Happy Friday to you and yours, and enjoy the countdown to the new year!
This week, our research team tracked over 40 tech funding deals worth more than €300 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 admittedly yet understandably slow week:
1) Electronics maker NEC will acquire KMD Holding, Denmark's largest information technology business, as the Japanese company aims to tap growing public-sector demand for digital services. NEC will buy the company from private equity firm Advent International for about $1.22 billion, the Japanese company said Thursday.
2) Ant Financial, a China-based tech company and the operator of Alipay, is reportedly in talks to acquire UK payments firm, WorldFirst, for $700 million. According to Sky News, Ant Financial has been in talks to purchase WorldFirst for the past several months.
3) Israel has approved a NIS 700 million (€162 million) grant for Intel in return for a planned $5 billion expansion of its production operations in part of the country.
4) Visa is paying $250 million to buy Earthport, a British firm that facilitates international transactions for banks and businesses.
5) German carmaker Volkswagen will write off its investment of over $300 million in shared transportation and ride ordering service company Gett. German weekly "Der Spiegel," which reported the write-off, said that the decision resulted from Gett's failure to establish a substantial presence in the market against its competitors, such as Uber, Lyft, Chinese company DiDi, and others.
6) Antwerp, Belgium-based drone traffic management startup Unifly has raised €14.6 million in funding from QBIC, PMV, Terra Drone, and the Deutsche Flugsicherung (DFS), the German national air navigation service provider.
7) Russian tech-giant Yandex has announced that Israel's Ministry of Transport has granted it permission to operate its self-driving car on the country's roads. The company said that the autonomous car will now begin operating with a safety engineer in the driver’s seat.
8) British edtech startup Up Learn has raised £2.5 million in a funding round led by Forward Partners. The startup claims to be using AI and cognitive science to increase the efficiency with which people study.
9) Israeli-founded Temi Global announced the closing of a $21 million funding round, led by existing investor John Wu, Generali Investments S.p.A. of Italy and the Hong Kong-based IoT and premium wellness giant Ogawa. This round brings the total amount raised to date to $82 million.
10) French tech company Sigfox has developed a bite-size tracker that can be inserted into the horns of rhinos to help conservationists monitor and protect the endangered species.
Bonus link: Punching Above Your Wheat: How Israel Became a Hub for Agtech Startups (AgFunder)