Scaleup Spain. Time Is Now.
One year later, the Spanish ecosystem still ranks 5th in Europe in terms of the number of scaleups, and 6th in the capital raised. And it still is the most performing ecosystem among the Southern European countries.
One year later, Spain remains very far from the top countries in terms of capital invested. Investing $800M per year, while Germany, France, and The Netherlands pour around $4B, and Switzerland over $2B does not allow to close the gap. The gap has been widening.
Our data show that Spain (as most of the Southern and Eastern countries) suffers a chronic situation of relative undercapitalization compared to the other European regions. Unfortunately, there is only medicine to treat such disease: pour more capital. Move the investment bar from hundreds of millions to billions.
On the bright side, the performance in terms of the number of new scaleups is promising: Spain added 61 new scaleups in 2018, a growth pace that is comparable to Switzerland, The Netherlands, and Sweden. And we expect the numbers to grow in 2019 by a further 25-30%. Then the Spanish startup ecosystem is vital. It just needs to be supported with more capital.
Here, beyond the venture capital industry, a deeper involvement of the stock exchanges is needed (the fact that Bolsas y Mercados Españoles hosted the Scaleup Summit in 2019 at the Palacio de Bolsa is a strong signal in that direction).
Additionally, more corporate-startup collaboration and open innovation are required.
It does not just involve only the large corporations (that are quite active), but also mid-size companies.
The potential is intact. It is time to make Scaleup Spain happen.
by Alberto Onetti, Chairman, Mind the Bridge