The Portuguese tech ecosystem is growing up: no Eunicorns yet, but 40 'scale-ups' and counting (report)

Startup Europe Partnership has done some research on Portugal, where one of Europe's most vibrant tech ecosystems is taking shape. A look at their latest report.

This isn't exactly news as it has been a trend that started 3-4 years ago, but the tech scene in Portugal is fast growing up, and we'll be closely monitoring what comes out of it in 2016.

SEP / Startup Europe Partnership, a pan-European platform dedicated to transforming EU startups into 'scale-ups', today released a new SEP Monitor report (PDF) underlining the trend once more, putting some numbers on the table to back it up.

For one, SEP has identified 40 companies that it defines to be scale-ups, meaning they've raised in excess of $1 million.

Together, those 40 Portuguese tech companies have raised more than $166 million cumulatively since their founding, and thus close to $4.2 million on average per startup.

SEP reckons there are about 24 companies poised to become Portuguese scale-ups soon.

portugal tech Startup Europe Partnership

One interesting finding is that most of Portugal's scale-ups are located in capital Lisbon (42% of the total), while 28% are based in Porto.

Portugal Scaleup Hubs

Exits remain scarce, however: Startup Europe Partnership has only counted 9 M&A transactions in the past five years, with not a single IPO. If they would have counted Novabase's acquisition by Russia's GS Group, it would make 10, according to our data.

Portugal Rising

Also no sightings yet of Portuguese tech startups that have raised over $100 million in funding, or hit 'Eunicorn' status by getting a $1 billion+ valuation. Locals like to point at Farfetch, the online fashion retail giant started by Portugal-born José Neves, but that company has far outgrown its humble roots and is now headquartered in London.

In fact, many companies in Portugal have this 'dual' status with offices spread across at least two hubs, most notably Uniplaces, Seedrs, Talkdesk, Unbabel, Feedzai, Veniam and Musikki.

Separately from the report, I would also point out companies like Yieldify, Codacy, LandingJobs and Tuizzi - though I realise there are many more worthy of a close-up.

Number of Portugese scaleups per last funding year

To wit, the data shows that Portugal is clearly still in the early stages. SEP found that 65% of the Portuguese scale-ups it has identified had a funding round in the last two years, while 75% were founded after 2010 (and 48% after 2012).

Portugal still has a long way to go to catch up to mature/maturing hubs such as London, Berlin, Stockholm and Paris, but the local tech scene is clearly heading the right direction.

Finally, a shout-out to Portugal Startups, which is chronicling many of the aforementioned companies and the local startup ecosystem(s) in general.

Also read:

There are 1,000 tech scale-ups in Europe’s five largest economies, who’ve raised $23B in total

The UK has produced roughly 400 tech ‘scale-ups’, report says

Taking a bite out of Italy’s startup ecosystem – just in case you thought there wasn’t one

Featured image credit: Mario Savoia / Shutterstock

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