This Week in European Tech: Voi raises $115 million, Utkonos acquired for $270 million, Delivery Hero scales down, and more

Happy Thursday! (we’re taking the day off tomorrow)

This week, the Tech.eu research team tracked more than 80 tech funding deals worth over €690 million, and over 15 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).

As a bit of a bonus, we’ve also listed the top 20 financing deals for European tech companies in 2021, rounded up the most important news stories of the past year and reviewed the past year in terms of European tech IPOs, SPACs and direct listings.

We are currently looking for two full-time business journalists to help us cover the European startup and venture capital ecosystems the way they deserve to. This is your chance to join our editorial team!

When you’re done applying for the job, here’s an overview of the biggest European tech news items for the past couple of days (subscribe to our free newsletter to get this round-up in your inbox every Monday morning).

This week:

1) Stockholm-based micromobility operator Voi has announced a $115 million raise in an oversubscribed Series D funding round. With this raise, Voi now finds itself amongst the unicorn club. The company intends to use the new capital to continue expanding into new markets in the coming year, roll out more of its e-bike offer, and introduce the Voiager 5, a new model.

2) British software company Sage Group said on Monday it would buy the remaining 83% stake in cloud-based software provider Brightpearl it does not already own for about $299 million.

3) Last week retail major Lenta announced an agreement to acquire online-retailer Utkonos from Severgroup for $270 million.  The parties expect to complete the transaction in February 2022. A major Russian retail group listed in both Moscow and London, Lenta aims to “create a leading e-grocery platform covering all key shopping missions and market segments.”

4) German food delivery group Delivery Hero said on Wednesday it would scale down its Foodpanda operations in Germany and sell the subsidiary’s Japan unit, citing increased competition and labour shortages.

5) London-based investment house Permira has announced the close of its second Growth Opportunities fund at $4 billion. The late-stage investments fund is more than twice the size of its predecessor and significantly succeeds its initial target of $2.5 billion.

6) Elliott Management stands to walk away with a gain of about €400 million from a yearlong investment in Rocket Internet SE after successfully squeezing a higher price from the founders who want to take the German startup incubator private.

7) Seaya Ventures, a European and Latin-American VC firm based in Spain, has closed its third fund, Seaya III, at €165 million, reaching its hard cap and over its initial target size of €125 million.

8) London-based multinational insurance company Aviva has announced its commitment to invest £50 million into VC funds that have a specific focus on sustainability.

9) The European Commission on Tuesday granted Microsoft unconditional antitrust approval for its $16 billion bid for artificial intelligence and speech technology company Nuance.

10) Berlin-based Formel Skin has raised €30 million in a new funding round. The company offers remote access to a dermatologist and an accompanying personalised skin treatment regime. The new funding is expected to help the company make headway into new markets, continue adding new and varied skin treatment approaches, and bolster the team numbers.

Honourable mentions:

  • British flying taxi startup Autonomous Flight is looking to raise $100 million in an upcoming Series C funding round.
  • Bol.com, the largest online store in the Netherlands and Belgium, is to acquire Dutch bicycle courier company Cycloon. With the takeover the online store wants to deliver more sustainably. Moreover, Bol.com will deliver its own parcels for the first time.
  • Digital investor communications platform Proxymity has raised £23 million in its second round of investment.Co-founders Dean Little and Jonathan Smalley formulated the idea for Proxymity while working in Citi’s Equities and Securities Services (ESS) custody product group.The platform was first launched in the UK in 2018, and the company was spun out by Citi in April 2020.
  • Berlin-based startup pliant has raised €18 million in a seed funding round. The fintech offers a corporate credit card solution, with a heavy focus on seamless integrations with existing company processes, particularly in the areas of accounting, travel expense, and invoice management. The funding is expected to further fuel pliant’s growth as it now aims to expand into new European markets.
  • Europe’s largest operator of commercial radio, Global, has acquired podcast hosting, analytics, and monetization platform, Captivate for an undisclosed amount.
  • After only six months since its inception, Paris-based Numeral has raised €13 million. The company provides a payment operations automation service specifically targeted at tech companies operating in a variety of industries. The funding will be used to grow the team size from 10 to 40 over the coming months, continue product development, and augment its bank coverage.
  • London-based Lapse has secured $11 million in funding in a seed round. Reminiscent of the era of disposable film cameras, Lapse lets a close group of friends capture and share photos with a retro-caveat; a 24-hour delay; replicating the days of old when a photo lab was involved in the process. The platform is angling for a more genuine social experience, eschewing the “like” button, and thereby removing societal pressures and user anxieties.

Latest podcast(s):

🎧 Scaling the Ukrainian tech ecosystem — with Pavlo Kartashov, Ukrainian Startup Fund

🎧 The Night Before Funding — Holiday Special

Bonus links:

  • Europe’s top court says Washington plays fast and loose with European data. Facebook disagrees.
  • Founded six years ago in Turkey, Getir aims to deliver everyday essentials from its grocery stores to people’s front doors in under 10 minutes. This year, it expanded across Europe. Next year, it will be a lot more focused on the US, where it will face a whole new level of competition. Getir’s CEO plans to take the company public in New York eventually, which could happen as early as next year or 2023.
  • Investment firm Lakestar – with a little help from its McKinsey friends – has published a new report highlighting what it deems the ‘European Financing Gap’. Lakestar, which made early investments bets on the likes of Airbnb, Spotify, Facebook, Revolut and Glovo, intends the use the first edition of its financing gap report to highlight the challenges Europe faces when it comes to properly funding growth companies.
  • We spoke with Riverlane, a business that is building an operating system for quantum computers, about how to build a business in a nascent ecosystem.
  • Europe will soon produce a strategically vital component in the modern global economy as US semiconductor giant Intel chooses the site for a new cutting-edge chip factory. Chief executive Pat Gelsinger said Intel plans to set up two production units each employing 1,500 workers and costing €10 billion.
  • First announcing the deal in July 2021, Visa has completed its acquisition of Currencycloud – a global platform enabling banks and fintechs to provide foreign exchange solutions for cross-border payments.The acquisition builds on an existing strategic partnership between the two companies that was struck in 2019, and values Currencycloud at £700 million.
  • In 2021, Greek startups raised over half a billion euros, with about 80% of that capital going to 10 companies. This amount is more than triple compared to last year’s disclosed investments.
  • Faced with low salaries and poor working conditions, delivery drivers in Italy are launching their own businesses in a fightback against algorithm-driven delivery platforms.
  • The European Processor Initiative (EPI) says it has successfully completed its first three-year phase, delivering cutting-edge technologies for European sovereignty “on time and within a limited budget”.
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