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INSIGHTS / MOVERS AND SHAKERS

Beatriz González: Seaya Ventures head and Spanish tech VC trailblazer

Spain · Jun 28, 2018· By Amalia González

From Cabify to Glovo, the only woman to head a Spanish VC firm has backed some of the country’s most successful startups to date

With the lack of powerful women leaders in the tech world, Beatriz González is a rare role model as Spain’s first and only female head of a venture capital firm. Her flagship VC, Seaya Ventures, only started in 2013, but in no time González has become a powerful trailblazer in an industry where just 8% of the partners in the top 100 VC firms are women.  

Spotting a funding gap for capital-hungry startups in Spain, González left a high-flying job at the Telefonica pension fund Fonditel in 2011 to become a business angel in the fast-moving tech world.

In 2013, armed with over 15 years of investment experience, the MBA postgrad from Columbia Business School and daughter of Francisco González, who is group executive chairman of Spain’s No. 2 bank BBVA, teamed up with German digital marketing guru and serial investor Michael Kleindl to set up Seaya Ventures in Madrid. 

Today, Seaya Ventures is ranked by UK-based research agency Preqin as one of the world’s top 10 VC funds, with three full exits and two partial exits achieved in less than five years. Focused on the internet, digital and media sectors, the firm backs startups with investments of €5–10 million each. It is also the springboard for expansion into South America. Sharing a common language and cultural heritage, Spanish banks and conglomerates are often on the lookout for opportunities to break into the bigger Latin American market. 

Local VCs’ vital role

Back in 2012, many banks in Spain and other parts of Europe had to be rescued from imminent bankruptcy. Investors had lost confidence and funding was frozen due to government clampdowns on loans and new capital benchmarks set for banks. 

Edited by Suzanne Soh

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