Infinum Ventures, an investment component of one of the largest Croatian IT companies – Infinum, has made a strategic investment in Rentlio. After seven years of self-funded growth, this is the first time we have taken the form of external financing – so common in the world of new, growing IT companies.
Everyone who follows our path, and I personally know that I have always advocated a product-led approach to company development. Such an approach comes at the expense of a story-led approach that leads to an awkward spiral of inflated valuations and rounds of survival investments.
There is no right path. There is only one choice. We chose the first.
And here we are, for the seventh year in a row, persistently building a digital product that solves a serious problem. Persistently building a company that has never had liquidity challenges in those seven years, whose team has grown to more than 20 people, organically, in Zadar and throughout Croatia.
Why an investment?
SaaS topics brought together Tomislav Car and me. Apart from the well-known digital agency, it is less known that the Infinum team has several other successful digital projects. One of them is the Productive – SaaS product, which is identical in its business characteristics to Rentlio’s business model.
Through discussions of retention, churn, recurring revenue, team building, and all other SaaS metrics, the question of collaboration and potential partnership began to emerge naturally. We seemed to think similarly, share the same passion for developing a quality digital product, and understand each other. Infinum was becoming a real partner who supported our vision of a long-lasting company.
I wanted to try to be partners with the best of Croatian IT, and I didn’t want to miss it. Tomislav, Nikola, Matej and Josip started their journey ten years before us. In IT, a decade is an eternity. The experience of scaling digital products and the company to more than 300 employees is exceptional. Gaining the trust of the people who have succeeded is invaluable.
We are developing a very complex product for different market segments. So far, our team has grown at the same pace as our revenue. Infinum’s investment will allow us to be ahead of the curve and be more aggressive in attracting professionals who want to participate in our hospitality digitisation mission.
We are given a significant market opportunity, regionally and globally. The hospitality industry is suffocating in outdated and unadapted systems. On the other hand, the modern guest expects a flawless, instant, and digital stay experience. Our team has built an exceptionally high-quality product with resources conditioned by organic growth. Imagine then how fast we will develop the product with partners like this further if we have managed to build all this ourselves so far.
Why right now?
As a stable, self-funded company, we had the opportunity to choose when and with whom we want to accelerate on our path. And right now, we felt it was the right time. The moment when, after the biggest crisis in the history of the hospitality industry, it (finally) becomes a reality that it is lagging in digitalisation. The lack of human resources in hospitality and the needs of the increasingly demanding digital guest are creating a growing gap that only adequate technology can solve. Hospitality is still perceived as real estate, even though it has been a technology industry for a long time.
Many thoughts were running through my mind, and I could write for hours. But I think this is quite enough for my first post on the Rentlio blog platform. With Infinum as a strategic partner, investor, and co-owner, one thing is for sure: a new chapter is opening. A chapter that makes me extremely happy also puts a new level of responsibility. Thanks to a fantastic team of people, a chapter that I managed to get to from scratch. And so, there is no better way to end this post than to sincerely thank all the current and former members of this small but mighty Zadar company that has pushed some boundaries.