This week, we tracked 22 tech funding deals worth more than €153 million, as well as 8 M&A transactions across Europe, Israel, and Turkey.
We listed every single deal in our weekly newsletter (note: the full newsletter is now available to paying subscribers only), and here’s an extra overview of the 10 biggest European tech news items for this week (spoiler alert, it's almost all Spotify):
1) Spotify has filed confidentially with US regulators for an initial public offering and is targeting a direct listing in the first half of 2018 that would allow some longtime investors to cash out.
2) Spotify announced on Twitter that it has hit a new milestone, with the streaming music service reaching a total of 70 million paid subscribers.
3) But before going public, Spotify must now contend with a massive new copyright lawsuit from Wixen Music Publishing, which administers song compositions by Tom Petty, Neil Young, Sonic Youth's Kim Gordon, Stevie Nicks and many others. Wixen Music has filed a lawsuit in California federal court that alleges that Spotify is using tens of thousands of songs without a license and compensation. The plaintiff is seeking a damages award worth at least $1.6 billion plus injunctive relief.
4) Telegram, meanwhile, has shut down a channel that called for violent protests against Iran’s government. More context from Politico here.
5) France's president, Emmanuel Macron, has vowed to introduce a law to ban fake news on the Internet during French election campaigns.
6) Funding Circle, the UK's biggest peer-to-peer lending platform, is preparing to hire advisers to oversee a £1 billion+ London stock exchange flotation.
7) Facebook and Twitter could face sanctions if they continue to stonewall UK parliament over Russian interference in the EU referendum, the chair of the Department of Culture, Media and Sport select committee, which is looking into so-called “fake news”, has said. He has given the companies until 18 January to correct their failure to hand over information he requested about Russian misinformation campaigns on their platforms.
8) AImotive, a Budapest, Hungary-based full-stack autonomous vehicle technology company, closed its $38 million Series C funding round, which was led by B Capital Group and Prime Ventures with participation from Cisco Investments, Samsung Catalyst Fund, Robert Bosch Venture Capital, Inventure, Draper Associates and Day One Capital.
9) Germany has started enforcing a law that demands social media sites move quickly to remove hate speech, fake news and illegal material.
10) Russian blockchain company Waves is to launch its own venture capital fund that will back blockchain startups and projects; The Basics Fund is aiming to raise $30 million by April.