given its track record: HOMYHUB won Magna’s Driving the Future of Mobility Startup Challenge, came in 3rd place at the Digital Logistics Award and recently partnered with CORREOS, Spain’s national postal service.

But why does the 7-person company dedicate so much effort into participating in Startup Programs, Startup Awards, and Strategic Partnerships? The answer is simple: the effort pays off – big time. Here’s how:

Enzo, how would you describe HOMYHUB in a few words?

We unlock the full potential of garages in a simple, convenient, and safe way.

Why did you start your business? How did you come up with the idea?

Around two years ago we realized that many garage owners faced issues and limitations when it comes to opening their garages remotely. First of all, there were few ways to give someone access to your garage remotely and secondly, when you could give access, you had no idea about who was accessing your garage for what reason.

With HOMYHUB we not only give people an easy and convenient way to provide remote access to their garages but also to take their remote controls with them – in the form of an app. This way, there is no need for garages to stay empty for the majority of the day, opening up unlimited possibilities of using them.

What kind of possibilities are we talking about?

We call it a “new generation of services” and we’re tackling three main industries: For the logistics sector, we are providing a space for secure package delivery. We’re catering to the sharing economy by opening garages for sharing or electric vehicle (EV) block sharing, for example. And we’re entering the automotive industry with a premium service for smart mobility to be launched in 2019.

Can you share some details for the smart mobility service?

We cannot give away too much information right now, however, what we can say is that we are already partnering with sharing-economy platforms such as parking sharing, car sharing, storage sharing, and EV charging sharing – some of the networks we built through the network we gained at Magna’s Startup Challenge.

Magna’s Startup Challenge was only one of the competitions you participated in recently. What’s your motivation behind joining them considering that a lot of your resources go into this?

HOMYHUB Magna Driving the Future of Mobility

HOMYHUB at Magna’s Startup Challenge // (c) StartUs Insights

Participating in Startup Challenges, Competitions, and entering Partnerships is part of our strategy to increase the visibility of HOMYHUB. Yes, one or two weeks will go into preparation for a challenge, however, the exposure we get in return is invaluable.

When we plan our roadmap, we’re careful to choose programs that are relevant to us; that will introduce us to a new set of people or help us identify new use cases for our product. Magna’s Startup Challenge, for example, was relevant to us because we knew we want to explore the automotive market further. The Challenge managed to increase our network in the industry, which supported us in advancing our premium service.

In general, taking part in these challenges accelerates the speed of development and launch because they establish relationships with corporates early on. Once you find a partner, chances are you’re able to go-to-market in just one year rather than two or three, which you would need without a partner that provides essential resources.

What is your experience of working with corporates?

Getting in touch with them means that we not only expand our network and, in some cases, receive prize money, but also that we get valuable feedback from the market. This means that we receive validation for our services from C-levels working in the markets we are addressing. Considering that we aim to become a global player, it also makes sense to reach out to potential partners in other countries as they might have different needs and ideas for our product. Our experience shows that the horizon of C-levels tends to be higher as they have a good understanding of what a market needs and where it is headed thus providing us with great feedback on an international level.

For example, the idea for our upcoming smart mobility solution wasn’t something we initially came up with. It evolved from the feedback we received from a car manufacturer in Berlin last year. So, connecting with these people actually opens up new use cases as well.

How does such a network of partners influence your business activities?

We recently partnered with CORREOS to deliver packages into garages throughout Spain. This partnership is very fruitful as their extensive experience and standing in the industry brings valuable insights and resources to the table. Working with corporates requires commitment from both sides so that we can move forward fast. For HOMYHUB, this partnership has a direct impact on our future as a major corporate becomes a distributor of our product. Additionally, CORREOS invests heavily in marketing which presents us as a reliable partner in the B2B space as well as improves our brand recognition.

As a European startup: what does it mean to work with international corporates?

It opens up a multitude of opportunities. For example, we attended 4YFN in Barcelona and were approached by a US investor. Through other challenges and competitions, we got multiple leads in South and Latin America. So, when we decide to enter these markets, we’ll already have people to talk to – there’s no need to start from scratch.

What’s next for HOMYHUB?

After our pilot with the smart mobility service was successful, we will commercially launch it next year on the Spanish market and then scale it for the European one. So, essentially, we will add a new generation service.

What’s your message to fellow founders?

Ankit: Don’t restrain from entering Startup Challenges, Competitions, and Partnerships. You won’t be a finalist in all cases but you will come out of it with great contacts. Even if you’re not in touch with them the next day it might be a different story in six months.

Enzo: We’ve seen that a lot of success comes from our network. You never know where the contact will come from that asks you to enter the pilot or sign the contract which will kick-start your business. Enter Startup Programs and Challenges strategically to bring that contact into your funnel!

For all startups looking for this contact: Magna has launched its Startup Program “Leading Mobility”, looking for innovative solutions from all industries. If you have a solution for connectivity, electrification, new mobility or autonomous driving, apply now!

 

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