Today in European Tech: $70 million in funding for HungryPanda, Italy fines Apple €10 million over iPhone water resistance claims, and more

Today in European Tech: $70 million in funding for HungryPanda, Italy fines Apple €10 million over iPhone water resistance claims, and more


Here is what happened today in European tech:


- S&P Global has agreed a deal to buy UK-based IHS Markit for $44 billion, creating a powerhouse in the provision of market data information services.

- London-based HungryPanda, which provides a specialist online ordering platform for Chinese customers living abroad in cities around the globe, has raised $70 million in funding. The round was disclosed this morning by Swedish investment powerhouse Kinnevik, which has put up $35 million or half the total amount for the round, joining previous investors 83North and Felix Capital – who between them have backed the likes of Wolt, Deliveroo and Just Eat – and other investors like Piton Capital, VNV Global and Burda Principal Investment.

- London HQ’d Firstminute Capital has announced its second early-stage venture fund of $111 million. Founded and corner-stoned in 2016 by Brent Hoberman (best known as co-founder of and, together with Spencer Crawley (formerly of Goldman Sachs), this new fund comes after the first fund of $100 million, giving Firstminute $211 million in assets under management, investing across Europe and the US at the seed stage.

- Ekimetrics, a French company working in data science for enterprise, is taking on €24 million in funding from two minority shareholders: Tikehau Capital and Bpifrance.

- Germany-based Thirstii, one of those European buyers of Amazon Businesses, has reportedly been acquired by its much bigger US rival Thrasio.

- London-based cybersecurity tech company Glasswall has raised £18 million in additional equity capital to fuel its expansion. The UK company essentially protects organisations from file-based threats.

- Endomag, a Cambridge-based startup developing technology to help simplify breast cancer treatments, has raised £15 million in new cash led by Draper Esprit. The Series D round, which brings the company’s total funding to over £32 million, will be used to scale its product offering, market reach and team. Endomag’s technologies use non-invasive magnetic sensing to locate and stage breast cancer and have helped over 130,000 women across the world receive more precise and less invasive cancer treatment.

- UK payments startup Primer has raised £14 million in a Series A funding round led by Accel. Existing investors Balderton, SpeedInvest and Seedcamp also participated, and were joined in the round by RTP Global.

- Berlin-based crypto services startup Bitwala has announced another €15 million in funding after closing a €13 million Series A last year. The recent round was led by Earlybird, with participation from Coparion, Global Brain and other investors. Founded in 2015 and dubbed a “bank for the blockchain economy”, the German company now reports having 150,000 customers across 32 countries and holding around €60 million in digital currencies for its clients.

- Mintos, the alternative investment platform for investing in loans in Europe, has wrapped its first crowdfunding campaign on Crowdcube. During the 10-day stretch, the fintech attracted over 7000 investors and raised a total of €7.2 million, the largest amount ever raised in continental Europe.

- Dublin’s Kinzen brings its ‘algorithms for editors’ to the disinformation battlefield armed with $2.2 million in seed funding. The company was founded by Mark Little, who earlier started news and social media monitoring agency Storyful, which would eventually sell to News Corp in 2013 for €18 million.

- Veteran entrepreneur Amit Avner and three partners have founded a new Israeli investment fund that will focus on startups, Calcalist reported. The fund, named Operator Partners, is estimated to be currently managing $40 million and is expected to grow to between $50-70 million over the next year.

- UK-based Pets at Home Group, which owns the Pets at Home retail store brand and local veterinary service Vets4Pets, has recently announced that it has acquired Surrey-based telehealth provider The Vet Connection. The acquisition took plan in cash consideration of £15 million.

- We also tracked a large number of (other) European tech funding rounds and M&A transactions, all of which we are putting in a handy list for you on Friday afternoon in our weekly roundup newsletter (note: the full list is for paying customers only). Also check out our European tech news section for ongoing coverage.

Worth Knowing

- Italy’s antitrust authority has fined Apple 10 million euros for “aggressive and misleading” commercial practices regarding its iPhones.

- Amazon and Apple have not signed up to a new French initiative to get global tech companies to publicly commit to principles including paying their fair share of taxes, government officials said today.

- Telecoms providers must stop installing Huawei equipment in the UK’s 5G networks from next September, the government has said.

- European Union lawmakers are considering whether current rules aimed at limiting the practice of geoblocking across the bloc should be extended to cover access to streaming audio-visual content.

- An AI network developed by UK-based Google offshoot DeepMind has made a gargantuan leap in solving one of biology’s grandest challenges — determining a protein’s 3D shape from its amino-acid sequence.

- Digital banking platform Solarisbank will enter a string of new European markets next year as it became the first German bank to shift its entire operation into the cloud.

- A French administration in charge of consumer rights and fraud has investigated on Wish, the mobile e-commerce platform that recently filed to go public. While the company generated $1.9 billion in revenue in 2019, the French administration believes Wish could be selling products, such as sneakers and perfumes, with images incorrectly showing the logos of famous brands.

- Irish early-stage startups are suffering from a funding crisis.

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