In 2020, Barcelona was ranked among the top five startup hubs in Europe. The city not only offers beautiful architecture and beaches; it also boasts lower costs of living, leading universities and a vibrant tech scene.
In fact, the city is fast-becoming the “Silicon Valley of Europe.” The pandemic has affected businesses and innovation hubs worldwide, but during these times of crisis, Barcelona’s startup ecosystem is focused on growing stronger.
Let’s take a look at 5 startups to watch in Barcelona in 2021:
Psious is the first all-in-one VR platform for therapists and mental health professionals. Founded in 2013 by Xavier Palomer and Daniel Roig, this innovative and fast-growing health tech startup provides professionals with VR tools to help patients overcome anxiety disorders, fears, phobias and other mental health issues.
So how does it work? Patients experience real-life scenarios through VR, letting mental health professionals evaluate and identify peoples’ fears and anxieties within the safety of a consultation room.
Palomer explains the main idea behind Psious on its website: “10 years from now I want to be proud of helping millions of people around the world to live happier lives, free from mental health problems,” he says.
Travel Perk aims to revolutionise the way businesses book travel. Founded in 2015 by Avi Meir, Javier Suarez and Ron Levin, the startup works to save time, money and hassle for everyone involved in the booking process for business travel.
So what makes this startup special? Travel Perk service streamlines all aspects of booking and management into one easy-to-use, affordable platform that can be operated within minutes.
We all know the travel industry has been brutally impacted by the coronavirus pandemic. But according to Meir, businesses are starting to think about travel once again. And in July the company announced it had acquired Albratross, a startup that offers an API for travel restrictions, to help business travelers understand complicated travel guidelines caused by COVID-19.
“At TravelPerk, our focus is always on delivering the best possible traveler experience. In this new era, that means giving individuals seamless access to the very latest information on travel restrictions and health guidance; not just general information, but the exact things they need to know for the specific journey they are planning,” said Meir.
Heura Foods has a simple mission: to support the health of the population, the environment and animals with plant-based meat substitutes.
Founded in 2017 by Marc Coloma and Bernat Añaños, Heura’s “meat” products aim to offer easy to cook and delicious 100% plant-based options. The products are made from non-GMO soybeans. They’re also gluten and cholesterol free, and aren’t made with any dyes or preservatives.
Meat consumption has a big effect on our climate. Red and processed meats can also cause inflammation in the body, which can lead to cancer and heart disease. Heura wants to disrupt the cycle, and it seems to be catching on. The startup saw a 450% growth in the past year.
Buena Onda is a startup with one goal: sustainable fashion. Founder Farah Ragheb came up with this idea after 13 years of working in retail and experiencing first-hand the problematic reality of the fashion industry. She is passionate about ‘slow fashion’, which considers the processes and resources needed to make sustainable clothing. She’s also passionate about ethical clothing made on a small scale.
In order to combat the fast fashion labels that produce low-quality items designed for a short lifespan, Buena Onda only produces three premium items of clothing every summer. The clothes are designed by a team of expert designers in Copenhagen and Hong Kong. The fabrics are sourced predominantly from South Korea and Japan. Buena Onda ensures that each garment is made with care and attention to detail, and is designed to last a lifetime.
What’s more, Farah is also committed to supporting social charities. She donates 10% of Buena Onda’s annual profit to youth-empowerment charities or organisations. With the rapid growth of the startup, she hopes that in the following years this percentage will increase to 30%.
Self-proclaimed “water geeks”, the team at TAPP Water knows everything there is to know about water. The startup, founded in 2016 by Magnus Jern and Alexander Schwarz, produces specialised tap water filters for use at home.
It was born out of the desire to reduce the consumption of plastic bottles. Their central objectives are to save the consumer money and save the planet from further plastic waste.
With a clear dedication to sustainability, TAPP’s water filters are made from renewable material. They use a coconut shell casing and biodegradable filter cartridges, which remove 80% of contaminants. The first of its kind, this smart filter connects to your smartphone to provide you with regular updates on when you need to replace the cartridges and how much money you’ve saved.
Their website also offers a range of articles about water-related issues, sustainability and more.