Your weekly digest of all things EU tech for Friday, 11th December 2015


This week, a lot happened in the European tech industry, even as we inch closer to the end-of-year holidays. The big news was arguably that Google Ventures is closing the $125 million fund it had set up to invest in European startups, and will instead invest globally out of a single VC fund (the FT has more).

But a lot of other things happened, from big funding rounds for German tech companies like Younicos ($50 million) and GoEuro ($45 million), a big $27 million Series C round for Lithuanian startup Vinted, to fresh capital for VC firms like Speedinvest ($100 million) and Paua Ventures ($45 million).

Meanwhile, we ran the numbers for Q3 when it comes to European tech acquisitions, mergers and IPOs, so check out our exits report for the quarter.

We’re only scratching the surface.

As usual, there’s a list of interesting news on funding, M&A, government and policy news, as well as interesting facts, lists and good reads down below. Some of our subscribers thought that part of our newsletter disappeared because their email clients didn’t show the full length of the newsletter, so make sure to open the full version!


What happened this week in European tech? M&A report for Q3 2015: down from Q2 but on track for a strong year in EU tech exits

Has Europe seen the same downturn in technology exits in the third quarter of 2015 that we’ve witnessed on a global level? We dug into our data to find out.

Google Ventures to discontinue its $125 million European fund
Google Ventures to discontinue its $125 million European fund

According to the FT, Google Ventures will stop investing out of a fund that it set up last year to invest in European startups, folding it back into the global GV fund.


The story of Mitula Group: the company behind the largest IPO by a Spanish tech company of 2015

Jaime Novoa shines a light on Mitula Group, a Madrid, Spain-based vertical search engine and classifieds aggregator that went public in Australia earlier this year. Podcast #21: USV in Europe, Kiosked, Damae Medical, Julien Codorniou & does Europe have a business angel problem? Podcast #21: USV in Europe, Kiosked, Damae Medical, Julien Codorniou & does Europe have a business angel problem?

The podcast is back to discuss the most interesting stories from the European tech scene in the past week, so listen up!

British fintech star Zopa reportedly raising more than $100 million at a $760 million valuation

Zopa, the UK-based peer-to-peer money lender, is working with JPMorgan Chase & Co. to raise £70 million ($106 million) in a financing round that could value the company at more than £500 million (just south of $760 million) once completed, Sky News reported today. Founded over a decade ago, the London-based fintech company is currently […]

Lithuanian startup Vinted scores $27 million to become the first choice for second-hand shopping

Vinted, a Vilnius, Lithuania-based e-commerce startup that’s been seeing a lot of interest in its peer-to-peer marketplace for secondhand fashion items, has raised $27 million in Series C funding in a round led by international media company Hubert Burda Media. VC firms Accel Partners and Insight Venture Partners also participated in the round, which brings […]


Speedinvest closes $100 million second fund, discloses its first pan-European investments

The news was reported yesterday by German startup media, but as part of our ongoing efforts to keep track of the ever-changing European VC landscape: Vienna, Austria-based early-stage investment firm Speedinvest has raised its second fund, with €90 million / $100 million committed. There are a few interesting nuggets here. One is that this is […]

German travel startup GoEuro books $45 million in funding from Goldman Sachs and others

Berlin, Germany-based travel startup GoEuro has raised $45 million in Series B funding on the heels of GetYourGuide securing $50 million last month. Goldman Sachs led the funding round, with new investors Atomico, Yuri Milner (DST), Tom Stafford, Sebastian Siemiatkowski (Klarna) and Ilkka Paananen (Supercell) chipping in. GoEuro claims its the largest platform in Europe […]

Berlin-based energy storage company Younicos raises $50 million from First Solar and others

Younicos, which specialises in intelligent storage and grid solutions based on battery technology, has raised a whopping $50 million in growth capital. The company, which was founded in Berlin back in 2005, says the round was led by a ‘strategic investor’ that it chose not to name. Other investors include First Solar, the publicly listed […]

All this and more was published this week on our website  
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M&A deals, IPO filings and rumours

  • British fintech star Zopa is reportedly raising more than $100 million at a $760 million valuation
  • London-based Ve Interactive buys display retargeting business from eBay Enterprise spin-off
  • Swedish fintech startup Zmarta Group is for sale – for $120 million
  • NXP closes deal to buy Freescale and create top auto chipmaker
  • FLIR acquires DVTEL for $92M
  • TransUnion buys Trustev in $44 million deal to beef up in e-commerce fraud protection
  • In Spain, Glover purchase Justbell
  • In France, LDLC buys
  • Software maker Revionics buys Israeli company Marketyze
  • Swedish Stillfront behind the game Unravel started trading on the Stockholm Stock Exchange
  • Funding Circle SME Income Fund Limited starts trading on the London Stock Exchange
  • Pantheon Ventures announces executed definitive agreement with Moovly NV for their remaining shares
  • Axel Springer acquires the remaining 15 percent in online classified ad company Axel Springer Digital Classifieds
  • Hamburg-based social media company Facelift acquires Social Bench
  • Bonnier still hope to sell TocaBoca before the end of the year
  • SD Worx acquires 14% of Belgian Assusoft for closer collaboration and growth
  • Israeli market intelligence startup SimilarWeb expands to Silicon Valley with acquisition of Quettra
  • Harmonic to buy Thomson Video Networks
  • France’s Orange in talks to buy Bouygues telecom, media assets
  • Sweden’s Royal Design puts IPO-plans on hold
  • Skyscanner tipped to be raising £65 million ahead of IPO in 2017
  • Brussels lays out concerns over O2 merger with Three

Funding rounds

The big tech companies

  • LinkedIn set to recruit 100 new staff in Ireland
  • Uber to enter Ukrainian market with government support
  • Postmates looks set to launch in the UK in 2016
  • Digital map maker HERE says it’s to explore use of big data
  • Wonga hires ex-head of responsible banking at Lloyds
  • Addison Lee has plans to ‘tweak’ its technology if new regulations that could hurt ridesharing apps in London are approved
  • French Appeals Court fines Uber €150,000
  • Vodafone sues KPN in the Netherlands for $126 million over alleged uncompetitive behaviour
  • Angry Birds’ maker Rovio to change CEO
  • Defunct social network asks court to reverse Facebook’s £2 million award in spam case
  • EU explores whether Google, Yahoo should pay for showing online news snippets
  • Google, Arm and Expedia voted the best places to work in Britain
  • EU antitrust regulators accuse Qualcomm of hindering rivals
  • Axel Springer becomes second largest investor in the social video news publisher NowThis Media in the USA
  • German robots to make first Adidas running shoes in 2016
  • Turkey fines Twitter for failure to remove ‘terrorist propaganda’
  • Wirecard to process Alipay payments for Chinese tourists in Europe
  • Spotify to test allowing some musicians to withhold music from free service
  • Markit CEO sues unknown hackers over ‘campaign of extortion’
  • Siemens ups research spending to keep innovative edge
  • Bosch establishes Israeli R&D center

Startup news

  • You can now import (and start selling) batches of photos from Flickr, Dropbox, Google Drive and Picasa directly to EyeEm
  • French drivers launch Uber rival VTC Cab, charge monthly fee instead of taking commissions
  • Truecaller is doing a round of lay-offs
  • Ukrainian Grammarly rivals Microsoft Word’s spell checker for better English
  • The winner of TechCrunch Disrupt Battlefield was Jukedeck
  • With YayPay, invoice collection becomes easier, faster, better
  • Food ordering startup Takeaway now processes almost 3.5 million orders monthly, moves HQ to Amsterdam
  • ProtonMail secure email service will be released in January
  • Austrian startup MySugr has scored a partnership with iHealth in the US
  • Berlin-based Citée Car in provisional insolvency proceedings
  • Russian kick scooter app is coming to Europe
  • Marfeel gets serious about its US expansion: former AOL executive and current PopSugar CBO will join its board
  • SwiftKey releases a symbol-based communications app on Android for people with special needs
  • TRData wants to be ‘Bloomberg for emerging markets
  • Blendle, a journalism payments startup, targets a U.S. start date
  • Seedrs wants to crack the US by selling European startups to America
  • Internet company Easily has been hacked
  • Anthony Deighton joins the CartoDB board
  • The Elastic stack (from the Amsterdam startup with the same name) is now available on Microsoft Azure Marketplace

Investor news

  • Google Ventures to discontinue its $125 million European fund
  • Speedinvest closes $100 million fund #2 (= biggest VC in Austria ever), discloses its first pan-European investments
  • Berlin’s Paua Ventures announces first fund close of $45 million to invest in pan-European startups
  • KBC Securities has a €10 million fund to invest in Belgian startups
  • MTG:s new Head of Digital gets $100 million to go startup shopping
  • 500 Startups announce their Stockholm Distro Dojo kicking off May 2016
  • Companisto’s crowdfunding platform has seen German startups raise €25 million on their platform
  • IKEA Russia launches startup accelerator

Government(s) and policy

  • With an eye on Russia, Estonia seeks security in computing cloud
  • US privacy chief reveals EU authorities only referred four Safe Harbour complaints
  • German Parliament spy oversight board sues German Government over data sharing with NSA
  • After Paris attacks, proposed French law would block and forbid Tor (and ban free Wi-Fi)
  • EU can suspend new data transfer pact with U.S. if worried about privacy: Official
  • BBC backs EU plan to make iPlayer accessible to Brits abroad
  • Negotiators of the European Parliament, the Council and the Commission have agreed on the first EU-wide legislation on cybersecurity
  • Directive of the European Parliament and of the council on certain aspects concerning contracts for the supply of digital content
  • New Spanish law allows phone wiretapping in ‘urgent’ cases without warrant
  • European Court of Human Rights says blanket surveillance is a violation
  • EU lawmakers, countries agree on bloc’s first cyber-security law
  • Spanish competition regulator pushes for sharing economy – despite court cases
  • Europe wants guarantee period of 2 years for ecommerce purchases
  • EU’s new copyright framework could introduce “Google tax” on snippets
  • New EU cybersecurity rules neutered by future backdoors and weakened crypto
  • France won’t block public Wi-Fi or ban Tor, PM says
  • EU lawmakers back air passenger data deal
  • Europe plans to ease copyright rules on using digital content

Great reads and opinion pieces

  • UK number plate monitoring one of the ‘world’s biggest surveillance systems’
  • Want to discover the true spirit of Italian craftsmanship? This startup will show you how’
  • “Like Israel, Ukraine may build a fantastic tech sector in spite of external threats”
  • The story of Mitula Group: the company behind the largest IPO by a Spanish tech company of 2015
  • In search of a European Google
  • Eileen Burbidge: ‘I thought I’d return in a year. Now I see Silicon Valley as too insular
  • Martha Lane-Fox outlines her plan for the NHS
  • Nokia’s descendants: four companies whose founders are former Nokia employees
  • On Angry Birds’ 6th BirdDay: Which 3 mobile games are bringing home the bacon today?
  • Catch up with tech news from Eastern Europe: November
  • Learn how CartoDB’s location intelligence platform will help shape the future of Smart Cities
  • Should kids learn to code?
  • This Spanish startup claims to have raised $11M pre-launch and to have a better value per-user than Instagram
  • The problem with fintech’s “Level39 bubble”
  • Inside Iceland’s virtual reality boom
  • Watch: Stripe, GoCardless & MarketInvoice founders on how FinTech is changing the world
  • London’s black cabs now broadcast real-time traffic warnings
  • TransferWise’s CEO thinks bitcoin has been driven by ‘greed’
  • Berlin’s equivalent to Silicon Valley’s “Paypal Mafia” the history of Gate5 and Nokia Here
  • Deutsche Bank launches ‘robo adviser’ for equities investors
  • An interview with Maxfield Capital, the latest fund with their sights set on the Nordics
  • Business leaders slam TfL’s ‘luddite’ clampdown on Uber
  • Telekom Group offers German-only cloud storage away from US prying eyes. But what about from German authorities?
  • Holvi frontend: what we’ve achieved in 2015
  • How Auxy is rethinking music creation for the mobile generation
  • Rocket Internet’s Oliver Samwer talks cloning, Uber and new frontiers
  • Cybersecurity experts ‘charge £10,000 a day to protect UK’s top firms’
  • The rise of billion-dollar European unicorns
  • Financial Times deep dive into demise of Google Venture’s European fund: London partners grew frustrated at lack of autonomy
  • Young Greek entrepreneurs: ‘We are unfazed
  • London’s job market is getting crushed by the ridiculous cost of living
  • Europe’s tech IPO market: Where’s Santa?
  • 600-year-old Belgian university has emerged as a digital-encryption powerhouse
  • UK firm Chubb to offer insurance against online harassment
  • What does the future hold now the Series A Crunch is over?
  • An influential European investor thinks ‘we’re going to see some high-profile companies go bust‘ in 2016
  • Valued at €660 Million, can Parrot compete with DJI for the Drone throne?
  • UK must learn from unicorn obsession
  • The story of Mitula Group: the company behind the largest IPO by a Spanish tech company of 2015
  • Can Europe ever build its own Silicon Valley?
  • Accounting for Dublin’s fintech revolution
  • The Economist appoints Tessa Jowell and Brent Hoberman to board as Google’s Eric Schmidt departs
  • How to cure what ails Europe’s venture capital market
  • Highlighting November’s most significant investment, exit and story in the Nordics

Interesting facts, lists and figures

  • New GSMA study: European economy boosted by 4G investments
  • 15 lessons from the top CTOs in Spain
  • Berlin startup funding report for Q3
  • Top 10 equity crowdfunding platforms in Europe
  • European e-commerce penetration
  • Increased digitalisation could boost Scottish economy by £13bn, according to new report by Deloitte
  • Londoners took more than 45,000 uberPOOL journeys in first week of service going live
  • Quarter of European homes to have 4K TVs in 2019
  • 10 innovative Central European startups you ought to know
  • Seven reasons why the future looks bright for UK entrepreneurs
  • More than half of online video watched on mobile in Europe

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