Happy Friday!

This week, our research team tracked over 80 tech funding deals worth about €1.2 billion, and more than 25 M&A transactions, rumours, and related news stories across Europe, including Russia, Israel, and Turkey.

As always, we are putting all of them together for you in a handy list sent in our roundup newsletter (note: the full list is for paying customers only).

Recently, we also started publishing 'Today in European Tech', a daily roundup of deals and news stories that caught our attention. Keeping you updated on all things EU tech is our priority!

Today, instead of a daily roundup we give you an overview of the 10 biggest European tech news items for the past week (subscribe to our free newsletter to get this roundup in your inbox every Monday morning).

1) Renesas to acquire Dialog for nearly €5 billion in cash

Japanese company Renesas has agreed to buy the Anglo-German chipmaker Dialog Semiconductor for €4.9 billion in cash, boosting its position in low-power technology and connectivity across smart devices, cars and industry.

2) Rocket Internet is storming ahead with its SPAC plans

Rocket Internet Growth Opportunities, a blank-check 'SPAC' company whose management team includes members of Rocket Internet’s leadership, plans to go public on the New York Stock Exchange in a $250 million deal, according to a Form S-1 filing.

3) Straight outta Switzerland, Nexthink is Europe's latest unicorn

Nexthink, a Swiss enterprise software firm founded 17 years ago, has reached unicorn status in a fresh funding round as the coronavirus pandemic significantly increased demand for its products. The company, which specialises in digital employee experience (or ‘DEX’) management software, has secured $180 million in a Series D financing round at an enterprise valuation of $1.1 billion.

4) Branded exits stealth mode with $150 million in funding

European Amazon FBA business Branded Group has come out of stealth with $150 million in funding, saying that since quietly opening for business in mid-2020 it has already acquired 20 startups in categories like home, leisure and lifestyle across Europe, United States, and Asia.

5) Israeli cybersecurity firm CYE gets $120 million from EQT, others

Israeli cybersecurity firm CYE has completed a $120 million series A funding round led by EQT Private Equity. This is the first time the giant European PE firm, which in 2018 secured $13.3 billion for its eighth fund, has invested in an Israeli company.

6) ECB not so keen on Big Tech firms dabbling with crypto-currency

The European Central Bank (ECB) has issued a stark warning on the involvement of Big Tech firms in cryptocurrency projects, cautioning that such moves could jeopardise privacy, create further risks to competition and even “endanger monetary sovereignty”.

7) Swedish last-mile delivery startup Instabox scores $90 million

Instabox, a Stockholm-based company providing last-mile deliveries for e-commerce brands, has closed a $90 million Series B round led by EQT Ventures to fuel continued expansion within and outside of the Nordics.

8) Europe plans massive semiconductor factory to maintain independence

The EU is considering building an advanced semiconductor factory in Europe in an attempt to avoid relying on the US and Asia for technology at the heart of some of its major industries.

9) More powder for European startups as Finch closes €150 million fund

Finch Capital, a VC based in Amsterdam and London, has announced the first close of its €150 million fund, Europe III, which will go to fintech and AI companies shaping the future of finance.

10) European Commission keen to catch up with US, China tech ecosystems

The European Commission wants to tap the bloc's multibillion-euro coronavirus recovery fund to support a series of technology projects in areas where European firms have fallen behind competitors in the United States and Asia.

Podcast:

Tech.eu Podcast #206: Alex Kayyal of Salesforce Ventures, money for Nothing, SPAC news, and more

Bonus link(s):

- Examining the impact of COVID-19 on the European fintech industry

- Five innovation hubs in CEE you may never have heard of, but ones to watch next

- A single pitfall the early stage VCs should not fall into in 2021