The entrepreneurial ecosystem in Spain generates almost 100,000 jobs per year and a wealth of 11.541 billion euros

ecosystem in Spain

Ecosistema Startup, the largest database in Spain for startups and investors created by El Referente, has published the 2024 report on the ecosystem of technology and innovative companies in Spain. The aforementioned reveals that the country has more than 7,000 active technology companies, of which 3,640 are startups and 1,185 are scaleups. The annual economic impact of these companies amounts to 11.541 billion euros, generating close to 100,000 direct jobs.


Catalonia is the autonomous region with the highest number of technology companies as it has 2,064 in total, of which 1,071 are startups. It is closely followed by the Autonomous Region of Madrid which has 1,677 technology companies, including 868 startups. These two autonomous regions boast over 50% of all technology companies in Spain, therefore standing out as the main innovation hubs in the country.

Furthermore, the sector to which the highest number of companies belong is Ehealth, with 524 businesses, followed by Edtech, Biotech, Foodtech and Fintech. This sectoral growth reflects the diversity and specialization of the Spanish technology ecosystem, as it adapts to the ever-changing needs of the global market.

In terms of investment, Ecosistema Startup reveals significant development in deeptech startup investment in Spain, showing sustained growth since 2016. 2021 stands out as the year with the highest cumulative investment, reaching 4,218,483,121.00 euros by means of 468 operations.  However, in 2023 there is a considerable drop which sees up to 394 operations but only 1,838,657,097 euros. 

The report also breaks down cumulative investment by autonomous region, focusing on the five regions with the highest investment:

  • Catalonia: With a cumulative total of €4,509,229,490.00 by means of 599 operations since 2019.
  • Autonomous Region of Madrid: Recording €5,105,013,804.00 in 528 operations.
  • Autonomous Region of Valencia: Accumulating €747,439,727.00 in 208 operations.
  • Basque Country: With a total of €319,627,395.00 in 223 operations.
  • Andalusia: Amounting to €290,299,480.00 in 121 operations.

The following technology sectors particularly stand out as they have attracted the highest amount of investment in recent years: Health and Biotech, Energy and Climate Change/Water and Fintech and Insurtech. 


Despite drops in recent years, the startup ecosystem in Spain continues to show its ability to attract major investors, with several investment megarounds that have made history in the last few years. This report highlights the crucial role of these investment rounds, which account for over 20 million euros in financing and expansion of technology companies in the country.

2021 stood out as an exceptional period for megarounds, recording a total of 36 significant operations. Among the most notable investments was Jobandtalent, which raised 464 million euros, establishing itself as one of the major financing rounds in Madrid. Glovo, with headquarters in Barcelona, was not far behind, securing 450 million euros. Other considerable investments included Idealista with 425 million euros and Capchase with 236 million euros, which are both based in Madrid.

The 2021 peak was followed by a moderate decrease in the value of megarounds, with 38 in 2022 and 21 in 2023. This pattern reflects both the positive impact of 2021 and market stabilization in the years to follow. To date, 2024 has recorded 7 megarounds and half a million euros has not yet been exceeded.

Madrid has emerged as the epicentre of these investments, as the majority of megarounds are concentrated in the Spanish capital. Companies such as Letgo, with a round of 430 million euros in 2018, and Seedtag, which obtained 250 million euros in 2021, have significantly contributed to strengthening the technology ecosystem in Madrid.


Despite a considerable increase in the number of technology companies in Spain, the gender gap observed in the founding of startups continues to be a major challenge. According to the Ecosistema Startup report, just 17.1% of startup founders in Spain are female, while 83% are male. In absolute terms, in practice, this means 1,946 women compared to 9,474 men. Of these women, 1,308 start a business together with other women, while 545 do so in collaboration with men.

Regional analysis shows that the autonomous regions with the highest percentages of female founders are:

  • Ceuta and Melilla: 33.33% (even though it is the region with the fewest technology companies).
  • Extremadura: 21.52%.
  • Autonomous Region of Navarre: 20.32%.
  • Basque Country: 19.75%.

At the other extreme, the regions with the lowest percentages of female founders are:

  • Castilla-La Mancha: 10.26%.
  • La Rioja: 10.91%.

In terms of distribution by sector, the areas of technology with the highest presence of female founders are: Ehealth: 229 companies; Biotech: 179 companies; Edtech: 142 companies.

However, there is no sector in which there are more female than male founders, highlighting the pressing need to implement policies and programmes that encourage greater female participation in the entrepreneurial ecosystem.

The report also draws attention to the yearly increase in the number of deeptech startup founders by gender between 2010 and 2023. A considerable disparity between men and women can be seen in the data, which is maintained every year. 

From 2010 to 2021, there was a constant rise in the number of startup founders, reaching a peak in 2021 with 1,425 men and 320 women. A drop in the number of new founders has been recorded in the last two years, possible due to economic and social factors. Furthermore, the ratio of female to male founders has consistently been lower, emphasising the persistent gender gap in the technology sector.

The data gathered from this report gives rise to the suggestion that, although female participation in the founding of startups has increased, the gender gap continues to be a major challenge. The implementation of support programmes and financing aimed specifically at female entrepreneurs is therefore crucial in order to reduce this disparity. Furthermore, the downward trend in creation of startups in the last two years highlights the need for a more favourable and stable environment to encourage innovation and technological entrepreneurship.


The Ecosistema Startup report is backed by data which are updated daily by the platform with the same name, and this is the largest database in Spain and Portugal for startups, scaleups, SMEs and investors. This tool makes it possible to analyse and monitor over 7,000 Spanish technology companies, providing detailed information about founders, sectors, types of companies, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) that they achieve, the year in which companies are founded and other relevant data.

To ensure that the information is accurate, the Ecosistema Startup data are validated with the Business Register every quarter pursuant to the agreement with INFORMA, a leading platform in the supply of business, financial, sectoral and marketing information concerning companies and entrepreneurs. 

The 2024 national report on technology companies in Spain includes the main data linked to the world of innovation and startups in the country. This report, which is backed by more than 10 companies, namely ENISA and Patio Campus, is made up of six major blocks that cover regional, sectoral and technological impact, investment, startups, scaleups and technology companies.