The Valencian community tech hub charging ahead of the competition
A year ago, we covered how the Spanish startup ecosystem was still flying under the radar even though it has been raising record investment and grew 5x in value since 2015. Since then, Spain has had its all-time record in VC investment: Spanish startups raised $2.1B in the first half of 2022.
Startups are raising capital all over Spain, but one emerging, burgeoning ecosystem is the Valencian Community. With its three main cities: Valencia, Alicante and Castellón, it has the most startups per capita of any other region in the country. Home to over 1,035 startups, 100 different investors (VCs, angels, corporates, and universities), and more than 170 corporates, the Valencian Community is a hotbed for talent. The region boasts a high concentration of public universities to meet strong hiring demand, and a robust institutional support for innovative projects and creating various networks that operate in the field of RD&I.
To track and measure the success and growth of their tech ecosystem, Distrito Digital Communitat Valenciana has launched their own digital database, powered by Dealroom.
It’s not all about Barcelona and Madrid
While not as mature as Barcelona and Madrid, the Valencian innovation and tech ecosystem has been growing fast these last few years and is recognized as the third most popular ecosystem in Spain for venture capital. More than €459m was invested in all startups headquartered in the Valencian community between 2017 and 2022 so far.
Download the full Spanish Tech Ecosystem 2021 report
Today, startups based or founded in the region are worth over €5.9B and raised over €93M this year alone, closing in on 2021’s historic €136M record. H1 2022 actually hit a record for VC investment with €81.4m, slightly above H2 2020 (the previous record).
“We have created a framework where startups can grow and scale up and we are attracting talent and investment to our region. We are committed to maintaining the dynamic development of the ecosystem and continuing to position the entire region of Valencia as reference in entrepreneurship, innovation and unique technology worldwide.” – Distrito Digital
A funding landscape with capacity for growth
The Valencian Community investment landscape is maturing, but mid to later stage rounds are still a rare occurrence in the region: only 9 rounds above €15M took place since 2013. And none of them exceeded the threshold of €100M raised. However, early stage investment is on an upward trend and the number of recorded rounds has seen a steady increase over the last 4 years. The top 4 active VC investors (domestic/foreign) the Valencian Community region (by Dealroom Prominence rank) are: Plug and Play, Draper B1, Angels Capital, Clave Capital.
Spanish startup investment as a whole is also dominated by Spanish and European investors – this is also true for foreign investment into the Valencia Community. In 2021, less than 13% of capital came from outside Europe. Unlocking more local and international capital could unlock significant ecosystem growth for the region.
A closely knit community paved with gold opportunities
The Valencian community has seen 2 unicorns on its coast. Igenomix, a provider of genetic testing services for reproductive health patients and clinics, is headquartered in Valencia and was acquired by Vitrolife in June last year. Fintech unicorn Flywire was founded in the area and is currently HQd in Boston. Flywire is also the fastest-growing startup in Spain in the last 10 years.
Over the last five years, more than 290 startups have been added to the region’s landscape. Among which, promising new companies to watch for include ClimateTrade, Riskallay, Rosita Longevity, StadioPlus and Colibid. As well as many more funding opportunities, from (pre)seed to Series A and beyond with true breakout cases.
The Valancian Community is a closely knit ecosystem. The tech hub in La Marina, the port of Valencia has a great impact on the whole local startup scene. The hub is comprised of Startup Valencia, Lanzadera, EDEM Business School, Innsomnia among others and serves as an international reference for entrepreneurs, investors and corporates to connect and innovate. The community also gathers every year at the Valencia Digital Summit hosted at the famous City of Art and Sciences.
The Valencian Community innovation ecosystem has much to offer, from fast-growing opportunities to up and coming startups across a variety of industries. Explore the ecosystem platform powered by Dealroom to discover the unique aspects of the local innovation ecosystem. The platform is brought to you by Distrito Digital Comunitat Valenciana. This public organization, promoted by the Generalitat Valenciana, has managed to attract more than 80 new companies and techn startups to the city of Alicante, and currently has 83 companies installed in its own headquarters plus 340 companies and startups based in different parts of the entire Valencian Community.
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