Catalan startups raise 1,479 million euros in investment in 2021, the highest figure on record

10 Jan 2022

  • According to ACCIÓ - Catalonia Trade & Investment’s calculations and based on the international Dealroom database this is 246% more than in 2020
  • In 2021, Barcelona ranked 4th in the European Union for the number of start-up financing rounds, ahead of Amsterdam or Munich, and 6th in volume of investments raised
  • The capital of Catalonia has become the 4th largest ecosystem in the European Union with the greatest number of scale-ups, i.e., startups that have raised more than $1 million in financing

Catalan startups raised 1,479 million euros in investment in 2021 according to calculations by ACCIÓ- Catalonia Trade & Investment, using data from the international database Dealroom. This is 246% more than the investment volume attracted in 2020 and is the highest figure on record.

According to Natàlia Mas, Director General of Industry and CEO of ACCIÓ- Catalonia Trade & Investment, these results show the robustness of the Catalan startup ecosystem, which has more than recovered after the initial shock caused by the pandemic. In fact, the volume of investment raised by Catalan startups in 2021 is 65% higher than in 2018, which until now was the highest figure in the series.

"The fact that startups are getting these levels of financing is a clear sign of the potential of Catalan entrepreneurial projects and the growing interest they provoke internationally", stresses Mas.

In 2021, a total of 207 rounds of investment were closed by Catalan startups. Thus, Barcelona ranks as the 4th EU city with the most rounds of funding closed last year, just behind Paris, Berlin, and Stockholm and ahead of Amsterdam or Munich.

As regards the investment volume captured by startups in 2021 in the EU, Barcelona, with 1,479 million euros, ranks 6th. 51% of this amount comes from rounds of over 100 million dollars (or 88 million euros), a figure that demonstrates the level of maturity in these types of projects in the Catalan startup ecosystem.

Likewise, the volume of other rounds in the lower sections (from 0 to 100 million dollars or 88 million euros) came to 724 million euros, which is also the highest figure on record for cumulative investments of these amounts.

Therefore, according to the Director General of Industry and CEO of ACCIÓ- Catalonia Trade & Investment, “these figures show that Barcelona is an ideal place not only to create startups but also to make them grow, because it has become a hub that attracts foreign investors and talent, especially in the digital field.

Scale-ups  and unicorns

According to Dealroom, Barcelona has become the EU’s 4th largest ecosystem in 2021 with the largest number of scale-ups (startups that have raised more than a million dollars in funding), behind only Paris, Berlin, and Stockholm and ahead of Amsterdam.

  1. Paris (1,257 companies)
  2. Berlin (551 companies)
  3. Stockholm (465 companies)
  4. Barcelona (310 companies)
  5. Amsterdam (272 companies)
  6. Dublin (257 companies)
  7. Madrid (238 companies)
  8. Milan (200 companies)

As regards the future, data today places Barcelona as the 7th hub for European Union startups in terms of future unicorns (tech companies valued at over $250 million but under $1 billion) with 15 companies.

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