Beyond Silicon Valley: the unicorns made in Spain

Although Silicon Valley is the reference place for startups and entrepreneurs, worldwide, including Spain, there are projects considered unicorns.

In a previous article entitled The main Silicon Valley unicorns we saw seven examples of Silicon Valley unicorns, startups valued at least $ 1 billion. However, the so-called unicorns proliferate throughout the world, especially the United States and China.

Europe also has its share of unicorns, to a lesser extent than in the two countries mentioned above. In 2018, more than 80 were accounted for with an investment volume of $ 28,000 million among all. There are several examples, such as the German N26 (valued at 3.5 billion dollars), the English Deliveroo (2 billion dollars) or the French BlaBlaCar (1.6 billion dollars).

And in Spain? Although it has a growing startup ecosystem, especially in Madrid and Barcelona, ​​and venture capital investment funds are increasingly committed to these types of companies, the list of Spanish unicorns is rather scarce at the moment. However, there are a few candidates to become unicorns in the short term.

The first Spanish unicorn
The first startup that reached the valuation figure of 1 billion dollars was eDreams, the popular portal or travel agency where to search for flights, hotels and reservations in general with a presence in more than 30 countries.

Created in 2000 by Javier Pérez and Mauricio Prieto, in 2016 it reached an approximate valuation of 1,500 million dollars, and although it has had its plus and minus, in 2018 it had benefits of more than 500 million euros.

The current Spanish unicorns
Today, Spain has a single strictly speaking unicorn, Cabify. Created in 2011 by Juan de Antonio, it operates in Spain, Portugal and different Latin American countries as a mobility platform.

In January 2018, a new round of financing was announced that placed Cabify at a valuation of approximately $ 1.4 billion, so it can be considered a member of the unicorn club.

Along with Cabify, investors such as Carlos Blanco also include the startup Letgo, a second-hand product platform that, although technically American, is based in Barcelona, ​​as well as in New York and two of its three founders are Spanish (Jordi Castello and Enrique Linares).

Created in 2015 by the American Alec Oxenford, in 2016 it merged with Wallapop, hence its Spanish part, and the following year it entered the select unicorn club with a valuation at September 2017 exceeding 1,000 million dollars.

The unicorn candidates
It is possible that if you read this article months after it was written, Glovo is already a unicorn, since it is one of the Spanish startups that has more numbers to exceed the valuation of 1,000 million.

Created in Barcelona in 2015 by Oscar Pierre and Sacha Michaud, it does not explain Glovo’s activity, since it has become one of the most popular startups for better or worse. For good for the service offered, purchase, collection and delivery of home orders and for bad for their labor disputes.

With an initial investment of 120,000 euros, the last round of financing has reached 150 million euros. In April 2019, Glovo’s estimated valuation was 650 million euros. From there to the 1,000 million dollars there is an increasingly short path.

In a report presented by GP Bullhound Global, four other Spanish candidates who aspire to be unicorns are startups Pagantis, TravelPerk, Wallapop and Jobandtalent, which are in a valuation range of more than 200 million euros.

Pagantis is a fintech created in 2011 by Pascal Pegaz and Rolf Cederstrom whose last round of financing reached 65 million euros. Among his latest achievements, he has reached a collaboration agreement with PayPal.

TravelPerk is a travel agency specializing in business or corporate travel. Created in 2015, its nth round of financing reached 44 million dollars.

We have talked about Wallapop before. Although it is part of a larger company, its separate valuation is above $ 200 million. As of September 2018, valuation estimates reached 500 million dollars.

For its part, Jobandtalent is an employment platform created in 2009.

In the same report mentioned above, other names that aspire to be unicorns in the medium and long term are also included, such as Fintonic, Idealista, Spotahome, Typeform or Red Points.

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