On November 17, 1999, Terra, the first Spanish Internet company, went public – They didn’t know it was impossible
On November 17, 20 years ago, Terra Networks went public on both the Madrid Stock Exchange and the prestigious Nasdaq (USA).
After a year of intense work, the most innovative project of the Spanish-speaking Internet was born. Under the leadership of Juan Perea, a group managed to make an impossible dream come true: to create the largest Internet company for a market of more than 700 million people, including the Portuguese-speaking world.
Better valuation than Iberia, Repsol and even BBVA
Terra Networks was created by Telefónica and its Internet subsidiaries such as TeleLine (Spain), as well as Latin American Internet companies such as Infosel (Mexico), Zaz (Brazil), El Gaucho (Argentina) and Infovia (Guatemala).
On November 17, it’s D-Day. Terra Networks was the first Internet company to go public in Madrid, and when the company was floated at 11.81 euros, it reached 37 euros on the same day, a 3x!
On February 14, 2000, the company reached its highest ever price of 157.60 euros per share. After several weeks of rising, Terra reached a higher valuation than any other Ibex 35 stock at that time, such as Iberia, Repsol or even BBVA.
Despite the stock market fall, Terra was a turning point both for the Spanish and Latin American Internet and the world of entrepreneurship – Terra marked the beginning of a new era.
Terra, the inspiration for thousands of entrepreneurs in Spain and Latin America
The Terra phenomenon transcends today in the Internet world and in the Spanish-speaking entrepreneurial ecosystem. It has been the seed of native media and digital businesses of all kinds, the inspiration of entrepreneurs, and the vocation of millions of professionals in today’s digital world.
Terra was a source of inspiration for thousands of entrepreneurs in Spain and Latin America, as well as for thousands of entrepreneurs in Spain and Latin America. Moreover, the company was also a kind of incubator with projects such as the Rumbo booking site, still alive 19 years later (it was a Joint Venture between Terra and Amadeus).
From the beginning of the 20th century, thousands of entrepreneurs (some of them former Terra executives) started their startups hoping for an “exit” through an IPO or an acquisition by a technological giant. Projects such as Privalia, BuyVip, Ya.com, Eres Más, Anuntis, and eDreams, among many others, started thanks to Terra’s IPO and had a resounding success in their “exits”.
Many companies that were once startups are now listed, such as FacePhi, Másmovil, Edreams, Gigas or Lleida.net. Others will soon be listed, such as Cabify. Last June, the magazine Emprendedores, published the list of the top 50 startups of the future – there is no doubt that many of them aspire to be listed on the stock exchange one day.
Digital entrepreneurship is an unstoppable movement and is here to stay, thanks to Terra and the companies of that time.