Valencia-based Jeff, which helps entrepreneurs start and run their businesses, announced an €83m Series C funding round backed by Stelac, DX Ventures, Clean Ventures, and Prism. Existing backers Nalpa and Alcor also participated.
The funding has been split equally between debt and equity and comes at a time when the company is aiming to be profitable this year.
“The company’s goal is to reach profitability during 2023,” explains Eloi Gomez, Jeff’s CEO.
As it has become increasingly difficult to obtain funding from venture capital firms, Jeff, like many other start-ups, has shifted its focus from growth to profitability.
Gomez says he will do this by doubling down on his laundry vertical and bolstering the team building his AI-based business advisory tool.
Jeff will also use the debt facility from the round to fund its enterprise finance product, Jeff Capital, which launched in April last year and lends money to users in need of liquidity.
The company’s route to breakeven will be helped by the fact that Jeff has made significant layoffs in recent years. The number of employees was halved between 2020 and 2022, according to Dealroom.
After the storm comes the calm
Before the pandemic, it expected to grow rapidly to 1,000 employees. But Covid-19 got away with it. The startup had diversified its app-integrated businesses to minimize risk, but all of them were affected by the lock-in, which left it almost out of business.
“This investment operation not only solves our current situation but also allows us to have years of stability and sufficient capital to be able to continue developing our vision based on profitability”, explains Eloi Gómez, CEO and founder of Jeff.
Jeff, founded in 2015, helps users start up and manage businesses in various verticals: laundromats, gyms, beauty salons, massage studios, coffee shops, and coworking spaces.
To achieve this “democratization” it has developed what it calls Jeff Advisor, which is “an artificial intelligence tool that helps and guides entrepreneurs”; and Jeff Suite, which is “intelligent business management software”.
On the other hand, he is promoting “the Real Estate and Jeff Capital projects to break down one of the main barriers to entrepreneurship: access to capital”. In other words, Jeff is going to automate his assistance to franchisees and also finance them to facilitate the opening of new establishments.
So far, Jeff has launched more than 2,000 businesses in 42 countries.