Portuguese Startup Scene Report 2021

Data on the Portuguese venture investment ecosystem

As far as startup ecosystems go, we’ve come a long way in Portugal!

Having been around for as long as we have (since 2000!), at Armilar, we’ve been privileged to witness — and hopefully contribute to — the development of the Portuguese ecosystem, from being practically non-existent (as many others were throughout Europe) to being the thriving community that it is today. Along the way, we’ve had the privilege to invest in some of the most successful companies that Portugal produced, and we were just as equally privileged to invest in many others that, while maybe not as successful, or not successful at all, also contributed very importantly to building the maturity of the ecosystem.

Today, Portugal is clearly punching above its weight, generating more than its fair share of high-potential tech-based startups that play in the same league as any startup anywhere in the world, capable of attracting highly-qualified global talent and to raise professional venture capital investment from the world’s most experienced investors, while creating impressive amounts of value.

It is not uncommon, though, that many startups choose to locate their headquarters abroad, for all the right reasons that we will not delve into here. Among other things, this has the effect of obfuscating the true metrics of VC investment that many of us in the industry use to think of the different markets — and it typically means that Portugal is under-represented in most of the widely used VC data sources.

This has led us to compile our own dataset, built from the ground-up from public sources of information, of the Portuguese startup scene, in which we try to include all the deals of startups “with a Portuguese origin”. This is mostly an internal tool, that is necessarily incomplete, certainly occasionally inaccurate. Still, we thought that it would make sense to share some of the data collected more openly, hoping that it may be useful to the ecosystem as a whole. Especially since 2021 was such a groundbreaking year for Venture Capital, globally and in Europe (where investment volumes essentially doubled) and also in Iberia and Portugal in particular, where the growth was even more important, and several new unicorns were born. So here it is!

There are several reports published about the Portuguese ecosystem; this is not one of them nor is it trying to compete with any of them. Instead, we hope that it is a useful instrument to complement all of them. We are not a data insights platform, so don’t take the data here as an absolute truth — please do go ahead and read the note about the methodology. It’s just the data that we’ve collected and / or “guess-timated” as part of our job as a Portugal-based international VC.

Queries, constructive criticism and suggestions are very welcome. Please direct them to info@armilar.com.

Report prepared by Pedro Almeida, Senior Associate at Armilar Venture Partners



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Armilar VP

Armilar VP


Armilar is Portugal’s leading venture capital funds manager, an independent VC with a 20-year-old high-performance track record and an international footprint.