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Madrid Invests in Innovation and Infrastructure to Attract Startups

Our member spotlight on Madrid shows startups in Fintech and Life Sciences coming up fast.
Sean Ludwig
on September 17, 2019

As the capital and largest city in Spain, Madrid has historically had a large role in shaping European culture, politics, and business. With its position as a financial hub and the home for many multinational corporations, it may not be surprising to hear Madrid’s startup scene is also growing alongside successful large companies.

“We are probably the fastest growing large economy in the Eurozone,” Juan Manuel Garrido Moreno, General Director for Innovation and City Promotion for Madrid City Council, said. “If we measure this in venture capital investment, we have been growing by 350% in the past five years.”

Two notable startup sub-sectors in Madrid are Fintech and Life Sciences. Madrid has a spot on the world stage as a top 25 startup ecosystem globally for Fintech startups. One Fintech startup to watch is Pagantis, a consumer finance company focused on e-commerce transactions that raised $73 million in Series B funding in March of 2019.

When it comes to Life Sciences, Madrid excels in part to its top universities specializing in healthcare, including the Complutense University of Madrid. Madrid is home to offices for many international companies in Life Sciences, like Abbott Laboratories, Bristol Myers Squibb, Merck Serono, Novartis, Pfizer, and Roche. One Life Sciences startup to watch is Medlumics, which raised $37 million in a Series B funding round.

Garrido Moreno also forwards that additional growth sectors for Madrid’s startup ecosystem include Aerospace, Manufacturing, and Tourism.

One thing that helps attract startups to Madrid is its strong city infrastructure. Moreno notes that there is high-quality public transportation network including subways, buses, and commuter trains. He adds that office real estate prices are competitive for the Eurozone and that high-speed broadband penetration in the city is at nearly 100%, with advanced 5G mobile networks beginning to be used there.

Moreno also touts that the startup ecosystem continues to grow each year and that he has high hopes for the years to come. “In our current situation, we can expect the same level of growth for the next five years,” Garrido Moreno said. “We should be at 4,000 startups by then. We are at $250 to $300 million in venture capital investment now, but we could be at $1 billion in five years.”

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Other Madrid startup ecosystem highlights from the 2019 Global Startup Ecosystem Report include:

  • Top 25 ecosystem globally for bang for buck.
  • Startup ecosystem value at $3.6 billion.
  • The average early-stage funding per startup totals $179,000.

Startup Genome’s members in Madrid are Madrid City Council and the International Promotion Office (IPO). The Madrid City Council encompasses the government administration, while the IPO helps tell the story of Madrid to a global audience. In the area of startups, the IPO also focuses on fostering innovation with spaces for entrepreneurs, the development of an e-commerce platform where small businesses can sell their products, and more.

Do you want to help promote Madrid’s startup ecosystem globally? We’d love to talk. Please get in touch with us about becoming a startup ecosystem ambassador!


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