This Week in European Tech: Improbable nabs $100 million, Reddit and Spotify went shopping in Europe, 83North inks new $400 million fund, 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: Improbable nabs $100 million, Reddit and Spotify went shopping in Europe, 83North inks new $400 million fund, and more

This week, our research team tracked tracked more than 100 tech funding deals worth over €1 billion, and over 25 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

Stockholm-based SME lender DBT has secured 3.1 billion Swedish crowns (roughly €285 million) in a debt facility to accelerate its business.

London-based metaverse platform Improbable has raised a new $100 million investment round, led by UK blockchain company Elrond, at a valuation of more than $3 billion, and says it’s aiming for profitability by the end of this year.

Dublin-based no-code automation firm Tines has raised $55 million in a Series B extension at a $300 million valuation.

Mons, Belgium-based I-care Group, a company that specialises in predictive maintenance and reliability solutions, has secured €50 million in a fresh funding round led by a major Belgian industrial investor and CPH Bank.

French startup Gourmey raised a Series A funding round led by Earlybird Venture Capital. In total, the company banked €48 million. The company has been working on cultivated meat, and more specifically lab-grown foie gras.

Railsr (formerly Railsbank) has closed its Series C funding round by raising $46 million. The fundraise comprises $26 million of equity and $20 million of debt.

Tennis champions Venus and Serena Williams have invested in European social and community-based investment app Shares and been appointed as the company's first brand ambassadors.


>> Noteworthy acquisitions, mergers, IPOs and SPAC deals

European cybersecurity company Infinigate Group is merging with Dubai-based cybersecurity and cloud firm Starlink to create a company with estimated annual revenues of about $2.2 billion.

Austrian furniture retailer XXXLutz has offered to acquire German online furniture retail company Home24 for about €250 million.

Reddit announced that it’s bringing on the team from Oterlu, a startup from Gothenburg, Sweden that develops machine learning-powered content moderation tools.

Spotify is acquiring Dublin, Ireland-based content moderation tech company Kinzen, which had been working in partnership with the streamer since 2020. Deal terms were not disclosed.

Italy-born digital real estate platform company Casavo, which recently secured €400 million in equity and debt funding, has acquired French proptech startup Proprioo to enable it to launch in Paris with a “guaranteed sale” offer.

British defense firm Qinetiq is selling its Belgian commercial satellite systems division to Redwire, a US-based consolidator of space infrastructure, for €32 million.

Malaga-based Freepik, a company acquired by the EQT Mid Market Europe fund in May of 2020 has done a bit of shopping of its own in the acquisitions of Denmark-founded Iconfinder and Colombia-based Original Mockups. The financial details of the deals remain undisclosed.


>> Interesting moves from investors

83North, the London and Tel Aviv-based venture capital firm that has backed the likes of Wolt, Celonis, Mirakl, Paddle and SellerX, has closed a fresh $400 million fund.

Amsterdam-based Newion, which holds investments in unicorns like Deliverect and Collibra, has kicked off a new fund to back up to 20 business software startups across the Benelux and DACH regions and the Nordics in the next five years. Its initial closing, which the firm says was oversubscribed, has come in at €130 million, more than 50% bigger than its previous fund.

MuleSoft founder Ross Mason is seeking investment for a $100 million venture capital fund based in London to back software startups at their earliest stages of development.

Sista, the Paris-based organisation behind some pretty significant campaigns to get more funding heading towards female founders, is raising a VC fund. This week, it announced a first close of €30 million.

Swedish nonprofit Norrsken Foundation is opening a new impact hub in Barcelona that will home 800 entrepreneurs.

After having backed Huboo, Organise, MOONHUB, SideQuest, and Spill, London’s Ada Ventures is restocking the shelves and going for round two, announcing their second fund with £36 million at first close.

British Patient Capital has committed €25 million to Finch Capital’s Europe Fund III, which has reached a final close.UK and Netherlands-based venture capital firm Finch Capital’s latest vehicle will target European fintech companies with high growth potential.

New Enterprise Associates, one of the world’s largest venture capital firms, named Philip Chopin as its first Europe-based partner amid a broader expansion into the region.


>> In other (important) news

The European Parliament this week voted overwhelmingly in favor of enforcing USB-C as a common charging port across a wide range of consumer electronic devices, including the iPhone and AirPods, by the end of 2024.

An antitrust win for Amazon and Apple in Italy, where an appeals court has cancelled a multimillion-dollar penalty the pair were hit with last year for alleged collusion following an investigation into the reselling of Apple and (Apple-owned) Beats kit on Amazon’s Italian e-commerce marketplace.

President of the United States, Joe Biden, has signed an executive order for a new EU-US data transfer framework which will introduce safeguards for US intelligence services’ access to European personal data, overcoming the stumbling block that saw the mechanism fail in 2020.

A French court on Thursday substantially lowered a fine against iPhone maker Apple Inc for alleged anti-competitive behaviour to €372 million from €1.1 billion previously.

The European Commission has managed to postpone discussions on the Council of Europe’s treaty on Artificial Intelligence, with a view to obtaining a mandate to negotiate on behalf of the EU. Further delays might still follow as the bloc tries to get its act together.

The new UK government will push further on data reform than previous proposals, preparing to replace the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) with its own “bespoke” data protection scheme.

STMicroelectronics will build a 730 million euro silicon carbide wafer plant in Italy, the first such project approved as part of a European Union drive to bring more chip production closer to home.

Berkshire-based semiconductor company Sondrel has announced it plans to list on the London Stock Exchange’s AIM market, bucking the trend of foreign acquisitions of chip companies.

Zopa, the UK-based digital bank, is in talks to raise another round of funding in what is expected to be the last capital injection into the business before it seeks a public listing. Sky News has learnt that Zopa is in detailed negotiations with new and existing shareholders about raising approximately $100 million to fund its continued expansion.

The European High-Performance Computing Joint Undertaking announced its selection of the six hosting sites for the “first European quantum computers” in the Czech Republic, Germany, Spain, France, Italy and Poland.

Manchester-based neobank Bank North is winding down its operations with immediate effect after failing to raise the funds needed for a full banking licence from the Bank of England.

An industry-led and government-supported consortium has been launched to represent Britain’s quantum computing industry and ensure the UK is a “world leader” in the emerging technology.

The government’s national security review into the acquisition of Newport Wafer Fab by Chinese-owned semiconductor manufacturer Nexperia has been delayed for a third time.


>> Recommended reads and listens

September 2022: Deals, exits, and getting ready for the next investment season

Big Deal: Bending Spoons, $340 million, and laying the groundwork for a burgeoning Italian ecosystem

The sharp fall in the value of the pound and scrapping of banker bonuses may lead to a flurry of foreign takeovers of UK startups from the US and beyond, analysts have said.

How much do executives in European high-growth businesses get paid? Erevena surveyed the market and the resulting report makes for interesting reading.

Barriers to entry: a look at Europe's (lack of) inclusive entrepreneurship programs

Bloomberg profile: Guillaume Pousaz built into a force in electronic payments and is now poised to become a tech rainmaker.

These Are the 100 Hottest Startups in Europe in 2022 (according to Wired)

Science|Business has published an exhaustive but unapproved draft Horizon Europe work programme detailing the calls for climate and mobility projects for the next two years and an early draft outlining bio-economy, food and environment calls.

Here’s why Europe is top for tech workers

The system for translating world class European science to market is gaining strength and US investors are eyeing European technology start-ups. But more work is needed to get EU investors on board, Mark Ferguson, chair of the board of the European Innovation Council, told delegates at the European Commission’s R&I Days meeting last week.

Why VCs should invest in impact hardware: Norrsken VC General Partner Tove Larsson weighs in

More than half of young tech workers in Europe are considering a career change due to feelings of disillusionment with the sector, new data has found.

Waiting for Raspberry Pi: Eben Upton talks supply constraints and demand shock

The Ecosystem: e-residency draws start-ups into Estonia’s orbit

Same country, different planet: Why Ireland’s tech multinationals and start-ups need to get closer

The leader of one of Europe's most prominent microchips companies, NXP, warned the bloc's intended investment into the semiconductor industry isn't enough to reach its 2030 targets (he calculates €500 billion is needed).

The French start-up scene, having expanded significantly over the past 10 years, aims to become a leader in start-up development in Europe.

Can Kaspersky survive the Ukraine war?

DAPSI accelerator graduates to present the latest innovations in data portability

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