This Week in European Tech: Booking buys Etraveli for $1.83 billion, IONITY nabs €700 million in funding, Ericsson buys Vonage, and more

Happy Friday!

This week, the Tech.eu research team tracked more than 125 tech funding deals worth over €2.3 billion, and over 35 exits, M&A transactions, and rumours, and related news stories across Europe, including Russia 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).

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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) Bavarian high-power charging station network IONITY has announced a fresh €700 million investment round. Manufacturer agnostic, IONITY’s charging stations are present in 24 countries, with the new juice powering up further European expansion plans. The company aims to quadruple the number of charging points to some 7,000 by 2024.

2) Booking.com has agreed to acquire Swedish global flight booking company Etraveli from CVC Capital Partners, the Luxembourg private-equity firm, for $1.83 billion.

3) Digital musculoskeletal therapy provider Sword Health has raised $163 million in a Series D funding round, now giving the Porto-founded company a $2 billion valuation. The oversubscribed primary funding round closed at $163 million providing a valuation of $1.8 billion, however, a secondary funding saw $26 million more headed Sword Health’s way, propelling the valuation north of $2 billion. In total, the company has raised $320 million.

4) In a pre-Thanksgiving bombshell, Sweden’s Ericsson announced that it is acquiring UCaaS-CCaaS-CPaaS provider Vonage in a deal worth $6.2 billion.

5) Cashing in on the current craze of snapping up fulfillment by Amazon e-commerce merchants, Accel Club has raised $170 million in an equity and venture debt funding round. Much like competitors Thrasio, Razor Group, SellerX, Heroes, etc., Accel Club is in the business of buying, building, and boosting e-commerce shops through consolidation and a host of tech, tools, and resources.

6) Company payments and expense management firm Payhawk has closed a $112 million Series B round, just 7 months after sealing the deal on a $20 million Series A round. According to our records, this would make Payhawk’s round the second-largest ever Series B for a B2B company in the CEE region, preceded only by UiPath. The new funds are slated to accelerate the company’s product roadmap as well as beef up the sales and marketing teams. To date, the Bulgarian firm has raised $136.1 million and has a valuation of $570 million.

7) French digital insurer Leocare has raised €110 million as capital invested in Europe’s insurtech market reaches record levels. The Series B was led by Eight Roads with existing investors Felix Capital, Ventech and Daphni taking part.

8) Copenhagen-founded open podcast platform that offers a subscription service for creators, Podimo has raised $78 million in a Series B funding round. The capital will be used to enter new markets, create more original content and increase payments to creators. Since 2019, Podimo has raised $115 million.

9) London-headquartered Lenderwize has raised €100 million in a new debt funding round. The company provides embedded finance solutions via an investor-driven marketplace to help telecommunications companies handle cash flow issues.

10) With the ballooning of the ultra-fast, to my door in less time than our competitor’s industry, there were naturally meant to be some that went by the wayside. And so is the case with London’s Weezy which has been snapped up by Turkey’s Getir.

Podcast:

🎧 Revolutionizing the pig farming industry — with Kristóf Nagy, Serket

🎧 Must-have healthcare technologies — with Martin Herman, Powerful Medical

Bonus links:

– European ministers on Thursday green-lit their versions of two new, massive EU rulebooks to tame Big Tech and tackle illegal content online. Economy ministers from across the bloc rubber-stamped common positions on the digital competition and content moderation laws known as the Digital Markets Act (DMA) and Digital Services Act (DSA), at a Competitiveness Council meeting in Brussels.

– At the European Innovation Council Summit this week, some interesting numbers have been revealed. While the EIC has dispersed investments into 137 companies across 32 countries, a key takeaway is that the public funding has also crowded in a lot of private investors. And by a lot, we mean €9.6 billion in follow-on investments, a number that is almost triple the initial EIC investment(s). Moreover, a similar situation has happened in the leveraging of co-investments from VC funds and other institutional investors. Of the first 24 EIC fund investments, VCs and other investment houses co-invested close to €400 million, or, a leverage rate of 2.7x.

– The European Commission launched a proposal to regulate political advertising, introducing transparency obligations for marketers and strict limits to the use of sensitive personal information. The proposal was published on Thursday (25 November) to protect the electoral process and democratic debate from manipulation and interference. The intention is to have it in place by spring 2023, one year before the next European Parliament elections.

– WhatsApp is rewriting its privacy policy as a result of a huge data protection fine earlier this year.

– Tech giant Google Ireland agreed a €218 million tax settlement with Revenue this year, according to documents filed this week. This formed part of its total corporate tax bill of €622 million, which is detailed in its 2020 financial accounts.

– According to new findings published by Impact House, environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) and sustainable development goals (SDG) rank fifth on the minds of European tech investors and are preceded by the management team, value proposition, scalability, and market size.

– As part of an ongoing antitrust investigation into Google’s Privacy Sandbox by the UK’s competition regulator, the adtech giant has agreed to an expanded set of commitments related to oversight of its planned migration away from tracking cookies.

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