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TravelPerk raised $160m. One more unicorn. Exoticca's 2021 record year.

January 17, 2022 • Issue #302

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Startup funding news 💸

  • One more unicorn! Barcelona-based travel startup TravelPerk announced an extension of its Series D round with $160m in fresh capital, reaching a valuation of $1.3b. The company has raised more than $400m since being founded. This extension was led by US VC firm General Catalyst (new investor) along with existing backer Kinnevik. TravelPerk also announced two new board members: Gillian Tans, ex-chairwoman and CEO of, who is also investing in a personal capacity, and Joel Cutler, an early investor in Stripe, Airbnb and Kayak. Congrats Avi and team! I recently interviewed CEO Avi Meir on the K Fund podKast, you can listen to it here
  • Barcelona-based travel public company eDreams raised €75m
  • Barcelona-based, developers of a SaaS product for restaurants, raised €2.2m led by All Iron Ventures
  • Pontevedra-based fintech startup Livetopic raised €600k
  • Other rounds of funding: Nubentus, Berrly, Bitstartups, Kupay, Impulsyn

M&A activity 🎊

  • More news and details on the acquisition of Glovo by Delivery Hero. Both companies held an analyst call last week (DH is a public company) and said several things: that DH is ok with Glovo's labour approach in Spain (having a mixed of hired riders and contractors), that the plan is for the company to become profitable in 2022, that Glovo has €140m in the bank right now and that GMV run-rate in December was €3.8b while growing at 80% YoY with 15m yearly active customers. Both companies published a PDF of the transaction with several interesting numbers and insights
  • Antai Venture Builder, shareholder in Glovo, also plans to participate in the M&A deal and exchange their shares in Glovo for new shares of DH
  • Flower marketplace Colvin announced its launch in France following the acquisition of competitor Monsieur Marguerite
  • British app management solution Airnow acquired Madrid-based mobile gaming specialist Lab Cave
  • PE firm Miura Partners acquired Basque edtech directory Educaedu from investor Great Hill Partners. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but several publications say that the deal was valued at "less than €100m"
  • Square's acquisition of Australian buy-now-pay-later company Afterpay can now continue as the deal was given green light by Spain's competition authorities

Investor & accelerator news 🚀

  • As mentioned a couple of issues ago, Pepe Agell is Pear VC's newest partner. Pepe sold Chartboost to Zynga a few months ago and has recently moved to Barcelona, where he'll be based. Great news for the ecosystem, both Europe and Spain
  • Kibo Ventures and Bonsai participated in the $13m Series A round of German proptech Evernest
  • Rodrigo Martinez (Helloworld, formerly of Point Nine) invested in Irish startup Clearword
  • José Manuel Entrecanales, president of Acciona, has left the presidency of JME Ventures
  • Lanzadera announced the name of the 54 new startups that will join its accelerator batch
  • Nara Capital is a new Barcelona-based biotech fund with a target size of €20m
  • La Informacion published a profile of Swedish investment firm Kinnevik, which has invested in two of Spain's unicorns: TravelPerk and Jobandtalent
  • After two years of close collaboration between M&A boutique Blue Bull Ventures and Arcano, both firms have parted ways amicably and will continue to operate independently. In 2021, Arcano Blue Bull participated in 15 deals. As an independent firm, Blue Bull will double down on its tech expertise with the goal of building an "international investment bank focused on the tech sector"

Startup news 💡

  • Travel company Exoticca (K Fund portfolio co.) closed 2021 with record sales of €75m, representing 130% YoY growth, despite the whole covid situation. More info here
  • Build in public: ecommerce and lifestyle brand Minimalism disclosed its 2021 financials, with €700k in revenue, 128% YoY growth and more than 6.3k online orders
  • Neobank Bnext has 215k active users that perform 1m transactions per month for a total of between €40m to €50m
  • Profile of last mile delivery startup Deelivers, which reached sales of €13m in 2021 and plans to start its European expansion
  • ABC talked to various entrepreneurs and investors about who they think the most promising Spanish startups are, featuring Factorial, TravelPerk, Clarity and others
  • Spanish regulator CNMC says that exclusivity agreements signed between food delivery companies such as Glovo and Uber Eats with restaurants are not anticompetitive
  • Bolt, one of the rivals of Cabify and Uber in Spain, announced a €628m round led by Sequoia and Fidelity. The company currently operates various services in Spain, including taxi, electric bikes and e-scooters
  • French fintech startup Qonto plans to invest €100m in Spain
  • French payroll management startup Payfit raised €254m and also announced plans to increase its presence in Spain, its second market in terms of revenue
  • Online tutoring company GoStudent raised a $340m Series D round led by new investor Prosus. The Vienna edtech company has offices in Madrid with more than 100 employees and also said that they think there are "great business opportunities in Spain". Not sure if that's on the M&A front or more on the business side of things
  • UK fintech neobank Revolut has rolled out its Lithuanian banking licence across ten more markets, including Spain. This means that customers can now upgrade and add deposit protection of up to €100k to their accounts for free. The company has 800k customers in Spain
  • Pacaso, the US proptech that allows for fractional ownership of homes, has launched in Spain, starting in Costa del Sol. El Confidencial also wrote a profile of the company
  • Novobrief published an overview of Spanish startups and corporates operating in the climate tech sector
  • Startup profiles:
  • Simplicity Works: manufacturing
  • Luda Partners: digitalisation of pharmacies
  • Wefeel: online therapy
  • Seedcash: fintech

Big company news 🏦

  • Telefonica, Indra and Inetum were the bigger beneficiaries of digital initiatives and contracts from the public sector
  • BBVA, Repsol and 11 other companies formed an alliance to research the applicability of quantum computing to Spain's key industries
  • Bizum expects to get to 23m users and 75k active merchants in 2022. In 2021, €800m were transacted through Bizum, for total revenues of around €9m

Interesting reads 🤓

  • Miguel Fernandez, co-founder of revenue-based financing startup Capchase, published "Use alternative financing to fuel VC-level growth without diluting ownership"
  • Jesus Monleon, of 4Founders Capital and Trendiero, wrote about how and when to rely on advisors for specific expertise that can help your startup, and also about how to pay them
  • Mar Alarcon, co-founder of Socialcar, published an op-ed about the Spanish startup law: "a big step but not sufficient". Here's also another article published on the law by professor Benito Arruñada
  • Octavi Uya, co-founder of boat marketplace Nautal, published another entry on his blog, this time about the "roller coaster" journey of the company when they received a lot of 'nos' from potential investors and had to raise an internal round to continue operating. Octavi also published a post on network effects in marketplace businesses
  • Thomas Petit published "Mobile Subscription Predictions for 2022"
  • Mike Ayala, Chief Growth Officer at Atani, published a post explaining why he's decided to join the crypto startup
  • Alberto Gonzalez, VP Engineering at Coverwallet, published "The importance of (well-designed) metrics at Software Engineering"

Podcasts 🎧

  • Dead Pixels Society interviewed Joaquin Cuenca, co-founder of Freepik
  • Minimalism interviewed Remo of iAsesoria
  • K Fund interviewed Diego Bestard, co-founder of proptech Urbanitae
  • Itnig interviewed Fran Villalba, co-founder of cloud company Internxt
  • SeedRocket interviewed Efrén Álvarez and Andrés Casal, co-founders of foodtech Wetaca
  • Lunes Inspiradores interviewed business angel Tom Horsey
  • El Español interviewed Eduard Castañeda, co-founder of Wallbox