The conseller of Business and Labor of the Generalitat, Roger Torrent has recently highlighted that the city of Barcelona has become the first ‘hub’ of ‘startups’ in southern Europe. In 2021 achieved a record investment capture of 1,479 million euros, 246% more than in 2020. This places the Catalan capital as sixth in the EU classification.
Catalonia has the objective to enter 2030 with 4,000 startups, almost double the 1,910 with which it closed 2021. Besides, it aspires to go from 6 to 15 unicorns, those companies with a turnover of more than one billion dollars – some of them, 800 million euros.
There are already six well-known unicorns: Adevinta, eDreams Odigeo, Glovo, Letgo, TravelPerk and Wallbox. In addition, the Generalitat has detected another five or six cases with a projection that will allow them to reach the required billing level in about a year, such as Factorial, UserZoom and Red Points.
The map of Catalan emerging companies drawn up by ACCIO was presented and Torrent referred to the support of the Government to support startups. In 2022, 2 million euros will be allocated in non-refundable aids of up to 75,000 euros to nurture deeptech companies based on scientific discovery or engineering innovation in the initial phases. Besides, there are several actions to advise and accompany in attracting international investments to reach the European funds planned.
The situation in Catalonia nowadays is according to the informs Eph, 1,910 emerging companies, 26.4% more than in 2019, before the outbreak of the pandemic, an ecosystem in which 19,300 people work – according to the latest data from 2020 -, 10% more than in 2019, and which invoices 1,710 million euros.
The report from the Department of Business, the Catalan startup ecosystem has grown by 75% since 2016, when its presence was analyzed and in which the existence of 1,086 of these companies was confirmed.
Almost half of these companies work in the deeptech environment, and, by sector, health is the leader with a (16%), followed by those focused on business services (13%) and ICT (7%).
If we look at technologies, artificial intelligence and big data stands out (36%), the cloud and the edge computing (14%), automation (10%) and the Internet of Things (9%).
In the human capital context one in four startup workers is foreign, 17% in the case of founders, while 73% of companies have international clients.