AEBAN, the Spanish Association of Business Angels has worked on a survey to improve our understanding of the business angel scenario in Spain. The development of startup financing over the last 5 years has taken a great leap and thanks to AEBAN we now have sound information to clarify the Spanish business angel profile and activity in this country.

I had the pleasure of helping out and adapting this report to English which you can download leaving your details here:



But below, I’d like to highlight the following facts mingled with some of my own thoughts:

  • Plenty of room for growth. More tan 60% have less than 5 years of experience, so this sector is still in its early stages and growth is still expected. This growth is expected both by increasing existing portfolios and with newcomers entering the scene.
  • Younger than expected. 44% are under 44 years old. The concept of the retired businessman is given way to younger successful executives enjoying their investment taking part in innovative new companies. Successful entrepreneurs given back to the system is probably another good reason for younger than expected business angels.
  • No one invests alone. Coinvestment could be considered one of the main best practices for business angels, and it looks like they have that clear in Spain, only 2% invest alone. Networks, crowdfunding platforms and syndicates are clearly easing the way.
  • Diversified portfolios are scarce. Another best practice is that of diversifying risk with a broad portfolio, this clearly needs improving among Spanish business angels. Coinvestment platforms like crowdfunding and syndicates are still far behind US and UK and their growth in the following years, allowing business angels to invest smaller amounts should help to improve more diversified portfolio.
  • International scope. What does seem to be popular among Spanish business angels is their international scope. Over 30% report international investments, which no doubt will have long run advantages for the Spanish start-up ecosystem, as international portfolios will bring international contacts that will no doubt enrich the capacity to go global.
  • Digital is strong. 75% of portfolios are composed of digital based start-ups.
  • Useless Tax incentives. Only 27% make use of tax rebates, this obviously needs improvement. If the Spanish government really do want to stimulate investments in startups, they must stop worrying about how fast a company takes to set up (don’t get me wrong, the quicker and easier, the better, but if a less than perfect administrative process is a barrier to new entrepreneurs, PLEASE MORE BARRIERS! This will keep the weak away) and start worrying about providing stimulus to investing that really do stimulate. A tax rebate should be adopted by all, otherwise it clearly isn’t doing its job.

I hope you find useful these highlights and the full report on Business Angels in Spain. The increase of business angels, VCs and foreign investors in the Spanish start-up ecosystem is providing a very bright and promising future for start-ups in this country and I’m looking forward of being part of the whole movement in the coming years.

Iván García Berjano
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