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BBVA is firmly committed to the entrepreneurial ecosystem with the creation of an ad hoc service that will soon be launched in Spain and Mexico. The new BBVA Spark unit will have its own team of bankers and a portfolio of specific financial and non-financial proposals specially adapted to the needs of startups and scaleups -emerging companies , the latter in a more advanced and mature development phase-.

Among its tools it will have a debt fund endowed with 250 million euros, the largest or one of the largest in Spain with this vocation. The vehicle will allow company managers and directors to be accompanied on their financing route, limiting shareholder dilution and also providing the opportunity to have the support of a risk team to optimize the operation.

It will respond precisely to one of the biggest challenges in developing a business and growing a startup: financing. The majority of promoters resort , in fact, to venture capital with the toll of diluting their participation by not being able to access more traditional alternatives such as bank financing.

The first clues about the project were offered by the group’s president at the BBVA Open Summit, a forum of excellence for the ecosystem. “We want to be the bank of the companies that are defining the future,” Carlos Torres advanced at the time and repeated yesterday at a business meeting organized by CEOE. The head of Banking for Growth Companies at BBVA, Roberto Albaladejo, in turn announced at the South Summit that the group was preparing a service proposal adapted to the different stages of growth of startups and scaleups.

Advisors who speak your language
It will be much more than a portfolio because the bank will launch a new business unit. The entity has registered the BBVA Spark brand in different geographies , including the United States, although as elEconomista .es has learned, its launch will be in Spain and Mexico , the latter country with the largest entrepreneurial ecosystem in Latin America after Brazil.

He knows well the ground he treads, since he has been collaborating with the entrepreneurial ecosystem for several years and even betting on it as an investor and active seeker of innovation interested, in addition, in forging alliances with startups to improve their processes and the services they offer to different clients.

Only in terms of investments, it has direct bets through the venture capital funds Propel -in its portfolio it has several unicorns- , Sinovation Ventures, Leadwind and Lowercarbon. An experience that also allows you to have a team of advisors to supply the new unit who speak the same language and understand the needs of the most disruptive and technological companies.

BBVA arrives in an ecosystem that is increasingly consolidated
Such a business bet from a bank is not usual. In fact, entrepreneurs suffer precisely from the difficulty of accessing traditional credit because, not having a track record of mature businesses and positive results due to being in the development phase, they do not normally pass risk or scoring tests .

BBVA’s approach, which will go beyond providing financing, comes in an ecosystem that is increasingly consolidated and with expectations that it will gain strength and weight due to the evolution of the companies themselves and thanks to the facilities that the Government is finalizing to, precisely, to promote the digital economy and entrepreneurship.

Law of ‘Startups’, in 2023
According to the report The socioeconomic contribution of the South Summit in Spain prepared by the PwC consultancy , the Spanish entrepreneurial ecosystem has multiplied its value by 20 since 2012 and has gone from 4,300 million euros then to more than 83,000 million today . , equivalent to 14% of the value of the Ibex 3 5.

The startups mobilized more than 4,200 million euros in investment last year and among them there were 11 unicorns or companies valued above 1,000 million euros (Jobandtalent, Glovo, Idealista, Devo, Cabify, Wallbox and eDreams among them). It is estimated that there are another twenty scaleups that could reach this value in a few years.

To favor the creation of companies and facilitate their development, the Government has drawn up, precisely, the Startups Law, currently pending in Congress and which it wants to have operational in 2023. It has also promoted the Next Step Fund with 2,000 million public budget so that they can gain dimension without having to look for resources in other jurisdictions and an additional boost is expected from the resources that come from the NextGenerationEU to, precisely, digitize the economy.

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