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How EFSI benefits SMEs in Europe - Bullnet Capital case study: LeanXcale (Spain), ICT


“It took more than nine months research to produce the first version of the algorithm, but the results were beautiful and elegant - the perfect solution for the biggest and most problematic bottleneck in database management,” says Dr. Ricardo Jimenez-Peris, CEO and founder of LeanXcale.

Managing big data is both a challenge and a great opportunity. If big data can be managed and processed rapidly, the outcomes could be very useful across a broad range of applications, from retail, to advertising or banking and finance to name but a few. Ricardo and his team are confident that they have cracked it, developing a database management solution with the potential to become a global leader.

As a Professor in computer science at the Technical University of Madrid (Universidad Politécnica de Madrid - UPM), Ricardo was conducting research in distributed systems and scalable data management with support from an EU grant, which helped him first develop his idea and produce a research prototype, eventually securing two patents for the technology. At that point, it was becoming increasingly clear that the outcome of his research could competitively go to market and Ricardo took the big step of abandoning his academic career to launch a start-up company.

“We only achieved what we did because of the EU funding. Without the EU grants for projects, we couldn’t have done anything competitive. Beyond the financing, however, the international collaborative nature of the projects helped us develop a network of contacts in European industry and academia, which were crucial in our further success. It was also a way to validate our research and take the first step in commercialisation.” Ricardo explains.

In 2015, the project moved from research to start-up and LeanXcale was founded. A year later, LeanXcale received an equity investment from Bullnet Capital, a Spanish venture-capital firm backed by EIF under the EU’s Investment Plan for Europe, helping the company further expand the team to be able to go to market. “Venture capital is a must. Without it, most deep tech start-ups are simply impossible. Partnering with a specialized VC firm like Bullnet has been key to get where we are now.” Ricardo concludes, underlining the importance of the investment.

In 2017, LeanXcale was selected by Red Herring as one of the top 100 European start-ups of the year and was awarded as the “Best Young SME” by the Innovation Radar of the European Commision that recognizes the most innovative startup of the year. “We’re in the process of finishing our alpha-testing and expect to be closing our first deals by March 2018. Then, by summer, we will be focussing on growing the business, hiring new staff – especially a sales force - and expanding beyond Europe” he adds.

Company: LeanXcale (Spain)

Type of business: ICT

EIF financing: InnovFin Equity, EFSI

Financial intermediary: Bullnet Capital

For further information abiout EIF intermediaries in Spain, please refer to:


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