CartoDB $8m funding round (1st Part): the inside story

  • Yesterday CartoDB, a leader in geospatial cloud software based in Madrid and in New York, raised a Series A round of $8m, one of the largest Series A rounds ever completed in Southern Europe, from a mix of local and international investors: Earlybird (the lead) and Kibo + Vitamina K (the locals that first spotted the opportunity).


  • This exceptional result is an evidence of the high quality company that Javier de la Torre and Sergio Alvarez Leiva, CartoDB co-founders, have built for the last five years, surrounded by an A+ team of professionals, like Miguel Arias, Andrew Hill and Javier Santana, amongst others.
  • I have the pleasure and the privilege of advising the company on the fund raising and rolling up my sleeves beyond the round across finance, strategy and operations matters.
  • What follows is the Advisor View of the fund raising (with permission from those involved) intended to provide some insights that could be useful to other startups aiming to follow a similar path, particularly those operating in B2B software. This is the first part. The second part will be published in the coming days.

Part I: The Story

1/ The fund-raising team:

Team v2

2/ The preparation (2 – 3 months):

Preparation v3

…and a number of sleepless nights

3/ The roadshow (2 months)

  • Multiple meetings and phone calls with over 20 investors
    • Significant interest from US investors but difficult to execute
    • High interest from European investors and more comfort with Spanish component
  • Business due diligence on the company by investors in parallel with roadshow
    • Digested feedback and completed small adjustments to BP and strategy

4/ Termsheets and signing

  • Appointment of legal counsel
  • A number of termsheets received from very high quality investors
  • Significant negotiations before signing to improve and clarify terms

5/ Due diligence and legal docs (1 month)

  • This was lawyers’ main role. However, it still required significant involvement and coordination by the fund-raising team

6/ The Happy Ending this week = the signing of docs…and money at the bank shortly thereafter

The anecdote: This week, one day after signing the series A round, whilst having lunch with Javier de la Torre, he asked: “How do we build the company to have a successful series B?”…and continued saying…”We are in the VC game and we need to play and win” …………  Relentless, driven, hungry, ambitious,… key components for success!!

Check out again in the coming days for “Lessons learned“


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