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Insights on the Spanish Tech Ecosystem Report 2024

Insights on the Spanish Tech Ecosystem Report 2024

For a second year in a row, we’ve partnered with Dealroom, Kfund, Wayra, SpainCap, Endeavor, BBVA Spark, and Enisa, to elaborate an annual report analyzing the state of Spain’s tech ecosystem.

The past few years have been a wild ride for startup investment in Spain. Steady growth from 2013 to 2019 took a sharp turn with the pandemic, sending the market on a rollercoaster.

The Spain Ecosystem Report 2024 visualizes a more stable picture in 2023 and so far in 2024. Last year, Spanish startups raised 2.2 billion euros across over 850 funding rounds —below the figures of 2022 and 2021, but surpassing the funding raised in 2019. And, for the moment, Spanish VC investment in Q1 2024, is tracking above 2019 and 2020.

Here are our five highlights of the report.

Early-stage Takes Center Stage

After two years of inflated valuations due to post-pandemic liquidity, investment ranges are returning to pre-pandemic levels (2013-2019), revealing a normalization of funding trends in Spain.

Notably, early-stage investments —up to €15 million— remain the most common, reaching a total of over €1 billion in 2023. Standing out among Spanish early-stage rounds in 2023, Depasify’s €2.2 million investment round led by GoHub Ventures and JME Ventures.

However, there’s a clear slowdown in growth and later-stage funding. Rounds between €15 million and €100 million saw a drop from €1 billion in 2022 to €782 million last year. The decline is even steeper for mega-rounds exceeding €100 million, dropping from €1 billion in 2022 to just €405 million in 2023.

Compared to the European market, Spain shines in early-stage investments and falls behind in larger funding rounds.

SaaS, a winning business model

In 2023, 47% of VC-backed investments in Spain were mainly in one business model: Software as a Service.

As part of a trend that’s being seen worldwide, SaaS startups overtook marketplaces and eCommerce companies for two successive years, reaffirming the course and maturity of the Spanish industry.

Data shows a strong support for the SaaS model in the Spanish tech sector, evidenced by a 50% market consolidation in recent years.” said Inés Calabuig, Managing Partner in GoHub Ventures. “This trend confirms the interest of both national and international funds in Spanish software startups, aligning with our investment thesis. As businesses continue to prioritize digital transformation, SaaS companies become essential in providing innovative tools that optimize operations, boost productivity, and automate processes.

An Eye on Climate Tech and Digital Health

Dealroom’s data shows that Climate Tech and Digital Health startups attracted the most Venture Capitalist investment in 2023.

From those €2.2 billion invested in startups in 2023, €404 million was directly to fundraise startups working on Climate Tech solutions, and €226 million was invested in companies implementing technology into the digital sector.

Two sectors with tremendous potential were GoHub Ventures has also an eye on, highlighting the proper alignment of the Spanish entrepreneurship ecosystem with the most significant trends around the world.

Spain in Rankings

To fully understand the maturity and path that the Spanish tech ecosystem is following, it is necessary to compare the data to fellow European countries.

In terms of VC investment, Spain ranks seventh, below the UK, France, Germany, Sweden, Switzerland, and the Netherlands. But if we focus on early-stage VC investment, Spain is in fourth place.

When looking at the number of funding rounds closed in 2023, Spain takes the fourth position, above the Netherlands, Switzerland or Swedeen, but below the three big players of the European ecosystem: the UK, France and Germany.

With regards to the number of $1 billion exits, Spain ranks seventh with a total of 18 companies that earned the unicorn status. A notable difference if we compare it to the country that takes the first place with 171 unicorns: the United Kingdom.

Spanish Unicorns Breed New Startup Founders

Another sign of significant maturity in the Spanish startup ecosystem is the emergence of a new generation of founders who have gained valuable experience working in companies that have achieved unicorn status — that is, valuations exceeding €1 billion.

A group of over 90 new entrepreneurs coming from companies like Glovo, Cabify, Jobandtalent, Fever, Wallbox TravelPerk, and Factorial has garnered significant investor backing and stands out as prominent breeding grounds for this new generation of founders.

 

Access the report here to dive deeper into the state of the Spanish tech ecosystem and the challenges that it faces.

Sara Sanjuan, Head of Marketing & Communicarions at GoHub Ventures
May 27 · 2024 Sara Sanjuan Head of Marketing & Comms