These were the 10 biggest European tech stories this week

These were the 10 biggest European tech stories this week


Happy Friday!

This week, we tracked 65 tech funding deals worth more than €451 million, as well as 8 M&A transactions across Europe (including Turkey, Russia and Israel).

We listed every single deal in our weekly newsletter (note: the full newsletter is now available to paying subscribers only). Here’s an extra overview of the 10 biggest European tech news items for this week:

1) Facebook is enhancing privacy safeguards for users around the world as it complies with new European rules designed to make it easier for consumers to give and withdraw consent for the use of their data. At the same time, the company is keen to reduce its exposure to the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) by making sure 1.5 billion members in Africa, Asia, Australia and Latin America will not fall under the rule when it takes effect on May 25.

2) Facebook also wants to bring facial recognition back to Europe after withdrawing the feature in 2012 because of objections from data privacy groups.

3) Rocket Internet has sold shares in meal kit delivery company HelloFresh for proceeds of a little over €150 million.

4) A new EU proposal will force tech companies to share their users’ personal data with law enforcement authorities from different member states upon request.

5) London-based BenevolentAI has raised $115 million to continue developing its core “AI brain” as well as different arms of the company that are using it specifically to break new ground in drug development and more. The round values the company at $2.1 billion post-money.

6) London-based VC firm Octopus Ventures, which has backed well-known UK tech companies including Swiftkey and Magic Pony, has raised an additional €230 million to invest in European startups.

7) UK satellite startup Open Cosmos has raised $7 million in a Series A round led by BGF Ventures alongside LocalGlobe, Entrepreneur First, Taavet Hinrikus (Transferwise cofounder) and Charlie Songhurst (former head of corporate strategy at Microsoft).

8) Eventbrite has acquired Madrid-based Ticketea, which offers an events discovery and ticketing platform that lets people find and book tickets for a variety of live experiences.

9) Sweden's Qapital, one of a slew of mobile applications trying to make it easier for users to save money (and spend it more wisely), has raised $30 million in fresh financing as it expands beyond savings to offer investment advisory services.

10) BookingBug, a London-based appointments booking platform, has raised $13.4 million in a Series C round from PeakSpan Capital and Downing Ventures.

Bonus link: Next Station: Europe – How the European tech startup ecosystems are evolving (free report)

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