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Happy Friday!

This week, our research team tracked over 80 tech funding deals worth more than €1.1 billion, as well as a bunch of M&A transactions across Europe, including Russia, Israel, and Turkey.

We listed every single deal in our weekly newsletter. Here’s an extra overview of the 10 biggest European tech news items for this week:

1) British digital bank OakNorth said Friday it secured $440 million in an investment round led by Japan’s SoftBank. The three-year-old firm, which lends to small-to-medium enterprises through its digital platform, now has a post-money valuation of $2.8 billion.

2) Spotify has snapped up two podcast networks — Gimlet and Anchor — in undisclosed deals, saying last week that it has plans to spend a further $400-$500 million “on multiple acquisitions in 2019” to get even deeper into the space. The Gimlet is deal is said to be upwards of $200 million, according to reports but it isn’t yet clear how much the company has spent on Anchor, which helps podcasters record their shows and then distribute them online.

3) Berlin-based startup Raisin, a global marketplace for term deposits, has raised a $114 million funding round from its existing investors Index Ventures, PayPal, Ribbit Capital, and Thrive Capital. Raisin plans to use the capital injection for “strategic acquisitions and further internationalisation,” the company stated in a press release.

4) Helsinki-based unified retail planning company RELEX Solutions has secured a $200 million funding round from TCV, which purchased a minority stake in the company. The company plans to use the investment to fuel further growth and hire more people.

5) A lengthy antitrust probe into how Facebook gathers data on users has resulted in Germany’s competition watchdog banning the social network giant from combining data on users across its own suite of social platforms without their consent.

6) Apple’s French division said it had reached a deal with France to pay an undeclared amount of back-dated tax, which French media estimated at around 500 million euros ($571 million).

7) British online travel booking company Secret Escapes Group has acquired Empathy Marketing Limited (EML), Ireland-based marketplace for hospitality and e-commerce offers, for an undisclosed amount. EML is the owner of the brands Pigsback.com, TheDiningRoom.ie, LuxuryBreaks.ie, Pamper.ie, JustGolf.ie, and TreatTicket.ie.

8) Milan-based automotive e-commerce startup brumbrum has raised €20 million in a funding round led by Accel, with participation from Bonsai Ventures, eVentures, and United Ventures. The startup plans to use the money to expand across Italy and prepare for entering other European markets.

9) London-founded global student accommodation marketplace Student.com has secured $10 million in funding from China’s CITIC Capital, which brings the total amount raised by the company to $80 million.

10) London-based HouseMyDog, an online platform that enables dog owners to find and book local, trusted dog walkers and sitters, has merged with Madrid-based Gudog, its main European competitor – making it the largest platform of dog walkers in Europe.

Podcast: Tech.eu Podcast #104: Uber and Cabify depart Barcelona; the opportunity of GDPR; interview with TransferWise’s Taavet Hinrikus; and more

Bonus link: Dirty money risks encroach on Estonia’s digital utopia (Euractiv)

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