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Editora OQO

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Editora OQO focusses on producing books, video and digital content for children younger than 10 years old. Alfonso Couto, CEO, used to work in children’s theatre for more than 20 years, but with time, he moved into the editorial world, establishing his own company to produce illustrated children’s books. “We make all our books and series ourselves. That’s very important to us,” he explains.

But the business cycle is quite particular and this affects their finances: “The real target for us is the end of the year. September-December is when we make most sales, but we need to be ready, and that means lots of expenditure in the first part of the year. So, in the early part of 2017 we needed financing in order to boost the production of our books and prepare ourselves for the second part of the year,” Alfonso explains.

This financing was made possible by an EU-guaranteed loan, backed by EIF and CERSA under the EU’s Guarantee Facility for the Cultural & Creative Sectors. As Alfonso explains, getting the necessary financing in this world is no easy task: “Banks always have doubts. They don’t understand these types of projects. For example, with books, we have high up-front production costs. Then we ship them to a bookshop where they will feature on the shelves for, say, two years. Only when the bookshop sends back unsold copies will they then pay us for the books they have managed to sell. It’s not a classic financing model and banks don’t like that.”

While children’s books remain the company’s main focus, more and more Editora OQO is looking beyond books to other areas like the digital world: “The digital world is often considered to be beyond parents’ control and associated with bad influence. We want to challenge that assumption and use digital capabilities to convey educational messages to our kids. If the kids are migrating to the digital world, we have to follow them.”

“Translating a book to the digital world, creating a digital album, gives you a different range of possibilities,” he adds. “You have more margin of manoeuvre with the images and words since there is less limitation on things like the number of pages. This is why we are working on illustrated digital albums which we will be launching in early 2018.”

Company: EDITORA OQO, S.L (Spain)

Type of business: editorial

EIF financing: Cultural & Creative Sectors Guarantee Facility (CCS)

Financial intermediary: CERSA

For further information about EIF intermediaries in Spain, please refer to: http://www.eif.org/what_we_do/where/es

 

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