The Spanish scaleup ecosystem is the fastest-growing of all Spanish companies in 2021. According to the annual report of Scaleup Spain Scale Network, created by Wayra, Endeavor, and Fundación Innovación Bankinter, scaleups in Spain increased their turnover by 96% over the previous year, compared to an average increase of 17.9% for all Spanish companies as a whole.
Forecasts for 2022 indicate a growth in turnover of around 55%, driven by scaleups in the Growth phase (more than 10 million turnovers) and Scalers (more than one million turnovers) with a forecast increase in turnover of 169% and 114% respectively.
The 119 scaleups included in the study generated 18,000 direct jobs in 2021, a growth of 86% compared to 2020. The data indicate that scaleups in the Rocket phase (over 50 million turnovers) generated the most jobs, with an increase of 103% compared to the previous year, followed by Scalers, with 91% and a 23% increase for those in the Growth phase.
By 2022, Spanish scaleups are expected to have generated more than 850,000 jobs, between direct and indirect jobs, which would represent a 60% increase in employment generated by ecosystem players.
The Spanish scaleups in the report managed to raise a total of 6,936 million euros in investments, with a forecast of raising 2,317 million more in the coming years.
The main investors originate in Spain, especially in the early stages, although the projection of these companies tends towards internationalization both in terms of attracting investment and growth.
On average, the scaleups in the study operate in 14 countries. Although the domestic market continues to be the main focus of activity, followed by the Anglo-Saxon market and, more discreetly, Mexico, the expansion plans of Spanish scaleups take into account other European destinations such as Germany, Italy, and France.
On the other hand, the report shows that a Spanish startup usually takes between four and seven years to reach the scaling phase. As it advances in the process of becoming a scaleup, its challenges evolve; initially being product development and improvement, internationalization and access to capital, and focusing more on attracting and retaining talent in later stages.