Some say real estate is one of the most important pillars that support the Spanish economy. And, in a way, they’re right. The massive investment in proptech startups also says it. Based on data from JLL, when it comes to receiving investments, Spain is in fourth position in Europe, after the United Kingdom, Germany and France.
The rise of Spanish proptech
In 2021 in Spain, proptech was the winning sector in terms of financing. Based on data from Referent, proptech carried out 18 operations for a total of € 637,730,000. This is a big difference with delivery and logistics, the next competitor in the ranking, which had roughly the same amount of operations, but much less funding: 17 operations and € 471,202,500; and also fintech, with 38 transactions and € 454,261,824.
One of the reasons for the boom in proptech, according to Susana Quintás, Senior Advisor at Metrikus, is that it is not seen as potential competition for and within the real estate market, as is the case with fintech and banking. On the contrary, proptech has helped real estate, and now this traditional market cannot do without it. Anna puigdevalle, CEO of the National Association of Real Estate Agents (ANAI), further stated that the growth of the real estate market can no longer be imagined without integration with proptech.
Clikalia’s € 460 million investment exceeds funding in leading startups in other sectors
According to Privacasa, in 2020, there were more than 350 proptech startups in the Spanish ecosystem. Big Data and software related startups seemed to be doing well, and Property Management solutions have mushroomed.
This year the numbers have increased. API Catalogne, a Catalan association of real estate agents, has drawn up a 2021 Proptech card, which had 501 startups in Spain that use technology to improve or reinvent services in the sector. The report, released in September, also pointed out that Spanish proptechs grew 8% year-on-year. This comes on top of news that the sector recorded more than € 8.5 billion in funding in the first six months of 2021, which has been the busiest period since they began to hold. registers. But it is in the last few months that the funding has started to grab the headlines.
A chronicle of successful funding
To better understand why proptech led the funding in Spain this year, let’s take a look at what happened with some of the leading startups in the industry. In July, based in Madrid Tiko, a startup offering the fastest and most efficient way to buy and sell homes with the help of AI, raised € 57 million in a Series A funding round supported by Btov , Rocket Internet and Cabiedes & Partners.
At the end of September, the Barcelona startup Ukio had raised 7.6 million euros in a round supported by Breega, Heartcore and Partech, as well as the angels Iñaki Berenguer, founder of Coverwallet, and Avi Meir, founder of Travelperk. Ukio, a real estate marketplace that offers rentals of a month or more, was founded in 2020 by Stanley and Jeremy Fourteau. By the time it raised this funding, it was in the early stages of expanding into Spain and other European capitals. The first stop is Lisbon.
Also in September, Banco Santander acquired 2% of the Barcelona-based startup Housfy for 1.5 M €. Housfy raised 10 million euros the same month from investors such as Seaya Ventures, Torch Capital, DN Capital, Cathay Capital, Aldea Ventures and CDTI.
In November Zazume, an end-to-end rental management software for real estate companies, raised 2.5 million euros. The round was led by Nordstar, a fund formed by former WeWork executives, and Picus Capital, Europe’s leading proptech fund with portfolio companies such as Casavo, Rhino and Personio.
An Italian startup with operations in Madrid and Barcelona, Casavo, raised 40 million euros to develop its activities in Spain also in November. The funding was directed entirely by the DE Shaw Group to purchase residential properties around the country. This was added to an investment of 200 million euros from the Agnelli family, via Exor Seeds, in March.
And to end the year in style, in December in Madrid Clikalia raised 460 million euros, the biggest funding round for a Spanish startup. The investment exceeds funding in leading startups in other sectors: 450 million euros were raised by Glovo last April, and 440 million euros by Jobandtalent, also in December. The transaction was led by Fifth Wall, the world’s largest proptech venture capital firm.
Paco Sahuquillo, COO and co-founder of Tiko, gives three reasons why Spain is adopting proptech so well. One is the growing confidence in digital services. Second, the democratic capacities of Big Data to ensure widespread access to real information. Finally, during a pandemic, less interaction becomes a safer way to buy and sell properties. In other words, proptech will be a sector to watch in 2022 in Spain.