That the now famous startups and entrepreneurship are an engine of employment -of all kinds- is an undeniable matter. Never before, and not only in Spain, have technical profiles been in such high demand. The so-called talent crisis is no longer just a thing we usually read about in the worlds of Silicon Valley. It is a reality all over the planet. Also here, for once. Technological companies, and specifically startups, have a lot to say on this point. They are, unlike their traditional peers, an engine to create an economy and overcome recessions and crises more gracefully. At least, that is what the Mapping Spain’s Tech Sector Report has determined. Created by Endeavor Insight and featured on Campus Google today.
Report several pieces of evidence and many tips for the future of entrepreneurship in Spain. It refutes, in the first place, that undertaking is complicated. Of the group of technology companies analyzed, they only managed to grow their company by 33%. To turn them into those long-awaited scaleups, one of the biggest pending accounts in the national enterprise. Mainly for being one of the largest creators of technological employment.
Of those that transcended the levels of small or medium-sized companies, one constant. The 10 most influential companies right now were created in the years leading up to the 2008 crisis. Before, during and after. The first place is occupied by Tuenti, now disappeared after the purchase and subsequent closure of Telefónica. And it has that position not only because of its ability to grow and create a business that rivaled Facebook in its early years. It was the birthplace of many of the founders of today’s great startups. The one known as Tuentimafia. Something similar to Glovo, with its 30 inherited or Cabify winning with 50 companies born under its wing. Behind her, famous names, whether due to great exits, rounds or impact: OnTruck, Cabify, Consentio, Akamon, La Nevera Roja, Glovo or Idealista.
The Mapping Spain’s Tech Sector Report also makes a reading of the future of entrepreneurship: next year, in 2023, Unicorns will double in Spain. Now occupied by Cabify, eDreams, Glovo, Wallbox, Idealista, Devo, Jobandtalent, Typeform, Travelperk, Wallapop and Fever, the increase in investment in the sector points to an interesting 2023. At least for the big tickets.
A great entrepreneurial ecosystem with the same problems as always
No matter what report you look at or do, the problems remain the same. And the solutions too, but they are not carried out.
Talent, its search and retention is what most worries the Spanish technological universe. It is a paradox, without a doubt. The planet is experiencing a crisis that aims to be comparable to that of 2008, in this case for reasons very different from those of that time. Due, layoffs in the tech world have skyrocketed –at least in the United States–; covid, and the paradigm shift in labor relations has also put its grain of sand. But not even with those, does the talent for the entrepreneurial ecosystem appear. At least for 70% of entrepreneurs, who say they have trouble finding it due to its low supply. The issue of remote work, more attractive in Spain to attract capital and to offer it to the world, are points on which all parties agree.
However, regulation is not on their side either. Along with financing, the regulations that affect the activity of each of the companies participating in the study is a headache. Being Glovo and Cabify two of the most important technology companies in the country, and also two that have been dragging a normative fight since they were born, regulation could not have a predominant place. For the rest, the pending account of the Law of Startups continues being a slab that weighs. In tax and employee compensation terms –and once again attracting talent– in the form of stock options.
On the financing side, more of the same. The international economic situation is not going through its best moment. And while it is true that investment in Spanish technology companies remains stable so far, the coming months point to a cycle in which looking at cash reserves will be essential. There are not a few millionaire valuations that have been collapsing for months. All because of an overly optimistic track record in an ecosystem overly watered with private capital.
As always, nothing new in a market that has grown for a decade, but suffers from endemic problems. Some that, very surely, have a complicated solution.