Today in European Tech: CMR nabs £425 million, a supercomputer battle in Barcelona, an 'exit' for impact VC Bethnal Green Ventures

Today in European Tech: CMR nabs £425 million, a supercomputer battle in Barcelona, an 'exit' for impact VC Bethnal Green Ventures


Here's what happened today in European Tech.


- CMR Surgical has raised £425 million in Series D financing, a world record for a private medtech company. Cambridge-headquartered CMR works with surgeons and hospitals to provide an optimal tool to make robotic keyhole surgery universally accessible and affordable.

- Smart, the global retirement savings technology platform provider that powers the Smart Pension Master Trust, one of the ‘big four’ UK auto enrolment master trusts, has concluded a £165 million Series D funding round. Chrysalis Investments led Smart’s Series D funding round with a £75 million equity investment.

- 'Tech for good' VC firm Bethnal Green Ventures has been acquired by impact-focused investment management firm Connected Asset Management.

- Swedish food-tech and FMCG group Humble is buying high-tech FMCG firm Naty for up to SEK 850 million (€84 million).

- (From last week, but ...) Luxembourg-based 468 SPAC has signed a letter of intent to buy Germany’s Boxine, the parent company behind kids audio entertainment system Tonies. If the deal goes through, the merged entity (called Boxine) should be valued at around $1.1 billion, and will be publicly traded on the Frankfurt Stock Exchange.

- Also on the rumour list for an upcoming SPAC: Berlin-based proptech startup McMakler.

- Israeli fintech scale-up Payoneer and a SPAC called FTAC Olympus Acquisition Corp announced that they have completed their business combination.

- 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 Reading/Knowing

- The European Commission has today adopted two adequacy decisions for the UK - one under the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the other for the Law Enforcement Directive. Personal data can now flow freely from the EU to the United Kingdom where it benefits from an essentially equivalent level of protection to that guaranteed under EU law.

- A supercomputer battle in Barcelona points up the potential pitfalls in Europe's push for strategic autonomy. The "MareNostrum 5" in the Catalan capital is supposed to be the latest and most expensive of eight high-performance computers in the EU — a European effort to catch up with the US, China and Japan in a technology race that's crucial for scientific and industrial development. But the powerful machine is now in limbo amid an argument over competing bids by US-Chinese consortium IBM-Lenovo and France's Atos for the contract.

- Cryptocurrency exchange Binance has been banned from operating in the U.K. by the country’s markets regulator, in the latest sign of a growing crackdown on the crypto market around the world.

- The online lender Zopa plans to take on the £30 billion giant Klarna with an expansion into the buy now, pay later sector as it prepares to float in London next year.

- The EU put more than a billion euros in a fund meant to boost startups. But they're quickly running out of cash. Around 2,000 companies have applied to the European Innovation Council Accelerator for funding since the beginning of April, amounting to at least €4.85 billion, more than four times the €1.1 billion the fund had set out to give.

- British AI startup Onfido is reportedly considering a New York IPO rather than listing in London, after 200% year-on-year growth in its North America business.

- SoftBank plans to eliminate about half of its 330 robotics staff positions in France in September, cutting into the historical heart of the business, whose origins lie in SoftBank's 2012 acquisition of French robotics firm Aldebaran.

- The European Commission has approved, under EU State aid rules, a €500 million German scheme to support investments in publicly accessible electric recharging points for electric vehicles in Germany.

- Alex Weber, N26’s chief growth officer, told’s Crossing Borders series that unlike many other industries, it is hugely complex for fintechs to add a new market outside of a harmonised region like the EU, which is the only area in the world where a single banking licence lets you operate in multiple markets.

- A BBVA executive has raised concerns about any potential digital euro, questioning what customer demand it would meet and warning that it would have to allow private players to develop related business models.

- The CEO of Scalable Capital Adam French has stepped down from the helm of the digital wealth manager he co-founded six years ago to start a new career as a venture capitalist. French will be investing in early-stage businesses founded by London School of Economics alumni, staff and students around the world.

- WeWork has joined hands with boutique innovation consultancy firm BW Ventures to launch the first accelerator programme for the music tech industry in Europe, based in Amsterdam.

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