These were the 10 biggest European tech stories this week

Happy Friday!

This week, our research team tracked 50 tech funding deals worth over €500 million, plus 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 (subscribe to our free newsletter to get this roundup in your inbox every Monday morning):

1) Rocket Internet, the Berlin-based startup factory that held an IPO back in 2014, is delisting its shares from the Frankfurt and Luxembourg Stock Exchanges. As rationale for the delisting, a press release says private capital, specifically growth capital, is much more available these days — and “could not have been anticipated at the time of the company’s IPO” — so the need for public trading on capital markets simply isn’t there anymore.

2) Auxmoney, a German credit marketplace that claims to be the largest in continental Europe, has raised €150 million in growth capital in a round led by Centerbridge Partners, a private equity firm with a history of taking majority stakes.

3) The London stock market is set for its largest technology takeover as two leading British translation companies agreed to merge. RWS and SDL are planning a £2.8 billion tie-up that they claim will enable them to create a combined language software service with a “truly global presence”, serving some of the world’s largest businesses.

4) Yandex — the publicly-traded Russian tech giant that started as a search engine but has expanded into a number of other areas — has announced that it is spinning out its self-driving car unit from MLU BV — a ride-hailing and food delivery joint venture it operates in partnership with Uber. As part of the spin-out, Yandex is investing $150 million into the business. That will include $100 million in equity, plus $50 million in the form of a convertible loan.

5) The French government unveiled a massive €100 billion stimulus package to recover from the economic downturn — it represents 4% of the country’s GDP. As part of this support plan, the government plans to spend a significant chunk of money on all things digital — startup investment, infrastructure investment and digital transformation. Overall, France will spend €7 billion on digital investments.

6) Group, the LSE-listed Russian Internet major, and Sberbank, the state-controlled financial and technology giant, announced a capital injection of 12 billion rubles (approximately $160 million) to develop their ‘O2O’ joint venture. Agreed in June last year, this JV combines the businesses of the two groups across a variety of fields, from ride-hailing and car sharing, to restaurant delivery and e-grocery, to dark kitchens and dark stores.

7) Danish tax authorities have initiated a review of Google’s accounts in Denmark to determine whether the tech giant has any outstanding tax obligation.

8) Kooth, a UK startup offering online mental healthcare, has listed on London’s AIM stock exchange with an initial market cap of £66 million. The company raised £16 million through the issue of new shares, and a further £10 million was raised from existing shares held by Root Capital, which backed the business in 2015.

9) Stockholm-headquartered live video shopping company Bambuser said it has raised $45 million in new funding this year, with $34.5 million of that amount raised during the pandemic.

10) Tesla chief executive Elon Musk met lawmakers from Angela Merkel’s Christian Democratic Union (CDU) party in Berlin on Tuesday afternoon on the sidelines of their parliamentary group meeting. They told the electric-car pioneer that the German government “will help in whatever way needed to get Tesla’s Berlin plant up and running.”

Podcast: Podcast #184: New Fairphone, Napster bought by European startup, and we talk to CEO of Coursera and Sherry Coutu of Digital Boost

Bonus link:

Atomico is back with its survey for the annual ‘State of European Tech’ report, which will be released on 8 December in partnership with Slush and Orrick, and with support from Silicon Valley Bank.

As they say, your input is more important than ever in this turbulent year as they will assess the impact of COVID-19 on the EU tech ecosystem. Help them out here!

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