This Week in European Tech: Cazoo raises ~$1 billion in SPAC listing, WorldRemit scores $292 million despite rebranding to ‘Zepz’, and more

robin@tech.eu

Happy Friday!

This week, our research team tracked more than 70 tech funding deals worth more than €1.3 billion, and 15 exits, M&A transactions, and 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 round-up newsletter (note: the full list is for paying customers only).

Here’s an overview of the biggest European tech news items for the past week (subscribe to our free newsletter to get this round-up in your inbox every Monday morning).

This week:

1) UK-based online car retailer Cazoo has completed its business combination with Ajax I, a publicly traded SPAC, and began trading on the New York Stock Exchange on Friday at a valuation of around $8 billion and raising roughly $1 billion in proceeds.

2) Zepz, the UK fintech company formerly known as WorldRemit, has raised $292 million in a fundraising round that values the money-transfer business at $5 billion.

3) German media house Axel Springer confirmed its intentions to purchase political news outlet Politico. This deal, rumoured to be north of $1 billion, includes snapping up the remaining 50% share of the company’s joint venture, Politico Europe, as well as publisher Robert Allbritton’s tech news website Protocol.

4) On-demand market research and intelligence service Atheneum has raised £110 million in a funding round led by Guidepost Growth Equity. Experiencing a surge of demand in 2020, the new funding is expected to quadruple the London office headcount to 200 employees, as well as push forward global expansion plans, beginning with the US.

5) Energy Vault, the Swiss creator of gravity-based, grid-scale energy storage solutions with its proprietary technology, closed its $100 million Series C round, bringing the total funding to more than $220 million.

6) Brussels is set to launch a formal competition probe early next month into Nvidia’s planned $54 billion takeover of British chip designer Arm, after months of informal discussions between regulators and the US chip company.

7) London-based property management platform Plentific has raised $100 million in a Series C round. In addition to a significant push into the US market, the startup plans to invest in a wide range of additional product offerings including new AI features.

8) Copenhagen-based no-code software test automation platform Leapwork has raised a healthy $62 million in a Series B funding round. The company has recently established a foothold in the US, and the majority of this funding will be used to expand into the North American market.

9) For the first time since its inception in 2015, Berlin-based elopage has taken on external investment for its all-in-one platform for the creator economy. As a testament to when they say they mean business, the startup means €32 million worth of business.

10) Content production house Jungle Creations has sold its majority stake to private equity firm Livingbridge for £30 million. The London-based firm creates, produces, and distributes content for seven of its own brands, as well as offering branded content campaigns to clients.

Podcast:

>> The power of graphs, with Emil Eifrem of Neo4j

Bonus links:

– At the start of 2021, Europe had just one decacorn in the fintech sector to speak of: Klarna, the fast-growing buy now, pay later platform. Since the start of the year, the continent has minted another two decacorn startups – Revolut and Checkout – and added a record 19 new fintech companies to the ranks of private company unicorns, Crunchbase data shows.

– The UK government announced plans for international data partnerships and a more innovation-friendly privacy law, which could collide with the EU data protection standards and jeopardise data flows between London and mainland Europe.

– Technology firms in London are finding it increasingly difficult to recruit tech workers as Silicon Valley tech giants scale up their operations in the UK capital.

– In the latest move of a long saga, a Moscow court this week fined three US digital companies for violating the country’s personal data storage legislation. Facebook and Twitter were fined 15 million rubles (some $200,000 at the current exchange rate) and 17 million rubles ($230,000), respectively, for repeat infractions, while WhatsApp will have to pay 4 million rubles ($54,000) for a first-time offense.

– Colorintech is researching the barriers that exist for underrepresented professionals and students.

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