This Week in European Tech: Britishvolt folds, Wallapop nabs €81 million, Playtika makes another play for Rovio, Voi valuation gets slashed, 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: Britishvolt folds, Wallapop nabs €81 million, Playtika makes another play for Rovio, Voi valuation gets slashed, and more

This week, the first one of 2023, our research team tracked more than 90 tech funding deals worth over €760 million, and over 25 exits, M&A transactions, rumours, and related news stories across Europe.

We also recently took a close look at what the data told us for December 2022, and published our 'year in review' complete with a ton of insightful charts.

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

And don't forget: we're busy prepping for the next Summit, it's gonna be epic!

24 May in Brussels Expo

Tickets are on sale.

Still on the fence? Check out our first 25 confirmed speakers!

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

UK-based property finance asset manager LendInvest scored an increase in warehouse funding from Lloyds Bank totalling $367 million (£300 million) this week. The purpose of the investment is to facilitate LendInvest’s entry into the mortgage market.

Wallapop, a peer-to-peer marketplace based out of Barcelona, has secured €81 million at a €771 million valuation.

Zasta, which lets taxpayers claim money back without filling in forms, will receive €60 million in debt to help make its tax refund product more competitive.

The European Investment Bank announcedthat it has granted a €40 million financing deal to Punch Group, a Belgian mid-cap that develops propulsion and control systems for hybrid and electric vehicles.

Spanish enterprise conversational AI startup Inbenta has closed a $40 million funding round led by Tritium Partners.

Anyfin announced a €30 million series C raise to expand its digital-led debt refinancing platform which uses algorithm-driven risk assessments to strengthen visibility of the customer's finances.

Riga-based robot-enabled wind turbine maintenance and inspection startup Aerones has raised $30 million in Series A round.

Renes, Switzerland-based ClearSpace has raised €26.7 million in a Series A funding round. The injection burn is slated to help propel the startup in its continuing mission to keep space free of junk, and presumably operational objects operating.

Bratislava-based robotic vision and intelligence maker Photoneo, the parent company of Brightpick has added $19 million to an already healthy $21 million Series B round bringing the total to $40 million.


>> Noteworthy acquisitions, mergers, IPOs and SPAC deals

Social gaming developer Playtika has made an all-cash offer worth €750 million to acquire Rovio Entertainment, the creators of mobile game Angry Birds.

Personio's is getting closer to IPO day every day.

Pharmaceutical giant Bayer has agreed to acquire Blackford Analysis, a strategic imaging AI provider.

London-based music cue sheet reporting and audio recognition service Soundmouse has been acquired by Orfium.

Shadow is making its first acquisition as it announced that it snatched Genymobile, the company behind Genymotion., a Malmö, Sweden-based passwordless authentication startup, has joined forces with Bitwarden, an open source password management company based out of California.

Amsterdam-based legal search and context platform Bluetick was recently acquired by The Hague-HQed law specialists Sdu, a subsidiary of Europe-wide law services outfit Lefebvre Sarrut.

Sona, a UK HR software platform tailored to frontline personnel management, has bought the UK-based occupational mobile messaging app Yapster.

German HR SaaS company Zvoove Group has acquired Fortytools, a commercial cleaner SaaS startup based in Ahrensburg, Germany.

Plexal has acquired a majority shareholding in Cheltenham-based cyber and tech co-working space Hub8.


>> Interesting moves from investors

Berlin-based private equity investor FLEX Capital says it has closed its second fund of €300 million with the aim of effectively rolling-up medium-sized tech companies and giving these merged entities greater global scale.

Most well-known as the youngest-ever investor to appear on the long-running BBC show Dragons' Den, Steven Bartlett has launched a $100 million fund aimed squarely at supporting the next round of European startup success stories.

Galdana Ventures, the venture capital unit of private asset manager AltamarCAM Partners, is unveiling its third venture capital fund aimed at raising above $700 million.

Imbiba, a London based leisure, lifestyle and entertainment investor in growth brands has announced the first close at £70 million of its new £90 million fund.

The University of Tartu has recently received €60 million in funding from the European Commission and the Estonian state to develop two international centres of excellence.

Berlin-based PropTech1 Ventures, who, as one might imagine specialise in proptech investments have raised €44 million in the first close of their second fund.

Sheffield-based British Patient Capital has invested $48.6 million into SV Health Investors’ Biotech Crossover Opportunities Fund.

Climate tech startups can now apply to join the first round of the Ventures Thrive accelerator programme, mainly focusing on CEE startup ecosystems.


>> In other (important) news

It's not been an easy few days for London-based would-be EV battery maker Britishvolt as reports arrived that after a mad dash to secure a last-minute buyer to hold off a collapse, the company is now filing to appoint administrators.

Barclays Eagle Labs has been awarded a new grant to boost small and scaling tech businesses in all corners of the UK, replacing Tech Nation.

Microsoft is likely to receive an EU antitrust warning about its $69 billion bid for "Call of Duty" maker Activision Blizzard.

The European Commission will propose a Net-Zero Industry Act that lays out a series of clean tech objectives for 2030 in order to compete with Washington's massive green subsidy package.

Swedish micromobility and scooter rental provider Voi has suffered a hefty reduction in the value of its share capital, according to the latest information from one of its investors.

WhatsApp was fined €5.5 million on Thursday by Ireland's Data Privacy Commissioner (DPC), its lead EU privacy regulator, for an additional breach of the bloc's privacy laws.

Sales at UK online auto dealership darling Cazoo are projected lower this year, with its founding executive chairman and CEO Alex Chesterfield agreeing to vacate the latter position.

Clue is the latest company hit hard by the profitability challenge, reducing its workforce by 25 percent.

As part of the plan that aims to save the company approximately €50 million, Wallbox will shave 15 percent, or roughly 210 jobs, off the balance sheet.

Crypto trading is to be offered to N26 customers in five new EU markets, following the service's formal European launch last year.


>> Recommended reads and listens

Pet tech in Europe is pawsitively booming with investors lining up to play ball.

Pitchbook's annual dataset shows that venture capital for European ecosystems was slightly lower last year, declining to €91.6 billion from a record high of €108.9 billion in calendar year 2021.

Can startups solve the urban housing shortage with coliving?

The state of UK tech in 2023, as predicted by 12 VCs

It's not every day a new car company launches. And when it's a French car company, you can be sure it's anything but ordinary.

Employers are increasingly looking beyond targets and productivity when assessing their staff and quantifying their actual value, both in the short and long term. One way they are doing this is through durable skills.

STATION F launched a 2-day Immersion Program for international ecosystems.


>> European tech startups to watch

The Berlin-based social network aimed at promoting positive interactions for teens online through playful, social gaming experiences SLAY has raised €2.5 million in a pre-seed funding round.

Helping developers fix problems before they happen and return to doing what they do best, Aikido Security has raised €2 million in a pre-seed round., a Belgian startup that bills itself as ‘the building block’ for dashboards inside other SaaS applications, has raised €10 million in a Series A funding round in order to “capture global demand”.

Mobile game studio ElectricNoir had a pretty intriguing product launch announcement this week. It debuted its latest horror-themed mobile game Dark Mode, following on the heels of its BAFTA-award nominated release, Dead Man's Phone.

London-based Kuai Commerce has raised $2.4 million in a pre-seed funding round. The startup, which takes its name from the colloquial term for the Chinese Yuan, will use the capital to further develop and launch its e-commerce solution aimed at helping Western merchants take their wares East.

Germany/Brazil-HQed InPlanet is looking at the use of enhanced rock weathering, a chemical reaction that could enable large-scale CO2 removal from the atmosphere.

London-based retail investment education platform Beurzbyte nabbed £2.2 million from angel investors to deliver on its "video-first" educational and investment marketplace.

UK startup Peppercorn has confirmed a product launch in the insurance sector with its chatbot assistant driven by conversational AI, using natural language processing to answer common customer queries.

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