Happy Friday!

We sincerely hope you and yours are keeping healthy and safe. Please take care of yourself and others.

This week, our research team tracked 75 tech funding deals worth €700 million, along with a dozen M&A transactions, rumours, and related news stories across Europe, including Russia, Israel, and Turkey.

Meanwhile, here’s an overview of the 10 biggest European tech news items for this week (subscribe to our free newsletter to get this roundup in your inbox every Monday morning):

1) German payment processor Wirecard announced that it’s filing for insolvency, days after revealing a gaping €1.9 billion hole in its accounts. The German arm of the firm has opened proceedings at a district court in Munich, citing “impending insolvency and over-indebtedness”. It is currently evaluating whether insolvency applications have to be filed for subsidiaries of the wider Wirecard Group – the UK’s Financial Conduct Authority has already ordered Wirecard UK to cease all regulated activity.

2) British e-commerce payments processor Checkout.com has tripled its market valuation to $5.5 billion after banking a $150 million Series B funding round. The firm is benefitting from the shift to online shopping during the global pandemic, reporting a 250% surge in online transactions between between May 2019 and May 2020.

3) Swile, a French fintech startup that offers digital solutions for employee rewards and benefits through a custom card and app, has raised a whopping €70 million in a funding round led by Index Ventures, with new investor Large Venture – a Bpifrance VC fund – and prior backer Idinvest participating.

4) Connect Ventures, a London-based VC firm focused on seed-stage investments, has announced a new $80 million (£65 million) fund to support product-led founders across Europe. This third fund was raised from a combination of existing and new LPs, including Top Tier Capital Partners, Isomer Capital, British Patient Capital, De Agostini, Big Society Capital, Draper Esprit and Korelya Capital.

5) Acast, a Stockholm, Sweden-based podcast company, announced securing access to €50 million euro in funding. The money is part equity raised in a round led by Alfvén & Didriksson, Moor Capital, Bonnier Ventures, Första AP Fonden and Swedbank Robur and part loan from a credit facility of €25 million provided by the EIB in August 2019.

6) Cazoo, the used-car sales platform, has reached ‘unicorn’ status after raising a little over $31 million (£25 million) at a $1 billion+ valuation to spur growth. Cazoo closed a £100 million round earlier this year, and this round brings its total raised to £200 million in a short time.

7) Facebook must immediately stop merging and sharing user data across its platforms including WhatsApp and Instagram in Germany, according to a ruling by the country’s highest court.

8) Berlin-born conversational AI startup Rasa has secured $26 million in Series B funding. The round was led by Andreessen Horowitz and joined by existing investors Accel, 468 Capital, Basis Set Ventures and Mango Capital. The company will also launch a new technology hub in Edinburgh, Scotland.

9) BioGeneration Ventures (BGV), an early-stage VC in European biotech, has closed its fourth fund at €105 million, bringing the Dutch firm’s total assets under management above €220 million. Investors in BGV IV include Bristol Myers Squibb, Schroder Adveq, the European Investment Fund, Industriens Pension and KfW Capital.

10) Amazon’s investment in London-headquartered food delivery start-up Deliveroo is looking increasingly likely to be approved by the UK competition regulator. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) announced on Wednesday that it has “provisionally cleared” an Amazon investment that would give it a 16% stake in the company.

Podcast(s):

Tech.eu Podcast #174: Wirecard misses billions, EU investigates Apple, and we interview the CEO of Parkwalk

Bonus link(s):

A well-curated overview of ‘European Tech Visas & Work Permits’ by mr. Seedtable, Gonzalo Sanchez

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