Crowdfunding, in its various forms, moved €62 million in Spain in 2014, according to a study by the University of Cambridge. This represents a significant increase compared to the previous year (€29 million, €10 million in 2012), which shows that this new way of raising capital for all kinds of projects and companies is becoming more important in the country.
Increases were visible across all types of crowdfunding, with reward-based being the main force within the sector, with €35 million, or 56% of the total.
Here’s a breakdown of all crowdfunding activities:
It’s interesting to note a significant increase in crowdlending (P2P crowdfunding), with a +389% uplift in 2014. More SMEs and startups are considering this form of financing, given the credit crunch suffered by traditional banks since the financial crisis of 2007.
Although the University of Cambridge did not specify which crowdlending platforms were the most active, in recent years Spain has seen the launch of various companies in this space, such as Comunitae, Zank, Lendico (from Rocket Internet) or Arboridus.
When it comes to equity crowdfunding -a form of crowdfunding that allows backers to invest in startups and receive equity in return-, the surge was also notable, from just €1.2 million in 2012 to €10.5 million last year. Local players include The Crowd Angel, Inverem and Seedquick.
It’s worth noting that both activities (P2P lending and equity crowdfunding) are now regulated by Spanish authorities, which may push both sectors even further in coming years.
Closing the gap with Europe?
While all of the aforementioned figures and trends point to a positive health for crowdfunding in Spain, there’s still a long way to go to reach its importance in other European countries.
Despite the fact that Spain ranks second in terms of the number of crowdfunding platforms per country (34), Spaniards are less likely than its neighbours to use alternative financing vehicles.
As the graph above shows, Spain ranks 10th in Europe in terms of alternative finance volume per capita, below countries such as Estonia, the Netherlands, Sweden or Iceland.
The report goes on to claim that Spanish crowdfunding regulation “might limit its role to the SME sphere” and could “cause certain amount of confusion” if it overlaps with other existing regulations.
It all looks good on the surface, but when you analyze the numbers you can clearly see that there’s room to grow in the importance of crowdfunding in Spain. Will it happen?
Photo | Geralt