Image | Moyan Brenn
For another year, Catalonia was once again king in the realm of entrepreneurship. According to the latest report from Web Capital Riesgo, the Catalan community received 39% of the funding available to startups in 2014, reaffirming Barcelona’s title as the Spanish capital of the entrepreneurial world.
Madrid follows closely behind, where 116 companies (22%) have captured the interest of investors. Moreover, Valencia holds its position for another year as the third region with 13% of its startups financed by investors.
Investment in new tech companies has yet to arrive to the regions of Extremadura, Canarias, Navarra and Murcia, however, where startups have not received a single euro in funding since 2012. This absence of financing continues to haunt the Spanish cities of Ceuta and Melilla in Africa as well.
A growing difference
If we look at the investment figures in 2014, startups based in Catalonia received a total of 176 million euros — almost 60% of Spain’s total investment. The investment in Catalonia far exceeded that of the Community of Madrid, with 60.3 million euros (20%), and the Community of Valencia, with 16.8 million euros (5.6%).
We can clearly see the direction Spanish investment has been flowing by looking at investment figures for the last few years, which illustrate just how far the gap has continued to widen between Catalonia and the other regions. As shown by the graphic above, startups based in Barcelona received much more funding than those in Madrid in 2014, which wasn’t the case in 2013. From thi statistic, we can infer that the Barcelona technology ecosystem is reaching maturity after several years of growth.
The bulk of venture capital went to a few companies that were already well known. The report highlights that more than half of the funding went to Scytl, a startup that came out of the Autonomous University of Barcelona and deals with lectronic voting.
Social Point has not only attracted the attention of national venture capital funds, but also other internationals of stature such as Greylock Ventures. In 2014, the strategic gaming company for mobile phones received its third round of funding (22 million euros), and is representative of the overall strong presence of the gaming sector in Catalonia.
In Madrid, we have seen the emergence of startups dealing with human resources and job searches, such as JobandTalent. In 2014 the startup attracted the attention of investors outside the world of technology. In July, the startup gained the largest round of funding in Spain, raising over 12 million euros.