8 investors and founders highlight Valencia’s potential as a fintech and cybersecurity hub – TechCrunch

8 investors and founders highlight Valencia’s potential as a fintech and cybersecurity hub – ClearTips

While Madrid and Barcelona attract discussion of tech startups in Spain, Valencia is slowly and surely making a name for itself as a growing technological ecosystem.

The third largest city in the country, Valencia has magnificent beaches, sunny weather all year round and affordable housing and healthcare. And with a population of only one million people, it is slightly more manageable than its larger cousins.

The city also tops the International Expat City Rankings 2020 as one of the best cities for migrants to settle. In addition, it produces a lot of talent – about 25,000 undergraduate and masters degrees are issued every year in the city.

So to find out what the startup scene looks like in Valencia, we spoke with eight local investors, executives and founders. The city appears to be strong in areas such as travel, AI, cyber security, fintech, agritech, travel tech, biotech, sports tech and VR. According to some respondents, the blockchain / crypto scene can make some improvements.

The city’s investment landscape is not particularly large and most investors focus on seed funding, but it is growing as family-owned companies, and individual and institutional investors turn to technology. BIGBAN is a private non-profit angel investor network based in Valencia, and continues to spread incubators and accelerator programs, supported by corporates and local government initiatives such as Startup Valencia.

Notable startups in the city include Streamloots, VoiceMod, Jeff, Broomers, Flywire, and Blinkfire Analytics.

We surveyed:

  • Loose Adele, CFO / Partner, Draper B1
  • Jordi Diaz Mikez, CEO, Play and Go Experience
  • Helena Ortiz Gill, CMO, Taker Team
  • Patricia Pastor, Director, Gohb
  • Fernando Marzal, VP of New Business, Jeff
  • Enrique Penichett, founding partner, Draper B1
  • Javier Moliner Urdiales, CEO, Howlanders
  • Jorge Soriano Lazzaro, CEO, Kryptana

Loose Adele, CFO / Partner, Draper B1

In which areas is your technical ecosystem strong? What are you most excited about? What is lacking in this?
Key sectors include Fintech, Agritech and Travel Tech.

What are the most interesting startups in your city?
Streamloots, Krypton, Voicemod, Boatjump, Zeleros, WiTrack and Sales Layer.

What do tech investors in Valencia like? What is their focus?
The Valencia investor scene is growing. There are more family-owned companies, and individual and institutional investors, and they have also invested capital. We have some of the top incubator and accelerator programs in Spain. BigBan, a private non-profit angel investor network based in Valencia, is building and developing one of the most dynamic and active investor communities in Spain.

With the change in remote working, do you think people will stay in Valencia, or will they move out? Will others go inside?
People will stay or move to the city. Migrants and digital nomads like to visit Valencia.

Who are the major startup people in the city (eg, investors, founders, lawyers, designers)?
Startups Valencia, BigBan, Lanzadera, Plug and Play, GoHub, Angels Capital, Demium, TBig Advisory, KM Zero, BioHub and Draper B1.

Where do you think the technological landscape of the city will be in five years?
Valencia is becoming a center of attraction for companies and talent for an ecosystem in continuous growth with a clear entrepreneurial mindset.

Jordi Diaz Mikez, CEO, Play and Go Experience

In which areas is your technical ecosystem strong? What are you most excited about? What is lacking in this?
Tourism.

What are the most interesting startups in your city?
Zeleros.

What do tech investors in Valencia like? What is their focus?
Demium and Gohub for deep technique.

With the change in remote working, do you think people will stay in Valencia, or will they move out? Will others go inside?
People will stay or move in.

Where do you think the technological landscape of the city will be in five years?
Much better now.

Helena Ortiz Gill, CMO, Taker Team

In which areas is your technical ecosystem strong? What are you most excited about? What is lacking in this?
Virtual reality is strong and exciting. Blockchain can be improved.

What are the most interesting startups in your city?
Taker team and some Lanzadera projects.

How is the investment scene in Valencia? What is the focus of investors?
It can improve.

With the change in remote working, do you think people will stay in Valencia, or will they move out? Will others go inside?
Most people lag behind.

Who are the major startup people in the city (eg, investors, founders, lawyers, designers)?
Lanzadera, Valencia Activa, Demium and Gohub.

Where do you think the technological landscape of the city will be in five years?
I hope it will improve.

Patricia Pastor, Director, Gohb

In which areas is your technical ecosystem strong? What are you most excited about? What is lacking in this?
Water, industry, smart city technology.

What are the most interesting startups in your city?
Fivecom, Sales Layer, Quibim, Jeff and Voicemod.

What do tech investors in Valencia like? What is their focus?
AI, 5G, GoHub for B2B in cyber security and stability.

With the change in remote working, do you think people will stay in Valencia, or will they move out? Will others go inside?
We will see hundreds of remote activists.

Where do you think the technological landscape of the city will be in five years?
In the top 15.

Fernando Marzal, VP of New Business, Jeff

In which areas is your technical ecosystem strong? What are you most excited about? What is lacking in this?
Day to day services.

What are the most interesting startups in your city?
Flywire, Streamloots, VoiceMod, Blinkfire and Demium.

How is the tech investment scene in Valencia? What is the focus of investors?
Seed Investor.

With the change in remote working, do you think people will stay in Valencia, or will they move out? Will others go inside?
live. Valencia is a better place to work due to the weather, the size of the city, the beach, etc.

Who are the major startup people in the city (eg, investors, founders, lawyers, designers)?
Startup Valencia Association.

Where do you think the technological landscape of the city will be in five years?
One of the major startup cities in Europe.

Enrique Penichett, founding partner, Draper B1

In which areas is your technical ecosystem strong? What are you most excited about? What is lacking in this?
Valencia’s technical ecosystem is strong on providing technical talent. There are many people with capabilities in AI and cyber security. Because of this some corporate accelerators are strengthening here, mainly in fintech, such as Bankia fintech.

We have a unicorn in Fintech Flywire, and Credits (from Brazil), an overseas fintech scaleup, has established its headquarters here. We also have some good startups in fintech such as Krypton, Colectual or The Logic Value.

Valencia has also traditionally been strong in video gaming. ESAT, a globally recognized academy based here, offers great talent, and mainly because of this, we have some successful startups in the gaming industry such as VoiceMod or Streamloots. In fact, DreamHawk, one of the major gaming events in Spain and Europe, is held in Valencia.

Due to Lanzadera, along with Station F, one of the largest accelerators in Europe is located in Valencia, and now startups are growing in all verticals.

What are the most interesting startups in your city?
Flywire, Jeff, Streamloots, Voicemod, Krypton, Chronoshare, Quibim, Quidam, and Gocon.

What do tech investors in Valencia like? What is their focus?
Most of the investors are business ambassadors and early stage investors. Draper B1, Angels Capital, Zerisar, and Keith VC.

With the change in remote working, do you think people will stay in Valencia, or will they move out? Will others go inside?
With both things happening, Valencia is a good place to work, near the Mediterranean Sea. Bloomberg was recognized as the No. 1 city in the world for its work. In such a situation, many people are coming here to work from far away. At the same time, some people are leaving for work from the countryside.

Who are the major startup people in the city (eg, investors, founders, lawyers, designers)?
Accelerator and Founder.

Where do you think the technological landscape of the city will be in five years?
A group of Valencia companies have closed the Series A round. Hopefully in five years it will become common to see some series B or C or D happening. Right now, perhaps only Flywire has accomplished this.

Javier Moliner Urdiales, CEO, Howlanders

In which areas is your technical ecosystem strong? What are you most excited about? What is lacking in this?
E-commerce, Travel and Industry 4.0.

What are the most interesting startups in your city?
Howlanders, Jeff, Airhopping, Landboat and WiTrack.

What do tech investors in Valencia like? What is their focus?
Pay attention to the seeds. Already a few years of experience, mainly BA, small VC or crowd.

With the change in remote working, do you think people will stay in Valencia, or will they move out? Will others go inside?
People will move forward due to quality of life, low cost, location and local government support.

Who are the major startup people in the city (eg, investors, founders, lawyers, designers)?
Javier Megius and Juan Rog.

Where do you think the technological landscape of the city will be in five years?
Larger, stronger, fully international community thanks to new arrivals (startups and remote workers), more national or international VCs managed locally from Valencia.

Jorge Soriano Lazzaro, CEO, Kryptana

In which areas is your technical ecosystem strong? What are you most excited about? What is lacking in this?
Cryptocurrency, or using crypto.

What are the most interesting startups in your city?
Girls.

What do tech investors in Valencia like? What is their focus?
Draper B1.

With the change in remote working, do you think people will stay in Valencia, or will they move out? Will others go inside?
Yes, people are living here. We were working remotely from the beginning.

Who are the major startup people in the city (eg, investors, founders, lawyers, designers)?
Draper B1, Enrique Penichet and Signe.

Where do you think the technological landscape of the city will be in five years?
One of the most innovative in Europe.

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