This Week in European Tech: Entrepreneur First raises $158 million, GoCardless buys Nordigen, EU agrees on landmark crypto regulation, and more

Here's a roundup of this week's biggest European Tech funding rounds, exits, 'other news' that you need to be aware of, topped off with an overview of must-read articles on all things #EUtech.
This Week in European Tech: Entrepreneur First raises $158 million, GoCardless buys Nordigen, EU agrees on landmark crypto regulation, and more

 This week, our research team tracked approximately 130 #EUtech funding deals totalling more than €2.2 billion, as well as a dozen mergers and acquisitions across Europe.

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

We've also got some news for you: we're already gearing up for the second edition of the Summit! Save the date: 24 May in Brussels. We have a super early bird offer running that gets you 2 tickets for the price of 1.

Also: we've made all the videos from the Summit last May available as a playlist on our YouTube channel - enjoy!

WIth that said, let's got down to business with 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).

What happened this week in European Tech?


>> Notable and big funding rounds

Berlin-based fulfilment by Amazon aggregator Razor Group has confirmed to that it has secured an additional $400 million in funding, with BlackRock and Victory Park Capital upping their existing debt facility, one now totaling $800 million.

Electra, a French company specialising in fast charging for electric vehicles, closed a €160 million fundraising round led by Eurazeo.

UK-based financial app Cleo has raised $80 million in funding to double-down on the U.S. market and help Gen Z audiences improve their financial health and wellbeing.

Cambridge-based speech recognition technology startup Speechmatics has raised $62 million in Series B funding to support growth and the development of its speech recognition engine.

With a current valuation of over $2 billion, London’s Zilch has announced that they’ve secured an additional $50 million in a Series C extension round.

Cambridge-based tooling provider for Salesforce software, Gearset has raised $55 million in funding from Boston-based growth equity firm Silversmith Capital Partners.

With the growing institutional participation in digital assets, access to reliable, transparent, and regulatory-complaint market information has never been of greater importance.Betting big on the trend, Paris-based digital assets data provider Kaiko has raised $53 million in Series B funding.

Norwegian content management platform Sanity has received strategic investment and inked a deal with e-commerce startup Shopify.


>> Noteworthy acquisitions, mergers, IPOs and SPAC deals

London-based fintech unicorn GoCardless has acquired Nordigen, the makers of the API that provides PSD2 data connections to all major European banks.

Carta acquired London-based Vauban, the de facto venture platform in the UK, having created over 400 investment vehicles and managed over $1 billion in invested capital on the platform.

Siemens is buying US tech company Brightly Software from private equity owner Clearlake Capital for $1.58 billion, the German engineering group said on Monday.

Nottingham RegTech Ideagen has been sold for £1.1 billion. The acquisitive compliance software giant has been taken over by London-based private equity firm Hg Pooled Management following 12 consecutive years of growth.

Betting big on the growing demand for enhanced cross-border experience, financial services platform iBanFirst has acquired London-based FX provider Cornhill.

On the back of €150 million in funding in March, Parisian ESG data intelligence platform for the real estate sector Deepki has acquired UK-based rival Fabriq.

Paris-based intensive tech training platform Le Wagon has acquired online and immersive school Emil.

GoDaddy is acquiring Dutch domain name sales platform


>> Interesting moves from investors

Four recognisable industry figures Ian Hogarth, Khaled Heloui, Sten Tamkivi, and Taavet Hinrikus have established Plural, a fund whose LPs are comprised exclusively of former founders and operators. As a combined force, launching with an initial €250 million, Plural is aimed at supporting early-stage startups with ticket sizes ranging between €1 and €10 million.

London-based scale-up investor in early-stage founder talent Entrepreneur First has raised $158 million in a Series C funding round.The Alice Bentinck and Matt Clifford-founded organisation is quick to point out that this is a funding round and not a fund. $100 million is earmarked for direct investments over the next three years, with the remaining funding to be used to provide a capacity to experiment, innovate and launch new products.

Berlin’s development and growth-stage funding specialist Earlybird Venture Capital has appointed three new Partners to its Digital West team. Two promotions come from within, Dr. Andre Retterath and Paul Klemm, who are joined by 20+ year financial sector veteran Vincenzo Narciso.

Lisbon-based VC firm Faber has announced its blue economy/climate action fund has already exceeded its initial €30 million target at first close.


>> In other (important) news

The EU has moved to rein in the “wild west” of crypto assets by agreeing a groundbreaking set of rules for the sector. Representatives from the European parliament and EU states thrashed out an agreement on Thursday that contains measures to guard against market abuse and manipulation, as well as requiring that crypto firms provide details of the environmental impact of their assets.

The UK’s financial regulator is investigating the cofounder of payments company Wise after he failed to pay his taxes. Kristo Käärmann was included on HM Revenue and Customs’ public list of deliberate tax defaulters in September 2021, after failing to comply with his tax obligations.

EU states and lawmakers on Thursday agreed to rules to put a brake on state-backed foreign firms acquiring EU companies with annual turnover of 500 million euros, underlining a more protectionist approach against a possible Chinese buying spree.

Coinbase is seeking licenses with various countries in Europe as part of an aggressive expansion in the region.

Google faces an antitrust complaint on Monday by Danish online job-search rival Jobindex, which told European Union regulators the Alphabet-owned business had allegedly unfairly favoured its own job-search service.


>> Recommended reads and listens

June 2022 in European Tech: Deals, unicorns, and Ocado's big delivery

The new Palo Alto? Europe’s VC scene is heating up as unicorns surge in the region

20VC: Accel’s Sonali De Rycker on Building a Generational Defining Venture Firm

25 French unicorns, 25 French unicorns, do I hear 100?

"I saw first-hand how US tech giants seduced the EU – and undermined democracy"

Fresh out of the oven, food tech VC Zintinus dropped a must-read report on the future of the food sector

The surprising revival of eastern Germany

Is the UK's fintech unicorn party over or just taking a break?

Europe has a new plan for innovation ecosystems; most will struggle

The European Union is working to revamp its flailing 5G rollout and has Big Tech’s largest platforms in its crosshairs to help cover the cost.

The US Capital Influx: How Did European Tech Get So Hot?

“Fintech is dead”: An interview with Railsr’s CEO Nigel Verdon

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