Portuguese startup ecosystem raised €710 million in 2022

  • ECO News
  • 14 December 2022

Since 2017, €3,830 million has been raised by the Portuguese startup ecosystem, of which 74% by startups based outside the country.

The Portuguese startup ecosystem raised €710 million in 2022, of which €421 million was channelled to startups based in Portugal, revealed the study Building a Scale Up Nation, conducted by IDC for Startup Portugal, presented on Wednesday. However, the overall amount raised by the ecosystem falls short of the €1,473 million raised in 2021, in which six startups with national DNA reached unicorn status.

“Last year, €1.5 billion was raised with VCs, and, in 2022, the figure is around €700 million, which represents a significant drop, but the growth in 2021 is explained by the Anchorage or Remote investment rounds,” said António Dias Martins, executive director of Startup Portugal, during the presentation of the study.

But if, globally, the trend shows a drop in the amounts raised by startups with investment funds. However, the trend for startups based in Portugal is positive: increasing from €169 million in 2021 to €421 million this year. In terms of early growth, the evolution was also positive, with startups seeing investment from funds rising from €53 million to €109 million, according to the study, citing data from Dealroom.

Of these sums, €344 million were raised through investors located outside the country (€103 million in 2021) and €77 million through domestic investors (€66 million last year).

Since 2017, €3,830 million has been raised by the Portuguese startup ecosystem, of which 74% by startups based outside the country. Amounts raised with tickets of over 100 million went to a small group of companies, namely the Unicorns (Remote, Anchorage Digital, Sword Health, Feedzai, Outsystems and Farfetch) and Power Dot, the study points out.

Of the overall amount raised since 2017, 25% has gone to fintech. Anchorage accounts for 430 million and Remote 415 million – 22% to enterprise software and 12% to marketing.

The study also takes a snapshot of the ecosystem comprising 2,039 startups and scaleups registered and verified by Dealroom, with 49,800 employees and an overall valuation of 34.5 billion. But if we consider all the data, there are a potential 3,880 startups and scaleups with 69,100 employees and a 34.7 billion valuation.

Of these, 62% are in the seed stage, 28% in early growth, and 10% in late growth. Lisbon (43%), Porto (21%) and the centre (19%) concentrate most of the companies.

Portugal loses ground in international rankings

Despite the amounts raised, the study points out some warning signs about the dynamism of the ecosystem, with several international reference rankings pointing to a loss of competitiveness. According to Startup Blink 2022, among 100 countries, Portugal occupies the 28th position – one position less than the previous year – and in WIPO’s Global Innovation Index, it also dropped one place to 32nd.

Lisbon – where most startups are concentrated – falls from 17th position in the Startup Genome ranking to tier 41-50 among the 100 emerging ecosystems.