The advisory and investment firm in startups GP Bullhound defends the greater protection of Spanish companies against the strong adjustment experienced in the sector due to the greater weight in this market of the rounds in more initial phases, which have been less hit than the ‘mega operations’ ‘ of more than 100 million. “Spain follows a behavior similar to the rest of Europe, but it can be seen as more protected,” says the executive director of the group in Spain, Miguel Kindelán, within the framework of the new report on European unicorns prepared by the firm.
The year 2023 has been a year of significant adjustment in the sector, with a significant drop in investment and the virtual disappearance of large financing rounds. The rise in interest rates, which reduces liquidity in the market, and inflation have been key to this step backwards. For Kindelán, the 2022 financial year “has been key” for the technological ecosystem. “These have been difficult months in terms of valuations and the macro environment, but the sector has managed to demonstrate its resistance and maintains an upward path, compared to a pre-covid period,” says Kindelán.
During the past financial year, which is the one that GP Bullhound has analysed, Spain added another new unicorn to its list: the Factorial human resources platform. He also made an exit effective, since the sale of Glovo was definitively closed that summer. In the rest, some defended their ‘listing’ after the fact in a round and others tried to keep the last one, set during the frenzy of 2021 (as is the case with Jobandtalent).
This new unicorn added to the list places Spain at the level of countries like the Netherlands or Finland. Germany added six new companies valued at more than $1 billion, while the United Kingdom raised that number to eight or France to four. Kindelán identifies two investment trends: recent advances in artificial intelligence and investment in ‘climatech’.
In this context, the weight of the ‘megarrondas’ in Spain continues to be very limited. And this at a time like the present, according to GP Bullhound, provides greater resilience. For the executive director of the firm, there is a higher proportion of initial phases that is “a category that is changing less and depends less on the macro situation.” “Spain can be protected,” he argues.
GP Bullhound analyzes the data to identify the group of companies that may become unicorns next year. According to his prediction, unicorns are likely to emerge in the fields of artificial intelligence, business software, fintech or HR tools. This group includes the Spanish Typeform.