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Merry Christmas. And happy new year.

December 28, 2020 • Issue #248

Google for Startups - Stories of 2020

Google for Startups’ mission is to support startups everywhere to build something better. As the year slowly approaches an end, they have collected the stories of over 30 companies that have faced unexpected challenges and in some cases, have also found new opportunities to take advantage of. These companies now have the potential to become the engine of our economy, generating growth and jobs.

Discover their stories in Google for Startups 2020 yearbook.

Startup funding news 💸

  • Sifted put together a list of the 10 biggest funding rounds in Spain in 2020
  • Barcelona-based adtech startup KubikData raised €1.5m
  • Barcelona-based health startup Cornea Project raised €1m via Capital Cell
  • Barcelona-based crypto startup Nebeus raised €955k via Seedrs
  • Valencia-based logistics startup ChainGO raised €950k from various investors
  • Fashion startup Laagam raised funding from Cabiedes & Partners and Startupxplore
  • Basque robitics startup Alias raised funding from Wayra

Investor & accelerator news 🚀

  • Spain's Fund of Funds program Fond-ICO Global listed the names of the VC firms that will receive public investment money as part of its 13th call for applications, featuring Kibo, Nauta, Seedrocket 4Founders and others
  • VC firm Samaipata did a sort of AMA and Q&A session to respond to the most common founder questions they receive in order to explain what type of investments they make
  • El Español profiled investment firm BeAble Capital, which focuses on what they call science equity with a €35m fund
  • ENISA says that one third of all loans were renegotiated following the pandemic to make life easier for startups

Startup news 💡

  • Jesus Martinez of La Informacion has an interesting story about Cabify. Rakuten is one of Cabify's bigger investors, owning about 47% of the company. Rakuten signed a convertible note with Cabify in 2017, providing the company with €33m in funding that would convert at a valuation set in 2017 (of about €500m) or at a 25% discount of its 2018 valuation ($1.4b). It appears as if Rakuten has now decided not to convert that money into more equity of Cabify, which according to La Informacion raises the question of Cabify's current situation and why would Rakuten decide not to increase its ownership in the ride sharing company
  • Li Jin, former investor at a16z, wrote a post about 'building the middle class of the creator economy'. In the article she highlights several interesting stats about Streamloots, the Valencia-based marketplace to buy real-time interactions with live streamers. She mentions that Streamloots enables gaming livestreamers to monetize their superfans to an even higher degree: The average buyer spends $26 per month on digital interactions with streamers on Streamloots vs. $6 on Twitch subscriptions. For streamers who use both platforms, Streamloots accounts for 62% of total earnings, yet only 27% of purchasers. Customers are willing to spend more to gain closer access to a creator vs. showing passive support through a subscription
  • El Español published a profile of Mifarma, an ecommerce company out of Albacete that sells parapharmacy items. Mifarma closed 2019 with €49m in sales and more tha 2m customers
  • Tradeinn, the ecommerce company out of Celdrà (Girona), has had an impressive 2020. Sales will climb to €280m, €30m than what the company initially expected, and the company has now announced plans to invest €6m in a new distribution centre
  • Juan Lopez of Packlink wrote about their engineering vision for 2021, a "year with significant challenges and huge growth"
  • Javi Santana, co-founder of Tinybird, wrote a blog post explaining how they processed 12 trillion rows during Black Friday
  • Wikiloc, the popular website for runners and hikers, has grown its users by 70% in the past few months, mostly as a result of the pandemic and an increasingly number of users opting for outdoor activities. The company currently has more than 7m users
  • Cris Busquets of uiFromMars interviewed Nil Castellví, head of design at Bnext, to talk about his career, how they approach design at Bnext and other topics
  • El Español talked to Luis Pérez del Val, founder of grocery shopping company Lola Market, about the growth the company has experienced this year. He says that the pandemic has been very positive for the company, with increases of 400% in traction
  • Pablo Viguera, co-founder of fintech startup Belvo, published a brief summary of what they've been up to at the API banking/data company in the past few months, including raising a $10m round and launching in Brazil
  • HR software startup Factorial says that it has tripled its sales in Q4 2020 compared to the same year-ago period

Big company news 🏦

  • Facebook paid a record €33m to the Spanish tax office. The company hasn't made any official announcements about the payment, but it's most likely related to prior requests by Hacienda to pay higher taxes in Spain. This takes place mere months before the Google Tax goes into effect
  • According to Economia Digital, the launch of the El Corte Ingles competitor to Amazon Prime is not going very well and customers are not happy

Interesting reads 🤓

  • Xataka wrote an article about ecommerce in the Canary islands, and the issues customers face when buying products online that need to be shipped from Spain or mainland Europe
  • Miguel Arias (Wayra, former COO of CARTO) published his tech predictions for 2021

Podcasts 🎧

  • AchoValley interviewed Alberto Martinez, CEO of Streamloots