2020 ends with €1.101M invested in Spanish startups


We bid farewell to 2020 with positive news for the Spanish startup ecosystem. Investment in startups has remainedat very similar levels to the last two years and has exceeded one billion Euro invested in technology companies for the third consecutive year, despite the strong impact on the Spanish economy as a result of the coronavirus crisis.

2020 saw the second best figure in Spain’s history in terms of investment, reaching 1,101,786 million Euro, slightly less than the accumulated figure for 2018, which ended with 1,227,090 million Euro. The third year with the highest accumulated investment was 2019, reaching €1,098,120 million according to figures from the Bankinter Foundation of Innovation Observatory and El Referente.

In addition, the number of public operations increased considerably, reaching 338 rounds in 2020, compared with 205 in 2019 and 199 in 2018. From this year you can analyze all the public operations in Spanish startups in our investment library.

These data show that many startups are closing operations in the early stages of investment (seed and pre-sale) and that the Spanish ecosystem continues to mature. Moreover, the trend seems to be continuing in the coming years thanks in part to the fact that national Venture Capital has closed more than 1,000 million Euro this year alone to invest in startups over the next few years. This positive figure is added to the growing participation of foreign funds in the main Spanish technology companies. In the latest issue of El Referente’s Investment Guide for Startups we identified more than 220 foreign venture capital funds that had invested in at least one Spanish startup.

As for the months in 2020 with the highest number of operations, October and November stand out with 44 and 43 public operations respectively, while the months in which the accumulated capital has been highest do not coincide with the aforementioned months. September is the month with the highest accumulated investment, 237,027.50M Euro in a total of 34 operations and February with 144,784.00M Euro in a total of 21 deals. Both months have been the most outstanding thanks in part to the mega rounds that have taken place from Glovo (September) and Flywire (February).


Two thirds of the operations took place in the two main Spanish hubs: Madrid and Barcelona. The city of Barcelona continues to be the one that manages to close the most deals (118) but is closely followed by Madrid (116). Operations in Barcelona achieved a cumulative figure of 473,657.06M Euro, higher than that of Madrid with 360,683.85M Euro. Valencia, with 27 public operations, has consolidated its position as the third largest technology hub in Spain, with 179,348M Euro invested in startups. The fourth city, Bilbao, has a total of 10 operations and 9,075,000M Euro of investment.


With regard to the sectors with most growth in 2020, the logistics and mobility sector stands out, achieving an accumulated 264,299M Euro in a total of 29 public operations (the sector already has more than 350 startups). While in second position is the fintech and insurtech sector with 39 public operations and a total of 215,861.00M Euro (the fintech sector already has more than 400 startups in Spain while the insurtech sector remains at around 200).

Especially interesting are the growths of other sectors that will gain a lot of significance in the coming years. These are the Health and Wellness sector, which ends 2020 with 45 public operations and more than 100,000M Euro of investment (according to data from El Referente, the sector already has more than 400 startups) and the cyber-security sector, which has more than 100 companies in Spain, and in 2020 has closed 12 public operations and more than 104,000M Euro of accumulated total investment.