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Spain Startup law. Iris Ventures €100m fund. Hiring climate.

December 13, 2021 • Issue #297

AWS Startups was present at Web Summit 2021 and we must say, what a way for the conference to return to physical!

Our startups team deeply enjoyed talking to thousands of people about how the AWS Cloud can help launch, grow and scale their startups through credit programs, expert support, free training, and more. At the AWS Startup Loft Theater, we hosted more than 20 sessions where our team and ecosystem experts shared their expertise on a range of topics, from how to get started with AI to Marketing essentials for your startup.

So it doesn’t stay only in Lisbon, we recorded all sessions and you can re-live them in the website. Enjoy!

Startup funding news 💸

  • La Informacion published an overview of the main and largest funding rounds closed by Spanish startups this year, featuring Jobandtalent ($500m), Glovo (€450m) or Capchase
  • According to a report by Eatable Adventures, investment in foodtech companies in 2021 tripled compared to the previous year, reaching almost €700m across 400 companies
  • Barcelona-based fintech infra company Belvo announced that Visa participated in its Series A funding round, raised earlier this year. As a result of the relationship, both companies have also signed a strategic partnership in support of Open Finance across Latin America
  • Other rounds of funding: The Data Ventures, Nominis, Trainingym

M&A activity 🎊

  • Barcelona-based HR process management platform Factorial acquired end-to-end digital solutions provider Codegram. Terms of the deal were not disclosed
  • Cesce acquired a 50% stake in Madrid-based AI firm Dail Software for €3.2m
  • Emprendedores published a list of five women-led Spanish companies that have been recently acquired, featuring ASTI robotics, Indisys, and others

Investor & accelerator news 🚀

  • Iris Ventures is a new Barcelona-based €100m firm to invest in European consumer brands. The fund is being led by Montse Suarez and Ines Ures, both of whom have vast experience in the consumer sector. Ines was previously CMO of Deliveroo and CCO at Treatwell, and Montse has been investing in the consumer space for quite a while. Iris Fund will be investing with ticket sizes of up to €10m. I personally think that it's great to see this type of funds being launched in Spain. I wrote about this before, but the next generation of local firms will probably be led by former operators (not necessarily just founders, but people who have worked and scaled tech companies) and this brings a level of sophistication to the local VC ecosystem that's very welcome
  • Carmen Alfonso Rico, formerly of Blossom Ventures and Samaipata, to launch her own fund to invest in startups
  • Miguel Arias reflected on his first six months with us at K: "6 months, chasing unicorns"

Startup news 💡

  • Glovo transformed its holding company from a limited liability corporation (sociedad limitada) to a 'sociedad anónima', which could represent one more step in its journey to becoming a public company
  • London-based investor Connect Ventures published a profile of Barcelona-based notification-as-a-service company MagicBell. Connect recently invested in the company and explained why in this blog post
  • Business Insider profiled Raquel Urtasun. Born in Pamplona, from 2017 to 2021 she was the Chief Scientist and Head of R&D at Uber's autonomous driving division, ATG. Raquel has now co-founded Waabi, based in Toronto, an AI company building the next generation of self-driving technology
  • Here's a profile of Councilbox, a startup that has built tools for holding online corporate meetings with legal validity from a single platform. According to the profile, thanks in part to Councilbox, more than 60% of 'funcionarios' or civil servants will be able to work remotely going forward
  • El Español interviewed Juan de Antonio, co-founder of Cabify, to reflect on the 10 years that the company has been active
  • Cinco Dias interviewed HolaLuz CEO Carlota Pi. Carlota talks about the importance of renewable energy and what the company is doing to sell and distribute solar installations
  • Dimas Gimeno to delay the launch of its new digital-retail marketplace startup Wow
  • Jorge Lana, co-founder of Minimum Run, wrote a Twitter thread to explain how they've grown from €50k in revenues to €500k in just one year
  • El Español published an article about the relevance of Barcamps -informal and small meetups- between 2010 and 2013 in order to build the foundation of the Malaga startup ecosystem. On this topic, Novobrief published an article about why is Málaga the up-and-coming startup city in Spain
  • News publication El Referente launched 'Ecosistema Startup' a paid database of Spanish startups and a ranking of what they believe are the most innovative 100 Spanish startups
  • Austrian fintech startup Bitpanda announced that it will be investing €10m in a Barcelona-based development centre, where it plans to hire 100 engineers
  • Startup profiles:
  • Barkibu: pet care
  • Hello Auto: insurtech

Big company news 🏦

  • Two of the largest European manufacturers of electric buses are in Spain, in Euskadi to be more precise. La Informacion wrote an article about these two companies, Irizar and CAF, and the fact that they're only separated by 6 kms
  • Spain is one of the least active European countries in terms of fines and investigations of some of the world's tech giants. Italy announced last week a €1b Amazon fine
  • El Pais interviewed Spaniard Ariadna Font, head of the ML Ethics Transparency and Accountability department at Twitter. It's an interesting read about content moderation and ethics of digital platforms

Interesting reads 🤓

  • Felix Rodriguez, VP of engineering at Tinybird, wrote an interesting thread about the current labour market, which is tougher than ever before for companies and early stage startups. Remote work has dramatically increased the pool of opportunities that Spanish engineers have, and that's putting a ton of pressure on local startups that can't afford to pay very high salaries. This is something that we've seen first-hand with several of our portfolio companies at K Fund. Felix's thread talks about what companies can do to survive in this environment
  • uiFromMars published its annual report of UX/UI salaries in Spain. The survey has some interesting data points on the current state of the design market and I personally found the median salaries to be quite low. Median salary for a UX/UI role is €28k, €36k for a product role and €23.1k for graphic design positions
  • David Bonilla, co-founder of Manfred, wrote about the relevance and/or prominence that English communications should have at companies
  • Javi Santana, co-founder of Tinybird, wrote "You only need to know this in order to quickly scale your tech team". Great read!
  • Octavi Uya, co-founder of Nautal, published a new post about the history of the company, this time on the topic of funding rounds, the relevance of warm intros to VCs/investors and how to build a professional board of directors
  • La Voz de Galicia profiled Paulo Rodriguez, formerly of Amazon, Google and Dropbox. In the interview Paulo talks about his professional experience and also his move to Dublin a few years ago
  • Meri Camp, my colleague at K Fund, wrote 'Towards a greener future: Challenges and opportunities in the carbon offsetting market'

Podcasts 🎧

  • K Fund interviewed Pedro Castillo, co-founder and CTO of Devo
  • Product Hackers interviewed Alfredo Ouro, co-founder de
  • Novicap interviewed Yaiza Canosa, co-founder of Goi