Santander pumps €2 million in consulting startup Connecting Visions

03 February 2021 3 min. read

Santander has pumped €2 million of growth capital into Connecting Visions – an expert ecosystem aimed at bringing consulting services to small and medium enterprises. The investment follows after the startup won the Santander X Tomorrow Challenge last year.

Launched in 2018, Connecting Visions is a group of more than 170 companies and over 350 independent advisers that can support with business strategy and organisation – spanning growth, efficiency, customer management, and digitalisation. The goal is to make advice available to cash-strapped small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

“We have always been obsessed with reinventing the world of consulting services, industrialising it and making it accessible to any company,” explained Sofia Medem – co-founder at the Madrid-based startup.

Santander pumps €2 million in consulting startup Connecting Visions

The model is simple: SMEs present their challenge to the Connecting Visions network along with a budget. Within ten days, experts respond with myriad proposals on how to solve the issue within budget – giving the client several options to choose from.

Demand is high for such a proposition. Indeed, the firm has already connected over 30 SMEs with the expertise they need – spanning more than 50 projects worth nearly €2 million. And this was before Covid-19.

Poised for growth

The spread of the pandemic made the firm’s offering more relevant than ever. Millions of professionals around the world found themselves out of work, independent consultants lost assignments, and SMEs ran into unprecedented challenges. Connecting Visions can link these players with the right solution in the value chain.

“It is a win-win situation for everyone: companies need talent to help them overcome business challenges, and senior talent can draw on experience to add value from the start while staying active in the job market,” explained Gonzaga Avello, Connecting Visions co-founder.

It is for this very reason that the startup was among the winners at last year’s Santander X Tomorrow Challenge – a global competition seeking entrepreneurs who could develop innovative solutions to help mitigate the socio-economic repercussions of the pandemic. Connecting Visions was one of 20 projects out of 1,200 that came away from the challenge as winners.

The startup was also one of only five out of nearly 500 to win the “Re-Work” category – ideas that could help professionals adapt to the new realities of the global labour market. Recognising Connecting Visions’ value in this space, Santander has now awarded the startup a €2 million investment to expand its network, with the option of a further investment boost in the future. 

“We are delighted to announce this agreement. Our investment in Connecting Visions is proof of three of Santander's unshakeable commitments: the search for solutions for SMEs, support for entrepreneurs and helping professionals find new career paths in the event of changes in the labour market and in the face of the challenges of the future,” said Alexandra Brandao, global head of Human Resources at Santander.

The model is gaining ground. Independent consulting marketplaces are rapidly growing in popularity, as more professionals come to appreciate the flexibility and economic benefits of breaking off on their own. With its focus on SMEs, Connecting Visions will have a niche to exploit within this lucrative segment.