The Spanish ecosystem ranks 5th in Europe in terms of the number of scaleups, and 6th in the capital raised. As a consolation prize, it ranks first among the Southern European countries.
The gap with the UK, France, and Germany is simply too broad to be bridged. But the preliminary numbers of 2018 shows that Spain is also going slower than the most immediate comparables, Switzerland and Sweden. In particular regarding the capital invested where Spain is still lagging behind the most advanced ecosystems.
What’s needed to make a substantial step forward?
First and foremost, more capital needs to be invested in startups.
Our research specifically shows that late-stage deals are mostly fueled by foreign investors (and in most of the cases abroad).
A deeper involvement of stock exchanges is needed in the startup economy. Only two Spanish scaleups went public. Therefore, more such activity is required here.
More corporate-startup collaboration and open innovation are needed.
The number of Spanish startups sold is double the number of startups acquired by Spanish corporations, due to which there is a risk of losing technology, talent and become an obsolete industry.
Finally, more startup hotspots beyond Barcelona and Madrid are needed. Contrary to many other European countries that are characterized by an ecosystem strongly concentrated around one city, Spain has two major cities where scaleups flourish. Other cities need to add to the list.