Top-10 Artificial Intelligence Startups in Spain

February 26. 2019. 8 mins read

The Spanish term “mañana, mañana” is all about putting off what you should be doing now in favor of something more fun – like smoking cannabis and getting nude in public – both of which are legal in Spain. Unrelated to the country’s lackadaisical outlook on life, the economy suffered for almost a decade after the 2008 collapse of the housing market and the global financial crisis that followed. Unemployment rates peaked at 26% with youth unemployment stagnating around 55% for more than a year.

Today, the economic decline is finally over and the country’s economy has returned to its pre-recession size, although unemployment still remains above 18%. The newly invigorated environment has helped Spain’s startup ecosystem grow, and this growth is underpinned by the quality of their education system, the availability of public and private funding, and the growth of incubators and accelerators. Spain’s national AI policy is also in the making, being created on the back of a pan-European AI strategy for business. While a centralized AI strategy is being formed, private ventures are moving forward with developing various AI projects. We queried Crunchbase to find the ten most funded AI startups in Spain.

Name Application City Funding
(USD millions)
Red Points Intellectual Property Protection Barcelona         26.2
Sherpa.ai Conversational, Predictive, and Recommendation Engines Bilbao         16.6
MedLab Media Group Medical Content Search and Sharing Madrid         11.2
Geoblink Geospatial Big Data Madrid           7.3
seedtag Digital Marketing Madrid           6.0
source{d} Software Development Madrid           6.0
vLex Legal Content Search and Sharing Barcelona           5.2
Xesol Innovation Autonomous Vehicles Vigo           4.9
Spaceboost Digital Marketing Barcelona           4.0
CASE on IT Big Data Madrid           4.0

Red Points

Click for company websiteLast year we traveled to Barcelona to smoke some weed and visit some startups, like Red Points, which provides counterfeit detection technology that focuses on digital copyright infringement and physical goods being sold that are counterfeits of the originals. Founded in 2012, this Barcelona startup raised another $12 million since our last article, bringing its total funding to $26.2 million. Red Points actively scans the web looking for counterfeit assets and Intellectual Property (IP) violations in digital formats like films and music, and physical products like apparel and accessories. When someone’s trying to sell knock-off Vuitton bags on eBay, the startup’s algorithms will look for Vuitton images and keywords, then compare the listing’s prices to suggested retail prices, flagging any significant difference. The company’s AI algorithms constantly monitor counterfeiters’ methods of flying under the radar, and suggest new ways to uncover breaches.

Red Points' high success rate in combating intellectual property breaches
Credit: Red Points

When a copyright breach is found, Red Points assists clients in having them removed from the market. The painstaking process of filling out forms, filing complaints, and sending cease and desist letters is all automated. However, early warnings work surprisingly well with 96% of counterfeit products removed within just a day and a half. Clients of Red Point include global names like Universal Studios and Conde Nast.

Update 04/03/2019: Red Points has raised $38 million in Series C funding to ramp up sales and marketing in the U.S. This brings the company’s total funding to $64.2 million to date.


Click for company websiteIf you’re thinking about walking the Camino De Santiago, you might consider taking the northern route which takes you through Basque country and starts in Bilbao, the city where our next startup hails from. Founded in 2012, Sherpa.ai has raised $16.6 million to develop conversational and recommendation algorithms for businesses, and a personal assistant app for consumers. With the help of Natural Language Processing (NLP) and a conversational engine, Sherpa equips businesses with a conversational interface for applications ranging from maps and weather to automobile controls and smart homes.

All the domains Sherpa AI can equip with conversational operating system
All the domains Sherpa.ai can equip with conversational operating system – Credit: Sherpa.ai

The startup’s other commercial offering adds predictive and recommendation abilities to applications like news, entertainment, and food. These two commercial offerings act as white label add-ons to any software package, and are being used by large companies like Samsung and Porsche. The company has also developed a virtual assistant app on the back of these technologies that learns user preferences and shares or recommends relevant results automatically. The app is used by more than a million users making it the number one virtual assistant in the Spanish speaking world.

Update 03/15/2021: Sherpa.ai has tacked on $8.5 million to a Series A funding that originally closed with $15 million to double down on a newer focus for the startup: building out privacy-first AI services for enterprise customers. This brings the company’s total funding to $27.5 million to date.

MedLab Media Group

Click for company websiteFounded in 2015, Madrid startup MedLab Media Group has raised $11.2 million in funding to develop a suite of products that assists the medical community in knowledge sharing and information flow. The company’s DeepAIMed platform is a search engine that uses a wide range of trusted sources combined with AI, NLP, and image recognition to provide the global medical community with reliable information for diagnoses and decision making. The second product, called MedsBla, is an encrypted communication platform connected to medical tools, that supports communication among the larger medical community as well as personalized chats regarding physicians’ daily practice. The startup’s third product, ID Doct, is a platform doctors use to access the services of medical colleges and store all related documentation safely. The company’s search engine is powered by proprietary algorithms specifically developed to understand and synthesize medical texts, and the security and anonymity of these platforms are ensured by blockchain technology. MedLab has developed partnerships with global content providers and a number of Spanish-speaking institutions across the globe.

Click for company websiteFounded in 2015, Madrid startup Geoblink has raised $7.3 million to create a geospatial analytics platform targeting retail, Fast Moving Consumer Goods (FMCG), and real estate. The company sources data from public sources, telco companies, banks, and GPS providers to compile information on target audiences’ age, gender, nationality, and education, and how and where they move, live, and spend time and money. Machine learning algorithms analyze all the raw data to come up with business insights including buying habits, sales potential, optimal points of sale, and returns on real estate investments, all by location.

Geoblink's geospatial analytics are very granular
Credit: Geoblink

These insights help retailers find the right location, FMCG companies do targeted sales and campaigns, and real estate investors maximize returns. Geoblink’s data can be integrated with clients’ internal databases for deeper insights, and the service is used by many global brands such as Danone, KFC, and CBRE, a leading real estate services and investment firm. Sounds similar to a Dutch startup called GeoPhy we covered recently.


Click for company websiteFounded in 2014, Madrid startup seedtag has raised $6 million to develop an in-image advertising platform. The startup’s algorithms classify editorial pictures in published content and add relevant advertisements to those pictures targeting readers in real-time and without using cookies. This approach ensures ads are integrated in the content, doubling the sector’s viewability ratios. Ads also disappear if a user doesn’t interact with them, making them somewhat more user-friendly than usual banners.

seedtag's in-image advertisement for British Airways' Caribbean holidays
seedtag’s in-image ad for British Airways – Credit: seedtag

seedtag has helped RBA, the Spanish publisher and owner of media brands National Geographic and InStyle, achieve an 8% income growth in global revenues with the platform. The company is working with many global brands and publishers including McDonald’s, IKEA, and Axel Springer.


Founded in 2015, Madrid startup source{d} has raised $6 million to develop machine learning algorithms for large scale analysis of developer code. As pieces of software become more complex over time, source code can extend to millions of lines which needs to be managed, maintained, optimized, and extended. While a simple iPhone game app contains a few thousand lines of code, Facebook has more than 60 million (doing who knows what), and Google’s internet services altogether work with 2 billion lines of code.

source{d} offers an engine that treats code as data, allowing it to be analyzed for business intelligence, process optimization engineering, testing, and quality assurance. Additionally, a service called “source{d} Lookout” employs machine learning to help developers do code reviews in any coding language. This keeps style and patterns consistent throughout the code base, identifies review areas, and warns about common mistakes before humans review, saving lots of manual work. With average DevOps salaries around $125,000 in the US, spending less time on menial tasks will impact the bottom line of software development companies significantly.


Click for company websiteFounded in 1998, Barcelona startup vLex has raised $5.2 million to develop a database of legal texts with multilingual search using NLP. The startup claims to have the world’s largest collection of legal knowledge, combining primary legal materials from more than 100 countries, statutes and case law from more than 30 countries, an online library of books and journals, court analytics, and additional exclusive content. vLex’s platform translates documents, ranks them by relevance and citations, validates sources using legal experts and user feedback, and keeps track of user searches by topics, suggesting related materials. The platform can analyze an uploaded legal document and find cited case law, extract related legal concepts, and generate relevant library results as well. vLex comes with native integrations, a mobile platform, and an Application Programming Interface (API) for custom integrations. The service is used by more than 100,000 lawyers, 500,000 government employees, and 5 million students at the moment.

Xesol Innovation

Click for company websiteFounded in 2012, Vigo startup Xesol Innovation has raised $4.9 million to develop solutions for autonomous vehicles. Xesol Drive is a camera-view modelling software program that identifies, tracks, and predicts trajectories of vehicles, cyclists, and pedestrians, recognizes signs and traffic lights, and identifies lanes and road boundaries. The software supports front, front-and-back, and 360-degree camera views. The startup is also working on real-time mapping systems for connected cars, and biometric identification methods for fleet management, car rental, and car sharing.


Click for company websiteFounded in 2014, Barcelona startup Spaceboost has raised $4 million to develop an automated Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising platform for Google, Bing, and Amazon. This platform deals with the ads that come up at the top of search results depending on the search keywords you use. Spaceboost manages all advertising channels in one platform, automates campaign execution, optimizes keyword bids on a daily basis, and reports on campaign results. Client testimonials claim strong results after implementation, including doubling customer sales and reducing cost of client acquisition by half in the first month of implementation. Pricing is free below a monthly spend of 1,000 Euros, and increases by a sliding scale. Enterprise packages include optional mentoring and managed services for an extra fee, and the platform is used by names like Deloitte, The North Face, and Allianz.


Click for company websiteFounded in 2014, Madrid startup MedUX has raised nearly $4 million in disclosed funding to develop a platform that measures quality of service and user experience for telecommunication operators. The platform called MedUX goes beyond customer satisfaction data and collects objective metrics on network performance using thousands of devices. All this big data is then used to model and predict user behavior for the telco networks.

MedUX's big data platform for telco companies analyzes telco networks in real-time, 24/7
Credit: MedUX

The company has deployed thousands of home, mobile, and TV network sensors to measure and predict service quality for networks across the globe without the need for client integrations or sensor maintenance. Everything is done in-house, and clients can access analytics results through a dedicated subscription portal. Analytics can be used to benchmark performance relative to competitors, decide capital and operating expenditure allocations, or decrease the number of customer service calls. Major MedUX clients include Vodafone, Orange, and AT&T.


Funding for the top AI startups in Spain is somewhere between the amounts we’ve reported for Russia and Germany. Numbers might be less than expected for the 15th largest GDP producer in the world (counted on purchasing power parity,) but the startups boast of impressive global corporations as reference clients, and most have expanded internationally since being founded. Further economic consolidation and joining the pan-European AI strategy will attract more VC interest for Spain in the near term. When it comes to being productive, maybe “mañana, mañana” isn’t such a bad thing after all.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.