Catalonia-based startups attract business angels & venture capital

Catalonia is Spain’s most attractive region for investors

According to a report of Spain’s Association for Capital, Growth and Investment (ASCRI) Catalan startups received in 2015 a total of €371m from both public funds as well as accelerators and incubators, venture capital funds and corporations. Catalonia grabbed 56 % of the total investment volume in Spain (€659.4m) and 33 % of all operations. Moreover, on international VC investments Catalonia accounted for 53% of all deals and 71% of the amount invested in Spain (€277.2m).

Main operations with local and international investors

Main funding operations in 2016 include venture capital from La Caixa Capital Risc, Kennet, Nauta Capital, Ysisos Capital or Idinvest Partners, among other investors.

  • In November 2016, Job Today, a recruitment startup that specializes in matching candidates with employers within a 24-hour period, raised 18 million euros in a funding round led by Flint Capital, with participation from Accel Partners, Mangrove Capital, Felix Capital, Atresmedia, Channel 4 (UK), and German Media Pool VC.
  • In September 2016, Inbenta, specialised in natural language processing and semantic search, closed a round of investment of 10.6 million euros. This new round has been signed by the USLevel Equity funds, Amasia and Scale Capital, a firm that in 2014 had signed the first investment round of Inbenta, 1.45 million euros.
  • In August 2016, Glovo, with its app home delivery services, closed a round of funding of 5 million euros, which will give the Catalan startup the cash needed to achieve profitability within two years. This operation led to the entry of Entreé Capital (which also participates in Snapchat, Postmates or Stripe), Seaya Ventures (Cabify, Hundredrooms or Ticketea), Antai Venture Builder(Wallapop, Cornerjob or Deliberry), Bonsai Venture Capital and Caixa Capital Risc.
  • In June 2016 Serena Capital, French equity fund specialised in tech companies, injected 6 million euros in iContainers, the platform on container shipping line based in Barcelona
  • In May 2016 ABA English closed the largest round of funding the Spanish technology sector so far this year. The mobile application specialised in learning English from short films captured 10.5 million euros in its second round of financing led by Kennet Partners, which was a shareholder of BuyVip and NTR Global. Along with the British fund, Nauta Capital has also invested in the company.
  • In April 2016 biotech company Stat-Diagnostica closed its third round of funding, 25 million euros, in the largest operation of the sector in Spain in 2016. The Barcelona-based company will use the funds raised in the market launch of its next diagnostic system DiagCORE patient. The fund Gilde Healthcare leads the round, which also involved Kurma Partners, Boehringer Ingelheim, Ysios Capital, Caixa Capital Risc, and Axis Idinvest Partners.
  • In March 2016, Barcelona-based Cornerjob, the startup that gets you in contact with an employer within 24 hours, closed a series A-round of 9.2 million euros from several business angels and VC’s, such as Antai Business Angels and Mediaset España (Ad4Ventures), La Caixa Capital Risc, Media Digital Ventures, Banc Sabadell Capital,Cube Investments, Ithaca Investment, Samaipata Ventures and Bonsai Venture Capital.
  • In January 2016 Aelix Therapeutics, offshoot Hivacat public-private consortium, closed a round of funding of 11.5 million euros to develop treatments against human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). In the operation, led by Ysios Capital fund -through Ysios BioFund II Innvierte-. Caixa Capital Risc and Johnson & Johnson Innovation also participated in the operation.

Techstars. Investors in Europe

Techstars Investors in Europe map shows VCs investing in European startups. Barcelona is among the main cities for foreign investors.

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Magnus Jern. President DMI International. Entrepreneur and Investor

Just 5 years ago there was very limited access to venture capital money in Barcelona. This has drastically changed with a record year of investments in 2015 and local and global funds eager to invest in the right start-ups based in Barcelona. Active Venture Partners, Nauta Capital, Bonsai and various angel networks are very active investing locally but there has also been an upswing in interest from the Silicon Valley based VC firms. There has never been better access to money in Barcelona.

Luís Martín Cabiedes. Partner at "Cabiedes & Partners SCR"

Why each region should have a Silicon Valley, if there is already one in Barcelona?