The Barcelona Startup Ecosystem Report

Startup Genome
on October 19, 2017
In the past two weeks, Barcelona has made international headlines because of the controversy over whether the region of Catalonia will declare independence from Spain.

However, beneath the surface, away from international attention, there is a different story about Barcelona that holds significant lessons for cities and regions around the world. This story is about the growth of the city’s startup ecosystem, which has been gaining momentum over the last several years. In our latest report at Startup Genome, we analyze the ecosystem’s evolution, its strengths and assets, and what actions can be taken to really accelerate growth. Here are some of the high-level findings of the report:

  1. Barcelona is home to 1,000 tech startups—three times as many as other ecosystems that are also in the Activation Phase of Startup Genome’s Ecosystem Lifecycle Model.

  2. The city has an Ecosystem Value of $6.4 billion dollars—on this measure of startup valuations and exits, Barcelona’s ecosystem is 56 percent larger than the global median.

  3. Venture exits—IPOs and acquisitions—have grown 4 x in the past four years, from five to 21 exits per year from 2012 to 2016. In addition, since 2013, Barcelona has produced an average of one $100+ million dollars exit per year. The two most recent ones being Social Point, a gaming company (acquired for $270 million dollars) and Privalia, an online-fashion outlet (acquired for $560 million dollars).

As we highlight on this report, with the right actions at the right time, our model suggests Barcelona can generate in between $1.7 billion and $3.2 billion in ecosystem value in the next few years.

The complete Barcelona Startup Ecosystem Report covers much more data and insights, including:

  • Key startup sub-sector strengths of Catalonia and their role the in innovation economy
  • Ecosystem Lifecycle analysis of the city
  • Success Factor Analysis of the ecosystem, including strengths and gaps
  • Actionable insights and levers ecosystem leaders can take to move Barcelona to its next level of development

This report was made in collaboration with our local partner Catalonia Trade & Investment and builds on the wealth of data compiled for the Global Startup Ecosystem Report 2017 with the support of the Global Entrepreneurship Network (GEN), Crunchbase, Orb Intelligence and more than 300 partners. The knowledge base underlying the report is the world’s largest primary research on startups, powered by data on half a million companies, 10,000+ startup executives taking our survey each year, and hundreds of qualitative interviews.

For more findings, extensive data, and a wide array of charts and unique insights, download the report here.

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