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UserZoom valued at $800m. Loyal Guru raised €8m. Bizum's profit.

March 7, 2022 • Issue #309

What do Colvin, Wallbox, Áltima and Port Aventura World have in common? Pixel Research Lab. Continue reading to understand why!

Do you want to validate an idea, business, or product? Do you want to know your users better? Perhaps you want to reduce costs by prioritizing deployment based on your user's needs? With Pixel Research Lab, you can achieve all these !

We want to help you make evidence-based decisions and invest your resources where it matters most. With our lean approach to user-centric research, team training and workshop facilitation, we can help you navigate the uncertainty of current times.

When in doubt, research.🖖

Startup funding news 💸

  • Spanish startups raised a combined €127m in February
  • Barcelona-based SaaS customer data platform for retailers, Loyal Guru, raised €8m led by Nauta Capital
  • Other rounds of funding: Oliver, Finergia, Colibid,

M&A activity 🎊

  • Thoma Bravo, one of the world's leading PE firms in the tech and SaaS sector, announced the acquisition of a majority stake in Barcelona and US-based SaaS company UserZoom. The deal values UserZoom at $800m. The company was born in Spain 2006 and moved its headquarters to the US a few years later. 25% of UserZoom's employees are in Barcelona, where it has its main product and engineering office, including its CTO. In 2021, UserZoom had more than $80m in ARR
  • PE firm Miura Partners is interested in acquiring eMagister for €50m to €80m. According to el Economista, the idea that Miura has is to create a portfolio of edtech companies, following the acquisition a few months ago of also education company Educaedu. Miura has €1b of assets under management
  • Jobandtalent acquired US staffing agency InStaff, which focuses on the logistics and transportation industry. With the deal, Jobandtalent increases its presence in the US and adds $18m of quarterly revenue
  • Semrush announced plans to acquire Spanish SaaS company Kompyte, developers of a competitive intelligence automation and sales enablement platform. Terms of the deal were not disclosed
  • Oscar Pierre of Glovo gave a couple of interviews to talk about the future of the company under the Delivery Hero umbrella
  • Barcelona-based biotech company Vytrus Biotech plans to debut on the BME Growth at a €12m valuation

Investor & accelerator news 🚀

  • Last week it was announced that ICO Next Tech will support our growth fund at K Fund, Leadwind, with €70m. La Informacion also wrote about the investment here and about ICO's strategy here, which consists of having much more resources to invest in both local VC funds as well as directly in companies under certain circumstances. The goal that we have with this new fund is to invest in scaleups in Southern Europe and Latam. More details on this new fund very soon
  • Alma Mundi also announced plans to raise a €200m fund aimed at both early and growth stage insurtech companies. This is Alma's second fund for the insurtech sector, the first one was announced in 2018 and had a total size of €100m
  • All Iron Ventures participated in the €6.2m seed round of Berlin-based startup DasLab. The company aims to help the telemedicine industry add diagnostic testing and results into their product lineup
  • Inveready acquired the majority of value fund manager True Value Investments

Startup news 💡

  • Ecommerce company Freshly Cosmetics closed 2021 with €45m in sales, up 50% YoY. 25% of sales come from outside Spain. The company has four retail stores and could expand in that direction in the near future, in order to create a true omnichannel experience for custmers
  • La Informacion wrote a profile of our fintech portfolio company Abacum. The company led by Julio Martinez and Jorge Lluch has developed a collaborative FP&A solution for tech finance teams that automates data transformation and performance analysis. Customers include the likes of Typeform, Cabify, Wallapop and many others. Abacum is a portfolio company of K Fund, we backed Julio and Jorge before they even had a working product or prototype
  • The same outlet published a profile of logistics company GOI. Co-founded by Yaiza Canosa, the company reached €20m in sales last year, following the acquisition of various complimentary businesses in the transportation sector. GOI plans to continue to do that and is also thinking about expanding internationally in 2023
  • Last week I wrote about the investment raised by kubernetes development platform Okteto, which is headquartered in the US but has most of its employees in Spain. This week two of its US investors wrote about the investment. Two Sigma, which led the round, and Haystack
  • Online dental supplier Dentaltix grew revenues by 40% in 2021, to €12m
  • The challenges of two Spanish women founders in deeptech/medtech competing with Elon Musk: Inbrain, led by Carolina Aguilar, and Neuroelectrics, led by Ana Maiques
  • Location intelligence company CARTO announced that "from now on, CARTO will not be doing business with companies based in Russia", as a result of the current war in Ukraine
  • Cabify has a new CFO, Juan Barbolla, who served the same role at Citibox. Juan replaces Antonio España, who joined Cabify less than a year ago
  • Pablo Szefner, co-founder of sleep wellness moonoa, wrote a thread about how they did a pivot to change the trajectory of the company
  • Forocoches has seen its f irst redesign ever. The popular Spanish online community has maintained its aesthetics for many years but it's now changing, especially on mobile
  • Pablo Viguera, co-founder of fintech startup Belvo, talked about the importance of data science in their open banking field
  • Business banking company Nomo announced the launch of bank accounts and debit cards for SMBs
  • Startup profiles:
  • Rosita: health tech and longevity coach
  • Huboo: logistics
  • Outvise: recruiting

Big company news 🏦

  • Telefónica Tech, the telecom digital transformation arm, is teaming up with Polygon to bring Web3-based solutions to its business clients. The partnership will leverage Polygon’s network and tools to provide companies with a quick and easy way to integrate blockchain technology in their businesses
  • Hacienda could introduce a new tax on last mile deliveries. The tax would affect not only online businesses that rely on delivering items to customers (Amazon, Aliexpress, etc), but also traditional retail businesses such as El Corte Ingles and others
  • Bizum posted its first ever profit in 2021, of €1.4m. In 2021, the payments conglomerate saw the following figures: €26b payments facilitated across 505m transactions, €30m in sales (vs. €12.8m in 2020)
  • Hacienda and Telefonica continue to battle it out, since the tax office now asking the telco for a €387m payment
  • José Ignacio Goirigolzarri, president of Caixabank, says that banks and crypto companies should face the same set of regulations

Interesting reads 🤓

  • Ariel Camus, co-founder of remote first company Microverse, wrote a post on how to "build stronger connections as a distributed team"
  • Jorge Galindo, co-founder of engineering firm 47Degrees, published "how to think bigger when you get big", on the process of scaling and growing the company past 100 employees
  • Simon Muñoz, platform PM at Voicemod, wrote "Why do product teams fail?"
  • David Bonilla of Manfred wrote "Is web scraping legal?"

Podcasts 🎧

  • Itnig interviewed Iker Marcaide of Zubi Labs, and also founder of Flywire
  • K Fund interviewed Mario Cantero, co-founder of health tech company Melio