Javier Camara started his entrepreneurial journey at the University of Deusto studying computer engineering and then earning a Master’s in software engineering. It was a hard-fought learning journey that led him to a role as an IT Consultant & Project Manager at software conglomerate Oracle.
But it wasn’t long before he started to yearn for more than what his day job had to offer. This lead him to develop CanalMail in 2000. He had a successful exit from CanalMail selling to an American venture capitalist.
Then, in collaboration with his former Oracle co-worker Juan Imaz, he started looking for a new challenge.
At a 2014 lunch, the pair began to discuss the sorry state of the world’s dominant professional networking sites. Before long, they pinpointed the problem: it was that the existing professional networking sites lacked real relevance to the people using them. And they also excluded huge swaths of people based on the type of skills they had to offer.
In Camara’s words, “Other professional networking sites like often focus on large corporations with massive ad budgets. They are creating closed networks that are pay to play. The average user is left to fend for what’s leftover and it isn’t much in terms of attention and reach. beBee is an open network where freelancers and other professionals can share their services without the competition of massive corporations buying up all the space on the platform with ads.”
And that deficiency is just what Camara’s company, beBee, aims to remedy. It’s a hybrid of a social and professional networking platform, open to freelancers from all walks of life. Critically, it’s aimed at both blue-collar and white-collar workers, which is a true game-changer in the space. It’s also a concept that found instant success among its target audience.
After launching in 2015, the platform went on to amass an impressive 11 million users in just over a year which was only the beginning for the company. Before long, beBee had a presence on two continents, with twin headquarters in Madrid and New York and a staff approaching 100 employees. And it was a multinational presence it would need due to the sheer diversity of beBee’s userbase.
The platform features users from every corner of the globe, with country-specific sub-sites in a panoply of languages. And that’s a diversity that beBee mirrors in its business approach, too, with Camara remarking, “From our point of view, diversity is key for beBee’s success. On our staff, we have Americans, Romanians, Britons, Spaniards, Brazilians, Cubans, Italians, French, and German. That’s diversity. And in terms of managers, we have probably more female managers than males.”
And everybody working at beBee has a single goal — to create a platform with every tool that freelancers need to have the self-employment experience they always imagined. To help them, beBee offers job search tools for users, as well as a profile system for users to promote their services to others. There’s even a blogging function to help users express themselves and stand out from the crowd.
In other words, beBee is a one-stop shop for all things freelance. No matter what kind of work you do, you’ll find a home there. And conversely — for any kind of service you need, you’ll find a skilled professional capable of doing it. It’s a platform unlike any other in its size, scope, and ambition.
And that’s only the beginning, as far as Camara’s concerned. He sees a bright future for beBee where it will continue to improve and grow to meet the needs of freelancers around the world. “Dreaming about improving has no limits. I am a dreamer and now we have the most ambitious project by far that we have tackled. beBee is my great passion right now. And I’m going to fight to keep dreaming every moment I’m awake.” he says.
That attitude is a testament to how far Javier Camara’s come from his humble beginnings in Miranda de Ebro. And it’s an excellent indicator of just how far he — and beBee — will go in the future.
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