There are 12 thousand startups in Portugal. Can you imagine how many people they employ?

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The 12 thousand startups that exist in Portugal are almost all technology-based, and 85% of them belong to the high-tech knowledge-intensive services. The conclusions are those of Informa D&B, which has developed an analysis of these companies.

In 2021, these startups recorded an aggregate turnover of 1,750 million euros, employed about 25,000 people, and exported 562 million euros.

The services segment accounts for more than two-thirds of the turnover, employees and exports of startups, with consulting and computer programming activities standing out, accounting for about half of the turnover and employees of these companies.

Among the remaining sectors, startups in ‘Machinery and equipment manufacturing’, which belong to the medium-high-tech industries segment, account for about 10% of the total business.

The Informa D&B analysis shows that 28% of startups are exporters and their business with other countries represents one third of their total turnover. In the remaining business fabric, including companies up to 10 years old, as well as the remaining SMEs, little more than 10% sell abroad and exports do not exceed 20% of total turnover.

Between 2018 and 2021, startups grew at a higher rate than the other segments, both in turnover (16.4%) and employment (12.2%). In about 20% of startups, turnover growth occurred in three consecutive years. Only the youngest companies, which have been in business for less than 10 years, have growth rates close to those of startups.

The last decade revealed a growing trend in the number of new technology-based companies. The annual increase of this type of company is 8.6% since 2013, with emphasis on the last two years (between 2020 and 2022) where the increase was more pronounced.

In 2022, the number of new companies in the business sector increased 39% compared to 2013, but the incorporation of technology-based companies increased even more significantly, reaching more than twice as many incorporations (+110%) as in 2013. As a result of this trend, the incorporations of technology-based companies in 2022 already represented almost 7% of the total number of incorporations in the year.

The same analysis shows that startups are mostly microenterprises, a percentage very similar to the general business fabric. Microenterprises also represent the largest share of turnover (59%), employees (76%), and exports (50%) among startups.

The districts of Lisbon and Porto concentrate almost 60% of the total number of startups and their turnover. Setúbal, Braga and Aveiro complete the top 5 districts with the most startups.

The Lisbon district currently has the largest number of active startups (5,174 companies, 43% of the total), and it is also in Lisbon that more startups have been created in the last decade (44%).

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