This Week in European Tech: EU and UK unveil new rules for Big Tech, Founders Forum Group acquires Tech Nation assets, Virta picks up €85 million, 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: EU and UK unveil new rules for Big Tech, Founders Forum Group acquires Tech Nation assets, Virta picks up €85 million, and more

This week, our research team tracked more than 95 tech funding deals worth over €1.3 billion, and over 15 exits, M&A transactions, rumours, and related news stories across Europe.

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).

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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

Helsinki-based electric vehicle charging platform Virta has raised €85 million in a new funding round.

London-based TopHat, a technology-driven modular housing manufacturer, has announced that it has secured £70 million in a new round of funding from new and existing investors.

Paris-based biotech Woodoo is using low-grade wood products and turning them into ‘premium high-tech materials’. It has raised $31 million to scale its technology platform.

Finnish IoT company Haltian has raised €22 million in growth funding for its IoT software and sensor solutions, and services for real estate.

London-based ear and hearing health assessment system company TympaHealth has raised $23 million in a Series A funding round.

Cambridge-based quantum engineering company Riverlane has secured £15 million in a Series B funding round.


>> Noteworthy acquisitions, mergers, IPOs and SPAC deals

Stock exchange operator Deutsche Boerse on Thursday announced a €3.9 billion takeover offer for Danish investment management software company SimCorp.

After confirming reports late last month that Tech Nation was talking with Founders Forum Group about an acquisition, this week, Tech Nation Founding Chief Executive Gerard Grech has confirmed that the deal is official.

Bosch will acquire the assets of US chipmaker TSI Semiconductors for $1.5 billion to expand its semiconductor business with silicon carbide chips (SiC), the German engineering and technology giant announced on Wednesday.

The European Payments Initiative, a bank-backed venture that was initially set up to build a rival to Mastercard and Visa in Europe, is to acquire Dutch payment scheme iDeal and Payconiq, the mobile payments app supported by a host of Belgian and Dutch banks.

Helsinki-based influencer marketing platform Boksi has acquired Finnish creative influencer agency Monochrome for an undisclosed figure as it expands its offering in Finland.

GoSimpleTax is set to acquire bookkeeping and accountant platform, Coconut, to create an end-to-end bookkeeping and filing solution for individuals and small businesses

Utrecht-based MolGen, a supplier of reagents for life science research, has acquired Synchron Instrumenten, a Dutch company specialising in automation solutions.


>> Interesting moves from investors

Convent Capital, an Amsterdam-based investment firm, announced on Tuesday the second closing of its AgriFood Growth Fund, which has now reached €100 million.

London-based Anthemis Group is undergoing a restructuring that resulted in its letting go of 16 employees, or about 28% of its staff, earlier this year, the fintech-focused venture firm has confirmed.

London’s Sturgeon Capital is launching a $35 million fund aimed at emerging startups in Central Asia.

Hambro Perks, the first special purpose acquisition company to list in London under the government’s new rules, will cease operations and return funds to investors, following the abrupt departure of a key executive and its failure to merge with a target business.

Dogpatch Labs, in the fair city of Dublin, are looking for 40 skilled individuals to join its matchmaking programme 'Founders' to create the next cohort of Irish co-founders – ‘focussing on people first and ideas second’.

The European Investment Fund has agreed to provide a guarantee to leading Belgian microfinance institution microStart, which will unlock at least €30 million of financing for Belgian microenterprises.

The Istanbul-based gaming VC WePlay Ventures has launched, what it claims is, Europe’s largest game acceleration programme.


>> In other (important) news

Amazon, Apple, Twitter, Facebook and 15 other tech giants feature in the European Union’s list of “very large” online platforms or search engines — meaning they face stricter controls from regulators and potentially heftier fines if they deviate from the rules in the region.

Britain will block Microsoft's $69 billion acquisition of "Call of Duty" maker Activision Blizzard over concerns it would hinder competition in cloud gaming, dealing an unexpected blow to the biggest-ever deal in gaming.

EU proposes new copyright rules for generative AI.

ChatGPT’s maker OpenAI said Friday that the artificial intelligence chatbot is available again in Italy after the company met the demands of regulators who temporarily blocked it over privacy concerns.

The UK government on Tuesday also published a draft bill that would give a newly created division within the independent competition regulator powers to levy huge fines against Big Tech firms for competition abuses, and investigate and block acquisitions with greater speed.

H2 Green Steel, a Swedish startup backed by the Agnelli, Wallenberg and Maersk families is seeking to raise more than €1.5 billion of equity funding to further its ambitions of building steel plants with virtually no carbon emissions.

Generative AI startup Synthesia is in talks with US fund Accel to raise funds in a deal that could value it at around $1 billion.

The European Commission this week proposed new rules to improve the protection of intellectual property (IP) in Europe, covering patents relating to industry standards, compulsory licensing of patents in crisis situations, and the revision of the legislation on supplementary protection certificates.

The UK prime minister and tech secretary have announced an artificial intelligence taskforce backed by £100 million in government funding to “accelerate” the UK’s generative AI sector and keep pace with rapid advances in technologies like ChatGPT.

Getir has shuttered a raft of dark stores over the past week, including all of its shops in Wales and South West England.

For a while now, Swedish fintech Klarna has been positioning itself as a “retail bank, payments and shopping service” rather than as a ‘buy now, pay later’ (BNPL), as it has traditionally been known. It has now come out with a number of features expanding its scope.

A Revolut and Atom Bank investor has slashed the valuations for both fintech scale-ups.

Smoove, a UK-based producer of software for estate agents and conveyancers, has received a string of takeover approaches which could result in its delisting from the AIM market.


>> Recommended reads and listens

In 2022, Finnish startups raised a record €1.8 billion. The year saw a growth rate of 32% year-over-year for the Finnish startup ecosystem, on par with a ten-year trend.

10 European insurtech companies that should be on your radar

ASML, Europe’s Most Valuable Tech Firm, Is at the Heart of the US-China Chip War

Behind EU lawmakers' challenge to rein in ChatGPT and generative AI

A British chip-making startup funded by the CIA’s venture capital firm says that if the UK government doesn’t come up with a supportive semiconductor strategy, it may shift its operations abroad.

Integrating ESG into the deal lifecycle

Why is Revolut opting for a “liquidity facility” from a mystery lender?

A digital euro could be made available via existing banking apps or via a dedicated Eurosystem app, according to the ECB's latest progress report on the project.

"Artificial Intelligence will revolutionise Europe’s SMEs"


>> European tech startups to watch

Hugging Face, the AI startup backed by tens of millions in venture capital, has released an open source alternative to OpenAI’s viral AI-powered chabot, ChatGPT, dubbed HuggingChat.

Climate X's digital twin of the world gives companies no excuse to ignore climate change.

Finnish startup Montinutra has developed a novel, highly sustainable, zero-waste closed-loop manufacturing methods to extract ingredients from forest waste products such as sawdust and bark for second-life uses.

German climate tech startup Reverion has raised €8.5 million to accelerate the production of its 100 kW and 500 kW biogas power plants.

Tallinn-based developer of tech for remotely controlled cars Elmo has raised €2.6 million in a funding round.

Berlin-based Swobbee, a provider of rental batteries and battery swapping stations for urban mobility, has raised another €2 million in an extended Series A round.

Using AI to reduce sales teams’ admin work, Epicbrief raises €1 million.

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