Spanish startups and investors rethink strategies as Covid-19 hits funding, valuations

Investors and startups in Spain say most funding has stalled, and share their strategies and advice for coping with the downturn 

After a bumper year for Spanish startup investments in 2019, investors and founders are expecting funding to plunge this year, as the Covid-19 pandemic battered the country particularly hard, forcing the local economy to a virtual standstill and markets slumped.

“I know of deals that have been delayed, and some of them even fell through because of investors pulling out,” Eneko Knorr, a veteran investor and serial entrepreneur, said in an interview with CompassList. Knorr has backed some of the biggest successes in the Spanish startup scene, including unicorn Cabify and Ticketbis, which was sold to eBay in 2016 for $165m.

“The number of [deals] and the amounts invested are going to be down by a lot,” he replied by email. “We are in a crisis caused by something new and we can't forecast its depth. Investors are cautious.”

The IMF now expects Spanish GDP to shrink 8% in 2020 and unemployment to soar to 20.8%, in an economy heavily reliant on tourism, hospitality

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