In 2020, startups in the Google for Startups community created 747 new jobs and the investment raised amounted to 64.5 million euros. Also, 32.5% of startups have reported a monthly increase in their income between 2019 and 2020. The balance of figures is satisfactory for Sofía Benjumea, taking into account that the Spanish economy suffered «and those businesses that had not given the leap to digital transformation had to be done in record time “, underlines the Head of Google for Startups.
“Startups have been able to quickly adapt and face unprecedented challenges. Today we know that they have added value, generated employment and offered other points of view to improve the economy, “says Benjumea. However, although employment has continued to be created and financing raised, the Google for Startups ‘Impact Report 2020’ highlights that there has been a slowdown compared to 2019 of -49% in the case of job creation and a – 43% in financing.
However, Benjumea emphasizes that 2020 was also a year of opportunities. «With ‘Startup School: Restart’ and ‘Startup School: Gaming’ we faced the challenges posed by the pandemic in the way we know best: with online support programs for all those startups that had seen how the crisis was affecting your business.
Google for Startups also launched a new line of programs to support its entrepreneurial community: the Growth Academy programs. The first one focused on supporting companies in the tourism sector; an industry particularly affected by the crisis. “After an initial period of global uncertainty, startups in our community took the opportunity to rethink their strategies and adapt them to the times that were to come,” says Benjumea.
This is for example the case of Triporate, which was born in 2016 as a digital travel agency and which, during the pandemic, focused its strategy to also become a tool that helps, through technology, traditional travel agencies. This way of pivoting has allowed them to continue growing. In 2018 they managed 450 trips per month; In 2019 there were already 1,600 and in 2020 they reached more than 5,000 trips per month. Or the case of the startup Sepiia, which after passing through the Residency program was able to access the necessary tools to understand how the market would evolve in the midst of a pandemic, when its business was at a low level, managing to triple its sales.
Those who also turned the obstacles into platforms to rise were Passporter, which went from becoming a marketplace of collaborative economy in the travel sector, to become a suite of tools for the traveler that has made them hire twice the staff that they had and that they hope to close this 2021 with more than a million users. “At Google for Startups Spain we are surrounded by talent, stories of resilience, and lessons in innovation provided by a community that, as every year, we hope will continue to grow alongside us,” concludes Benjumea.