Hello!
Here is what happened today in European tech:

Deals

- Another European fintech giant is born: Italian payment technology service providers Nexi and Sia have reached an agreement to create what will be one of Europe’s largest fintech groups. After nearly two years of negotiations, the all-share deal will see Nexi receive 70% of the merged company and Sia around 30%, said the partners, adding that the new group will have a market valuation of around €15 billion based on current prices.

- Shopping in Switzerland: Japanese electronics giant NEC will purchase Swiss banking software developer Avaloq for $2.2 billion.

- European crowdfunding leaders Crowdcube and Seedrs have decided to merge to create 'one of the world’s largest private equity marketplaces'. The combined company will be worth £140 million.

- Digital mortgage lender Molo has raised a further £266 million in debt and equity funding, completing its Series A equity funding round as it sees a "significant surge" in online mortgage applications since the pandemic.

- Message received: American accounting automation software provider BlackLine has acquired UK-based AI-powered accounts receivable outfit Rimilia for $150 million in cash.

- More battery innovation in Sweden: The European Investment Bank has signed off on a €47 million loan for Swedish battery innovator Nilar.

- More dry powder down South: Seaya Ventures, among the first investors in Spanish unicorns Cabify and Glovo, have launched their third fund with an initial closing of €85 million, and a target of €125 million.

- Another (small) European tech IPO: Bitcoin banking app Mode, a UK company that announced a month ago it would file a £40 million IPO to float on the London Stock Exchange, is today officially listed on the Main Market with the ticker “MODE”. In a press release, the company says it raised the sought £7.5 million (before expenses) in the IPO.

- London-based healthtech startup Your.MD has raised €25 million in fresh funds from the global health and hygiene company Reckitt Benckiser, saying it will use the money to roll out its “health hubs” concept.

- Today White Star Capital announced the first close of its new €25.5 million Digital Asset Fund. The new fund will invest in crypto-networks and blockchain-enabled businesses at each layer of the tech stack including protocols, infrastructure and applications.

- Oops: London's transport regulator has banned taxi app and Uber rival Ola from working in the UK capital.

- The German digital health startup heartbeat medical has closed a Series A financing round with a volume of €5 million. The financing round is led by new investor btov Partners and existing investor HV Holtzbrinck Ventures. In addition, High-Tech Gründerfonds is increasing its holdings.

- Spotler Group, a marketing software provider hell-bent on expansion, has acquired Dutch email service provider (ESP) Webpower, which will expand Spotler’s market reach and product suite.

- We also tracked a large number of (other) European tech funding rounds and M&A transactions, all of which we are putting in a handy list for you on Friday afternoon in our weekly roundup newsletter (note: the full list is for paying customers only). Also check out our European tech news section for ongoing coverage.

Worth Knowing

- Microsoft announced today its “GR for GRowth” initiative, a 'significant technology commitment to support the people, government and businesses of all sizes in Greece' with technology and resources to create new opportunities for growth (reportedly up to $1 billion in value). As part of the plan, Microsoft announced its intent to build new datacenters that will establish a Microsoft Cloud region in the country, and a plan to skill approximately 100,000 people in Greece in digital technologies by 2025.

- Super-duper: US chipmaker Nvidia today pledged to build a £40 million supercomputer named “Cambridge-1” in - you guess it - Cambridge, England, weeks after announcing it intends to buy British rival Arm for $40 billion. The supercomputer will be intended for artificial intelligence research in health care.

- Ozon, Russia’s leading multicategory e-commerce company, aims to go public later this year or beginning of next; an IPO registration procedure with the US Securities and Exchange Commission has just been started. The company did not provide any details on the potential placement but, according to sources quoted by The Wall Street Journal, it could be valued between $3 billion and $5 billion.

- Avis, the leading car rental company in Greece, has secured €130 million in international financing to modernise its fleet with electric and hybrid cars.

- Trendyol, one of the largest e-commerce companies in Turkey, has plans to expand in Europe, including the United Kingdom, Italy, and Spain.

- Starling Bank has today launched online banking for its personal and joint account holders, just over a year after launching an online portal for its business customers. The new platform will allow Starling customers to manage their money from their desktop or laptop as well as on the smartphone app.

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