Happy Friday!

This week, our research team tracked over 60 tech funding deals worth nearly €1 billion, as well as over 10 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:

1) Picnic, the Dutch online supermarket, has secured a €250 million financing round to bankroll the building of a massive (42,000 square metre) automated distribution centre in Utrecht.

2) Vinted, a Lithuanian online used-clothing retailer, has raised €128 million euros (roughly $140 million) in a funding round that valued it at more than €1 billion, making it the small Baltic nation’s first tech unicorn. The round was led by Lightspeed Venture Partners.

3) Uber has lost its licence to operate private hire vehicles in London, after authorities discovered that more than 14,000 trips were taken with uninsured drivers. Transport for London announced the decision not to renew the global ride-hailing firm’s licence at the end of a two-month probationary extension granted in September.

4) Facebook is acquiring Beat Games, the Prague-based developer of popular virtual reality rhythm game Beat Saber. Beat Games will keep operating independently, but it will become part of Oculus Studios, Facebook’s VR gaming group.

5) Pricefx, the Bavarian-based native cloud pricing software, has secured €23 million in additional funding to close out the company’s Series B round. This phase II investment was led by Digital+ Partners and Bain & Company, with participation from Series A investor Talis Capital. It follows the €25 million phase I funding in December 2018, bringing the Series B total to €48 million.

6) MiddleGame Ventures, the Luxembourg-based fintech VC, has announced a new fund for early-stage lead investments in startups from Europe and North America. The fund has reached its first close at €150 million and remains open to more investments until a final close later in 2020.

7) Leavy.co, a Paris-based travel community and marketplace, has raised $14 million in seed funding to launch its app for travel-hungry, cash-strapped millennials. Dutch firm Prime Ventures led the round with the participation of angel investor Dominique Vidal, partner at Index Ventures.

8) Detectify, the Sweden-born cybersecurity startup that offers a website vulnerability scanner powered by the crowd, has raised €21 million in further funding. Leading the round is London-based VC firm Balderton Capital.

9) CakeHR, the London-based provider of cloud HR solutions, has been acquired by Sage Group, a legacy business software company in the UK that is transitioning to SaaS.

10) Toucan Toco, Paris-based data storytelling startup, has raised its first-ever funding with a €12 million round led by Balderton Capital.

Podcast:

Tech.eu Podcast #144: Uber’s future in London, European tech in the “Valley of death,” interview with Thomas Canguilhem of EcoTree
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Tech.eu Podcast — Slush Interview Special: Valentina Milanova (Daye) and Carl Christensen (Spacemaker)

Bonus link: Inside “Angel’s Den”; London’s speed dating for startups (Sifted)

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