The Barcelona Startup Ecosystem Report
The Barcelona Startup Ecosystem Report, published from Startup Genome, analyzes the city’s ecosystem evolution, its strengths and assets, and what actions can be taken to really accelerate growth. The case of Barcelona holds significant lessons for cities and regions around the world as the city’s startup ecosystem has been gaining momentum over the last several years.
Since the 1990s, Barcelona, the Catalan capital, has become well-known for innovation in urban design and planning, and in 2014 was named the European Capital of Innovation by the European Commission. Moreover:
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
Startup Genome’s Success Factor Analysis of Barcelona shows that the ecosystem has three important ecosystem strengths to build on:
Global Connectedness: Compared to most ecosystems in the world, Barcelona startups have a higher average number of connections to other ecosystems, including the world’s leading ecosystems. This is a key determinant of future ecosystem performance and an asset for Barcelona.
Startup Leakage: Only 3 percent of startups in our data report having left Barcelona for other ecosystems. This low rate of Startup Leakage reflects the attractiveness of living in Barcelona and is another key asset for future entrepreneurial growth.
Startup Experience: One-third of founders in Barcelona have at least two years of experience as startup employees, which is about 25 percent higher than the average for other Activation phase ecosystems.
In addition to these overarching ecosystem strengths, Catalonia features strong performance and promise in three key innovation sub-sectors: Smart City, Biotech and Pharma, and Gaming.
The report covers the following issues:
- 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