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INSIGHTS / MOVERS AND SHAKERS

Marta Esteve: Talent, intuition and resolve – a winning formula for entrepreneurship

Spain · Feb 12, 2019· By Emanuela Ferraro

Copyright: CompassList

She founded her first two internet startups during the dot-com era. Today, Marta Esteve is considered one of the most influential and successful women entrepreneurs in the Spanish startup ecosystem 

As a child, Marta Esteve dreamt of becoming an astronaut. At the age of 13, inspired by her entrepreneur father, she decided business ownership would be a more exciting path to embark on. She graduated in 1996 with a bachelor's degree in Business Administration from the Autonomous University of Madrid and, in 1997, obtained her International MBA from the University of Louvain in Belgium.

Although she never landed on the moon, Esteve took risks with pioneering entrepreneurial journeys, founding, and leading internet startups during the dot-com bubble. Passionate, resolute and, above all, a tireless entrepreneur, she has many aces up her sleeve.

Esteve started her professional life as a treasury assistant at Coca-Cola in Belgium, a position that she left two years later in 2000 to return to Spain. There, she and her husband, François Derbaix, co-founded Toprural, the first travel marketplace for rural vacations in the world. In 2002, the couple started Rentalia, a search engine for holiday home rentals.

Both Toprural and Rentalia grew exponentially until 2012 when both startups were acquired by vacation rental marketplace HomeAway, and subsequently sold to Idealista, Spain's leading online real estate platform. A month later, Esteve founded SoySuper, a one-of-a-kind online supermarket that allows users to compare prices and shop from six different Spanish supermarkets.

Regarded as a well-traveled entrepreneur and successful veteran in the management of online companies, Esteve is an active mentor and investor in tech startups within the Spanish ecosystem.

Edited by Celine Lim

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