In 1931, the American historian James Truslow baptized the United States as the land of opportunity and where dreams come true. 85 years later, a Spanish company based in Alcobendas (Madrid) lands in the heart of the Big Apple to open a niche in the social media market. “We are very excited, we just settled in front of the Wall Street bull,” explains Javier Cámara, co-founder of beBee.
With nearly 11 million users worldwide, the buzzes of the Spanish bee can be heard loudly in the United States, “we have 150,000 users and it sounds interesting. If it works there, there is a reason for it,” he adds.
BeBee is an affinity social network whose main objective is to put its users in contact, based on their profession and hobbies. “We have transferred digital to real life. In face to face, better business is done, better personal relationships are built, and it is because we have something in common,” says the beBee executive.
A new way to connect online, which the parents of the platform call ‘Affinity Networking’. Within the more than 22,000 hives (affinity groups) that make up the 11 million bees (users), each participant in beBee connects with people with whom they share tastes.
To pollinate the United States
With just a month in New York, beBee is starting to make its way among the big companies in the Big Apple. “We are looking for financing to enter the US. We compete with companies with 8,000 employees and we have 65,” says Cámara.
The first opportunity was received this summer with the help of the EU. BeBee traveled to Silicon Valley, the epicenter of big tech, to get funding.
There were Javier Cámara and Juan Imaz, founders of beBee, accompanied by Matt Sweetwood, the new CEO for the USA. “To grow there it is essential to have someone who knows the market. Matt is perfect, he is a” social media expert “,” he points out.
A high challenge that Matt accepts with interest and caution. “The main challenge in the United States is to move what we are doing. There is a lot of noise, a lot of media, there are many social networks. Americans are constantly bombarded by new concepts. Moving the messages from beBee is the main challenge, if you succeed, it is a great success, “Sweetwood explains to Innova +.
The crush on Matt came through one of the beBee hives. “I learned about the platform after reading a blog post. I realized that on one platform I could do everything I was doing on others. Take my interests, make it a personal brand and share it with other people.”
“Sharing affinities is the key to understanding beBee”, Camera repeats over and over again to emphasize the differences with other social networks. Despite collecting features from Facebook and LinkedIn, beBee also has a job space, but in this case it is free. “Employment for us is not everything. We do not get paid, it is not our business model,” he adds.
Award winning algorithm
During its first year in operation, around 25,000 companies published their job offers on beBee, in which 400,000 users have been selected or preselected in the different recruitment processes.
In an age where artificial intelligence and the use of algorithms is in question, as happens on Facebook, the beBee project has been awarded by the Center for Industrial Technological Development under the Ministry of Economy.
Thanks to the Affinity Rank of the Spanish startup, “the power is in the user”. Through the connections on the platform and “regardless of who you follow”, the content displayed to users is linked to their affinities. “It shows what you should be interested in,” he adds.
Praised by prestigious international media, beBee is set to be the next Spanish unicorn startup (companies valued at $ 1 billion). “Why not?” Asks Chamber, although he is cautious about the compliments he receives from abroad.
“It is very difficult to be a successful startup in Spain. The main problem is the lack of financing and that the economic environment is not adequate. In addition, there is a lot of bureaucracy to start a company and little help for the entrepreneur.”
With a physical presence in Spain and the United States, the social network of Javier Cámara and Juan Imaz is gaining ground in markets such as Mexico, Brazil, India and the United Kingdom. For this it is necessary “to know where you are going and to have an expert in the local market”, explains Cámara. This is how the beBee Ambassadors project was born, an innovative idea to grow and continue creating “hives” in all corners of the planet. “They are people who promote beBee on other platforms altruistically.”
The project, born this year, has just over 10 ambassadors, but it is an initiative open to all users of the platform who meet a series of requirements. In exchange, beBee grants them a number of shares that they can execute in the event of a listing or sale to a third party.