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Ironhack raised $20m. Landbot got $8m. Mestrelab's covid work.

January 25, 2021 • Issue #252

Ready, set, go! 2021 got here in full force, and we couldn't welcome it other than with great content for startups 🚀Amazon Web Services’ mission is to help startups succeed. For that, we’re kicking off the year with a few knowledge-sharing events.

For those just beginning your journey, we’re hosting the first AWS Startup Academy of the year next January 28^th. We’ll cover all of the startup programs you can take advantage of as well as the AWS basics to build and iterate your MVP (you can sign up here ). If you want more specialized content, Startup Accelerate: Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning might be for you. On January 27^th we’ll host a hands-on workshop about how to leverage ML for your startup’s every day challenges (you can sign up here ). Build on!

Startup funding news 💸

  • Madrid-based international tech school Ironhack raised $20 million in Series B funding round led by Lumos Capital
  • Barcelona-based no-code chatbot builder Landbot, raised $8m led by VC firm Swanlaab. Landbot says that it’s grown to 2,200 paying customers and 50,000 individuals (free and paid) using its tool
  • Madrid-based Connecting Visions, a startup that helps SMEs gain access to consulting services raised €2m from Banco Santander
  • Barcelona-based biotech firm Aptadel Therapeutics raised €1.7m
  • Madrid-based edtech startup Nannyfy raised funding from Wayra
  • Other rounds of funding: FrankieTheKing, RawData, CO2Revolution, TogetherPrice, Vonzu, Nubentos, TuLechoAlTecho, ClarkLent, SamyRoad

M&A activity 🎊

  • According to Jesus Martinez of La Informacion, the acquisition of Verse by Square was an all-stock deal. When the deal was closed it valued the Spanish fintech startup at €30m. Since then, Square's share price has increased by three, which could mean that the resulting value of the transaction is closer to €90m
  • According to Expansion, Deporvillage has hired Arcano as an M&A advisor to prepare the company for an M&A transaction
  • Belgian company Ampacimon acquired Spanish underground cable monitoring specialist Diael

Investor & accelerator news 🚀

  • Expansion published a long profile of Inveready, the Barcelona-based investment firm. Inveready is one of the oldest local VC firms, with more than €500m of assets under management and 40 exits, including that of MasMovil
  • Javier Torremocha of Kibo Ventures published a summary of what the year 2020 has meant for the fund. Several of Kibo's companies raised significant rounds of funding last year and the firm also raised its third fund
  • In 2020, ENISA gave 506 loans worth €83m, up 11% from 2019
  • Lean Finance, who you might have heard of since they've been sponsors of this newsletter a couple of times, announced the launch of a €3m fund to invest in startups
  • Caixa Capital Risc invested €3m in German security startup Build83. The company also has offices in Barcelona
  • Latinia invested in Latam fintech SaaS startup Abaco
  • AticcoLab is looking for startups to participate in its most recent accelerator batch

Startup news 💡

  • Glovo announced last week a strategic partnership with Swiss-based real estate firm, Stoneweg. Stoneweg will invest €100m in building and refurbishing city real estate in some of Glovo’s key markets, creating new dark stores that can hold inventory and fulfill orders
  • In more Glovo news, CEO Oscar Pierre appeared in a Bloomberg article to claim that the company has no plans to sell to Delivery Hero and that their goal is to IPO. “Delivery Hero is a super good partner,” Pierre said. “They know our dream is to stay independent, and they respect it.”
  • Cinco Dias profiled Mestrelab, a Santiago-based biotech company that focuses on the development and supply of high quality software for analytical chemistry and analytical chemistry data management. Pfizer, Moderna and AstraZeneca all use Mestrelab's software in their R&D processes. Mestrelab reached sales of €6.5m in 2020 and posted a profit of €1.4m. El Español also published a profile of the company last week
  • Barcelona-based fintech startup Belvo launched a new solution that allows credit providers in Latin America to get a real picture of their clients’ income. The company says that "this new income verification product is the first one designed to meet the particular needs of the credit lending sector in Latam"
  • Cobee, the Madrid-based fintech startup that develops an online platform that automates and simplifies employee benefits management, has started its international expansion by launching in Portugal. The company also claims to have more than 200 clients
  • Madrid and Boston-based Devo announced the addition of security industry veteran and serial entrepreneur Ted Julian to its rapidly expanding roster of elite executive talent, to accelerate product innovation
  • Tinybird wrote a blog post explaining how their SaaS product integrates with git and what such functionality unlocks
  • La Informacion wrote about Indexa Capital's growth in recent years, as well as the company's plans to reach €1b in assets under management this year
  • Business Insider talked to a bunch of Spanish VCs to ask them about local cybersecurity startups to keep an eye on. At the top of the list are IriusRisk, CounterCraft and Gataca
  • idealista wrote an article about the decline en real estate rents across Spain last year, as a result of the pandemic. The company also says in the article that following the lockdown, it saw an increase in traffic of 3X compared to the lowest point of the year
  • Pol Fañanás and Gerard García, of entrepreneurship newsletter Views, interviewed Pere Valles, currently CEO of travel company Exoticca and previously of Scytl
  • Startup profiles: RepScan, Iristrace, Declarando

Big company news 🏦

  • The Economist wrote an article about Inditex and its slowly but surely transformation into an online retail business: 'How Inditex is refashioning its business model: The owner of Zara is tailoring its operations to fit online shoppers'
  • Who would have thought'? Amazon has been emailing providers who use its platform in Spain to sell products, to tell them that it'll be increasing its prices as a result of Spain's tax on digital services and companies. So, in the end, the tax will punish Spanish SMBs and consumers

Interesting reads 🤓

  • Bartek Kunowski, head of product at Glovo, wrote about the company's 'product principles'
  • Mar Cabra, former investigative journalist and part of ICIJ where she won a Pulitzer Price, wrote an article about her tech detox process: 'I'm not an email junkie anymore and I work better. How about you?'
  • Victor Duran, senior PM at Farfetch, published a webinar about product management: 'How to use mental models in your product role'
  • Ander Lopez wrote an analysis of the Basque Country’s startup ecosystem

Podcasts 🎧

  • K Fund interviewed Juan Luis Hortelano of Blinkfire Analytics
  • Novicap interviewed Samuel Gil of JME
  • MasQueStartups interviewed Nacho Gonzalez Barros (infojobs, Mailtrack, Hireflix, etc)
  • itnig interviewed Jaime Jimenez of typs