Lisbon’s Startup Ecosystem is a breeding ground for entrepreneurial talent

While Lisbon’s startup ecosystem is in its early stages, in recent years, the city has become an attractive hub for digital nomads, attracting foreign talent and VCs ready to tap into the region’s potential.

As a result of its vibrant community and government-led initiatives, Lisbon’s startup ecosystem is rapidly growing. The combined enterprise value of Lisbon’s startup ecosystem is one worth €21.4B, up 27x since 2016, and the ecosystem is home to over 1,000 startups, 80+ scaleups and 2 unicorns. 

In partnership with Made of Lisboa, our latest report explores the state of Lisbon’s startup ecosystem in 2022, built on Lisbon’s Startup Ecosystem Database.

Report - The State of Lisbon’s Startup Ecosystem 2022


A record year for VC funding.

Lisbon excelled this year in spite of market volatility. Lisbon startups have raised more than €300M so far in 2022, a three-fold increase compared to 2021, and an all-time high for the ecosystem. A few late-stage rounds accounted for nearly 40% of total VC investment so far in 2022. Early-stage investment has already surpassed last year’s levels.

Lisbon VC funding in 2022

Lisbon’s biggest successes are a breeding ground for new entrepreneurial talent.

The city has minted two unicorns, Talkdesk and Outsystems. Although both companies have relocated their HQ to the US, ties to their founding location remain strong. These two unicorns have put in motion Lisbon’s flywheel, helping produce a new generation of Portuguese founder talent. Speak, and Screenloop are some of the startups with alumni from Talkdesk and Outsystems. 

Lisbon's flywheel

Foreign VCs are tapping into Lisbon’s innovation early on.

International investors have an increasingly important role in the ecosystem, contributing over 80% of the total investment raised by Lisbon-based startups in 2022. NewZone, Seedcamp, Headline and Demium are some of the VCs actively investing in local startups. 

Worth mentioning is the key role local investors play in the ecosystem. Local success cases such as Outsystems and Codacy were supported by local investors.

Foreign VCs investing into Lisbon-based startups

An emerging impact ecosystem.

This report makes visible some signs of progress: record levels of investment, a strong pipeline of promising startups and an ecosystem taking shape with some specialisation — the rise of some leading industries like fintech, health, and food tech, is backed by the number of rounds registered so far. But we know there's a lot of room for growth to fulfil our vision for Lisbon.

Diogo Moura, City Councilor for Economy & Innovation at Câmara Municipal de Lisboa

Lisbon is home to over 30 impact startups, which have raised over €7M in 2022 so far, up 3x from just two years ago. Although Lisbon-based impact startups haven’t reached the mature stage, the ecosystem is home to several initiatives helping these startups grow, such as Impact Hub and Casa do Impacto.

With help of these two organizations, we mapped out Lisbon’s impact landscape.

Lisbon's impact landscape

Discover the full scope of Lisbon’s startup ecosystem and how investors can be a part of this growing region by downloading our full report:

Report - The State of Lisbon’s Startup Ecosystem 2022