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Spanish Startups Reach €100B in Aggregate Value, a Historic Milestone in the Tech Ecosystem

Spanish Startups Reach €100B in Aggregate Value, a Historic Milestone in the Tech Ecosystem

The Spanish entrepreneurship and innovation ecosystem is advancing steadily. According to the latest ‘Spain Ecosystem Report‘ elaborated by Dealroom.co on the tech industry in Spain, the aggregate value of our startups exceeded €100 billion in 2023. This represents a 14% growth compared to 2022, highlighting Spain as an emerging power in European innovation.

The report, in collaboration with Kfund, Wayra, SpainCap, Endeavor, GoHub Ventures, BBVA Spark, and Enisa, emphasizes that in 2023, Spanish startups raised €2.2 billion through over 850 funding rounds. Of these, €1 billion went to rounds under €15 million; €782 million to rounds between €15 and €100 million; and €405 million to rounds exceeding €100 million.

Last year, Madrid positioned itself as the leading city in attracting investment, with €605 million, surpassing Barcelona, which reached €457 million. Seville (€70 million), Valencia (€46 million), and San Sebastián (€30 million) rounded out the national top 5.

 

Signs of Maturity

The Spanish market is consolidating certain positions that already allow for significant signs of maturity. One of the most relevant indicators is the emergence of a new generation of founders who have decided to embark on their ventures after working at companies that achieved valuations exceeding €1 billion. 

This group of entrepreneurs has already created more than 90 new investor-backed companies. Companies like Glovo, Cabify, Jobandtalent, Wallbox, Fever, Factorial, and TravelPerk stand out as the main entrepreneurial nests in Spain.

The Dealroom.co report highlights the consolidation of funding sources for these projects. Corporate investment saw significant growth in 2023, with a 6% increase in participation since 2019, reaching a record high of 16%. 

Additionally, the combination of corporate and venture capital funding now accounts for 49%. This is an increase of more than 14 percentage points since the year before the pandemic, showcasing the professionalization of investment in a sector where capital requirements are becoming increasingly sophisticated. 

 

Consolidated European Position

At a European level, although Spain continues to outperform its Southern European counterparts, it still lags behind ecosystems like France and Germany. The valuation of the tech sector of the major leaders of the Old Continent is three to four times higher than that of Spain, which is managing to stand out in the middle tier. The €100 billion valuation allows Spain to surpass countries like Norway, Italy, and Portugal. 

Our country occupies a prominent position in terms of the number of rounds and early-stage investment. Spain ranks fourth in the number of rounds and early-stage investment, behind only the United Kingdom, France, and Germany. 

This data is further reinforced by analyzing the evolution of early-stage investment. Spain has exceeded the European average in recent years. Dealroom.co’s tracking since 2013 shows significant progress compared to the continental average. 

In terms of creating large companies, Spain has consolidated its position in seventh place. The national market has 18 companies with valuations exceeding €1 billion. This category includes countries like Denmark, Ireland, Italy, and Belgium. Leading this ranking are the United Kingdom, with 171 unicorns, and Germany, with 70.

 

Snapshot of the Spanish Startup

Transversality being one of the main characteristics of the technological ecosystem, certain sectors are beginning to stand out as the pillars of the Spanish industry. Last year, the sectors that secured the most funding were primarily related to climate and health. Two verticals with tremendous potential, highlighting the strong alignment of Spanish entrepreneurship with significant trends. 

Another element reinforcing the maturity of Spanish companies is the analysis of their business models. Companies specializing in Software as a Service (SaaS) surpassed those developing marketplaces in 2023. This trend is also being observed globally and reaffirms the direction of the Spanish industry. 

Since 2019, €1.6 billion has been invested in Spanish startups founded by women. This figure represents 12% of the total funds raised by startups in Spain during this period. An indicator that shows us that much progress still has to be made, but it places our country in fifth position, only behind Finland, Luxembourg, Italy, and Norway, and ahead of big players like the United Kingdom, France, and Germany.

 

Challenges on the Horizon

One of the main challenges that the ecosystem needs to step up in the upcoming years is the size of advanced-stage funding rounds. Following the trend of the broader Spanish business community dominated by SMEs, the funding of large companies decreased last year, particularly in rounds exceeding €100 million, which have been declining for three years. 

This trend, also observed across Europe and globally, should garner significant attention from the sector. If Spain has managed to position itself as one of the most dynamic models in early-stage investments, it also needs to find ways to support these companies in their growth. 

This is not happening now. The graduation rate of Spanish startups (an indicator that signals companies closing a round that exceeds the valuation of the previous one) is below the European average for Series A, a similar trend in Series B+. Changing this trend will be crucial for the future health of the sector. 

  

About the Spain Ecosystem Report

The Spain Ecosystem Report is a report elaborated by the global data platform Dealroom.co in collaboration with Kfund, BBVA Spark, Endeavor Spain, GoHub Ventures, Wayra, SpainCap, and Enisa to study the state of the startup ecosystem in Spain in 2023. The study aims to provide information on the current state of the sector, understand the investments made over the last year, and position Spain relative to its European and global peers to evaluate and understand the current state of the ecosystem in Spain. 

May 27 · 2024 GoHub Ventures