This Week in European Tech: A newborn Swiss unicorn, Lightyear nabs €81 million, Instagram gets hefty €405 million fine, Cazoo retreats from the EU, and more

Here's a roundup of this week's biggest European Tech funding rounds, exits, 'other news' that you might have missed, and a compendium of must-read articles on all things #EUtech.
This Week in European Tech: A newborn Swiss unicorn, Lightyear nabs €81 million, Instagram gets hefty €405 million fine, Cazoo retreats from the EU, and more

This week, our research team tracked more than 85 tech funding deals worth over €904 million, and over 15 exits, M&A transactions, rumours, and related news stories 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.

Tickets are now on sale.

If you haven't seen them yet, 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 get 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

Tencent is raising its stake in Ubisoft Entertainment in a deal that values France's biggest games developer at almost $10 billion, as deep-pocketed Chinese firms continue their overseas search for growth.

Dutch solar-powered car startup Lightyear has raised €81 million in funding to accelerate access to clean mobility and drive towards international expansion beyond Europe.

UK-based Tesseract, which aims to decentralise the right to power by delivering clean, cheap electricity to consumers and help solve climate change, has raised $78 million in funding.

LiveScore, a London, UK-based media and technology company focused on real-time sports scores, received a £50 million investment from Ringier.

Norway-based eSmart Systems, a company that develops an AI-based solution to inspect and maintain critical energy infrastructure, has raised ~€40 million in a Series B round of funding.

Finland-based Varjo, which builds hardware and integrated software for “professional grade” virtual and augmented reality for industrial and other enterprise applications, has raised $40 million.

UK-based PolyAI, which provides a voice assistant service that answers calls for companies including FedEx and Marriott, closed a $40 million Series B funding round led by Georgian with participation from Twilio Ventures, Khosla Ventures, Point72 Ventures and Amadeus Capital Partners.

Berlin-based brand tracking and consumer insights platform Latana has raised €36 million in funding to help brands figure out how they are being perceived by their target audience.

Hamburg-based Localyze, which offers a B2B SaaS platform aimed at employers seeking immigration and relocation logistics support, is gearing up to launch in North America in the coming months — powered by a fresh raise of $35 million in Series B funding.

Crypto investment product firm, the Swiss parent of 21Shares, has raised $25 million in a funding round led by Marshall Wace that valued the company at $2 billion.


>> Noteworthy acquisitions, mergers, IPOs and SPAC deals

Amazon is acquiring Cloostermans, a company out of Belgium that is a specialist in mechatronics — specifically, technology to move and stack heavy palettes and totes, and robotics used to package products together for customer orders.

France-based Happytal, an expert in the digitalization of hospitals and interactive patient care, has been acquired by La Poste and becomes a subsidiary of the group.

Storebrand has entered into an agreement to acquire the Norwegian fintech company Kron for around $40 million.

London-based software provider ClearCourse has announced it has acquired medtech platform Blue Zinc for an undisclosed sum.

FNZ, the wealth management platform, has agreed to acquire DIAMOS, the German wealthtech provider for the asset and wealth management industry.

Wowza, the live and video on demand (VOD) platform powering more than 6,000 customers globally, has acquired Flowplayer, a Sweden-based video player specialist.

Scopely has acquired the Stumble Guys battle royale game from Finland's Kitka Games as the game industry continues to consolidate.


>> Interesting moves from investors

US buyout giant Thoma Bravo has hired Inflexion’s head of technology to lead its new London office.

Building on the success of its first fund, Capagro has announced the launch of the second fund of €200 million to support the growth of the most promising startups in the European AgTech and FoodTech sectors.

The largest pan-Baltic investment firm Livonia Partners has raised €157 million for its second fund.

London-based Ocean 14 Capital impact fund, focusing exclusively on the multi-trillion-dollar ‘blue economy’, has raised €10 million in funding. The investment comes from the Constitutional Reserve Fund of Monaco to support its mission of funding sustainable solutions to improve ocean health.

An Oxford University-based startup incubator has closed five years after being opened in a ceremony by Apple CEO Tim Cook.The Oxford Foundry, which raised £3.2 million in funding at launch, has now closed its doors to students, following a decision by the university over the “sustainability” of the project.

British Business Investments announced an initial commitment of €30 million to Atempo Growth’s inaugural venture debt fund, which will target VC backed businesses in the UK and Europe.

Northzone asks ‘What future we are building?’, welcomes Anna Skarborg as Head of Sustainability.

Concentric, the London and Copenhagen based pan-European venture capital firm, has completed the initial close of its second fund – Concentric 02. Concentric now manages a total of more than €100 million in assets across its different venture strategies.

Spanish VC firm K Fund has hired Max Bray as Head of Platform; he recently had a similar role at Founders Forum.


>> In other (important) news

The Irish Data Protection Commission (DPC) issued a €405 million fine to the social media platform Instagram for breaching EU data protection rules concerning the privacy of minors.

British satellite startup OneWeb took a $229 million write-down after Russia scuppered its launch plans and took 36 of its spacecraft hostage indefinitely earlier this year.

Online car retailer Cazoo has announced it will abandon its business in Europe and cut 750 jobs in the latest sign of retreat by a business that had hoped to transform its sector.

The digital lender Atom Bank is close to picking bankers to work on a stock market listing after calling off talks about a £700 million merger with a vehicle set up by Donald Trump's former commerce secretary.

Crypto exchanges operating in the UK will face more reporting requirements over sanctions breaches under new rules introduced in the wake of Russia's war in Ukraine.

An American private equity giant is considering a cash offer for GB Group. The London-listed identity specialist, headquartered in Chester, is currently valued at around £1.3 billion.

Paris-based digital collectible football platform Sorare has roped in National Basketball Association (NBA) and the National Basketball Players Association (NBPA) to bring basketball to the startup’s fantasy game for the first time ahead of this year’s 2022-23 NBA season.

Online bank Revolut is facing more questions over its internal controls after it was criticised by a UK regulator for the unacceptably high risk of "material misstatement" in its account auditing.

JPMorgan is considering buying a stake in Yapily, a financial technology startup that’s seeking to raise fresh funds.

A British smartphone maker hopes to steal a march on Apple and Tesla boss Elon Musk with a new satellite-connected handset.

Deliveroo has been challenged in the UK Supreme Court by the Independent Workers’ Union of Great Britain (IWGB) in the latest legal action against the company’s treatment of its couriers.

European trading platform Bitpanda originally started as a cryptocurrency exchange. Over the past few years, it has expanded to other asset types, such as stocks, ETFs and precious metals. And now, users can buy and sell commodities, such as natural gas, oil, aluminum and wheat.


>> Recommended reads and listens

According to the database, the European tech ecosystem raised €5 billion in total in August, thus recording a significant drop compared to the total amount raised in July (€9.5 billion).

Inside the Shutdown of Zenly, as executed by Snap

The chips are down: Putin scrambles for high-tech parts as his arsenal goes up in smoke

A wave of foreign buyers is coming after British technology companies, threatening to rob the UK market of what little exposure it still has to high-growth assets.

How France lobbied against the European Commission’s proposal on platform workers’ rights

Seed 50: The best of Europe's early-stage investors.

Spotify CEO sees EU’s Vestager tackling Apple with ‘real teeth’.

The number of UK-based startup accelerators and incubators has doubled in the past five years to 750, according to a new report.

Molten Ventures and 19 portfolio companies have gathered at New York's iconic Nasdaq building to share ideas and learn about European tech trends.

French startups have raised $545 million in the first 2 months of Q3 2022, a weak showing compared to the $3.9 billion raised in Q3 2021.

Proposed EU rules could limit the type of research that produces cutting-edge AI tools like GPT-3, experts warn in a new study.

Top 15 most active Finnish VC funds in H1 2022

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