This Week in European Tech: VC Brighteye closes €100 million edtech fund, Amazon may buy Ocado, Vestager goes for top job at EIB, Germany's latest unicorn

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: VC Brighteye closes €100 million edtech fund, Amazon may buy Ocado, Vestager goes for top job at EIB, Germany's latest unicorn

This week, our research team tracked more than 95 tech funding deals worth over €2.1 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

Hamburg-based greentech scale-up 1KOMMA5° has secured €430 million in funding, and has shot into the coveted a unicorn spot in just 23 months.

Canada’s Investment Management Corporation of Ontario has invested $400 million in Stockholm-based sustainable lithium-ion battery maker Northvolt via convertible notes ahead of a potential IPO.

Octopus Energy’s EV leasing arm, Octopus Electric Vehicles, based in the UK, has secured a substantial £150 million in funding from Pollen Street Capital.

France-based cardiac technology company CorWave has secured €61 million at the close of its second round of Series C funding.

Building a real-time payments infrastructure via open banking protocols, London-based fintech Volt has raised $60 million in a Series B round.

Zug/Berlin-based digital advertising network Hygh has raised €21.5 million in a hybrid debt and equity funding round.

London/New York-based voice AI startup ElevenLabs has raised $19 million in a Series A funding round led by former GitHub CEO Nat Friedman, former Head of AI at Y Combinator Daniel Gross, and Andreessen Horowitz.

Only one year since its inception, Parisian space tech startup Look Up Space has raised €14 million in a seed funding round.


>> Noteworthy acquisitions, mergers, IPOs and SPAC deals

Shares in Ocado have surged following suggestions that the British grocery technology firm could be acquired by US tech giant Amazon.

Swedish private-equity firm Nordic Capital has agreed to buy a majority stake in Sweden-based IT services provider Foxway.

Stirling Square Capital Partners has acquired construction tech company Infobric from Summa Equity in a deal that values the company at more than £250 million.

Dutch telco KPN has acquired the operations of Dutch competitor Youfone for approximately €200 million.

DNV, an Oslo, Norway-based risk management and quality assurance provider, acquired a Helsinki, Finland-based cyber security services firm Nixu. The amount of the deal was €98 million.

Rivian has acquired Swedish EV route planning app maker Iternio to add its technology to its electric pickups and sport utility vehicles, as well use its data to better expand its own charging network

On-demand laundry and dry-cleaning platform Laundryheap has bought French rival Wast racking up its third acquisition in fourteen months.

Bankable, a Banking-as-a-Service provider, has snapped up Arex Markets for an undisclosed sum.

Oslo-based Visma, a SaaS startup, in collaboration with Beeple, has acquired Amsterdam-based clevergig, a SaaS Workforce Management platform.

Two Dutch marketplace management firms have joined forces as ChannelEngine acquires competitor Vendiro. Financials of the deal have not been disclosed.

UK start-up Bulla Co Gen Z influencer agency has announced it has acquired student marketing firm Hype Collective.

With the acquisition of real-time image and video processing service TwicPics, Frontify aims to become the one-stop shop for brand management.


>> Interesting moves from investors

Luxembourg-based European edtech VC Brighteye Ventures has announced the final close of its second fund at €100 million.

London-based Illuminate Financial, a venture capital firm backing companies that solve problems in financial services, has closed its third fund at $235 million.

The long-awaited review of the EU’s seven-year budget puts the European Innovation Council in line for an extra €2.6 billion, to be channelled through the Accelerator programme which provides grant and equity funding to cash-strapped startups.

The UK government has announced £72 million of funding to develop the country's scientific research infrastructure as part of a bid to become a “science and tech superpower”.

North of England-focused investor Northern Gritstone has closed a further £50 million to support spinouts commercialising technology in the region, with “another £50m-£100m in the hopper”.

Supernova Invest, a deep tech investment platform has launched its Supernova Innovation 3 seed fund, with a first closing of €75 million. This is its eighth fund and it's targeting €100 million in the coming months.

Boost Capital Partners announced the first close of its UX-focused fund at $30 million. Founded by former Initial Capital Partner Alvaro Alvarez del Rio, the new fund aims to support companies placing user experiences at the heart of their business model.

Amsterdam-based Karmijn Kapitaal, a private equity and venture capital firm, has raised €15 million from the European Investment Fund (EIF).

Luxembourg-based Expon Capital has announced the first closing of its Digital Tech Fund seed-stage fund, with €14 million.

UK start-ups and SMEs have been supported to the tune of £5.7 million in funding via FundMyPitch during the funding platform’s first year in operation.

Robin Haak is launching Robin Capital, which, has now reached a first close of €3 million and is aiming for a €10-20 million final close.

Marc Clemente and Jaime Novoa have been made partners at Kfund.


>> In other (important) news

EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager, known for her crackdown and hefty fines meted out to Big Tech for anti-competitive practices, is in the running for the top job at the European Investment Bank.

Health tech scale-up Babylon has agreed a deal to take the company private again, which will see existing shareholders get wiped out.

Lithuania’s co-working and tech space company Tech Zity is getting a major upgrade, to the tune of a €100 million infrastructure project in Vilnius. When complete the new campus will be vying for ‘largest tech campus in Europe ‘ when it opens in 2024, standing at 55,000 sq. metres.

Intel and the German government signed a deal Monday that will see the US company spend more than €30 billion to build a chip manufacturing site in the eastern city of Magdeburg after Germany pledged to cover a third of the investment required.

The European Commission announced on Tuesday (20 June) it would create a new Strategic Technologies for Europe Platform (STEP), formerly known as the EU Sovereignty Fund, but expectations are low as no new cash has been brought to the table.

Thierry Breton flew to the US to warn Twitter’s Elon Musk and Meta’s Mark Zuckerberg to fall in line with EU law.

Private equity firm KKR has agreed to purchase a substantial portion, or up to €40 billion of payments company PayPal's buy now, pay later (BNPL) loans in Europe.

Adobe’s $20 billion deal to acquire rival Figma is set to face a lengthy antitrust investigation in the EU.

The world’s biggest crypto exchange Binance has cancelled its UK registration amid mounting pressure from US regulators.

Einride, a freight mobility company that provides digital, electric and autonomous technology, has appointed Volvo Cars CTO Henrik Green as the new GM of Autonomous Technologies.


>> Recommended reads and listens

Argentinian tech giant Globant plans to double down on Europe: A chat with Fernando Matzkin, who's leading the charge

Looking to help companies in their search for a talented workforce, VC firm Sequoia has launched Sequoia Atlas, an interactive tool that provides a unique insight into engineering and other tech talents across Europe.

DHH at Summit: A refreshing anti-VC take on building tech companies (video)

PitchBook has published its "2023 European Private Capital Outlook: H1 Follow-up" report that revisits several predictions made at the end of 2022. Podcast: Bolt 🩷's Starship, a Code Red, an iron fist at the EIB, AI a-plenty, Tech City, and it's Pollen season

"Why Europe and Israel’s unicorns are producing the next generation of tech founders"

European regulators are at a crossroads over how AI will be regulated in the region. This week, the EU’s largest consumer group, the European Consumer Organisation (BEUC), weighed in with its own position: Stop dragging your feet, and “launch urgent investigations into the risks of generative AI” now, it said.

How Poland snagged Intel's multi-billion dollar investment.

"Spotify’s podcast plan is going off the rails"

The 2023 Investment Benchmark Report: European Edition (Affinity)

EU wants “readily removable” batteries in devices soon—but what does that mean?

In Deep: The U.K. VC Fund Backing Europe’s Student Startups


>> European tech startups to watch

Backed by the likes of Nico Rosberg, Hyperline brings a fresh approach to billing software, raises €4 million.

Stockholm startup Stravito launched a new offering to enterprise search. Using proprietary generative AI allows users to ask full questions using everyday language and receive short natural language answers synthesised from various proprietary sources.

Squake raises €3.5 million to power carbon calculations for travel and logistic industries.

Helixx's 'Factory in a Box' solution empowers global EV manufacturing.

Vienna-based health tech firm nyra health (previously known as myReha) has developed a digital therapy platform for neurological patients. turns your crappy photos into masterpieces in seconds.

EasyTranslate is using generative AI to drill down to client-specific language models.

Pick a voice, any voice: Voicemod unleashes “AI Humans” collection of real-time AI voice changers.

Berlin-based ocean cleanup organising platform Cleanhub has raised $7 million in a new funding round led by existing investor Lakestar and new backer Integra Partners.

NineID secured $2.6 million to bridge the gap between digital and physical enterprise security.

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