Private equity and venture capital in Spain

Written on 31 Jan 2017

Current market trends

The recovery of the Spanish economy consolidated in 2016, with a significant number of venture capital deals, including the sale of the VC backed e-commerce giant Privalia to Vente Privee. In general terms, the Spanish entrepreneurial ecosystem has grown with the incorporation of very promising start-ups that have gained the attention of local and foreign venture capital firms, especially in Barcelona and Madrid.

The Spanish government has already invested more than EUR 1.2 billion in VC funds through Fond-ICO, the first public venture capital ‘fund of funds’ created in Spain, with investment commitments of EUR 1.5 billion. In addition, a number of Spanish VC firms have also successfully closed new funds to invest in start-ups, growth capital, late venture and secondary deals.

Key deals in 2016

Osborne Clarke Spain has been a significant player in the Spanish venture capital arena during the last few years, advising several European and US VC firms and corporate venture divisions of industrial corporations such as 14 W Ventures, Antai, Caixa Capital Risc, Eight Road Ventures (Fidelity), Gri-Cel (Grifols), Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JJDC, Kennet Partners, Highland Capital Partners, Scranton Enterprises and Ysios Capita. Most of the most recent deals where Osborne Clarke Spain has been involved focus on finance rounds in the digital business and life sciences sectors.

Recent deals include advising:

  • Eight Road Ventures in a US$12.6m series C finance round in courier delivery services platform Packlink
  • Ysios Capital, Caixa Capital Risc and Johnson & Johnson Innovation – JJDC in a €11.5m series A round in Aelix Therapeutics, a spin-off of the HIVACAT HIV/AIDS research project based in Barcelona
  • Scranton Enterprises in a series A-2 finance round in US medtech company Qardio Inc.
  • Grifols in a €3.75m series A round in pharmaceutical company Albajuna Therapeutics
  • Kennet Partners in a €10.5m series B finance round in English online courses provider ABA English
  • Scranton Enterprises in a series A round in Real Track Systems, a manufacturer of monitoring system for athletes based in Almería
  • Manzaning (an e-commerce platform for local shopping besed in Barcelona) in its first finance round with seed investors
  • On-demand delivery platform Glovo in a €5m series A round and media for equity arrangements with publishing companies
  • Scranton Enterprises in a finance round in Hemav, a Barcelona based manufacturer of drone technology systems
  • Specific investors in several finance rounds in Wallapop, a second-hand marketplace based in Barcelona founded by Antai Venture Builders, which has been credited as the “jewel” of the Spanish start-up ecosystem.