Today in European Tech: Catawiki nabs €150 million, Cisco buys two Euro tech firms, Highland Europe raises €700M fund, and more

robin@tech.eu

Hello!

Here is what happened today in European tech:

Deals

– A blank-check acquisition firm (SPAC) backed by veteran investor Bill Foley has agreed to merge with Paysafe, valuing the London, UK-based payments platform company at around $9 billion, including debt. Once the deal has closed, the new company will be renamed Paysafe and list on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker “PSFE.”

– The Netherlands-based online auction platform Catawiki has scored €150 million in growth funding in a round led by private equity firm Permira through its ‘Growth Opportunities Fund’. Prior backer Accel also participated in the round – its partner Martin Gibson serves as chairman of Catawiki’s board – and it is said the financing comes with liquidity for a number of the Dutch scale-up’s early investors and employees.

– Highland Europe, a VC firm with dual headquarters in London and Geneva, has closed its fourth fund, raising €700 million to invest in startups across the continent.

– UK-based email signature management platform Exclaimer has raised £100 million ($133 million) in a round of funding led by Insight Partners.

– Israeli electronics 3D printing company Nano Dimension has announced the pricing of 30 million shares at $6 per share for a capital raise of $180 million. This is remarkably its third offering over the past two weeks, having previously raised $100 million at $4 per share and $60 million at $5 per share.

– Cisco has acquired London-based IMImobile, a provider of cloud communications software, with a particular focus on Customer Interaction Management solutions. Under the terms of the deal, Cisco will pay roughly $730 million for the company, net of cash and including debt.

– On top of that, Cisco’s WebEx division today announced its purchase of Slido, a Slovakia-born company that lets people moderate questions and interactions from a larger group participating both in virtual conferences, as well as in live events. Terms were undisclosed.

– NortonLifeLock, the publicly-listed cybersecurity software giant, has acquired its German rival Avira for approx. $360 million in cash from Investcorp Technology Partners.

– French insurtech company Luko has raised €50 million in Series B funding led by EQT Ventures. Existing investors Accel, Founders Fund and Speedinvest also participated in the round, alongside angels with insurance and technology backgrounds.

– Today was IPO day for Swedish video game holding company Thunderful as its shares started trading today on the Nasdaq First North Premier Growth Market.

– Israeli cloud integration services company AllCloud and Amazon Web Services announced a strategic agreement in which AWS will invest more than $30 million in the company to encourage the use of cloud computing in Israel.

– German car subscription company finn.auto has landed a €20 million Series A round. The new funding came from White Star Capital, an early investor in TIER Mobility, and the Zalando co-CEOs Rubin Ritter, David Schneider and Robert Gentz.

– New London-based venture capital firm Sova VC is launching today, with plans to invest over €50 million in early-stage startups. Part of the Sova group of companies, which includes FCA regulated broker Sova Capital, the VC has laid out an initial strategy for backing around 20 companies.

– Wonder, a Berlin-based company that just exited beta in September, has raised $11 million in seed funding to scale its video conferencing tool. Led by EQT Ventures, with participation from existing investor BlueYard Capital, the round will fuel the startup’s product development, expand its team, and grow its customer base.

– Berlin-based cross-selling insurance platform simplesurance has raised a €15 million convertible loan from Allianz X, the ‘€1 billion digital investment unit of the Allianz Group’ and a previous investor in the insurtech startup.

– Agora, a London-based startup building a social commerce tool for the beauty industry, is launching today with £5 million of seed funding. The round was led by Draper Esprit with participation from Lakestar, Angel Capital Management and other investors.

– 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

– Amazon is hard at work to try and avoid Google’s fate with EU antitrust regulators.

– Founders Fund, the venture capital firm set up by US tech billionaire Peter Thiel, has quietly entered into a partnership with a European tech investment firm called Elevat3. The latter has 100 million euros to invest in tech startups.

– Germany, France, Spain and ten other EU countries have joined forces to invest in processors and semiconductor technologies, key to internet-connected devices and data processing, in a push to catch up with the United States and Asia.

– TransferGo and Mastercard today announced a partnership that enables customers across 20 European countries to make international money transfers from any payment card or bank account directly to a Mastercard debit or credit card.

– Microsoft today announced its most significant investment in Denmark, introducing the country as the location for its next sustainable datacenter region.

– Nokia was selected as the overall project leader for Hexa-X, the European Commission’s 6G flagship initiative for research that will “drive the overall 6G vision”.

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