Startups in Barcelona have had another great year. According to the latest figures, 2018 has managed to surpass 2017 – the best year in the history of the ecosystem until now – in terms of investment, with 130 deals sealed and more than €900M in funding raised by Barcelona startups. There has been a lot of activity and movement in the past months, and we cannot wait to see what comes out of it all in 2019.
Here is a list of the 20 Barcelona startups that we’ll be keeping an eye on in 2019 – and you should too.
Of course, it’s nearly impossible to say which startups will be successful and which will fail. Funding is definitely not the only metric to go by. In the media, there is way too much focus on investment rounds, and we rarely hear about how startups actually use the money they raised to create sustainable business models.
We believe that these 20 startups have identified a real market need and are doing great in optimizing the product or service to meet that need. You may recognize some of them from last year’s list of 20 Barcelona startups to watch, others have never been featured on our website. Let’s see who they are!
Housfy is competing for a prize that a million and one other startups also have their eyes on: real estate. However, it looks like they might just win the race in Spain. Their solution provides an alternative to traditional real estate agencies. They promise to sell your house within 60 days and for a small fee, saving you the horrendous amount of commissions that most agencies charge. They scored €2M in funding this September, an amount which may propel them towards consolidating their position in Spain and starting to test foreign waters.
Onna is a data integration platform that lets organizations collect, preserve, search, and centralize their scattered data silos in one single repository. With an HQ in New York and one in Barcelona, they’ve already secured a strong presence on both continents, and have managed to bring clients like Facebook and EA Games on board. They keep making their integrations with apps like Slack, Jira, GitHub and Confluence stronger and more complex, and it seems like the only way for them to go is up. Bring it on, 2019!
Marfeel, headquartered in Barcelona and New York, has been on our radar for quite a while – and not just because they have a killer Twitter account. It’s a startup that helps publishers monetize their website by by gathering insightful data on user behavior and using it to optimize mobile websites. This year, they’ve also released MarfeelPress, a WordPress plug-in that helps bloggers and small publishers enhance the mobile version of their content and generate more engagement and advertising revenue. In 2018, they’ve doubled their revenue and are planning to grow into a team 200 people in 2019 – way to go!
Photoslurp first caught our attention last year and we haven’t been able to keep our eyes off them since. They’ve created a visual marketing platform that lets companies take advantage of the awesome content their customers share on social media, by collecting images and videos showing off their products and using them to generate. They work with over 200 clients, including impressive fashion brands like Tally Weijl and Cluse. In the age of social media influencers, their service is in higher demand than ever – will we see them raising another round and expanding their business in 2019?
Badi is without a doubt one of the hottest startups in Barcelona right now. Their product is a room rental platform that helps users find available rooms or list spare rooms and look for potential roommates: the app’s smart recommendation system does the matchmaking, based on users’ profiles. Their ultimate goal, however, is to replace traditional real estate agencies. At the beginning of the year, Badi raised $10M in funding to expand in Europe. Apartment sharing is becoming not only the norm, but the only option for young people in many European cities: what’s there to stop Badi from becoming the next Airbnb?
Signaturit is a Barcelona-based startup that is helping us move from signing papers to signing and certifying digital documents in a secure way. We had the pleasure to connect with Signaturit earlier this year at 4YFN Barcelona, and we were seriously impressed by the technology they’ve developed. They deal with everything from electronic signatures (which can be integrated into any software) to certified electronic delivery and electronic identification. With offices in Barcelona and Amsterdam, Signaturit has gained a secure foothold in the European tech scene. And we’re all for solutions that promote going digital!
Eelp! is a mobile application that’s taking on-demand services to the next level. They’ve slightly changed their communication since we first wrote about them. Now, besides acting as a very helpful personal assistant that’ll book an appointment or two for you when you don’t have the time for such banalities, they’re promising to do absolutely anything you need to get done for just €2.90 a service. Their Eelpers will take care of transporting your furniture when you’re moving house, they’ll take your car to the car wash, find a daycare service for your pet, etc. They’ve been growing like crazy this past year and we’re excited to see them break into the mainstream.
Vitcord, based in Barcelona and Valencia, has come a long way since we interviewed them in March 2017. The video sharing platform that acts as a collaborative space for users to create their own content and interact with videos shared by others raised $2M this November, and they’re aiming to scale up their product. In the super competitive and satured world of online content, will Vitcord be able to prove the uniqueness of their solution? We will find out in 2019.
Shopery’s marketplace-as-a-service (Maas) technology is aimed at small businesses with no online presence that are looking to dip their toes into ecommerce. Why create an individual online store when you can be a part of a marketplace with a much wider reach? In October this year, Shopery secured €1.2M in funding to further explore the opportunities that their unique concept offers. Based in Pier 01 Barcelona Tech City, they’re right in the middle of startup activity in Barcelona. 2019 is looking like an interesting year for them!
Factorial is an innovative HR tool that’s focused on simplyfying and automating employee management. It’s for smaller companies that want to treat their employees with the same care that corporates do, but don’t have the sophisticated HR infrastructure. It can be used to manage everything that has to do with employee experience, like compensation, time off and more. Factorial is a part of the Barcelona-based itnig venture builder, and has recently raised €2.8M.
Verse is the Spanish version of the popular expense-sharing concept in fintech. They’ve gone through a few significant changes since we first mentioned them on Barcelona Startup News: the latest news is that they’re finally monetizing their business after 2 years in the market with their new B2B service. All together, they’ve raised more than €30M in funding, and everyone is eager to see how they put all that money to good use. Will 2019 be their year of breakthrough?
Cuideo is a social startup that has built a platform where you can hire professional caretakers and specialists of different medical conditions to provide the best at-home care for elderly people. In the summer of 2018, they managed to raise €700K to further develop their platform and the automatization of their candidate selection process. They are a company built on compassion with a mission that resonates with everyone who’s ever had a loved in need – and we would love to see them succeed in 2019!
Lodgify is a SaaS startup that has built a handy tool to help vacation rental owners create their own website and manage incoming bookings, including those made on websites like Airbnb or Booking.com. The worldwide popularity of short-term apartment rentals increases every year, and Lodgify’s platform is being used by more and more property owners from Italy to Tasmania and back. 5 months ago, Lodgify bagged $5M in series A funding: they’ve got 2019 to show us what they’re going to do with it.
Foods for Tomorrow
Foods for Tomorrow are the creators of Heura, a 100% plant-based meat replacement product that was conceived as an alternative to animal protein, with soybeans as the primary ingredient. They do all their product development in Barcelona and manufacture their product in The Netherlands. According to their plans, their revenue will hit €2.5 in 2019 as they prepare for a series A investment round. Their products have already started appearing in popular supermarkets and restaurants across Spain, and there’s nothing to stop them from conquering the plant-based industry. We’re all for the new generation of health foods, and we’re looking forward to Foods for Tomorrow changing our eating habits in 2019!
Hosco is an online employment platform focused on the hotel and hospitality industry. Users can create a profile, highlight professional skills and find a job pretty much anywhere in the world. Headquartered in Geneva, Hosco has offices in Barcelona and Dubai, and among their plans is to open another one on the American continent. They raised €5.4M in early December – it will be interesting to see how they develop their recruitment solution in 2019.
TravelPerk has officially graduated from startup to scale-up: there is a proven need for their business travel solutions and they know exactly how to capitalize on it. They’ve recently added trains – a fundamentally important vertical that their competitors seem to have forgotten about – to flights and hotels that you can book on their platform, and they’re going full steam ahead. In October, they secured an unbelievable €38M in funding, and as one of the fastest growing startups in Barcelona, they’re truly revolutionizing the business travel market.
ByHours is the Barcelona startup that introduced us to a completely new way of booking hotels: microstays. They’ve created an app that lets users book hotel rooms for 3, 6 or 12 hour periods, making it super easy for travelers with short layovers or a few hours of idle time to find a comfortable hotel room near airports, city centers, train and bus stations, hospitals and sports venues. Their main goal for 2018 was to consolidate their market in Europe, Latin-America and the South of Asia. Will hotel microstays prove popular enough for them to succeed in 2019?
Coverfy lets users manage their insurance with various companies, optimize prices and coverage, and find the best insurance offers through an app on their phones. They’re already market leaders in Spain, and they spent this year acquiring other platforms to consolidate their position. The next step for them is to start growing their team. Time to scale up in 2019!
ForceManager is an AI-based mobile Customer Relationship Management platform: in other words, an easy-to-use tool for field sales teams. It functions as a mobile personal assistant, allowing sales reps to access previous interaction they’ve had with customers, carry their pipeline in their pockets wherever they go, take care of reporting, etc. This year, they acquired Sellf, the European leaders in field sales gamification. Let’s see what this important step will mean for them in 2019!
Hubtype is a Barcelona-based startup that creates tools for developers to build chatbots. They firmly believe that chatbots are here to stay, and that there are a million use cases for them that we haven’t even considered (we’re only scratching the surface with customer service bots). Clients like eCooltra, CaixaBank, HP and HolaLuz trust their chatbot solution for businesses, and developers absolutely love it. Hubtype is a young company with a lot of promise: let’s see what 2019 has in store for them.