A DYNAMIC STARTUP ECOSYSTEM

Barcelona, more than 1,300 startups in Southern Europe’s largest entrepreneurial hub


Barcelona is Southern Europe’s most dynamic startup ecosystem, being home to over 1,300 startups that mostly develop their activity in the fields of Industry 4.0 (17%), life sciences (13%) and mobile & software technologies (11%).

According to the Barcelona & Catalonia Startup Hub, the startup economy in Catalonia employs 13,820 people. The international feel of the city translates into the figures: 26% of all employees are from abroad, mainly from Western Europe (46%) followed by South America, Eastern Europe, Asia, Africa and North America. In addition, 15% of startup founders are international.

Working in the field of technology is what mostly attracts foreign talent. In fact, 27% of international employees develop their activity in this area, followed by sales (22%), management (20%) and operations (17%).

20% of startup founders would choose Barcelona

Where would you set up your startup if you were to establish one again? When asked this question, 20% of startup founders in Europe decided on Barcelona, being the third favorite hub after London and Berlin, according to Startup Heatmap Europe 2018.

As per business model, 45% of Catalan startups have ecommerce & marketplace as business models. Development and manufacturing comes next (23%), and SaaS (22%) takes third position having increased 5% from 2016.

No. 4 in capital investments in Europe

Financing is key for startup success and Barcelona keeps claiming its spot in the international sphere. Nowadays Barcelona lies 4th in the ranking of European cities by volume of investment received: the city raised €722M in 2017, only behind London, Berlin and Paris.

3 out of 4 Catalan startups have obtained financing from investors in 2017. It is noteworthy to say that 21% of all 1,300 startups have secured rounds of investment of over 1 million euros.

Foreign investors are involved in 74% of the highest rounds, as in the cases of startups Let Go, Glovo or TravelPerk. The sectors that attracted higher investments (in series A+B+C) are Medtech, Fintech and Biotech.

Barcelona and Catalonia Startup Hub

The Barcelona & Catalonia Startup Hub is a comprehensive digital platform that collects information about all the startups based in Catalonia. It provides free access to who is who in the Catalan startup ecosystem: users can find out what startups are doing, who is investing in them, and what exits are happening.