Updated: Jul 28
- National, Entrepreneurial DNA matters.
What follows is my predictions about which 3 tech verticals to - provided you agree with my line of thinking - pay extra attention to within the massively interesting and mature Spanish startup ecosystem in 2020. Spoiler alert: National, Entrepreneurial DNA matters.
I believe these 3 tech verticals in Spain will be getting a lot more Euros and Dollars from VC's, business angels and family offices, over the next couple of years. My reasoning is based on what the Spanish startup ecosystem, as a collective, has been chatting about over the last years, and the trends and debates going on in the whole world right now.
EDIT June 2020:
Due to the pandemic these verticals of course get further support, a positive effect!
Globally, we hear a lot more about Emotional Intelligence paired with Artificial Intelligence, about Climate change paired with CleanTech and about Waste Reduction paired with both AgriTech and FashionTech.
But most of all, my completely unscientific and intuitive guess, comes from believing that each country's Entrepreneurial DNA matters a great deal.
National legacy sectors likely to birth unicorns
In regards to the basic knowledge about the Spanish startup ecosystem, you have by now surely heard about the Unicorn darlings being Transportation star Cabify and Logistics ace Glovo. So why not think that even more of the risk capital in Spain would be placed there?
Well, most likely neither the Transportation sector nor a sector so clearly related to efficiency gains like Logistics will be starving for the cool cash anytime soon. And in regards to the clearly spotlighted FinTech sector, it is bound to be forever hot in most markets given its nature and for sure will keep collecting the large funding deals going forward as well.
But what could some forgotten Spanish startup verticals be? Those sectors not currently being given the amount of attention they deserve based on their legacy of producing world class, highly profitable Spanish companies?
My initial thinking is based on the fact that the first unicorns opening their rainbow colored eyes in Sweden, (I have lived in Sweden most of my life) were Skype (Telecom) and Spotify (Music). Sweden has a long and proud heritage from ruling the Telecommunications industry with Ericsson as a poster child and has an unusual amount* of music legends being Swedish. Names like Abba, Roxette, Avici and Swedish House mafia may ring some bells?
*It is a tiny country with 10 million people.
Spain's path to international brand fame comes from the likes of Fashion Retail successes Zara and Massimo Dutti, to name the biggest brands within the Inditex empire. Another famous Spanish household brand, especially within Spain, is Mercadona, the giant Food/ Supermarket chain first starting off in Valencia with selling local, fresh fish for good prices.
Continuing with the Energy sector, it's worth pointing out that Spain is one of the world leaders in renewable energies, both as a producer and as an exporter within CleanTech, with huge corporate Iberdrola being a main player. In fact, back in 2013, Spain became the first country ever in the world to have wind power as its main source of energy.
Putting my €millions on Spanish FashionTech, AgriTech and CleanTech
I really don't want to go in to this "Top startups in Spain"- game but at this point I understand that you do want some examples so I will oblige. For 2020, I would invest my (fictive) €millions in Spanish technology companies in the mentioned sectors like:
Valencia based Jeanologia claims their technology, while producing jeans, can decrease energy usage by a third, chemical usage by two thirds, and water consumption by 71%. They started with jeans fabrics and are evolving into creating more energy smart, future-proof fabrics in the coming years. Oh, and they are financially backed by the mighty Carlyle group.
--> More reading on Spanish FashionTech: Are Covid-19 and Spanish FashionTech changing your wardrobe?
To make things interesting here is one (still) unknown Spanish startup to learn about; the startup Codesian Software Tech based in Castilla y León, develops precision farming systems, providing fruit producers with better decision-making data for crop predictions. They are just getting started on their fruitful journey (pun intended) with initial funding.
A more known company is Holaluz, created in Barcelona 2010, trading and offering 100% renewable energy. They are one of few Spanish startups with a public offering, listed on the Spanish Alternative Equity Market (MAB) since November 2019, under the ticker “HLZ”.
All of these 3 Made in Spain tech companies have in common that they all want to create a much better world which I think is both a noble and a profitable cause*.
--> More reading on Spanish CleanTech:
Crafted by Caroline Lagergren
What do you need to know about Spain's startup ecosystem? Get this 70 pages, data-rich* report for clarity! (€20): REPORT: Spain's startup ecosystem and digital economy * Packed with names you will want to contact. ;)