The conjunction of Bankinter, Wayra – Telefónica accelerator – and Endeavor continues with the firm intention of focusing on startups that already have a considerable size. The focus, for a long time, has been on helping to create companies, to create a new innovation network. To accelerate their first steps and to funds that feed innovation – with more or less success. For this group The focus is on making it easier for those who are about to take the plunge. “Some support was lacking in the most distant stages, for those startups that are about to generate much more value to the country”, points out Paloma Castellanos from Wayra Madrid. You’re with the scaleups. How do you go from being a company with 10 million euros in turnover to one with 50 million? It is the group’s goal.
In addition to helping this group, 11 startups in its first round and another 13 in another currently in force, the group has wanted to do a study on the contribution of scaleups to the Spanish economy. From his point of view, in addition to greater visibility in the international entrepreneurial ecosystem, the issue of employment is essential. With nuances, yes.
91 companies out of more than 400 applied for participated in the study. Among them, some of the great national unicorns –6 specifically-. And although the participants are anonymous, the mobility and logistics sector is one of the most prominent in the recorded data. The margin is limited to a few national examples centered on a Glovo or a Cabify. Still, these are just estimates. The participants, as we say, are anonymous.
Scaleups increase their turnover by almost 91% in 2021
Among the data, essential questions. The companies consulted have raised more than 3.2 million euros in financing rounds and their objective is to increase these figures by another 2.3 million euros in a short space of time. “Less than what they had previously achieved”, explains Javier Megías from Bankinter, a fact that can be explained by the long journey of the great unicorns: they no longer need so much capital – some of them are profitable with their own capital. In fact, billing levels increase by 91% in 2021, reaching 3,167 million euros in 2021; almost entirely covered by large companies.
As for the origin of capital, no surprise. 86% of the funds are of Spanish origin, but this geography is diluted as the size of the company increases. “When we talk about ‘the next round’ the vision of companies changes and this is due to the Spanish business fabric,” they explain. It is a long-repeated litany, regardless of whether they are scaleups or not: the national entrepreneurial fabric is still evolving, also the funds.
With a great base for small operations, there is still a lot to do on the big round tickets. They said from Capchase to Hypertextual that “European funds ask for more for less.” Or what is the same, the competitiveness of the American check is far from being reached for the still humble local funds. From the point of view of Antonio Iglesias, from Endeavor Spain, “the rest is to achieve more investment to create large startups with financial and fiscal aid”.
Employment, the pending task of the country and at the center of the startup debate
Spain is close to 3 million unemployed. The youth unemployment figure is around 30%, one of the highest in the European Union. According to the study on the potential of scaleups –and the total number of innovative companies– in job creation, for next year there will be more than 300,000 direct jobs and almost 700,000 indirect jobs. More in the more developed phases of the technological ones, but present from the first stages of entrepreneurship.
Mainly in the business of mobility and logistics, Also in that of cybersecurity as a data for the future, the scaleups are focused as the opportunity for job creation for the next few years. If with the data of 91 companies – of which 6 are technological giants – these data are obtained, “How much would 30 rockets (big enterprises)?“, asks Iglesias. By making an account, these 3 million jobs covered would actually be reached. Also a representation of almost 1.2% of GDP in total billing. However, this group only represents 0.1% of companies in a country made up of freelancers and small businesses focused on creating sustainable businesses away from risk.
The rule of three would have been nice if it weren’t for the reality of the world and that not all companies are potential scaleups. Also, what kind of job are we talking about? That’s the million dollar question. This year’s report does not take the data into account, they suggest that in future surveys it will be taken into account. Most likely, qualified models have an important weight in the equation but not enough to solve the problem of the millions of unemployed affected, the vast majority, by low-skilled sectors or that the technological world does not take into account. Precisely the jobs that are at the center of the debate for the technological world due to the precariousness and job insecurity they report.