This Week in European Tech: Mistral's €105 million seed round, a16z lands in London, EU moves closer to regulating AI, Synthesia raises $90 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: Mistral's €105 million seed round, a16z lands in London, EU moves closer to regulating AI, Synthesia raises $90 million, and more

This week, our research team tracked more than 90 tech funding deals worth over €1 billion, and over 20 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).

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

France’s Mistral AI has inked a $113 million seed round at a $260 million valuation to take on OpenAI.

London-based AI video creation platform Synthesia has raised $90 million in Series C funding round which will see it continue to simplify video production with the use of AI.

Ireland's Wayflyer has renewed a $300 million debt line from J.P. Morgan as it reaches $2 billion deployed to over 3,000 e-commerce businesses globally.

The European Investment Fund has provided Milan’s illimity Bank with two guarantees totaling €50 million. The deal aims to promote access to capital for Italian SMEs, particularly those operating in the sustainability, innovation, and digital transformation sectors.

London-based Gensyn has raised $43 million in a Series A funding round. The company offers a blockchain-based protocol that connects buyers and sellers of compute power, offering a cryptographic verification system to provide proof that the machine learning work sent has been completed correctly.

Trucksters is on a mission to be the first electric long-haul operator in Europe. This week the Madrid-based company announced a €33 million Series B investment.

German autonomous trucking company FERNRIDE has raised $31 million in Series A funding.

Luxembourg-based salon management solution, Salonkee has secured a €28 million Series B round as it continues penetrating the European market.


>> Noteworthy acquisitions, mergers, IPOs and SPAC deals

Swedish heating technology company Nibe has agreed to buy Dutch group Climate for Life from current shareholders in a deal that values the company at €640 million euros. Climate for Life is a developer, producer and seller of energy-efficient solutions in heating and cooling, hot water, ventilation and control technology.

Informatica is acquiring Privitar, a UK startup that focuses on building and providing data access controls. Terms of the deal are not being disclosed, but Privitar notably raised over $150 million in funding to date; its last valuation was over $400 million.

Bootstrapped French in-game features company Wargraphs has been acquired for €50 million.

The British financial services group Admiral Group has announced its acquisition of the France-born online insurer Luko. The transaction does not include Luko’s real estate, or German or Spanish operations.

Okta, an American digital corporation, has signed a deal with Arengu for a value between €10 million and €20 million, forming a strategic digital corporation in Spain.

Seervision, a Swiss-based pioneer in AI-driven camera automation software, was acquired by Q-SYS.

Welsh firm Vizolution has been acquired by Lightico. The Swansea-based customer experience solutions company's offering and customer base will compliment Lightico's vision of becoming a global leader in B2B2C Digital Completion for the financial services and telecom industries.

Market Pay has announced it has agreed a deal to acquire Polish fintech Novelpay and its French subsidiary PAX France Novelpay.

Zvoove, a Germany-based provider of digitization solutions for staffing and cleaning service providers in Europe, has acquired RecruitNow, a Netherlands-based market leader for ATS (Applicant Tracking Systems) and recruiting solutions for temp staffing companies.

XMDS, a European software company active in the field of fintech and faretech, has acquired KUARIO, a Dutch-based self-service payment provider


>> Interesting moves from investors

Nordic early-stage investor Voima Ventures has announced its first closing with a new €90 million fund. The fund will focus on deep-tech and science early-stage start-ups in the Nordic and Baltic regions.

US-based investor Andreessen Horowitz has announced that it will open its first international office in London later this year and amongst other activities, wants to work closely with universities throughout the UK to help foster blockchain activities and curriculum.

UK Science Minister, George Freeman, has revealed £45 million in funding for quantum technology projects from UK Research and Innovation.

Glovo's founders have set up a €30 million fund.

The total investment in innovation funds committed by BBVA amounts to €600 million.

SVB UK laid to rest as HSBC Innovation Banking rises to ‘unlock new possibilities for UK innovation businesses’.

With this latest raise, UK-based VC firm firstminute now says it has an AUM of $400 million. New investors in the latest fund include Slack co-founder Cal Henderson and Sir Richard Branson from Virgin Group.

Suma Capital and ENION Venture Partners have successfully concluded fundraising for their first joint vehicle, the ENION I Energy Fund, raising €31 million in capital.

A new fund called Black Seed has raised £5 million for its inaugural £10 million fund to invest in black British founders. Well-known UK-based VC firms such as Atomico, LocalGlobe and Molten Ventures participated in bankrolling the new fund, alongside WestRiver Group.

Spain's Inditex, which owns the Zara clothing chain, is considering setting up a vehicle to invest in startups and technologies that it hopes could help green its business.

Great news for innovators in the Western Balkans as the European Institute of Innovation and Technology (EIT) announced the launch of its first joint hub to be opened in Skopje, North Macedonia to serve the region.


>> In other (important) news

The EU has taken a major step towards passing one of the world’s first laws governing artificial intelligence after its main legislative branch approved the text of draft legislation that includes a blanket ban on police use of live facial recognition technology in public places.

Alphabet's Google may have to sell part of its lucrative adtech business to address concerns about anti-competitive practices, EU regulators said on Wednesday, threatening the company with its harshest regulatory penalty to date.

Swedish gaming conglomerate Embracer Group, which has been rapidly gobbling up game studios and popular IP over the past few years, will undergo a major restructuring that will require the publisher to close multiple studios and cancel several games. The news comes weeks after it reported that a deal worth $2 billion in income to the company had unexpectedly fallen through.

Binance is under investigation by local authorities in France for the "illegal" provision of digital asset services and "acts of aggravated money laundering". It is also leaving the Dutch market.

Google will have to postpone starting its artificial intelligence chatbot Bard in the European Union after its main data regulator in the bloc raised privacy concerns.

The European Commission is planning to ban equipment from Chinese vendors Huawei and ZTE from its own internal telecommunications networks.

London taxpayers could face millions of pounds in losses after an electric vehicle company backed by Sadiq Khan collapsed into administration.

Intel plans to invest up to $4.6 billion in a new semiconductor assembly and test facility near Wrocław, Poland.

Tesla is in talks with the leaders of the regional government of Valencia in Spain to make an automotive investment. Spanish business newspaper Cinco Dias cited sources as saying the investment would be a car factory and its total size could reach €4.5 billion. But Elon Musk is also met Macron this week to talk about establishing it in France instead.

Venture capital firm Molten Ventures has written down its holding in Revolut by 40%, adding to the fintech's woes as it struggles to gain a UK banking licence.

Stock trading app Freetrade is cutting its pre-money valuation by some 65% ahead of a planned Crowdcube fundraise later this month.

Zepz, the owner of money transfer firms WorldRemit and Sendwave, is on the hunt for mergers and acquisitions after cutting 26% of its workforce last month

UK payments unicorn GoCardless is to cut 17% of staff in a bid to shave 15% off its cost base and rediscover its scrappy startup energy.

The EU has moved a step closer to improving the working conditions of platform workers, after months of impasse was overcome on Monday by the bloc's labour ministers.

A new Climate Tech collaboration has launched today at London Tech Week, bringing together key Climate Tech hotspots across the UK and Europe to promote, develop and scale climate-critical technologies at speed and scale.

Music streaming platforms like Spotify should brace themselves for a fresh round of scrutiny. A key lawmaker in the European Parliament’s culture committee wants to make streaming giants better remunerate and give more visibility to European music creators and artists.


>> Recommended reads and listens

After 11 fateful voyages at sea, Pirate Summit co-founder Manuel Koelman decides its time to scuttle the ship. Here’s why.

EU AI Act: Why implementing AI guardrails will unlock benefits for society

"UK Tech Vies for AI Startups to Escape Silicon Valley’s Shadow"

From 'body leasing' to 'friendshoring': Romania's Accesa demonstrates the value-add in IT partnerships

The Global Startup Ecosystem Report 2023 shows a year of challenges but also growth and resilience in Europe

Generative AI is an “absolute game-changer” and will be as revolutionary as email, say experts, but they caution it will take time for fintechs to reap the benefits.

For the ninth year in a row, GP Bullhound has released its annual Titans of Tech report, which highlights the growth trends in Europe's tech ecosystem.

UK startups have raised $8.9 billion so far in 2023.

Ukraine will become the global leader in defense technology following its war with Russia, the country's minister for digital transformation Oleksandr Bornyakov said.

A16z in the UK: a marriage of cryptovenience?

"Ten years of UK IPOs in nine ugly charts"

"How Einstein's old stomping ground became Europe's spinout capital"

Eight months after Musk’s takeover, the social media firm’s Irish office is now a skeleton operation made up mostly of sales staff.

UK prime minister Rishi Sunak believes taking a leading role in AI safety research is key to boosting Britain's innovation capability and growing its economy.

Europe wants to upgrade its Huawei plan

Can digital tools like AI and automation change HR and how do business leaders and managers feel about it? Personio reached out to 500 C-suite level executives and 1,000 HR decision makers at SMEs in the UK and Ireland to find out.


>> European tech startups to watch

Amsterdam-based fast charging infrastructure for electric vehicles developer Fastned has raised €21.9 million with the issue of new bonds.

Stockholm-based “Spotify for Business” B2B music streaming service Soundtrack Your Brand has raised $15 million in a new funding round.

Trezy secures €3 million to support SMEs reduce cash flow issues with its AI-driven predictive cash flow management platform.

German start-up Nelly, the fintech for the patient facing medical sector, has raised a €15 million Series A funding round.

UK start-up tem. raises £2.5 million to give competitive renewable energy prices via its AI- driven platform.

Madrid-based no-code data analytics platform Graphext has secured $4.6 million in a seed funding round led by Hoxton Ventures.

London-based, energy flexibility start-up, Axle Energy has raised $1.6 million in pre-seed funding in a round led by Picus Capital with participation from Eka Ventures.

London-based next-generation payments company, BoomFi has raised $3.8 million in an oversubscribed seed funding round.

UK-based citizen engagement platform, Commonplace, has raised £2.1 million to fuel its ‘continued expansion, enabling its growing client base to demonstrate the positive impact their work has on the communities they service’.

Finnish biotech start-up Solu has secured €1 million in funding to fuel the development and commercialisation of its product as it plans to builds an extensive pathogen DNA library.

Yayem raises $2 million as it launches its mobile app of experiences for hybrid workers.

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