E-Commerce Leads Spanish “Scaleups” – SEP Press Release 2nd Matching Event in Madrid

After the official launch in Brussels and the first SEP Matching Event in Naples, SEP lands in Madrid: 4 large corporates met 7 selected startups from all over Europe to identify opportunities for procurement/distribution, investment, and possible acquisitions.

E-Commerce Leads Spanish “Scaleups”

According to the June issue of the SEP Monitor presented during the second SEP Matching Event in Madrid hosted by Startup the Fusion, over 100 Spanish startups are now “scaleups”.

Approximately 64% raised between $0.5M and $2.5M, 13% between $2.5M and $5M, 18% between $5.0M and $50M. 5% got more than $50M.

The most relevant sector is E-Commerce (24%), followed by Software Solution (13%), Hospitality (11%), Mobile (9%) and Gaming (8%).

Nearly 30 exits reported since 2011. Most are European buyers, only 30% are acquired by US companies.

Madrid, 26 June 2014 – After the official launch in Brussels and the first Matching Event in Naples, SEP landed today in Madrid: During the second SEP Matching Event hosted by Startup the Fusion, more than 15 senior executives from the corporate members of SEP – Orange, Telefònica, BBVA and Telecom Italia – met 7 scaleups selected by SEP from all over Europe through its pan-European network of investors and accelerators with the goal to identify opportunities for procurement/distribution, investment, or possible acquisition.

If we can get the European starters of the world to build with the scalers of the world, we’ll see a much larger percentage of European startups grow into ‘scaleups’, explained Neelie Kroes, European Commission Vice-President and responsible for the Digital Agenda. “Scaleups are young companies who have broken the early-stage barriers of a local business ecosystem that prevent rapid growth and development.”

In this occasion the SEP Monitor_June 2014, focused on Spain’s startup companies, was also presented.

 “The SEP Monitor highlights scaleups that made a first step forward to become relevant players,” said Alberto Onetti, chairman of the Mind the Bridge Foundation. “The Spain data shows there is a group of over 100 companies that emerged from the early stage and are positioned to become global leaders. By linking starters with large corporates in a pan-European entrepreneurial ecosystem, SEP’s goal is to accelerate these early-stage companies to scale-up and become real job creators.”

 The SEP Monitor showed that over 100 startups in Spain broke the early stage level in the last 3 years to become scaleups. More than 20% raised over $5M and 5% over $50M. E-commerce is the sector that drives the scale-up of the Spanish startup ecosystem. Since 2011 nearly 30 exits have been reported mostly from European buyers, while 30% were acquired by US companies.

  • Funding: Approximately 64% of scaleups raised between $0.5M and $2.5M, 13% received between $2.5M and $5M, 18% between $5.0M and $50M. Only 5% of the identified companies raised more than $50M.
  • Most notable Spanish scaleups: the rising star is Privalia which got total $250.8M in funding. Other promising startups are: Social Point (2008), Barcelona-based social games developer, raised in total $14.7M; Kantox (2011), a peer-to-peer foreign currency exchange for businesses, raised €6.5M in Series A in February this year; Ticketea, the leading ticketing platform in Spain, raised $4M in a Series B round of funding in May last year after receiving $1.5M in Series A and $280K in seed funding. Jobandtalent (2009), the London and Madrid-based recruitment platform, which matches jobs to candidates through an innovative linguistics-based algorithm, received €3.3M funding in 2013.
  • Sectors: The most relevant sector is E-Commerce (24%), followed by Software Solution (13%), Hospitality (11%), Mobile (9%), Gaming (8%), Enterprise Services (7%). Other minor categories include Social, Advertising, Health, Finance. The biggest E-commerce category includes mainly E-shops and Discount webs, whereas the Hospitality category is represented mainly by hotel or flight-booking sites.
  • Exits: Nearly 30 exits (including one substantial IPO) were reported since 2011. The largest reported acquisitions with disclosed deal size are Arsys (in 2013) and Milanucios (in 2014). eDreams Odigeo‘s IPO ($1.5B) in April 2014 has been the first scaleup going public on the Madrid stock market since the country emerged from the last recession. The number of exits has been growing steadily in recent years. In 2013 the number of identified Spanish exits doubled (from 5 to 10) compared to the prior year. Nearly 60% of the Spanish acquisition deals in the period 2011-14 have been accomplished by Europe-based buyers (mainly Spanish and UK companies). 30% of the deals were completed by US companies.

grafici SEP Monitor June

Moreover, an open session titled: “Bridging Scaleups to Established Corporates” has been organized to present the corporate programs available for startups. The panel will be moderated by Alberto Onetti with the participation of Gustavo Vinacua, Director of BBVA Innovation Centers & Open Innovation; Valentín Fernández García, Responsible of the Innovation Venture Capital Funds in Telefónica Open Future; Jacky Abitdol, VP Corporate Development Orange Startup Ecosystem; and Luca Casaburra, Head of Corporate Venture Capital at Telecom Italia, and part of the “Sharing” activities of SEP (one of the three main actions established by the programme, along with Matching and Mapping).

Big corporations and startups, we are all part of an ecosystem. And we can both benefit from a more rich and mature environment in Europe to help innovation to flourish and support startups scale up – said Gustavo Vinacua, Director of BBVA Innovation Centers & Open InnovationBBVA Opentalent startup competition, our corporate venture activity through BBVA Ventures and our open innovation initiatives Innova Challenge and Innova Apps are part of our efforts to make this happen…”

“Europe is at crossroads and Spain is among the European economies starting to find their way out of the crisis. In 2013, Spanish GDP increased and we saw the first signs of recovery in terms of employment creation in the last months of the year – declared Frederic Michel, Telefonica Global Public Engagement DirectorThe SEP monitor reveals that 2013 was a turning point for entrepreneurs: 10 exits took place in 2013 compared to 5 in the previous year. However, there is room for improvement – both in Spain and in Europe. Startups alone won’t be enough to reach strong results in terms of growth, employment or wealth creation. Telefónica, through Open Future, has committed to support not only early-stage entrepreneurs, but also to provide a broad scale-up platform to help develop a solid ecosystem. The Startup Europe Partnership has a similar philosophy: make Europe the place where startups can grow and where scaleups can trespass the limits we know.”

Nathalie Boulanger, Senior Vice President Orange Start-up Ecosystem, commented: “Orange is a founding member of the Startup Europe Partnership. This initiative contributes to our objective to accelerate digital innovators growth and, therefore, contribute to economic growth in Europe and encourage job creation. The Madrid SEP Matching Event is an opportunity to connect Spanish startups with our subsidiary Orange Spain and support them in becoming European leaders.”

“After decades of depending on governmental institutions and large corporations on employment, a small group of brave people are beginning to innovate, work for themselves and to take risks, which has led to increase of startups and a new type of employment – added Kayvan Nikjou, Main Organiser Startup The Fusion –  This would have been unheard of just 5 years ago. Gaming, eHealth, Mapping and Tourism based startups from Spain are even scaling and exiting internationally, receiving international investment and even acquiring other startups. It’s a brave and prosperous new World for those who dare.”

Since the January 23rd announcement given in Davos on the occasion of The World Economic Forum, Startup Europe Partnership has made a lot of progress to turn its goals into actions, strengthening the European ecosystem by giving the best startups an opportunity to scale-up and become global leaders.

The next SEP Matching Event is scheduled in London, on November 21st, in collaboration with “Silicon Valley Comes to UK”. Two other Matching Events will be scheduled in October and December.