Today in European Tech: Lack of diversity in UK VC, Ocado shops for robots, all-new Raspberry Pi, European PE industry is pandemic-proof, and more

andrii@tech.eu

Hello!

Here is what happened today (and over the weekend) in European tech:

Deals

– Italian payments technology firm Nexi is leading negotiations to buy Nordic rival Nets in an all-stock deal worth about $10 billion after trumping competition from U.S. firm Global Payments, four sources told Reuters.

– UK insurtech startup Marshmallow has secured $30 million in funding at a reported valuation of $310 million. “We […] offer insurance to people between the age of 21-50 with a focus on providing a great price and experience for people who have a fragmented address and credit history, and less affluent people with lower credit scores,” Oliver Kent-Braham, the co-founder and CEO, told TechCrunch.

– Swedish enterprise software company IFS has acquired Clevest Solutions, a Canadian software provider in the utilities sector. Though no financial details were disclosed, the deal comes just a few months after IFS was itself acquired by EQT Ventures for over €3 billion.

– French agritech startup VitiBot has harvested €11 million for its electric vineyard robot Bakus. The machine “is able to work the soil of each vine, equipped with combinations of high-performance tools,” EU-Startups reports.

– UK-based meal kit startup Gousto has raised £25 million to become the country’s latest unicorn. “The valuation is well into unicorn land, which is vanity and not sanity, and doesn’t in any way make me happy,” founder and CEO Timo Boldt told Sifted.

– British online supermarket Ocado has acquired two US-founded robotics startups, Kindred Systems for $262 million and Haddington Dynamics for $25 million. The company says it’s going to use the purchased tech to increase efficiency of its warehouses.

– 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

– Invest Europe has published a new report studying the first half of the year: ‘Investing in Europe: Private Equity Activity H1 2020’. Funds raised about €49 billion in equity, an amount that’s in line with the first half of 2019, putting the industry on track to raise a full-year total on par with average fundraising levels over the last three years.

– US-founded VC firm e.ventures has opened a new office in Paris and hired a local partner, Jonathan Userovici. This is the firm’s second European office, the first one being in Berlin.

– Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said on Friday that big tech companies are going to have to explain how their algorithms work if they want to work in Europe. In addition to that, the platforms will also “have to give regulators and researchers access to the data they hold — including ad archives.”

– A new research of the UK VC industry shows that between 2009 and 2019 all-ethnic teams received an average of 1.7 percent of all seed, early-stage, and late-stage funding deployed in the country. The UK’s Black and Multi-Ethnic communities, meanwhile, now comprise 14 percent of the UK population.

An all new Raspberry Pi was announced today. Raspberry Pi 400 is a compact keyboard that houses the ARM-based computer inside. The device is available today starting at $70.

– “The European Union, the United States and the United Kingdom are facing off over how to handle data transfers that underpin billions of euros annually in trade,” Politico reports. Check out a comprehensive overview of the three-way conversation that may have long-term consequences for European tech.

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