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Securitize, Smart Protection raised funding. Target Global to open Barcelona office. Afterbanks exits.

October 1, 2019 • Issue #184

Hubtype, a Barcelona-based SaaS company and official WhatsApp provider, set out 3 years ago to help companies create personal relationships with customers at scale. Since then, they’ve powered conversational apps for Bankia, HP, Massimo Dutti, Volkswagen and others.

What’s it all about? Chat.

We spend more than 3 hours a day on WhatsApp, Messenger and other apps--but when a flight is cancelled, or it’s time to update your address with the bank, what happens? 📞 You spend 30 minutes on hold. 🤯

Winning brands are already lowering friction, increasing customer satisfaction, decreasing costs and gaining lifetime value from their customers by serving them with conversational apps--and Hubtype is powering them.

Learn more about the communication shift and how your company can adapt.

Startup funding news 💸

  • Securitize, the trusted global solution for issuing and managing compliant digital securities on the blockchain, raised $14 million led by Santander InnoVentures, MUFG Innovation Partners and Nomura Holdings
  • Madrid-based Spanish startup Smart Protection raised €5.2 million to combat online piracy. The round was led by Nauta Capital
  • Barcelona-based startup Elma got $3.2 million for a digital-first health insurance play, led by Mangrove Capital Partners
  • Medtech startup Rob Surgical raised €5 million from international investors to continue to develop its precision surgery solution
  • Madrid-based Homyhub raised €700,000 from Andreas Mihalovits, Tom Horsey and other business angels
  • Barcelona-based Racetick raised €600,000 from various business angels
  • Sports apparel giant Asics invested in Valencia-based new materials company Pyrates Smart Fabrics
  • EAE Business School backed Reloadly and Acqustic with €350,000

M&A activity 🎊

  • Indra acquired Valencia-based Afterbanks. The company provides a series of APIs to make it easier for developers to connect to banks. It had previously raised €360,000 from Angels Capital, François Derbaix and Fernando Cabello-Astolfi
  • German logistics startup Sennder acquired Spanish rival Innroute. Terms of the deal were not disclosed
  • Real estate startup Clicpiso says that it could start floating on the Euronext stock exchange in 2020

Investor & accelerator news 🚀

  • Pan-European VC fund Target Global is opening an office in Barcelona. Target expects to do between one and three deals per year out of the Barcelona office. More details in this interview
  • Wayra and The Venture City signed a global deal to co-invest in Latin American startups focused on deep tech
  • Valencia-based Columbus Venture Partners announced a new €70 million fund to invest in biotech companies
  • GoHub is a new accelerator program out of Valencia, focused on deep tech, AI, IoT and cybersecurity companies
  • Javier Megias announced that he's no longer CEO at equity investing platform Startupxplore

Startup news 💡

  • Cabify says it could reach profitability in 2020 and go public on the stock exchange. The company also said this week that it has 1,500 employees, 200,000 drivers and is currently active in 12 countries and 130 cities
  • Techcrunch wrote an article about 'super apps' in Latin America and highlighted Cabify's strategy, with e-scooters, bikes and its own fintech product (Lana)
  • Barcelona has produced a lot of biotech companies in the past few years. La Vanguardia looked at why the region has been successful at doing so
  • Airbnb paid just €86,000 in taxes in Spain. The company claims to have sales of just €5.6 million in the country
  • Indra and Scytl are competing to win the contract to manage the November 10th Spanish general elections
  • Mr Jeff: 'Supply Focused Optimization — From local to global acquisition: How to create an acquisition system to fulfill worldwide offline stores?'
  • Javi Santana (former Carto CTO) explained in an article why they're building Tinybird and how they want to do it
  • How various Spanish startups are helping consumers get rid of abusive clauses in credit card contracts, feat. Indemnizame, Reclamapormi and others
  • Guard, created by Spanish developer Javi Ramirez, is a site that uses AI to read epically long privacy policies and then highlight any aspects of them that might be problematic.
  • Madrid-based Peoople, the app to recommend and discover the best things, has graduated from The Venture City’s growth program
  • Startup profiles: Teknan, Coinscrap, Declarando, Akiles, Predictiva, Alias Robotics, Revoolt, Dispitch

Hubtype helps companies create personal relationships with customers by combining chatbots and human agents in conversational apps. Hubtype's framework is based on React.js and allows developers to aggregate WhatsApp, Messenger, Twitter, webchat and others while integrating with helpdesks, CRMs, AI and NLP instances, analytics and more.

It is a pre-Series A VC-backed SaaS startup with a winning, inclusive and international team based in Barcelona. Hubtype is hiring a variety of positions in development, design, and sales. See all of Hubtype's career opportunities.

Big company news 🏦

  • Google says its business in Spain reached €100 million in sales for the first time ever. Other studies say that the company's real figures are probably €900 million. The amount of taxes it paid went down
  • Deloitte to open a cybersecurity centre in Madrid that will cover EMEA. The company will invest €18 million in the project
  • Ferrovial and Renault injected €2 million in carsharing joint venture Zity. Zity lost €2.7 million in 2018
  • FreeNow (MyTaxi) to open a software development centre in Barcelona and invest €30 million in the city
  • Groupon to open its fifth global operations centre in Valencia. The company is looking to hire 40 people and expects to employ more than 200 in Valencia
  • El Corte Ingles says that it expects to reach €1 billion in online sales in 2020
  • Ikea Spain's online store sold €64 million worth of products last year, up from €1.5 million in the previous year

Tech and policy 💂🏼‍♂️

  • Real estate crowdfunding startup Housers was fined by Spanish regulator CNMV with €215,000

Interesting reads 🤓

  • The number of Spanish university students choosing technical or STEM degrees is decreasing. Why is this happening ?
  • In an interview, Pep Gomez (Reby, Fever) says that the "startup bubble will burst"
  • Dimas Gimeno (former CEO of El Corte Ingles): 'How traditional retailers and ecommerce companies are fighting in the last mile delivery market'

Podcasts 🎧

  • Marketing4Ecommerce interviewed me to talk about investing, this newsletter and some other things
  • Itnig interviewed Oscar Pierre, CEO of Glovo
  • K Fund interviewed Alex Barredo of
  • Seedrocket interviewed Oscar Farres of EIF