When Joel Balagué decided to buy a Peloton, he ran into a problem. At that time, Peloton didn't deliver to Spain or any country in Europe. This frustration led Joel — an Industrial Engineer — to create his own solution, and alongside his wife Ana, they launched Volava in 2017.
Volava offers a range of exercise products and premium subscriptions to its virtual training platform. Customers can get unlimited workouts at home and the equipment to use the platform, like stationary bikes and punching bags.
In the beginning, more traditional finance options like banks and venture capital wouldn't support Volava as they didn't recognize their growth potential due to these institutions' approach to risk. Joel also found that raising capital through these sources was too slow. It could take over 6 months to get funding due to the required amount of documentation and process. Volava's funding needs could change massively in this time, and opportunities to grow would be left on the table.
"Nowadays, everyone believes in Volava, but no matter how much you force a bank or a VC, they will never do it in 48 hours. They just can't because of their essence and how they are configured," explains Joel.
At the end of 2020, Volava was entering its peak season and wanted to take advantage of this moment by making one last push in marketing to boost its sales. To make this a reality, Volava needed capital quickly.
It was at this moment Joel discovered Wayflyer. After the first meeting, the Wayflyer team immediately understood what Volava needed - quick access to flexible funding to help Volava meet its growth targets. In 48 hours, Volava received the funding it required directly into its bank account.
One of the aspects that Joel loved about Wayflyer was the repayment flexibility.
"The fact that the repayment structure was aligned with our sales was something I loved."
"The fact that the repayment structure was aligned with our sales was something I loved. The concept that we pay more when we sell more and vice versa is great. It doesn't strain our cash flow in the way that traditional loans can," says Joel.
"Businesses like ours are super seasonal, and this is another thing that banks don't understand. They charge you the same amount every month, no matter how you are doing."
Volava found in Wayflyer a partner that they both trust and understand.
"Here at Volava, we think the same way as Wayflyer. The first decision stage is always data-driven. Then there might be other criteria to consider," says Joel. "The flexibility that Wayflyer has, and knowing that they are there at any specific moment, is very important. We have built a great relationship with Wayflyer, and there is trust. This is incredibly important for any company, but even more so for a start-up."
In 2021, Joel and Ana focused on growing Volava in Spain. With the funding they received from Wayflyer, Volava launched large-scale marketing campaigns. Not only did these campaigns help the brand to connect with new customers, but they also captured the interest from VCs like Inveready and JME Ventures. Volava was also able to build a partnership with one largest communication companies in Spain, Telefónica (Wayra).
The goal for 2022 is to expand Volava beyond Spain into Europe, which has already kicked off its first campaigns in Germany.