This Week in European Tech: €250 million for Verkor, RIP, Volkswagen sells WeShare, Octopus Energy absorbs Bulb, 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: €250 million for Verkor, RIP, Volkswagen sells WeShare, Octopus Energy absorbs Bulb, and more

This week, our research team tracked more than 80 tech funding deals worth over €2.8 billion, and over 20 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

Electric vehicle maker Polestar has obtained $1.6 billion in financing support from its two major shareholders to ensure the company's growth plans "in a time of volatile markets", the Swedish brand said in a statement. Volvo, which co-founded the brand with China's Geely, said it would provide an $800 million loan to the Gothenburg-based company.

French battery startup Verkor has raised €250 million from investors to fund a battery "megafactory" on its way to building a much larger plant to produce batteries for its customer Renault.

In the second signing of its Series E financing round, Bruchsal, Germany-based urban air mobility company Volocopter has raised an additional $182 million.

Siegen, Germany-based developer of quantum computers eleQtron has raised over €50 million in new funds, including venture capital from Earlybird and Siegerlandfonds.

Munich-based The Mobility House, a company that provides mobility energy solutions, has raised $50 million in a Series C round of funding. The round was led by Mercuria and co-led by Ventura Capital and Green Gateway Fund. Other strategic investors include Mercedes-Benz, Alliance Venture, Mitsui, and SP Group.

Plend, a UK "ethical lender" that is ditching the traditional credit system and is instead using open banking data for lending decisions, has raised £40 million in seed funding.

Barcelona-based Lodgify has announced it has raised $30 million in Series B funding. The investment round was led by Octopus Ventures.

Paris-based payment infrastructure provider Fintecture has raised €26 million in a Series A funding round.

Gitpod, a Kiel, Germany-based open source development platform that builds ready-to-code workspaces in the cloud, raised $25 million in Series A funding.

Cloud native payments-as-a-service platform Form3 has secured a €23 million venture debt facility to explore acquisitions, launch into new markets and support new product growth.


>> Noteworthy acquisitions, mergers, IPOs and SPAC deals

Volkswagen is selling its carsharing service WeShare to Miles Mobility, under a deal that sees the Berlin-based competitor order more than 10,000 electric cars from the Audi, Seat/Cupra and VW brands.

The UK Government has approved a deal between energy company x and special administrators of Bulb, under which Octopus will acquire Bulb’s 1.5 million customers.

Swiss Post has acquired a majority stake in Unblu. Its platform allows companies to exchange all kinds of information quickly, directly, and securely with their customers, and vice versa.

Blume, a UK-based customer acquisition specialist for the legal sector, has been acquired by private equity house Sun Capital Partners.

British-based Frontier has snapped up game development studio Complex Games.

SD Worx, a Brussels, Belgium-based HR solutions platform provider, acquired Intelligo, an Ireland-based supplier of HR and Payroll Software and Outsourcing Services.

Swiss crypto portfolio tracking tax platform Accointing has been acquired by Glassnode, which specialises in on-chain and market data intelligence.

UK-based AMPYR Solar Europe, a pan-European solar developer and independent power producer, has acquired the Dutch-based SolarEnergyWorks’ solar business for an undisclosed amount.


>> Interesting moves from investors

Helsinki/Stockholm-based Inventure has announced the second close of its fourth fund, nailing down €144 million of a targeted €150 million.

GoHub Ventures has launched a €60 million fund to invest in B2B tech companies.

Concentric, a London, UK- and Copenhagen, Denmark based pan-European VC firm, has launched Timechain, a fund dedicated to equity investments in early-stage companies building on bitcoin. The fund is over 60% of the way to its $21 million first close target.

Lugano, Switzerland-based venture capital fund Privilège Ventures just launched its fourth fund. The $20 million+ fund is earmarked for women-led early-stage startups across Europe.

The UK’s Environment Agency has deployed some of its pension fund in Berlin-based World Fund, a climate tech venture capital firm.

Berlin-based Atlantic Labs and FoodLabs, both European early-stage tech and foodtech investors, announced on Wednesday that they have launched “Founders for Climate”, the first European climate tech Entrepreneur In Residence programme.

Founders Factory, a global company builder and early-stage investor from London, and hubraum, the tech incubator of Deutsche Telekom, are launching a new venture studio as a joint-venture, based in Berlin.

Madrid-based CEMEX Ventures, CEMEX’s CVC and open innovation unit, announced the launch of CEMEX Ventures Leaplab, an intensive acceleration program for innovative startups that address the critical challenges of the construction industry.

MediVentures, a fund supported by group of private investors from Polish diaspora in the US, has announced a new investment fund. The firm plans to invest nearly €5.3 million in the Polish medtech sector.


>> In other (important) news

The EU Digital Markets Act (DMA) entered into force this week. The European Union says the new regulation will put an end to unfair practices by companies that act as gatekeepers in the online platform economy.

Revolut is adding a crypto spending mode to its debit cards in the UK and Switzerland, enabling customers to switch between crypto and fiat purchases whether online or offline.

Millennial-oriented furniture retailer on Tuesday suspended trading of its shares on the London Stock Exchange, after failing to agree a rescue deal before a November deadline.

British commercial electric vehicle company Arrival has gotten a warning from the Nasdaq Stock Market because its stock price is trading too low.

The European Commission is set to launch an in-depth investigation into Microsoft’s record $69 billion splash on games developer Activision-Blizzard after the US tech giant opted not to file remedies to the EU’s antitrust enforcers.

Pleo, the Danish unicorn behind an expense management tool and linked smart company cards, is cutting its workforce by 15% with the loss of 150 jobs.

London-based Octopus Energy, a renewable energy investor, has earmarked over £110 million on behalf of its Sky fund for Manchester-based public EV charging network Be.EV.

Britishvolt has been given a reprieve from entering administration after the automotive battery startup secured last-gasp funding to avoid collapse

Boomin, the online property portal founded by the former boss of Purplebricks, has called in liquidators after failing to secure new funding.

Digital health provider Kry, known as Livi in the UK and France, has announced that another 10% of its workforce of about 3,000 will be laid off.


>> Recommended reads and listens

The European tech investment slowdown continues in October 2022, despite two new unicorns: The month in data and charts

European venture dealmaking dipped in Q3 as market conditions become increasingly challenging. Deal value fell 36.1% quarter-over-quarter to €18.4 billion, according to Pitchbook.

Tech Nation’s Climate Tech Report 2022 has revealed that international investment into UK climate tech companies has almost doubled, rising from $4 billion in 2021 to $7.5 billion so far in 2022.

The state of crypto in Northern Europe: Hostile Scandinavia and vibrant Baltics

Tim Mills, Managing Partner at a ACF Investors, an early-stage VC fund that backs fast-growth businesses across a range of sectors, explains why VC's don't always have all the answers all the time.

A group of European Union policy professionals is trying to coordinate an exit from Twitter in the wake of Elon Musk’s $44 billion takeover, arguing that the billionaire could make the site inhospitable for them.

Regulating the future: A look at the EU's plan to reboot product liability rules for AI

UK cryptocurrency firms and investors have high hopes that new prime minister Rishi Sunak could turn around Britain’s fading crypto aspirations.

International Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch has called for the UK to invest in innovative green tech as a way to “future-proof” the economy.

Digital trust – a new benchmark we didn't know we needed.

European and American policymakers are responding at different speeds to digital challenges and the unilateralism must stop, Bill Echikson writes.

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