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  • The Catalan capital is only surpassed by London, Berlin, Paris and Amsterdam
  • Barcelona dominates investment in start-ups, with €282 million (56% of the Spanish total)

According to the Startup Ecosystem Overview report drafted by the Mobile World Capital Barcelona Foundation (MWCB), the Catalan capital is now ranked fifth in Europe in technology-based companies, surpassed only by London, Berlin, Paris and Amsterdam, and ranked just ahead of Madrid. The report predicts Europe will have five cities focusing on start-ups in the next four or five years, and Barcelona aspires to be one of them.

In this regard, MWCB assures that these start-ups will be distributed among the hubs by specialization and verticalization. So, as fintech companies are centered in London, cybersecurity in Tel Aviv and gaming in some of the Nordic cities, Barcelona will be the hub for e-commerce and social businesses.

Currently, of companies established in Barcelona, 43% are using B2B models. In this regard, 21% of all technology companies in the city work in e-commerce, with 10% in mobile, 10% enterprise and 9% tourism. The latter shows the greatest growth, which is logical taking into account the Catalan capital is very strong in tourism and a brand that is a guaranteed springboard to the world.

The study also highlights that Spain had more than 2,600 digital-based start-ups in 2016, located mainly in Barcelona (28%), Madrid (27%) and Valencia (5%). It also showed that Barcelona dominates investment in start-ups, with €282 million (56% of the Spanish total), and in sales and acquisitions (48.2%).

According to the Catalan government, Catalonia was ranked second in southern Europe for attracting foreign investment projects in ICT in 2016. Furthermore, Barcelona has traditionally been a noteworthy destination for technology investment, which has helped improve the Catalan capital’s position as an innovative hub.


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