These were the 10 biggest European tech stories this week

These were the 10 European tech stories this week
These were the 10 biggest European tech stories this week

Happy Friday!

We sincerely hope you and yours are keeping healthy and safe. Please take care of yourself and others.

This week, our research team tracked more than 60 tech funding deals worth over €900 million, as well as more than 10 M&A transactions, rumours, and related news stories across Europe, including Russia, Israel, and Turkey.

Meanwhile, here's an overview of the 10 biggest European tech news items for this week (subscribe to our free newsletter to get this roundup in your inbox every Monday morning):

1) Estonian ride-hailing service Bolt said on Tuesday it has raised 100 million euros from London-based investment firm Naya Capital Management in a deal valuing the European rival of Uber at 1.7 billion euros.

2) Buyout group EQT has acquired a majority stake in Freepik, a Spanish online marketplace for graphics and stock photos. The deal values Freepik at €250 million, according to a report by local newspaper El Economista citing market sources.

3) Scandit, a Zurich-based enterprise platform for computer vision and augmented reality (AR), has raised an 80 million Series C round led by G2VP and joined by Atomico, GV, Kreos, NGP Capital, Salesforce Ventures and Swisscom Ventures.

4) French cloud-based telephony platform Aircall has raised $65 million in Series C funding to capitalise on the surge in remote communication needs. The round was led by DTCP, with participation from new investors Swisscom and Adam Street, as well as existing investors Balderton Capital, Draper Esprit, eFounders and NextWorld.

5) British AI drug discovery company Exscientia has raised $60 million in a Series C financing round led by a new investor, Denmark’s Novo Holdings, with existing investors such as Evotec, Bristol Myers Squibb, and GT Healthcare Capital chipping in.

6) Berlin-based Smava, a credit comparison platform that offers cheaper loan options to consumers, has raised €57 million from Kreos Capital, along with existing investors Earlybird, Verdane, Vitruvian Partners and Runa Capital. The round includes a mix of capital and growth debt.

7) Amsterdam-based venture capital firm henQ has launched its fourth fund, henQ 4, with a first close of €70 million. The Dutch VC typically leads pre-seed to Series A rounds in B2B software companies across Europe.

8) Decibel, a London-based customer experience analytics platform, has raised a $40 million Series B round led by Perwyn, a family fund in the UK. The round also includes an initial investment of $17 million from Draper Esprit, Eight Roads Ventures and Ventureforgood. The company has raised $54 million to date.

9) Berlin-based startup Medwing, creator of digital HR management tools for the healthcare sector, has raised a €28 million Series B round led by Cathay Innovation, with participation from existing investors Northzone, Cherry Ventures and Atlantic Labs.

10) A unit of SoftBank Group-backed Indian ride-hailing company Ola will buy Amsterdam-based electric scooter company Etergo as part of its plan to locally build electric vehicles.

Podcast(s): Podcast #170: One SaaS to rule them all; Facebook and startups

>> "This week, Robin Wauters talks to Roni Bonjack, who runs startup acceleration programs in the EMEA region for Facebook. Later in the show, you’ll also hear from Cristina Vila Vives, whose startup Cledara helps companies manage their SaaS subscriptions."

+ Podcast Special: Early-stage funding landscape in Europe

>> "Listen to a few fragments of a panel discussion about the VC landscape in Europe, organised by Nastasya Savina in early May. The participants, including our own Robin Wauters, discussed the changes in the industry related to the COVID-19 crisis and shared actionable advice for fundraising startups."

Bonus link(s):

This week marked the second anniversary of the EU’s landmark general data protection regulation (GDPR), but enforcement of EU data privacy rules is being stifled by a lack of resources across national authorities, according to a new study from advocacy group Access Now.

On that note, privacy activist Max Schrems has called on the European authorities to push the Irish regulator to speed up its handling of cases he has brought against Facebook on the second anniversary of the introduction of rules designed to help protect the data of consumers. Schrems, long a thorn in the side of Facebook, bemoaned the lack of progress since the introduction of the GDPR regime across Europe in 2018.

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