The largest fund for startups in southern Europe is born

Leadwind is, to date, the independently managed fund that has raised the most funds in Spain become the largest fund in Southern Europe. It is the new milestone of Spanish entrepreneurship led by K Fund, also by Telefónica, BBVA, Fond ICO and family offices who wanted to join. In total, 140 million have already been raised to invest in startups, out of the 240 million to which the new fund wants to aspire before the end of the year.

The objective is invest in startups from Spain and Latin America. In fact, Leadwind is already permanently in Brazil in search of the best opportunities in the region. They also point out that, despite the fact that the fund’s capitalization announcement is effective today, There are already more than 100 scale-up projects that the K Fund division has in hand as possible targets. Or at least those who were contacted proactively.

The idea, beyond investing in the early stages, is to take it to the next level of startups. The next unicorn is wanted to invest in, on average, up to €25m – although the notes will be closer to €5 or €10m in most deals. This is the step that was missing from the investment ecosystem in Spain; the one from which the sector had suffered with the search for international investors –for higher tickets in the later phases–.

And while many have participated in the Leadwind fund, it is Telefónica that plays a leading role. From the first round of the fund, the telco provided 35% of the funds, around 70 million euros. Followed by BBVA with 15 million euros. He is, in fact, one of the most active participants. It’s a relationship that takes on its full meaning under the role of Miguel Arias. The former director of Wayra at Telefónica and now partner of K Fund was the perfect bridge for the union between the two companies. For its part, Telefónica continues its line of association with the world of startups. The agreements reached with Lanzadera, by Juan Roig, to create synergies between the companies are now materializing for an investment with K Fund.

A seed fund for Southern Europe and Latin America

What kind of startups? First, the scale-ups. One of the pending accounts of entrepreneurship in Spain and, by extension, also in Latin America. Wayra herself, with Endeavor and Bankinter have launched a search program for Spanish scale-ups. Because there are examples, but the leap to local funding that supports the needs of this growing group is missing.

As for the types of startups, there is also no big news. IoT, networks, cloud services, artificial intelligence and blockchain. The BBVA and Telefónica sectors you can find more trade agreements for their own business interests. A strategy similar to the one already successful with Lanzadera a few months ago. However, all of these ventures related to the nascent metaverse are left out. The same that, as Telefónica has already announced during the celebration of MWC 2022, has occupied all its interest with the search and financing of startups in the sector.