We weren't able to post a daily round-up yesterday due to planning issues, so here's two days' worth of European tech news goodness, prepared just for you:
- A Paris-based team has a dream for Beam: to turn it into a new, unique way to browse the Web and collect and store knowledge along the way. To that end, they've raised a €3 million seed round from a long list of investors; the actual product will hopefully be shipped next year. Our editor Robin Wauters has had a peek at a prototype and described it as “a cross between a vertical search engine, a tool like Roam Research […], and a sparse version of Evernote.”
- Munich startup everstox has raised €3 million to grow its Logistics-as-a-Service platform. The company's promise it to “drastically shorten transport routes of individual last-mile deliveries and returns through decentralized warehousing.”
- Yieldigo, a Czech startup founded by three mathematicians, has raised €2 million in seed funding to expand its AI-based pricing platform. The Prague-based company helps international retail chains, both on and offline, price their products more intelligently.
- Istanbul-based venture capital firm 212 has announced a second fund to invest in startups across Turkey, Central and Eastern Europe, and the MENA region. The fund has €49 million committed and seven portfolio companies so far.
- German consumer challenger bank Tomorrow Bank has banked €3 million via an equity crowdfunding campaign, which was closed in roughly five hours. “The company's twist is placing the deposit money in what they call sustainable investments – i.e. a better tomorrow,” Nordic9 reports. “For example, out of deposits of €73 million, [€19.5 million] were invested in sustainable projects.”
- UVC Partners has launched a new €150-million fund to invest in industrial tech, B2B software, and mobility startups.
- London-based “Peloton for mental health” startup MindLabs has secured £1.4 million in funding. The startup's actual platform is set to launch next year, first with a mobile app and later with a special EEG headband that measures the users' vitals during meditation and mindfulness sessions.
- Acapela from Berlin has landed €2.5 million to re-imagine online gatherings with what it calls an “asynchronous meeting platform.” “Instead of sitting through hours of video calls on a daily basis, users can connect their calendars and select meetings they would like to discuss asynchronously,” Acapela's co-founder Roland Grenke told TechCrunch.
- Less than three months since launching its pilot program, the e-bike subscription DANCE — yes, the one from the founders of SoundCloud — has secured €15 million in Series A funding.
- PhotonHub Europe, a new photonics digital innovation hub based at the Vrije Universiteit Brussel, has just won a €19 million investment from the EU’s Horizon 2020 programme. The hub says its goal is to ensure Europe’s strength on the global tech stage, helping European SMEs and mid-market companies become competitive digital businesses through faster and smarter deployment of photonics-based technologies.
- 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.
- The European Commission is investing €144.5 million to acquire the LUMI supercomputer — a 5th addition to Europe's supercomputing infrastructure. Per the Commission's tweet, “[s]upercomputing will provide innovative solutions to our daily problems, from fighting major diseases to supporting the green transition.”
- “China expresses strong dissatisfaction with Sweden,” said foreign ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian, speaking at a regular news briefing in Beijing on Wednesday. Reuters reports that the China's foreign ministry “should reverse its ban on Chinese telecommunications companies Huawei and ZTE from a planned 5G spectrum auction to avoid a ‘negative impact’ on its own companies.” Sounds like a threat to me.
- Three major French TV networks —TF1, France Télévisions and M6 — have teamed up to launch Salto, an ad-free streaming service where you can watch live TV from 19 different channels and play catch-up content. “It costs €6.99 per month,” TechCrunch reports. “For €9.99, you can watch on two screens simultaneously. For €12.99 per month, you get four screens.”
- The European Parliament has backed a series of reports which could have a profound impact on the future of the platform economy, supporting a possible ban on targeted advertising, reporting procedures for illegal content, and better detection of fraudulent vendors.
- Facebook has expanded its dating service — called just Facebook Dating — in Europe, a year and a bit after it was introduced in the US. Unlike other dating services such as Tinder, Hinge, and Bumble, the Facebook Dating feature is completely free to use, with no premium offering, CNBC reports.
- In yesterday's Brexit news, a former terror law reviewer has warned that “police in the UK ‘will be increasingly unable to cope’ in the event of a no-deal Brexit because existing data-sharing agreements with the EU will be cut.”
- The Italian tech seems to be ready for a major breakthrough. The sector has become a major development for the Italian government. At the same time, local startups are growing at unprecedented rates, and deal making has apparently sped up too.
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