Spanish angel investors can be a tricky bunch to get hold of.
“There are so many business angels that no one knows about,” said Markus Törstedt, founder of micro VC Enzo Ventures, in a March interview with Sifted.
But for a country with a historic shortage of local VC money, they play a crucial role in supporting Spain’s most promising young startups.
So who are Spain’s most active angel investors right now? Sifted scoured industry data from Dealroom and reached out to some of the country’s best known business angels to ask how many companies they’ve backed in the last 12 months. Here’s what we found.
We’re aware the list might not be complete and that not everyone had time to get back to us. So, if you think we’ve missed you off, please email firstname.lastname@example.org so we can update the list.
Based in Marbella, Mihalovits is one of Spain’s most prolific business angels, and was an early backer of Tesla, investing in the company in 2011. He cofounded his first internet company, Omniga, in 1999 and later cofounded the Global Super Angels Club.
In the past 12 months Mihalovits says he’s invested in 40 startups, 20 of which are based in Spain. Some of them include chatbot platform Landbot.io, low-code spreadsheet automation tool Sheetgo and walking tour platform GuruWalk. He says he’s generally looking for late seed stage investments — where the startup has reached €20k in monthly returning revenue.
Albert Armengol is one of the veterans of the Spanish tech scene and founded medical booking platform Doctoralia in 2008. Before that he sold his first startup, eConozco, to Hamburg-based careers site Xing in 2007.
Armengol tells Sifted he’s invested in around 30 new companies in the last year, and has done around 10 follow-on rounds from previous investments, favouring companies working in SaaS, gaming, and health. His recent investments include gaming streaming platform Dixper, gaming data network Kronte and sleep wellness startup Moonoa.
Horsey cofounded digital marketing organisation Crazy4Media in 2011, and in 2018 set up the Andalucía-based accelerator StartupLabsSpain. He’s helped to cofound startups in fields ranging from software API integration to last mile delivery solutions.
Over the last year he’s invested in 17 startups, including food delivery aggregator Delitbee, electric scooter company Velca and personal lubricant brand Lubets. Horsey tells Sifted he likes seed stage projects, generally located in Andalucía, Barcelona or the Algarve.
Avi Meir is the founder and chief executive of Barcelona-based business travel startup TravelPerk, who recently raised a $160m Series D round. Before TravelPerk, Meir cofounded Hotel Ninja, which was acquired by Booking.com in 2014.
He’s now one of Spain’s most active angel investors, having backed 12 companies in the last year, including meat replacement startup Heura, YC-backed SaaS product Abacum and employee rewards platform Wolo.
Meir says he likes to find “great early stage founders” working in areas he’s passionate about, including the future of travel and the future of food.
Sanchez-Marco founded his first startup, event planning platform Eventoprix, in 2012, and later launched Furgo, a bulky items transport marketplace, in 2016. His most recent startup, Proptex, is a software product helping property managers improve tenant experience.
Sanchez-Marco has invested in 11 startups in the last 12 months, including rental service Renty, social network for seniors Vermut, and electric vehicle charging startup Bia. He says he’s pretty sector agnostic, invests in pre-seed and seed stage startups and loves “entrepreneurs who want to change the rules with a global vision and a cohesive founding team.”
Sargiacomo founded his first startup, dog sitting marketplace Bibulu, in 2013. The company merged with DogBuddy in 2015, where Sargiacomo now serves as chief operations officer. Before life as a founder, he worked at KPMG and Global telecoms association GSMA.
In the last year Sargiacomo has invested in 10 startups, including B2B mental health therapy service Oliva and fast delivery startup Blok.
Derbaix is the cofounder and chief executive of automated investment manager Indexa Capital, based in Madrid. After two years with Boston Consulting Group he founded civic participation site Voota in 2009, and later rental ads site Rentalia, which he sold to Idealista in 2012.
Derbaix made six angel investments in the last year, including personal finance management and investment platform Balio.app, compact bed producer Tu Lecho al Techo and green energy platform Gana Energía. He tells Sifted that normally he prefers to invest in the finance and insurance sectors, in seed level, cash-flow-positive businesses.
Clariana works as assistant to Antonio González-Barros the president at Grupo Intercom, a Barcelona-based micro VC. Formerly he was director of international business development at IESE Business School, and later the director of business development at WeddingWire — a marketplace for wedding planning.
Clariana says he prefers to co-invest with other business angels, and has backed seven projects in the last 12 months, including podcast platform ivoox, biomimetic contact lens brand Clark and luxury camping directory GlampingHub.
Tomás founded Barcelona-based digital marketing firm Cyberclick in 1999, and now serves as the company’s 'chief empathy officer'. He tells Sifted that he’s invested in six startups in the last year, including gaming assistant app Tacter, artificial flower subscription service BlaineBox and video marketing tool Linkvids.
He normally invests in pre-seed and seed stage startups, generally in companies he’s met through his mentorship roles at Founders Institute and SeedRocket. He tells Sifted he likes finding opportunities where he can put his marketing expertise to good use, and he prioritises teams full of fast learners.
Pierre is undoubtedly one of Spain’s best known rising stars in the tech sector. He cofounded delivery startup Glovo when he was just 23, and has steered the company to become one of Spain’s only two unicorns.
Pierre has made five investments in the last 12 months, including meat replacement brand Heura, retail property investment platform Beanstock, and insurance provider Cleverea.
Pierre says he’s still getting to grips with angel investing, and tries to work it into an already busy schedule: “I wouldn't say I’ve mastered these early-stage investment dynamics yet. I try to dedicate one hour every week to early-stage entrepreneurs in Barcelona, or ex-Glovo employees, and with time I've gotten to know some that are truly exciting.”
Ruiz is another veteran of Spanish tech scene, and one of the cofounders of Tuenti, an early challenger to Facebook. Currently he serves as president of Jobandtalent, which raised a $120m round in March from international investors including SoftBank.
In the last 12 months he’s invested in four startups: design tool Genially; social content tool Storybeat; transport platform Auro; and racket sports booking platform Playtomic (where he also serves as coCEO).
When asked what kinds of investment opportunities he looks for, Ruiz says it’s all about the people: “I don't care about the stage of the company. The team is the most important factor. If I like the team, I invest.”
Rene de Jong
De Jong founded his first company, Spanish language course provider don Quijote, way back in 1986. Since then he’s been an active leader in the Spanish startup sector, and was the founding chairman of Entrepreneurs’ Organisation’s Madrid’s chapter.
De Jong has invested in nine startups in the last year, including electric scooter company Velca, last mile delivery provider Urban Pepper and fruit and vegetable trading platform Consentio. He says he tends to look for disruptive projects with a clear USP, that are scalable internationally with a strong team. He normally invests in pre-seed and seed stage companies.
Jaffrin is the cofounder and COO of GetApp, a software recommendation tool that launched in 2009. Since 2017 he’s served as a mentor at the Barcelona-based accelerator and investment fund SeedRocket, specialising in B2B, SaaS, and marketplaces.
In the last 12 months he’s invested in seven startups, including personal finance manager Balio, file management software Flaps, and online organic and vegan food retailer Smartfooding. Jaffrin tells Sifted he tends to focus on SaaS and marketplaces, generally either in Spain or France, and doesn’t like to spread his portfolio too thin, reserving funds for follow-on rounds where possible.
Alitmira is a general partner at Lanzame Capital, and the founder of financial consulting firm UpBizor. He tells Sifted he made five investments in 2020, including payments API provider Reloadly, excess stock marketplace Overexport and ecommerce logistics startup Kubbo Smart Logistics.
He says he mainly looks for SaaS and fintech opportunities that already have “a certain degree of traction”, and generally in ticket sizes ranging from €50k to €100k.
Majem is the founding partner of logistics consultancy AB Brain, and is a long-serving professor at various business schools, lecturing in the field of supply chains and logistics.
In the last year he’s invested in four companies, including last mile delivery startup Beeasy, micro VC fund Enzo Ventures and school management software platform Classlife.
Torras is the founder and managing partner of a new Barcelona-based blue tech fund, Seastainable Capital. She began her career at KPMG before moving into management consultancy, and in 2007 joined cloud management software startup Abiquo.
In the last 12 months she’s invested in three startups: metasearch platform Meetopics, social learning site Go4Click and communication platform Waaraya. She tells Sifted she invests in pre-seed companies that are thinking globally from day one.
Josep Ll. Sanfeliu
Sanfeliu is founder and managing partner of healthtech-focused VC fund Asabys Partners. Previously he worked at KPMG and M&A legal specialists Cuatrecasas.
In the last 12 months he’s made three angel investments, including AI laboratory Avatar Cognition and music tech platform Acqustic. He says he prefers to invest in “academically strong management teams who are transparent, humble and eager to listen.”