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UserZoom raises $100m. Cathay invests in Seaya. Wayra turns 10.

April 19, 2021 • Issue #264

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Startup funding news 💸

  • Fundacion Bankinter published its Q1 report on funding activity in Spain
  • California-based UX testing platform UserZoom raised $100m. The company also announced the acquisition of EnjoyHQ. UserZoom has its headquarters in the US but also has strong ties to Spain, since its three original co-founders are Spaniards. The company also has a 100-employee office in Barcelona, where its engineering, design and customer support teams are located
  • According to La Informacion, Dimas Gimeno (former president of El Corte Ingles) is looking to raise €5m for its new startup marketplace, Wow
  • Barcelona-based real estate company P2Squared raised €2m
  • Malaga-based data analysis company Shapelets raised €1m, led by Inveready
  • Barcelona-based insurtech company Gocleer raised €930k, led by Antai
  • Madrid-based fitness startup DudyFit raised €700k, led by JME
  • Australian company Wisr acquired a minority stake in Spanish money saving app Arbor. According to Cinco Dias, the deal could value Arbor at €20m
  • Other rounds of funding: Caelum Labs, Renty, Glasskin, Naturcode

M&A activity 🎊

  • CNMV approved the acquisition of electric bike manufacturer Silence by Acciona
  • Coinbase went public last week. BBVA was an investor in Coinbase via Propel VC. Xataka made same estimates on BBVA's return on investment

Investor & accelerator news 🚀

  • VC firm Cathay Innovation announced a strategic partnership with Seaya Ventures to fuel co-Investments and startup growth across Europe, North America, Asia and Latam. As part of the agreement, Cathay will take a minority stake in Seaya’s management company. Both firms had 6 previous co-investments: Glovo, Savana, Housfy, Coverfy, Wallbox and Paris-based Alma. Expansion has more details about the partnership here
  • Wayra has turned 10 years old. The firm highlighted a bunch of figures in this article, included the fact that they've invested (and accelerated) in 800 companies. Miguel Arias, current director of Wayra, wrote about the milestone in an article titled "10 learnings in 10 years"
  • Valencia-based Lanzadera to launch a health-focused accelerator program
  • Pol Fañanás, formerly of ValidatedID, is joining Kibo Ventures. Pol participated in the first batch of Included VC, in which we participate at K Fund

Startup news 💡

  • The Financial Times published an overview of the food delivery and dark store models, following Deliveroo's IPO in the UK and several large fundraising events involving dark store operators. The FT talked to Oscar Pierre, CEO of Glovo, about his view of the market. Pierre says that "Glovo plans to launch 100 new dark stores this year across Europe, the Middle East and Africa" and he "is cautious about the “huge hype” surrounding rapid delivery
  • Also related to Glovo, the company announced that it will open an engineering centre in Madrid, where it plans to hire 100 people
  • Marcos Alves, co-founder of El Tenedor, has left the company after a 15 year stint. El Tenedor (and La Fourchette) got acquired by Tripadvisor several years ago
  • Jeff announced that it is expanding its booming franchise into the US. The company currently has more than 2,000 franchises around the world
  • Cinco Dias wrote an article to highlight six Spanish startups that GP Bullhound believes could become new members of the European unicorn club: Codigames, Jobandtalent, Wallapop, Paack, Playtomic and RavenPack
  • Spanish SEO tools provider marketgoo has partnered with DreamHost, a global leader in web hosting and Managed WordPress services, to deliver customized SEO guidance to online businesses worldwide
  • Startup Info interviewed Iñigo Valenzuela, founder of Smartvel, about the use of AI in travel information
  • Business Insider talked to a few of Spanish investors about the mobility sector and put together a list of the ones that they believe are the most promising startups in the space
  • Startup profiles: Moonback, MyNextDerma, Catevering

Startup numbers & financials 🔢

  • CNBC published a profile fo Pepita Marin, co-founder of We Are Knitters. In the article, Pepita says that WAK is close to reaching €20m in annual sales. Endeavor also interviewed Pepita
  • Business Insider interviewed Luis Hernandez, co-founder of Uptodown. The Malaga-based Android app distributor has 130m users and manages 450m monthly downloads
  • Spanish IaaS (Infrastructure-as-a-Service) provider says that it has doubled revenues and number of clients in 2020, and that it expects to close 2021 with €2.4m in sales
  • DayOne interviewed Andres Casal, co-founder of foodtech startup Wetaca. The company says that it reached €7m in sales in 2020, while growing profitably at 100% year-on-year

From the trenches 👷🏽‍♀️

  • Isaac Neville, CCO at Beonprice, wrote "3 customer service lessons a hotelier can learn from a Saas company"
  • Alvaro Rojas, co-founder of Headstart Academy and previously of Ironhack, wrote "What is tech sales?"

Big company news 🏦

  • Zity, the car sharing initiative launched by Renault and Ferrovial, reached an agreement with Bankinter to offer its 388k users access to debit cards and personal finance products
  • Bizum to launch payments via QR codes
  • According to La Informacion, the Spanish government to no longer consider Scytl as a potential provider of election day technology services. This means that Indra, once again, is the only provider of such services in Spain
  • Telefonica could sell its submarine cable for up to €1.5b. Also related to the Spanish telco, UK regulators could give the green light to the merge between Telefonica's O2 and Vodafone

Interesting reads 🤓

  • Expansion talked to several people about what it takes to move from a startup phase to a larger company phase. The article features Iñaki Arrola, David Miranda, Diego Ballesteros, Aquilino Peña, Marek Fodor and others
  • Itamar Gilad is a former PM of Google, Microsoft and IBM now based in Barcelona. He recently published the following post a product and sales-oriented organisations: "Product-Centric is Just as Bad as Sales-Driven"
  • Eduardo Manchon (Mailtrack) published an op-ed in El Confidencial titled "Programming is for the poor: why the Spanish software world is broken". There were a bunch of reactions on Twitter to Manchon's article, but I thought this one from Diego Parrilla (Apility, formerly of Auth0) was quite good
  • Hector Garcia, co-founder and former CEO of Geographica (acquired by CARTO), published a post about launching tech companies outside of tech's main hubs: "Emprendedor de provincias"
  • Samuel Gil of JME published a post about efficient management, based on Andy Grove's book "High Output Management"

Podcasts 🎧

  • interviewed Olga de Andres about growth management in fintech companies. Olga was previously at Bnext and Pagantis
  • Pensamiento Digital interviewed Ana Asuero and Javier Cubelos of Bdeo, to talk about machine learning and visual intelligence
  • K Fund interviewed Ignacio Tovar and Martín Beitia about innovation at Iberia
  • SeedRocket interviewed Tom Horsey, perhaps one of the most active business angels in Spain
  • Itnig interviewed Francisco Moran of Aqui Tu Reforma
  • Novicap interviewed Pau Valdés, CEO of InboundCycle
  • Upbizor interviewed Josep Casas and Esteban Humet of Naturitas