Agência para o Investimento e Comércio Externo de Portugal


Here is why Portugal is a rising startup hub ranking 26th startup country globally in 2023, with the Top 5 startup cities and the reasons for the success of Portugal’s startup ecosystem with 3 Unicorns.

This is why Portugal is a rising startup hub ranking 26th globally:

Portugal is one of only 2 countries globally that managed to climb 2 spots in 2023, according to the Global Startup Ecosystem Index 2023 just published by StartupBlink. Portugal now ranks 26th Top startup country globally, overtaking Brazil.

Portugal duplicated Japan’s impressive achievement by rising by 2 spots in the global ranking. Since 2020, Portugal has been a trending destination for startups globally, rising from the 31st position to rank 26th in 2023. Japan is the only other country globally that registered the highest momentum change in the Top startup countries globally, jumping 2 spots to rank 18th.

Portugal ranks 12th startup hub in the ranking of Top startup countries in the EU, and ranks 16th in the ranking of Top startup countries in Europe in 2023, according to data just released by StartupBlink. Portugal also ranks 3rd in the ranking of Top startup countries in Southern Europe in 2023.

The Top startup country globally is the US, with a massive lead compared to the UK that ranks 2nd Top startup country globally, and Israel that ranks 3rd Top startup country globally in 2023.

What are the Top 5 startup cities in Portugal in 2023 and why?

1 – Lisbon

Lisbon is the Top startup ecosystem in Portugal and ranks 62nd Top city for startups globally in 2023. Lisbon has also registered the highest growth rate among the Top European startup cities, in a ranking that is headed by London that is in a category of its own, while other European cities are part of a lower tier of startup hubs that is headed by Paris.

Lisbon is a rising star among the Top startup cities globally, registering the most prominent leap in 2023. Lisbon’s ranking rose with an impressive leap to climb 21 spots in the 2023 ranking of Top 100 startup cities globally, to rank 62nd Top city for startups in the Global Startup Ecosystem Index 2023.

The startup cities that are experiencing extraordinary growth include Istanbul, with a ranking that rose by 13 spots to reach 53rd globally; and Lisbon, with a ranking that rose by 21 spots to rank 62nd globally in 2023.

Among the Top startup cities in Europe in 2023, Lisbon rose by 9 spots to rank 16th, displacing Cambridge in the UK. Among the Top startup cities in the EU in 2023, Lisbon rose by 6 spots to rank 12th, surpassing Milan, Vienna, and Brussels.

Lisbon’s startup ecosystem is thriving due to its Marketing & Sales capacity and Lisbon’s Marketing and Sales industry now ranks 41st globally.

2 – Porto

Porto ranks 2nd startup city in Portugal, with a total score that is 6 times greater than Braga that ranks the 3rd startup city in Portugal. Porto also ranks 147th Top startup city globally in 2023.

Porto’s competitive advantage is the fact that the city ranks among the Top 100 cities for Fintech startups globally.

3 – Braga

Braga in northern Portugal ranks 3rd startup city in Portugal. Braga also ranks 424th Top startup city globally in 2023.

4 – Coimbra

Coimbra in Central Portugal ranks 4th startup city in Portugal. Coimbra also ranks 557th Top startup city globally in 2023.

5 – Leiria

Leiria in Central Portugal soared by 326 spots to rank 639th startup city globally. Leiria also jumped 2 spots among the Top startup cities in Portugal, thus replacing Aveiro in the ranking.

What are the Top 3 Unicorns in Portugal in 2023?

No 1 – Outsystems

OutSystems, that is based in Lisbon, is an app development platform and the Top Portuguese Unicorn.

No 2 – TalkDesk

TalkDesk, that is based in Lisbon, is a contact center and AI software provider and the 2nd Portuguese Unicorn.

No 3 – Feedzai

Feedzai, that is based in Porto, is the market leader in fighting fraud with AI and the 3rd Portuguese Unicorn.

What are the reasons for the success of Portugal’s startup ecosystem in 2023?

Portugal’s startup ecosystem is supported by the global tech event, Web Summit, that is held in Lisbon each year. The Web Summit, that brings together leading speakers, major tech companies, and top media outlets, has provided a massive branding benefit for Portugal.

The Portuguese startup ecosystem was given a backbone by strong Government policies that include enacting a legal definition for startups and scaleups as well as a new regime for stock options. This milestone underscores the increasing prominence of Portugal’s startup ecosystem within the political and economic landscape.

Portugal’s startup ecosystem was also given a boost by Government policies that include the non-habitual tax regime, that is ending in 2024, and favorable tax policies for cryptocurrencies that makes the country even more attractive to entrepreneurs who are interested in decentralized finance. The Portuguese Government is promoting and supporting the Startup ecosystem through dynamic organizations including Startup Portugal and Startup Lisboa.

Portugal's Government offers a range of benefits to non-European residents for launching startups, including the StartUP Visa, the Tech Visa, as well as the Digital Nomad Visa.

Portugal’s favorable climate for entrepreneurship, foreign investment, and digital nomads builds on the country’s geographic advantages. With easy access to the European market and the Schengen Zone, Portugal has the potential to become one of the strongest startup economies in Europe. The country’s economic ties to Brazil, with whom Portugal shares a common language, also provide Portuguese startups access to the huge Brazilian market.

Portugal is the breeding ground for high-tech companies that enable the exchange of knowledge, including FarFetch that is a luxury shopping platform that was originally grown in Portugal. Portuguese Unicorns OutSystems, TalkDesk, and Feedzai also contribute to the dynamism of the Portuguese startup ecosystem.

Tech companies are attracted by Portugal’s relatively low cost of living, the good weather and the country’s solid infrastructure, while the country’s internationalization is supported by a pool of high-quality engineering talent that is fluent in English.

The research on Portugal’s startup ecosystem was provided by StartupBlink, that is a global startup map and research center that provides insights about trends affecting the global startup ecosystem.


In portugalbusinessesnews