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Here is what happened today in European tech:

Deals

- A British startup building electric vans and buses has announced plans to go public in New York through a deal with a so-called “blank cheque” company on the Nasdaq. Arrival said it reached a deal to merge with CIIG, one of the many SPACs that have proliferated in the US over the last 12 months. Arrival will be valued at $5.4 billion once the transaction closes, the company said in a statement.

- Israeli startup Cato Networks, which develops a cloud-based Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) platform, announced the closing of a $130 million mega funding round. The round was based on a $1 billion+ company valuation.

- Ozon, the leading multi-category e-commerce platform in Russia, filed today an amended version of the SEC registration statement for its NASDAQ IPO. The company will go public at a valuation of $4.6 billion to $5.6 billion, Financial Times reports from unnamed sources “familiar with the plans.” This is is more twice as high as the underwriters’ initial highest estimates.

- Santander is set to acquire Wirecard’s core European business for €100 million. It marks the final deal in what has been an ongoing fire sale of the disgraced German payments fintech, which slipped into insolvency in June.

- Fireblocks, an Israeli-born company helping enterprises adopt and manage digital assets, has raised $30 million in a Series B round. Paradigm led the round and was joined by existing investors Cyberstarts, Tenaya Capital, Swisscom, Galaxy Digital, Digital Currency Group and Cedar Hill Capital.

- Berlin-based travel booking platform Tourlane has raised $20 million in an extension of its Series C, which initially closed at $47 million back in May 2019. Previous investors Sequoia Capital, Spark Capital, DN Capital, and HV Capital, as well as both founders, participated in the round – boosting the company’s total capital raised to over $100 million.

- IBM today acquired Instana, a German-American software firm that specialises in developing application performance management software. The acquisition represents IBM’s continued investment in hybrid cloud, big data, and AI capabilities. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.

- Smart Protection, a Madrid-based startup developing anti-counterfeit software, has raised €10 million in Series B funding. The round was co-led by the Dutch fund Knight Capital along with the Spanish-Israeli Swanlaab Venture Factory.

- iCIMS has announced the acquisition of EASYRECRUE, a European company that specialises in video interviewing and digital assessment capability.

- UK payments-as-a-service platform Modulr is to bank a £9 million investment from Paypal Ventures.

- Seldon, the UK-based Open Source DevOps company providing enterprises with the tools to manage, serve and optimise their machine learning models at scale, today announced a £7.1 million Series A round co-led by AlbionVC and Cambridge Innovation Capital.

- Israeli cybersecurity company build.security announced that it has completed a $6 million seed round led by YL Ventures with participation from George Kurtz, the co-founder and CEO of CrowdStrike.

- 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

- The Irish arm of messaging platform WhatsApp has set aside €77.5 million to cover possible fees linked to an investigation undertaken by the Irish Data Protection Commissioner.

- "Why VC Firm Sequoia Broke With Tradition To Put Down Roots In Europe’s Startup Scene"

- The European Commission has expressed concern that EU nations may fail to meet ‘legally-binding’ deadlines in the assignment of 5G frequency bands, further postponing the bloc’s development of next-generation telecommunications networks.

- "Europe’s Digital Renaissance Starts Now"

- Visa has expanded its Fast Track programme across Europe.

- A great map of the AI startup ecosystem in Europe.

- Trade association GIGAEurope has officially launched, and has urged the industry to focus on implementing Gigabit connectivity in a post-Covid-19 world. The body, an offshoot of CableEurope, brings together private operators who build, operate and invest in the gigabit communications networks that enable Europe’s digital connectivity.

- The UK financial regulator has accused Lanistar, a hyped new London fintech, of offering unauthorised financial services, warning that some companies which operate without the right permissions are scams.

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