This Week in European Tech: new unicorns in Vienna, Oslo and Dublin, MariaDB and GP Bullhound go SPAC, interesting acquisitions by Meta, Glovo, Canva and Withings, and more

This Week in European Tech: new unicorns in Vienna, Oslo and Dublin, MariaDB and GP Bullhound go SPAC, interesting acquisitions by Meta, Glovo, Canva and Withings, and more

Happy Friday!

This week, the research team tracked more than 120 tech funding deals worth over €2 billion, and over 35 exits, M&A transactions, and rumours, and related news stories across Europe, including Russia 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, and now also comes in the form of a handy downloadable spreadsheet).

We've also published our latest podcasts - have a listen!

🎧 The next generation of VC, in depth with Finn Murphy, Frontline Ventures

🎧 Setting up the first deep tech fund in Denmark — with Marianne Hyltoft, PreSeed Ventures

Below, please find an overview of the biggest European tech news items for the past couple of days (subscribe to our free newsletter to get this round-up in your inbox every Monday morning). We're changing the format to make our curated roundup even more digestible and useful, feedback always welcome!

What happened this week in European Tech?

Notable funding rounds

Vienna’s TTTech Auto has raised $285 million in new capital via new stakeholder, automotive technology supplier Aptiv at $228 million, while Audi increased its existing stake with a $57 million contribution.

Dublin-based revenue-based financing platform Wayflyer has raised $150 million in an all-equity Series B funding round, and in doing so, joins the unicorn club at a $1.6 billion valuation.

Designer, maker, and operator of the world’s largest synthetic-aperture radar (SAR) constellation, ICEYE, has raised $136 million in a Series D funding round.

GWI, a London-based audience insights company, has raised more than £130 million in funding, valuing the company at over $850 million.  The Series B financing was led by Permira’s growth fund.

Prague-born and San Francisco-based Productboard has raised $125 million in a Series D funding round that was co-led by Tiger Global and Dragoneer Investment Group, and in so much, provides the company with a $1.725 billion valuation.

Parisian insurtech Descartes Underwriting has raised $120 million in a Series B funding round. The company is specifically helping corporate customers mitigate their exposure to climate-related and emerging risks through a number of parametric insurance products.

Finland’s MariaDB has closed a $104 million Series D private placement round and announced its intention to become a publicly-traded entity on the New York Stock Exchange via a merger with Angel Pond Holdings, a method more commonly known as a SPAC.

Parisian occupational health software firm padoa has secured €80 million in a new funding round.

Micromobility startup Dott with headquarters in Paris and Amsterdam has secured an additional $70 million in an extension to its Series B funding round. The mix of equity and debt financing for this round now stands at a respectable $150 million.

French fintech Pennylane has raised $57 million (€50 million) in Series B funding. The round was led by existing investors Sequoia CapitalGlobal Founders Capital, and Partech to accelerate the expansion of its financial OS to European SMBs and accounting firms.

The Netherlands-based feed management startup Channable raised over €55 million in Series B funding. The round was led by Partech with existing investor Peak.

Notable exits

Meta, the parent company of Facebook has acquired Greek-founded audio applications developer Accusonus. According to sources close to the matter, the deal is valued at anywhere between €70 million and €100 million.

Amsterdam-based digital entertainment and media company Azerion has listed on Euronext Amsterdam through a business combination transaction with European FinTech Company 1 (‘EFIC1’), a Special Purpose Acquisition Company (SPAC) that was welcomed to Euronext last year.

Australian graphic designing platform Canva has acquired UK-based data visualisation platform Flourish for an undisclosed sum.

Issy-les-Moulineaux-based health wearables startup Withings has acquired Germany’s personalised workout and nutrition app 8fit.

Glovo picked up Spain-based WinDelivery.

London-based digital payments infrastructure provider Rapyd has acquired NEAT in order to expand its SMB global trade services.

As part of its aspiration to become the number 1 global school and a leading education provider, Vienna-based GoStudent has announced the acquisition of two European edtech companies – Seneca Learning and Tus Media.

Focusing on business invoices, Amsterdam’s ai-powered BNPL platform Biller has been acquired by EQT-Ventures owned Banking Circle.

Dutch online learning and development (L&D) platform Studytube has acquired Springest, a top-tier European training-booking marketplace. The Dutch scale-up has also raised $30 million in a Series B investment round.

Swedish neobank Northmill has now entered B2B payments with the acquisition of Nordic eftpos company Moreflo.

Interesting moves from investors

Global growth stage investment firm NGP Capital has raised a new venture investment fund of $400 million from Nokia.

Earlier this week Luxembourg-based GP Bullhound Acquisition I SE announced their intentions to list a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) on the Amsterdam Euronext, and as of this morning, officially went live. In doing so, the company has raised €200 million with units priced at €10 apiece.

Copenhagen-based Polaris Private Equity has closed its fifth fund at a hard cap of €650 million, above its original target of €550 million.

The European Commission is rolling out a new program to offer investment for European space tech startups to keep those companies on the continent.

Fresh off the announcement of opening a Kigali, Rwanda-based entrepreneurship hub, Stockholm’s impact VC Norrsken has made the first close of a new fund that will be used specifically to support growth-stage startups hailing from Africa. With this announcement, the fund is more than half complete (55%) at $110 million, with $65 million arriving from a number of unicorn founders who are not only sharing their cash but perhaps more importantly, their know-how.

Techstars, a global investment business, is strengthening its commitment to the European startup ecosystem with the appointment of four tech-industry veterans as new managing directors to head Techstars programs in Europe.

Marathon Venture Capital has announced the increase of its second fund to €70 million, from €40 million when it launched a year ago.

London-based seed-stage venture capital investing in the future of business automation SuperSeed has completed the first closing of its new fund at £31 million, targeting a final close of £50 million.

In other news

Belgium’s data watchdog found that the industry standard for managing user preferences in Europe violates several General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) provisions, and it requested advertisers to delete the collected data.

Do you reckon MessageBird really paid $10 million+ for the domain name to outbid the US-based micro-mobility player Bird?

Britain's competition regulator said on Friday it had fined Facebook-owner Meta around $2 million over fresh issues regarding its purchase of Giphy, a sanction that the US firm said it would accept.

The UK is trying to encourage more of its pension funds to plow money into tech companies before they go public, as part of a broader effort to make London a hub for fast-growing innovative firms.

GlobalWafers' planned 4.35-billion-euro takeover of German chip supplier Siltronic collapsed late on Monday as the deal did not receive regulatory approval on time, although the door remained open to another attempt.

Tech giants such as Google and Facebook will be required to pay newspapers and other media outlets for using their stories, under new laws being drawn up by the UK Government.

EU member states have voted to break the political deadlock that has been holding back the European Innovation Council’s (EIC’s) 2022 work programme.

In a virtual-held general meeting at Berlin’s Rocket Internet, the management board and supervisory board moved forward a notion of a capital reduction by the cancellation of up to 27,664,079 shares to be acquired at €35.00 per share, at a total of €968 million+.

Automaker Volvo Cars and battery manufacturer Northvolt will build their joint battery plant in Gothenburg, western Sweden.

Fan engagement platform Iqoniq has gone into liquidation, leaving multiple sporting organisations potentially out of pocket.

Great reads and listens

The Eastern European paradox: How a troubled region generates unicorns and decacorns

The state of connectivity in Europe

Ukraine tech firms stay calm but ready for Russia conflict

The EU’s long-anticipated Chips Act — spelling out extra funding and potential state-aid exemptions aimed at boosting innovation and production in the microchips sector — is hitting some internal bumps.

Edinburgh bids for tech glory — again

Cities’ next headache: Ultrafast grocery delivery

Venture capital’s new race for Europe (a great read in the sense that it completely misses the mark, in style)

A small search engine company in the Czech Republic helped inspire a law that is poised to put major limits on tech giants like Google.

European Commission sets out a plan to regain clout in standard-setting

The MariaDB SPAC deal could prove to be a key test for unicorn exits

‘Britain’s Bill Gates’ is facing extradition to the US: Here’s all you need to know

The United States is pressing the EU to revise rules targeting digital giants to make them focus less on American companies and ensure they will also cover tech firms from outside the US, according to a new paper distributed to Brussels officials and seen by POLITICO.

Towards an EU Charter for Digital Rights: Open letter to the Presidents of the European Commission, the European Council and the European Parliament

Ireland’s tech industry is powering up

Data points

The Year of Tiger Global? The investment firm’s crazy intensive start of the year

Is It Still Cheaper To Invest In European Versus US Startups?

Tech companies raised a record £6.6 billion in capital in London IPOs last year

Here Are 18 Female VCs Who Made Partner in Europe in 2021

Meet The New French Tech Next 40/120 Class

VC investments for Dutch startups hit new record high for the third year in a row: Report

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