If one thing has become clear on a business and economic scale in 2018, it is that foreign companies have fallen in love with Catalonia and Barcelona. Many multinationals have landed in the Catalan market or have chosen the capital as their headquarters to serve southern Europe.


Tha catalan territory attracts many companies, specially related to technology sector.

In 2017, Catalonia attracted 70 foreign investment projects that represented an investment of 241 million euros. Figures that are expected to be exceeded in 2018. We have been very positive for years, but what we have in our portfolio suggests that the next years will also be very good.


The latest data published by the Ministry of Economy and Business for the third quarter of 2018 indicate that Catalonia has received 845 million euros of foreign investment, 56% more than a year ago. However, this indicator is very volatile so long periods of time should be compared. If we compare the period 2013-2017 with the period 2008-2012, foreign investment in Catalonia has grown a 34%.


Facebook, installed its fake news control center in the Agbar Tower in May. The company has leased eight floors of the 22 @ building in which 500 people work to control the false news of the social network. They share this space with Oracle, a multinational technology that has opened a new development center this summer.

Airbnb also opened a traveler and host support center in October, in which 800 employees will attend inquiries from their clients in nine different languages. It is one of the largest service centers in the seven that the platform has throughout Europe. In addition, Microsoft announced the summer that it will locate in Barcelona one of its centers of Quantum Labs.

The German bank N26 also opened its Tech Hub in Barcelona in October, where more than twenty product specialists and software developers work on new projects. In the same way that MediaMarkt, which in February announced the establishment of a technology center in its offices in El Prat de Llobregat.

In addition, the Danish company Hempel has just launched a new center of excellence and R & D just one month ago.

And more innovation in Barcelona, with the help of Allianz, UPS, Everis and Yuki. The German insurer announced at the beginning of the summer the opening of a technology center, while UPS did so with its operations center in southern Europe. A few months earlier, specifically in February, there was news that the consultant Everis had opened her first LivingLab in Barcelona to promote innovation within the company itself.



Barcelona strategic point

Now, not only multinationals have fallen in love with Barcelona to be a reference technology hub,  but also to be a strategic point in installing large offices outside their home territory. This 2018, the first one that has done it has been Chartboost, based in San Francisco but that in May opened its European engineering office in Barcelona. A few days later joined Moodle idea, Lidl and Elis. The Australian company opened its base of operations and first office outside the country in the Catalan city, while Lidl announced the installation of its European center of excellence in Barcelona, ​​which will create 250 jobs for technical profiles. In addition, the French company opened in June the largest industrial laundry facility in Spain in the Zona Franca of Barcelona. The last ones to join the car the penultimate month of the year have been Papernest, which has opened its first headquarters outside of France, as well as the American video game company Tilting Point, which opens the first studio outside its home country. Finally, the Japanese Muji has taken advantage of the Christmas campaign to open the largest store in Europe.


Open or expand market

Finally, in 2018, it has also been highlighted by foreign companies that have decided to open a market in Catalonia or further promote their business in the territory. These are Five Guys, Scoot, Organtheory Fitness, Plat Group, Frank Recruitment,, Carl's Jr., Miele and Wellness Kliniek. Burgers have entered the Catalan market with the arrival of Five Guys and Carl's Jr. Obama's favorite hamburger landed in April and already has three establishments in Barcelona and plans to open another one in the first half of 2019. Also, Carl's Jr. has opened a shop in La Maquinista and intends to reach the 100 establishments in Spain within a period of five years.On the other hand, the startup of motosharing Scoot parked its motorcycles through the streets of Barcelona in June, becoming the first city after San Francisco that hosts the electric vehicle rental network of the American company.The Dutch Plat Group, the English Frank Recruitment, Czech - which opens the second space after opening its headquarters in May 2016 - and the Miele laundries, which in October will open to premiere the first franchise in Barcelona. Additionally, Wellness Kliniek will build an aesthetic surgery center in Rubí to start its activity in the period 2019-2020 and the fitness center Organtheory Fitness plans to open eight fitness studios in Barcelona in the next two and a half years.