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Spanish startups raised €1.1b in 2020 (flat from 2019). Rastreator owner acquired.

January 4, 2021 • Issue #249

This week's newsletter is brought to you by Nubii.

Hello! Our team has been working remotely from all over the world for years. We have tried to achieve a sense of “awareness” among the team. To work feeling “in contact” and part of the team.

Using a permanent videoconference to attain this was not only intrusive but also not what we were looking for. To work together but separated, we created Nubii.

A browser space for everyone. Meeting-rooms to start a video conference, to know when others have arrived, are eating, taking a break, in a call, etc. It works for many of us. We launched this project recently and to date, we have 100 teams and 800 users, and three events hosted. We believe it covers an existing necessity and it might do the same for you.

Register at Nubii and invite your team. It’s free, all we ask is for your feedback. Nothing to loose and a lot to gain! Let’s kill it in 2021!

Startup funding news 💸

  • According to El Referente, Spanish startups raised €1.1b in 2020, about the same amount as in 2019 and €200m less than in 2018

M&A activity 🎊

  • Penguin Portal, the group that owns Spanish insurance comparison site Rastreator, was sold to British company Zoopla for €500m
  • El Referente talked to Optimus Price about its recent acquisition/merge with Athena to continue to build a robust price intelligence solution for retailers and brands based on AI
  • Joshua Novick, former CEO of Antevenio and now at Bondo Advisors, wrote a blog post to give 12 tips on how entrepreneurs and companies should approach M&A processes

Investor & accelerator news 🚀

  • THCap has done a €4m first closing of its new fund. The firm aims to raise as much as €20m to invest in startups. First two portfolio companies are Loyal Guru and Taclia
  • Ramon Blanco of Bewater Funds published an overview of SPACs, or special purpose acquisition company, a type of investment vehicle used to take companies public. SPACs have been on the news quite a bit in the US in recent times, as an alternative to the traditional IPO and Direct Listings to list companies on the stock exchange
  • El Español published a profile of Adeyemi Ajao, co-founder of Tuenti and Cabify, among other companies. Adeyemi currently resides in the Bay Area, where he leads Base10, a VC firm. In the interview he talks about his investment career and his current areas of interest, as well as his experience founding tech companies

Startup news 💡

  • Teo Ruiz and Pedro Torrecillas of Circular, the developer-focused recruitment platform, wrote a 2020 summary focused on how the pandemic affected the company. They write that as the pandemic hit "almost 80% of job offers posted in Circular were suddenly closed or put on hold and many recruiters from our community were losing their jobs", but that "by mid summer, the number of jobs posted in Circular had recovered to pre-pandemic levels", and they also explore in the post how covid might have transformed recruitment
  • El Pais published a profile of Joaquin Cuenca. Joaquin is currently the CEO of Freepik, the Malaga-based company acquired by EQT a few months ago for more than €250m. Prior to that, Joaquin also co-founded by Besoccer and Panoramio, the first startup acquired by Google back in 2007
  • Cloud hosting company Gigas has been quite active in the past few months, having acquired a couple of companies in the telecommunications space in Ireland and Portugal. Now it has also announced the acquisition of 3,000 enterprise clients from MasMovil, as it continues to move into the telco space in order to diversify its portfolio
  • El Mundo talked to Dani Seijo (Fuell), Jordi Altimira (Lanzame) and Enrique Penichet (DraperB1) about the current Spanish startup market. The title reads 'Is there a startup bubble?', but the article is more interesting than a cliche headline
  • El Español also talked to Miguel Vicente (Letsbonus, Antai) about his areas of interest to start and invest in companies in 2021

Big company news 🏦

  • Microsoft, Apple, Amazon and Google have all reached agreements with the Spanish tax office in the past few years to settle tax complaints from Hacienda
  • El Corte Ingles to offer its logistics service and distribution centres to third parties, in a move that aims to compete with what Amazon has been doing for ages with Amazon FBA and its marketplace

Interesting reads 🤓

  • La Vanguardia has an analysis of the evolution of R&D spending in Spain and other European countries. The trend looks really bad, with R&D as a percentage of GDP steadily decreasing in Spain since 2010. In other similar countries such as Portugal, Greece or Poland, the trend is the opposite
  • Xataka looked into the current status of the Spanish aerospace industry: "it exists and it wants to play a role in the explosion of space exploration"
  • Eduardo Manchon (Mailtrack) published an oped in El Confidencial about remote work: 'Earn twice as much because of remote work: this is what's coming, and you're not ready for it'
  • Asier Marqués, engineering manager at Packlink, wrote a post about 'implementing a workflow for your Architecture Decisions Records'

Podcasts 🎧

  • Itnig interviewed Adrià Buzón of Cuideo
  • SeedRocket interviewed Andres Torrubia about his entrepreneurial career and AI