Interview with Claudia de la Riva, CEO of Nannyfy
At the age of six, she was already doing business reselling bracelets. Since then, this Barcelona-based psychology graduate has been helping successful startups to recruit technological talent and aiding busy mothers and fathers in finding trustworthy nannies.
What does Nannyfy mean to you?
Enthusiasm. I’m a genetic entrepreneur – I perform so much better working for myself. When I became a mother, I realized I needed a helping hand with my daughter, and my friends and others near to me were in the same situation.
Is that when you decided to go for it?
Yes. I always focused it as a service specializing in child care rather than including house work. And on people paying for it only when they truly need to use it.
How many children do you have?
Two daughters, one aged four and the other two months old.
About being a “genetic entrepreneur”, what does that mean?
I come from Barcelona and have always spent my summers on the Costa Brava. My parents tell me that when I was 5 or 6 I used to go to a jewelry shop near the house, buy bracelets for €2 or 3, then sit nearby and sell them for €7 or 8. So I already had a knack for business back then. Growing up, I realized that I enjoy my ideas, sharing them and learning from them with others.
From selling bracelets to Nannify, what else have you been up to?
I was never very good at school because I found it boring, but I went on to study psychology and became a much better student. I even got a few distinctions. After that, I struggled to get my first job because they always wanted people with more experience. That is partly why I’m so keen to give young people more opportunities.
What did that first job entail?
I started out in banking. Then, a former global director from INDRA gave me the chance to start recruiting technological talent for specialized consultancy firms. After doing that for some time, I noticed that startups needed that service but they lacked the structure and budgets to outsource it. So, I set up Ocre to provide it for them. I started collaborating with 21 buttons and Wallapop, for example, and it worked really well.
I became a mom, I came up with Nannyfy and my instinct and enthusiasm drove me to make it happen. At first, I tried to run them both, but it was impossible. So, I sold Ocre to give Nannyfy my all.
Did that work well too?
Yes. It was a home-based service. Parents could look through the profiles on the app, watch the introduction videos and see ratings, reviews, prices and so on. Then, they would choose one and have that person on their doorstep within half an hour.
Did you ever use it as a customer?
Yes, and as a nanny. I did both without saying I was the CEO. I wanted to experience the concerns families had. For instance, some of them worried about the girls’ working conditions. Others were unsure about the service the girls offered. My daughter was always very happy with them.
Had you ever worked in child care before?
No. I have always been very fond of children and enjoyed playing with them. I also love animals and the elderly. But people aged 14 to 65 are just no fun to me.
Then came the coronavirus.
Well, yes. We were offering a home-based service in a world with a growing fear of infection. People were at home, but they still needed us one way or another. Which is why we decided to offer our services online with Nannyfy TV.
What do you enjoy most about working in the startup world?
Daily learning and creativity. Being able to put forward and receive ideas. All the time. The multi-talented teams, the flexibility…
Have you had a mentor to guide you in your career?
Not particularly. But so many people never dare to step out of their comfort zone because the people around them put them off rather than encouraging them. I am lucky enough to have parents who have always believed in me and my vision. Just like my husband, who is now my lifelong mentor. In every way, not just professionally.
What do you do in your free time?
I really enjoy the cinema, sport and good food. But what I do most nowadays is watch series, sometimes the kind that get you thinking and others exactly the opposite, for pure entertainment.
Going forward, what appeals to you?
I know that if I carry on creating things – and there are days when I come up with ten new ideas –, the aim will always be to help others, not to get rich. I hope I will always wake up with something exciting to look forward to, which is how I intend to raise my daughters. Some day, if I can, I would like to take a year out and move to an island with my family where we can read, surf and enjoy life.