This Week in European Tech: Darktrace's IPO, fresh Euro SPACs, $500 million+ rounds for OneWeb, MessageBird and Exscientia

This Week in European Tech: Darktrace's IPO, fresh Euro SPACs, $500 million+ rounds for OneWeb, MessageBird and Exscientia

Happy Friday!

This week, our research team tracked more than 75 tech funding deals worth more than €1.9 billion, and about 20 exits, M&A transactions, and rumours, and related news stories across Europe, including Russia, Israel, and Turkey.

As always, we are putting all of them together for you in a handy list sent in our round-up newsletter (note: the full list is for paying customers only).

Recently, we also started publishing 'Today in European Tech', a daily round-up of deals and news stories that caught our attention. Keeping you updated on all things EU tech is our priority!

Today, instead of a daily round-up we give you an overview of the 10 biggest European tech news items for the past week (subscribe to our free newsletter to get this round-up in your inbox every Monday morning).

1) Sending a MessageBird: major funding + a major acquisition

Through an extension of a previous round, Dutch omnichannel communications platform MessageBird has now raised a whopping $1 billion. Continuing their shopping spree, MessageBird has entered a definitive agreement to purchase Colombia, Maryland-based predictive email platform SparkPost for $600 million.

2) EU formally charges Apple with antitrust abuse

The EU has charged Apple with breaking antitrust law by charging high commission fees in its App Store and forbidding app developers from telling their customers about other ways to subscribe to their services. The charges relate to a complaint filed two years ago by the music streaming service Spotify.

3) Darktrace's debut on the stock exchange

British cybersecurity startup Darktrace saw its shares surge as much as 43% in its highly-anticipated London debut on Friday. The company priced its shares at 250p Friday morning, giving it a valuation of £1.7 billion.

4) OneWeb, many dollars

London-based bring-the-internet-to-everyone provider OneWeb has secured $550 million in financing from Parisian Eutelset, bringing the rounds’ total funding to $1.9 billion. Eutelsat is one of the world’s leading satellite operators, and with this funding of OneWeb, the company is obtaining an approximate 24% equity stake in the latter.

5) Exscientia raises $525 million to develop new drugs via AI

Oxford-based Exscientia, a pharmaceutical company that uses artificial intelligence to discover new drugs, has raised a new round of funding worth as much as $525 million to expand its pipeline of drugs and technological capabilities. The investment was led by SoftBank Group Corp.’s Vision Fund 2, with participation from previous investors Novo Holdings and BlackRock.

6) Digital healthcare platform Kry secures €262 million

Stockholm-based digital healthcare provider Kry, a.k.a. Livi in the UK and France, has raised €262 million in a Series D round on the back of recent growth.

7) TravelPerk bags $160 million in debt, equity funding

Signaling investors’ confidence in the recovery of business travel, Barcelona-based TravelPerk has raised $160 million in equity and debt funding in a Series D round. Led by Greyhound Capital, the round also saw participation from existing investors.

8) Horizon Europe's near €100 billion budget approved by Parliament

The European Parliament gave its final stamp of approval to the Horizon Europe legislation today, but MEPs are already casting for ways to increase the €95.5 billion budget, with many still bitter over the failure to secure €120 billion for the seven year research and innovation programme.

9) A fresh fintech-focused SPAC hits the (European) markets

Pegasus Acquisition Company Europe, a SPAC focused on the European financial services industry set up by LVMH founder Bernard Arnault and others, listed today on Euronext Amsterdam. At opening, the share price was set at €10/share; the SPAC raised approximately €500 million in the IPO.

10) French edtech firm OpenClassrooms raises $80 million from Zuckerberg and co

Paris-based edtech company OpenClassrooms has raised $80 million in their third round and saw participation from the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, a project Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg established with his wife Priscilla Chan in 2015.


- Podcast #217: Vilve Vene of Modularbank, Apple in double trouble, OneWeb gets closer to its goal, and more

- Special Podcast: What can European startups expect from this year’s Computex?

Bonus link(s):

- High-risk Artificial Intelligence applications in use across the EU are set to come under the scope of new rules as part of the European Commission's bid to bolster trust in next-generation technologies, while also safeguarding opportunities for innovation.

- PitchBook has released a new summary of Q1 2021 European VC numbers, and the results are eye-opening and jaw-dropping. In the first quarter of 2021 alone, VC deal value is higher than years 2011, 2012, and 2013, respectively, clocking in at €17.6 billion.

- The EU is considering creating a semiconductor alliance including STMicroelectronics, NXP, Infineon and ASML to cut dependence on foreign chipmakers amid a global supply chain crunch.

- A group of Germany’s largest media, tech and advertising companies have accused Apple of antitrust abuse as it introduces changes to the privacy settings of iPhones that they say will harm the ads market.

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