There is a business day in Valencia and networking is served. Alberto Soriano, founder of Sesame, does not plan to participate because he has other commitments, but his company is located in the warehouse next door – in the Valencia Marina – and when he passes by, he is invited to enter. He is “the man of the week,” those who greet him effusively during the coffee break say of him. His company, which markets human resources management software, has just closed a financing round of 23 million euros.

The operation is backed by two British funds, PSG and GP Bullhound – the latter is the largest shareholder – and seeks to double Sesame’s workforce by 2024 and expand its range of products and services to continue developing Artificial Intelligence in the areas of human resources in which they have specialized. In total, they will incorporate a hundred people before the end of the year.

An operation that is difficult to see when the sector recognizes that the financing tap has been turned off for months: “There has been a very big drought for startups in the last year and a half, so raising a round like this was almost impossible” explains Soriano, visibly satisfied.

“There are very few companies that have achieved it and that is why there are many people who are happy because they know how much it costs,” he adds to justify the “mass bath” that he recognizes occurred at this week’s business conference, organized by the Valencian Association of Entrepreneurs. “It’s very exciting, there’s a lot of desire here for something big to happen. In Valencia there is an incredible ecosystem, with Lanzadera or the LAB Foundation for example, which are helping many companies to grow, but the transition from startup to scaleup is difficult, which is why ours is an achievement.”

“They ask me, are there more companies like you in Valencia? And I tell them yes, come see us,” says the businessman, still surprised that some of the investors who have visited them even came with their own private plane. The operation has not taken away control of the company, since Soriano still holds 65% of the shares, and its market value stands at 130 million euros.

Because Sesame is in luck, but it is not the result of chance, but of a positive attitude, of always seeing the glass half full. This is at least what its CEO conveys when he recalls that, seven years ago, Sesame was only a work management system for internal use, until the workday registration law, which came into force in 2019, changed everything.

“In one week we had thousands of entries on the website. Companies called us because there was almost no one who had this system, and I thought we should take advantage of it. In two days I spent 100,000 euros – which I didn’t have – on advertising, when before spending 1,000 euros a month seemed like a lot to me,” recalls the entrepreneur. Soriano left the other companies he managed and focused on Sesame, going from three people to forty in just three months and they came up with new software. “It was crazy,” he recalls.

Its headquarters at the foot of the sea, in the coveted Marina of Valencia, was an ambitious project that its team narrated on social networks how it became a reality practically from scratch. They arrived at the port after that growth, and conceived it as an open space in which people organize themselves as they want and where the bicycles and the coffee room remind us of that much desired Silicon Valley spirit. “When they told us yes, that we could come here, we only had 100,000 euros in the bank and the guarantee was 70,000 euros. Right after they locked us down and then it seemed like everyone wanted to work at home, but I have always believed that the future of work is being together.”

With more than 200 workers in the building, another 70 will soon be added, as the company will incorporate a hundred workers before the end of the year. With more than 8,000 clients around the world, 400 of them in Mexico, they work with retail, logistics, tourism or technology firms, among which companies such as Puma, Toyota, PlayStation, lMada or HSBC, among others, stand out. In addition, its platform is used by more than 300,000 users.

After the experience, Albert Soriano and his team are preparing meetings for the coming weeks with Valencian entrepreneurs located like them in the Marina to encourage them and explain to them, in an interview-podcast format, that yes, everything is possible, also from Valencia.