Spanish start-ups break all investment records

In 2021, investment in Spanish start-ups was historic at € 4.3 billion, almost four times the 2020 figure. But most importantly, foreign fund investment increased by € 2.17 billion, or 335% over the year.

2021 was characterized by some negative records of the Spanish economy, including a recovery in galloping inflation, a surge in fuel and electricity, and lower-than-expected GDP performance. However, the conclusion of the Bankinter Foundation for Innovation’s annual report is that some sectors are recovering, which is arguably true for Spanish start-ups.

+ 20% compared to pre-pandemic level

In this way, a total of 409 investment businesses were closed in Spanish start-ups, costing around € 4.3 billion. This represents a 287% increase in investment compared to 2020 (1.1 billion). In 2020, the number of surgeries increased by 20% compared to pre-pandemic levels, especially due to the coronavirus infection in the first two quarters.

This explains why the average transaction size was € 10.5 million in 2021 compared to an average of 221% higher than in 2020, when the average transaction size was € 3.27 million. The main investment transactions of his year continued to be led by traditional companies such as Glovo. , Job & Talent, Wallapop, Idealista. However, new companies such as Capchase and Devo have joined the ranking.

Madrid overtakes Barcelona

Another important finding in the Bankinter Foundation for Innovation report is that Madrid has solidified its position as a major destination for investment in Spanish start-ups. The capital overtook Barcelona for the first time.

Evolution of investment in Spanish start-ups
Evolution of investment in Spanish start-up / Source Fondation Bankinter

In fact, last year, investment in start-ups increased seven-fold in Madrid, or 589%, and almost doubled in Barcelona to 212%. In this sense, Madrid raised € 2.48 billion, while Barcelona raised € 1.51 billion. In any case, both hubs have grown significantly compared to 2020.

Valencia and Basque Country, down

Valencia came in third again, but slightly behind, as investment fell by 53%, ending a very uneven year with a total of € 83.5 million. The Basque Country was fourth, with activity slightly down to 5.9% and 16 transactions completed.

Increasing interest from foreign investment

However, one of the most notable changes in investment levels last year was the growing interest from foreign capital in Spanish start-ups. This increased by 335% to reach € 217 billion in 2021. This is also becoming more and more common. Looking at a mixed business where domestic and foreign investors are on a par with each other, it is equivalent to 1.78 billion euros, which is four times the amount in 2020.

US, UK, France, major investors

The countries of origin of the most active investors were the United States with 108, up 77% from 2020, followed by the United Kingdom with 60, 53% and France with 21, or 5%. Previous year. Foreign investment and mixed investment account for more than 90% of the investment in Spain.

Best performing sector

The distribution of investment operations in Spain by sector was, of course, unusual as the mobility and logistics sectors dominated in 2020, but the most active sector in 2021 will serve other businesses. It included a focused business. The second is Real Estate and Proptech (“Real Estate & Proptech”). Next comes the more traditional sectors such as Mobility and Logistics, Finitec and Insurtech. Finally, software has grown 1400% compared to 2020.