What happened in the European tech industry this week? Here are the 5 main takeaways

What happened this week in EU tech? Well, a lot of things happened, but we've made a selection of five items that we consider to be the main takeaways for this past week. Check it out!
What happened in the European tech industry this week? Here are the 5 main takeaways

In case you didn't know, we send out a carefully curated weekly newsletter every Friday afternoon, and it's always chock-full of links to interesting news, data, or just plain good reads on just about everything that happened in the European tech scene.

This week is no different, but I thought I'd try something in addition this afternoon. Continuously monitoring dozens of sources from all over Europe, across multiple languages, is challenging enough, but sometimes it's also difficult to determine what the truly major events where.

Allow me to present you with an overview of what I think are the five main take-aways of this week in European tech:

1) Hungary planned an Internet tax, but backtracked after massive protests

Hungary has decided to suspend a controversial plan to tax Internet data transfers, after the proposed policy sparked massive protests earlier this week and was widely panned by the EU.

Reuters reports that Prime Minister Viktor Orban told Hungarian media today that the tax will be withdrawn from the country's draft budget, but also that the tax will be revisited next year.

To be continued, no doubt.

2) What the hell happened in Spain in the past few days?

Local English-language blog Novobrief has done a good job of chronicling the disastrous week in Spanish tech. Check this out:

- recently public eDreams Odigeo is on the verge of collapsing - Barcelona startup Softonic is set to lay off 300 of its 450 employees as its revenue dropped - Venture-backed Barcelona startup Upptalk (previously Yuilop) has entered bankruptcy procedures - Social network-turned-MVNO Tuenti is about to close its Barcelona office - Meanwhile, Spain passed a ‘Google Tax’ law that could lead to $750,000 fines for aggregating online content in search results

Pretty much the only positive news we saw out of Spain this week was Kukupia's financing round - the medtech company raised a total of, well, 200,000 euros.

3) Interesting new data on VC activity and global software unicorns

Dow Jones VentureSource released interesting data on Monday, that shows investment firms continued to pour more money into European startups in the third quarter of 2014, pumping nearly €2.3 billion into more than 300 companies.

Funding for young companies, however, fell 40% in the third quarter of 2014 compared with the same period last year, falling to just over €713 million from nearly €1.2 billion.

More interesting data, nicely visualised to boot, came from global investment firm Atomico, which set out to showcase the global distribution of software companies valued at more than $1 billion.

Check out the whole thing, but FYI, 21 of them came out of Europe.

Also worth noting: in Q3 2014, 170 Israeli high-tech companies attracted $701 million, down 24 percent from $928 million raised in the previous quarter.

4) Prison Bay

Gottfrid Svartholm Warg, the Swedish co-founder of file sharing site and peer-to-peer network The Pirate Bay, has been convicted on hacking charges and illegal downloading in a Denmark court.

He was sentenced today in Denmark to three and a half years in prison after being found guilty of hacking into US technology service firm CSC in February 2012.

5) Lots of M&A activity from all over the place

We round up all the M&A activity and rumours we catch wind of in our newsletter every week, but just to highlight how active (and geographically spread) this week was: Yelp acquired Cityvox (France), UK-based New Call bought messaging app maker Nimbuzz (registered in The Netherlands) in a $250 million deal, Israel’s Matomy Media Group picked up Austrian mobile ad specialist MobFox for $17.6 million, while one Helsinki-based Next Games acquired one of its neighbours.

Bonus link(s): Get this: a prototype of a fully-functional flying car was shown for the first time at Pioneers Festival in Vienna this week. That's right: a freakin' flying car!

That's it for today - let me know what you think about this weekly round-up and make sure you don't forget to subscribe to our weekly newsletter if you haven't already.

Have a great weekend!

Featured image credit: Gunnar Pippel / Shutterstock

Follow the developments in the technology world. What would you like us to deliver to you?
Your subscription registration has been successfully created.