10 early-stage Madrid-based startups catching our attention in 2021

At the beginning of the year, we hunted down 10 skyrocketing Spanish startups to watch in 2021 and beyond, and today we’re taking a closer look at Madrid. Known for its legendary nightlife and its thriving art culture, the Spanish capital is also a buzzing startup hotspot, with success stories like Cabify, Spotahome and many more. It is also home to hubs like ImpactHub, TheCube and Utopicus, and events like South Summit, one of the biggest startup conferences in Southern Europe.

The city also made it to spot number 7 on our TOP 30: Europe’s biggest startup hubs in 2020, and is certainly a highly attractive ecosystem to follow. This week, we took a close look at exceptionally promising Madrid-based startups that were founded between 2018-2021. To select the 10 most promising early-stage startups, we looked at aspects such as team size, funding situation, growth rate, innovation, and market size.

Lana is on a big mission to help millions of people in Latin America who currently have no access or are limited in access to financial services, starting with gig economy workers or collaborative economy. Its optimized technology platform seeks to provide accessible financial services through technology and connect underserved clients with third parties to provide them with financial services, payments, and much more. Founded in 2018, the team has raised over €10.5 million to help people better manage their money and improve their quality of life.

Cobee is one of Europe’s leading employee benefit management platforms. Founded in 2018, the team has raised more than €16 million. The platform offers a wide range of benefits for staff from gyms, to insurance products, perks, and vouchers – and all in one app instead of using coupons or HR documents. Team members can easily redeem the benefits through their Cobee card, which together with the platform enables them to track the monetary benefit they receive, overall0 improving engagement rates and employee satisfaction.

Qlip has the goal of digitizing the after-sales of real estate agencies and revolutionizing the way in which its clients move to a new home. With more than 500 real estate agencies in Spain, 12,000 procedures completed and 7,500 hours saved this year, they have created a specific platform for real estate agencies in which they can register and control changes and registrations of all services and supplies that the client requires. Founded in 2020, the proptech startup has raised €3.5 million to offer a quick, transparent, and free-of-charge experience.

Katoo simplifies and facilitates the relationship between restaurants and their suppliers. The hospitality-focused startup has built a network of thousands of restaurants and suppliers that place and receive orders through its platform. By simplifying the ordering process and providing information on previous orders, Katoo prevents restaurants from over-ordering, giving them a better view of each supplier. Since its founding in 2019, the team has raised more than €3 million to accelerate the digitization of the hospitality sector through technology.

Ritmo provides entrepreneurs with the tools and capital necessary to grow their businesses through a digital platform. Ritmo offers modern-age fundraising to make capital more accessible and transparent for Southern European entrepreneurs and is committed to making capital more accessible to female founders and sustainability-oriented companies. Founded in 2020, the team has raised around €16.8 million to enable founders to raise growth capital without giving up control of their business. They fund marketing campaigns of between €50K and €3 million for a flat fee of 6% that is recovered through a revenue-sharing model.

Velca is a brand of electric motorcycles aiming to transform mobility in cities by directly impacting the environment and people’s lives. Founded by former employees of mobility giant Voi, the team has raised €4.7 million since launching the startup in 2019. The motorcycles have removable batteries that can be charged in any domestic socket: in the kitchen, the bathroom, in the office. They do home delivery with a technician who teaches you how to use the bike. Velca carries out the enrollment and management of insurance and financing plans.

Ninety Nine is a financial trading platform with the goal to improve people’s relationship with their money. The fintech startup offers an easy-to-use and accessible long-term investing platform, designed for everyone who wants to invest in their own way. It also acts as an educational platform, enabling customers to avail financial learning as well as commission-free trading through the platform. Since its founding in 2018, the team has raised over €7 million to empower customers to invest in companies all around the world in a secure and easy way.

Student Finance is an edtech startup focused on helping schools and universities finance student education through Income-Share-Agreements (ISA) – overall helping to increase educational opportunity and empower people to access high-impact careers. Founded in 2019, the startup has raised around €5.7 million to democratise education simultaneously by providing both the technology infrastructure for education providers (such as LeWagon and Ironhack) to offer flexible payment plans in the form of ISAs, and data intelligence on the employment market to predict job demand.

Woonivers is reinventing Tax-Free shopping, providing a mobile-only, paperless and multichannel solution for businesses and travellers alike. Once shoppers make a purchase in a physical store or e-commerce, they can claim their VAT refund from their mobile, eradicating long queues, forms, and delays from the traditional refund process. By using Woonivers solution, travellers and businesses can also carry out their tax refund process without having to do any kind of paperwork. Founded in 2018, the team has raised around €1.6 million to make Tax-Free shopping a quick and easy experience. 

Asistensi is a platform for emergency insurance and immediate medical assistance. It’s focused on supporting those who have migrated so that they can continue caring for their loved ones in their countries of origin, regardless of distances. Asistensi’s services include telemedicine, home health care, ambulance transfers, clinical laboratory tests, and coverage for hospitalization and emergency surgery in private health centers. Founded just last year, the insurtech startup has grown to a team of 66 and has raised over €11.8 million to offer its benefits 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

By the way: If you’re a corporate or investor looking for exciting startups in a specific market for a potential investment or acquisition, check out our Startup Sourcing Service!