Sánchez's 5 'startups': the Spanish businesses chosen to seduce the US - Start Up Gazzete
Get In Touch
541 Melville Ave, Palo Alto, CA 94301,
Ph: +1.831.705.5448
Work Inquiries
Ph: +1.831.306.6725

Sánchez’s 5 ‘startups’: the Spanish businesses chosen to seduce the US


This is how Javier de la Torre, co-founder and head of strategy of the Spanish startup Carto, explains the journey that is about to start. Starting today, Tuesday, he and four other entrepreneurs will be part of the visit that the President of the Government, Pedro Sánchez, and his team will make to the US with the aim of attracting investment to our country. The agenda is full: meetings with representatives of JP Morgan, Morgan Stanley, Soros Fund Management, Goldman Sachs, Blackstone … And, above all, of large technology companies such as Apple, HP, YouTube, Zoom, PayPal, Intel and even NASA . It will be a mini-summit between New York, Los Angeles and San Francisco.

Big names for photos, but those who really can win are the five entrepreneurs who have ‘sneaked’ into the presidential plane. They are Javier de la Torre (Carto), Laura Urquizu (president and CEO of Red Points), Enric Asunción (CEO of Wallbox), Alberto Gómez (‘managing partner’ of Adara Ventures) and Andrea Barber (co-founder and CEO of RatedPower ).

Francisco Polo, high commissioner for Spain Entrepreneurial Nation, was the one who personally selected the list and called several of them. It was a difficult proposition to refuse. Three days of non-stop meetings with some of the largest companies and investment funds in the US. The companies pay for the trip, except for flights with Sánchez.

¿But who are these five companies and, above all, why do they occupy one of the seats on the presidential plane?
From NASA maps to rub shoulders with the greats placeholderJavier de la Torre.

Carto is one of those with more experience than those selected by Moncloa. Founded in 2012 by Javier de la Torre and Sergio Álvarez Leiva when they were in their twenties, it started as a small project called Vizzuality. It was a data visualization and analysis ‘software’ with which Google and NASA were already convinced to do small projects on the reforestation of the Amazon or to collect images of astronauts. They soon realized that the technology platform could be a business unto itself. Thus CartoDB was born, which would later end up being renamed to the current Carto.

“I am surprised. That the president has companies like us is already a great advance. What do I hope? That business and new opportunities arise”, De la Torre explains to Teknautas. Today Carto has more than 150 employees, a turnover of more than 10 million euros, headquarters in New York and offices in Madrid, London and Seville and clients around the world, from Mastercard or Coca-Cola through DHL or Vodafone. It is one of the main platforms for analysis and visualization of spatial data, competing with Google, Microsoft, Salesforce or Esri. And all with ‘only’ 31 million euros of financing since its inception.
The meeting with investors in Palo Alto will also be important. In the rest, I do not know if I will be. They told us that we had a certain freedom of agenda and in New York and San Francisco I have meetings that are already closed that interest me as a company “.


“We generate more than half of the business in the US, so this trip is great for us,” explains Laura Urquizu, president and CEO of Red Points. She is another of the entrepreneurs selected to accompany Sánchez. Based in Barcelona, ​​Red Points was born in 2011 by Ramoncín’s former lawyer Josep Coll and his partner David Casellas. Now, led by Urquizu, this firm has more than 800 client companies in the complex business of protecting the intellectual property of brands, products and services, with a ‘software’ that allows identifying who is copying your product and legally demand the termination of its operations. This company has shot up to 270 employees and has offices in Barcelona, ​​New York and Salt Lake City (Utah, USA).

It has obtained a total of 86 million dollars in financing, something that very few Spanish startups can boast about. Red Points works with a program that scans the network for unauthorized copies of files provided by its clients. When an alarm goes off, the system checks that it is indeed the content they are looking for, the one they have been hired to protect. Once pirated products are identified, Red Points focuses on de-indexing and removing. The first is achieved by petitions to Google for copyright infringement. The second, appealing to the owners of the servers. “Nobody wants to have illegal content on their server, because it is a crime, just like nobody wants to have a stolen car in their garage. It is enough to inform them that they have unauthorized files so that they can delete them themselves.”

When in March 2020, at the height of the pandemic, Eduard and Enric moved the headquarters of their company to a larger building in Barcelona, ​​they had growth expectations, but far from imagining that that year they would quadruple sales, double their staff, they would launch products that were not even considered in the short term and open a new factory in the United States. That’s pretty much the recent roundup from Wallbox, an electric vehicle charger company for homes, businesses and cities whose ‘leitmotif’ is to free ourselves from fossil fuels. With this idea, they created two types of chargers, Quasar, a bidirectional device for domestic use that allows energy to be transferred to the vehicle and in turn use it as an emergency power source for the home. The other device, Supernova, is its first fast public charger that offers 65 kW of power at half the cost of other similar devices.

The lack of financing in Spain in phases of expansion of startups is the Achilles heel of the sector. The fund manager Adara Ventures is one of those that have positioned themselves in that gap in which there is still a long way to go. In 2019, Adara started its third investment fund with 65 million euros. That amount was already the most ambitious fund in the history of the entity, but finally it managed to obtain 80 million. Since then, the company focused on the so-called ‘deep tech’ segment, that is, ‘startups’ based purely on the creation and development of new technologies (as opposed to those used by existing ones in a more or less innovative way, such as Uber or Cabify) and, in addition, in recently created projects that have already passed the first phase. It has more than 30 investments spread throughout western Europe, with a focus on Spain, but in the last two years it has focused on France, the United Kingdom, Portugal and Ireland. One of his big hits was AlienVault, sold in 2018 for 800 million.

The solar plant ‘factory’.

Miguel Ángel Torrero, Andrea Barber and Juan Romero.RatedPower is the result of the union of Miguel Ángel Torrero, a photovoltaic project engineer, Juan Romero, an expert in mathematical models and solar energy, and Andrea Barber, the person who has led the expansion of the company. The three are co-founders and have developed a ‘software’ for the design of solar plants that has managed to gain a foothold in the market. The program, called pvDesign, allows you to automate the design of solar plants from start to finish, from study and sizing to final engineering to produce large-scale plants. The reality of the world of ‘software’ is capricious: there are very advanced programs for certain sectors, but other hyperspecialized activities do not have quality systems with which to automate tasks. The world of solar panel and plant design was one of them. The idea has not gone bad at all. Since its inception in 2017, pvDesign has more than 300 users and more than 30 clients who use it to develop photovoltaic plants in more than 60 countries. Many of them are giants such as Iberdrola, Naturgy, Endesa, Acciona, Grupo ACS, Equinor, Trina.

Author avatar
Joshua Smith

Post a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Este sitio web utiliza cookies para que usted tenga la mejor experiencia de usuario. Si continúa navegando está dando su consentimiento para la aceptación de las mencionadas cookies y la aceptación de nuestra política de cookies, pinche el enlace para mayor información.plugin cookies

Aviso de cookies