Updated: Jun 24, 2022
Some will say "just" 2, some will argue that there are 3, or maybe even 4. As of today (June 2021), the more creative souls will claim that there are now 5 actual unicorns from Spain. Let's dive into why this supposedly straightforward count of Spanish tech companies, exceeding the set amount of $1 billion, needs some creativity.
The when and where of future IPO's is also worth a closer look as many timeframes for public listings have been pushed and the Spanish stock exchange is not always the first choice for these ambitious unicorns, or semi-unicorns, depending on your viewpoint.
Cabify, Madrid ($1,4 billion)
Founded in 2011, this "Latin Uber-rival" as media likes to call them because of their market leadership in LATAM, reached a valuation of $1,4 billion in the beginning of 2018, after having raised $160 million.
In April 2021, Cabify got into the very hot and competitive last-mile delivery space "to build up a new business unit beyond traditional ride-hailing". According to Forbes, "the logistics service is being expanded to take advantage of the surge in e-commerce and online shopping during the Covid-19 pandemic."
The same article reveals that Cabify has hired a new chief financial officer to finally do an IPO, something that the Spanish startup ecosystem has eagerly been waiting for since early 2019, when rumors of the company reaching this important milestone first started.
In September 2019, Cabify implied to Spanish newspaper Cinco Días that they had learnt from its American competitor Uber what not do, saying that "it would be optimal to reach profitability before doing an IPO to become a publicly traded company". Instead Management started planning for an IPO in 2020, then in March 2020, well, you know..
Glovo, Barcelona ($1.7 billion)
In late 2019, the delivery service Glovo also reached this elusive status, attracting the interest of increasingly more international investors to the maturing tech ecosystem in Barcelona, seemingly spilling over to the rest of the tech hubs in Spain as well.
With their latest Series F round of $528 million in April 2021, Glovo set a new record, as it was the largest-ever round raised by a Spanish startup. The valuation wasn't disclosed but journalist Ingrid Lunden of Techcrunch did some guessing work for us:
"Valuation is not being disclosed with this round, but when it raised its $166 million Series E in December 2019 — just ahead of the COVID-19 pandemic that truly changed the face of delivery services in many parts of the world — Glovo had a valuation of $1.18 billion, according to PitchBook data. Michaud would only confirm to me that it was “definitely an up-round,” which would put it at, at least $1.7 billion, if not more, b