Featured case: Scytl

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The case

Scytl Who – the protagonist

Carles Rovira and Andreu Riera, Scytl co-founders, and Pere Vallès, Scytl CEO.


Scytl grew to be a global leader in providing state-of-the-art electronic voting and electoral modernisation solutions – boasting €70 million in revenues and 600. employees.

Between 2004 and 2015 Scytl carried out between three and six citizen consultations, binding electoral processes and referendums each year across the world.

Scytl developed at a 50%-70% rate annually from 2004-2014 and Vallès expected the company to have a valuation of €1 billion in 2017.


80% of the company was owned by eight leading financial investors and after a fourth financial round in 2014, Vallès and the board felt the time had come for Scytl to take the next step.


Scytl was founded in 2001 as a spin-off of Barcelona’s main European research group on electronic voting security, after Rovira had graduated from ESADE.


Founded in Barcelona, Scytl now has offices in 14 countries spanning five continents.

As of 2014, Scytl’s solution had been successfully used in more than 20 countries including the US, France, Ecuador, India and Australia.

Key quote

“The market for electoral modernisation solutions is a big one. Governments spend approximately $25 billion per year to run their elections.” – Pere Vallès.

What next?

Vallès and the board considered three options in order to take Scytl forward.

Vallès preferred the initial public offering (IPO) route, which would see Scytl become the first Spanish technology company to reach the Nasdaq. However, Scytl would be under an intense amount of scrutiny.

The other options were to sell to a big multinational software company with a strong public sector practice, or sell to a private equity fund.

What was the best choice for Scytl, the management team and current staff and current investors?

Interested in finding out more?

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Teaching note
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The author

Luisa Alemany, Eugènia Beito and Lourdes Urriolagoitia

Luisa, Eugènia and Lourdes discuss how the case has caught students’ imaginations.

A special case

Luisa said: “Carles graduated from ESADE Business School in 2001 before he went on to establish Scytl, so it is always special to remember that the original business plan was part of the ‘Entrepreneurship’ course, and it’s nice to show the impact of teaching.”

A need for electronic voting

Eugenia commented: “Government polls have always been very important, but these days intrigue is in the air, thanks to some TV series but even more due to real life. The case does not touch much on this issue, but it is proof for a need of the service that Scytl provides.”

Students get involved

Luisa added: “The case includes a lot of role-play, which involves the students becoming the investors in Scytl and having to decide which exit route to take. This makes them aware of the many different issues involved in the exit of a venture capital backed company, and the interactive nature of the learning is something they enjoy.”

Surprise element

Lourdes said: “Scytl have been phenomenally successful from humble beginnings, and students continue to be surprised by this. Even more so that the worldwide leader in e-voting is an spin-off of the university and based in Barcelona.”

ipoCase for versatility

Luisa concluded: “In addition to corporate finance, the case can be applied to the sale of a company in general, so it could also be easily used in corporate finance or even in mergers and acquisitions. Additionally, as the case is centred in a potential IPO, it could be used in sessions where this is the key topic.”

About the author

Luisa Alemany is Director of the ESADE Entrepreneurship Institute (EEI), Spain.
tw @LuAlemany

Eugènia Beito is Director General of the EEI.
e eugenia.beito@esade.edu

Lourdes Urriolagoitia is a researcher at the EEI.
e lourdeselvira.urriolagoitia@eased.edu


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