Happy Friday (and happy upcoming holidays)!
This week, our research team tracked over 60 tech funding deals worth more than €800 million, as well as several M&A transactions across Europe, including Russia, Israel, and Turkey.
We listed every single deal in our weekly newsletter. Here’s an extra overview of the 10 biggest European tech news items for this week:
1) Helsinki, Finland-based mobile game studio Small Giant Games, maker of the hit franchise Empires & Puzzles, has been acquired by American social game developer Zynga in a deal worth up to $700 million. More specifically, Zynga will acquire 80% of Small Giant for $560 million, comprised of approximately $330 million in cash and $230 million of unregistered Zynga common stock.
2) Bristol, UK-based semiconductor company Graphcore has raised $200 million in a new equity funding round from investors including Atomico, Microsoft and BMW i Ventures, valuing the company at $1.5 billion pre-money. Graphcore, which had raised roughly $100 million before this round, designs chips for for artificial intelligence applications and says it recently started generating revenue from its processors.
3) Berlin-based online food delivery company Delivery Hero is selling its German operations to the Dutch competitor Takeaway.com for €930 million. The deal includes Lieferheld, Pizza.de, and foodora, a food delivery business that Delivery Hero acquired from Rocket Internet in 2015. Takeaway.com will pay €508 million in cash and the rest in shares, which would result in Delivery Hero holding an 18 percent stake in it.
4) France said at the start of December it would start taxing big US technology companies if European Union finance ministers failed to agree on a bloc-wide digital tax next year. Ten days later, Economy Minister Bruno Le Maire says due to difficulties in finalising a new EU-wide levy, France would introduce its own tax on the large tech companies from January 1, hoping that the new tax would raise €500 million in 2019.
5) French big-data startup Dataiku has just raised a hefty $101 million in a round of funding announced on Wednesday. The Series C round was led by ICONIQ Capital, with participation from Alven Capital, Battery Ventures, Dawn Capital and FirstMark Capital. It brings its total funding to date just north of $146 million.
6) Blippar, the once-hyped British augmented reality startup, has laid off all of its employees after falling into administration. The startup, which once claimed to be worth $1.5 billion, also said that it would wind down its augmented reality business.
7) Moonbug, a London-headquartered kid-focused media business founded by a pair of entertainment executives, has raised a $145 million Series A round led by The Raine Group, a merchant bank that supports technology, media and telecom efforts. Venture capital firms Felix Capital and Fertitta Capital also participated in the financing.
8) A series of Forbes interviews with current and former Babylon Health staff and outside doctors reveal broad concerns that the company has rushed to deploy software that has not been carefully vetted, then exaggerated its effectiveness.
9) One of the biggest providers of domain names and web hosting in Europe is changing hands. One.com, which has around 1.5 million customers mainly across the north of the region, has been sold by private equity firm Accel-KKR to Cinven, another PE player that focuses on investments in Europe.
10) Google won a European Union court order that prevents local search service Yelp and advocacy group Consumer Watchdog from teaming up with the EU at a legal challenge of a 2017 antitrust fine. The EU’s General Court said Yelp "cannot be directly affected" by the EU’s ruling over Google’s comparison-shopping search service, according to a filing published on its website.
Bonus link: The High-Level Expert Group on Artificial Intelligence, which was appointed by the European Commission in June, has released the first draft of its Ethics Guidelines for the development and use of artificial intelligence (AI).
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