Here is what happened today in European tech:
- Pipedrive, a CRM platform for sales and marketing teams, has signed an agreement to receive a majority investment from Vista Equity Partners, an Austin, Texas-based VC firm – which puts the company’s valuation at about $1.5 billion. With this, the Estonian-born startup reaches unicorn status.
- UK-based banking-as-a-Service (BaaS) platform Railsbank has raised $37 million in a new funding round, which was co-led by MiddleGame Ventures and Ventura Capital. The new cash will enable Railsbank, which was founded in 2016, to continue its plans for global expansion including the launch of ‘Credit Cards as a Service’ in the USA.
- Speedinvest, the pan-European early-stage VC, has launched its second specialist Networks Effects fund with €33 million. The Speedinvest Networks Effects team has also appointed Julian Blessin, co-founder of TIER Mobility, as partner to help manage the fund.
- Portuguese venture capital firm Faber has announced the first close of Faber Tech II at €20.5 million, with a goal of reaching €30 million in the next few months. The new fund will focus on early-stage, data-driven startups in Southern Europe, especially Iberia, that want to scale globally.
- Israeli cybersecurity company BrandShield is listing on London's Alternative Investment Market (AIM) as part of a reverse merger. BrandShield, which was founded in 2013, has developed an AI-powered online anti-counterfeiting solution.
- Knowledge management platform KMS Lighthouse has announced the acquisition of fellow Israeli startup Reps AI, which specialises in AI-driven agent and employee assist technology. Although the financial terms are undisclosed, Reps AI achieved a valuation of $20 million during its last funding round in 2019.
- Hastee, the earnings-on-demand company, has agreed to acquire Typs, their Spanish counterpart, to accelerate growth across Southern Europe and beyond.
- BBVA and technology firm das-Nano are pumping €4 million into Veridas, the digital identity verification startup they created in 2017.
- Rockwell Automation has acquired Spanish industrial cybersecurity services provider, Oylo.
- 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.
- A group of 165 companies and industry bodies have called on EU antitrust enforcers to take a tougher line against Google, saying the US tech giant unfairly favours its own services on its web searches.
- Digital rights advocates in five European countries launched a campaign today to spotlight the increasing use of facial recognition and other biometric identification technology across the Continent, which they say will pave the way for mass surveillance on an unprecedented scale.
- Bolt has unveiled plans to bring its micromobility services to more than 100 cities next year. The company will operate 130,000 electric scooters and electric bikes in 2021, becoming the largest operator of shared light electric vehicles in Europe. Bolt will invest more than €100 million in growing its micromobility business and building its custom-made hardware.
- The CMA has agreed to ‘fast track’ the anticipated merger of Crowdcube and Seedrs to an in-depth Phase 2 investigation, after finding likely competition concerns.
- Kry has hired former Spotify executive Stefan Blom to help the Swedish medical app developer push into new markets and services. Blom was chief content officer and chief strategy officer at Spotify before leaving in 2018.
- New research has found that San Francisco and London have become two of the world’s leading hubs for VC investment into tech solutions that address one or more of the 17 UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDG), more commonly referred to as “Impact Tech”. They are followed by Paris, Berlin, Stockholm, Shanghai and Beijing.
- Ireland is moving to catch up with the rest of Europe on e-scooters with a new bill that would legalize the vehicles.
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