WalletConnect raised $11M. Tencent buys Tequila Works. Facebook's Spanish bet.
March 21, 2022 • Issue #311
This weeks' newsletter wouldn't be possible without the support of Cobee.
Some of the companies that you see in this newsletter such as Factorial, Red Points, Lingokids, Trucksters (Congrats! 🤑) or Typeform have something in common: they all want to boost their employees' workplace wellness through Cobee.
With Cobee, you can create and manage tailored benefits plans for each employee. With a simple and unique platform, any company can design a compensation plan specifically tailored to its needs.
Once configured, employees are able to access all their benefits from one place: their phone. No need to plan in advance or to reach out to the People's team everytime they need something.
Through Cobee’s app, every employee is able to decide what to consume, when and how.
Companies such as Glovo, Booking, Gympass or Holaluz among others already use Cobee. Do you want to hear more about their experience? Read on here.
You’re just in time to experience Cobee yourself. Why don’t you join us?
Startup funding news 💸
- Crypto startup WalletConnect raised $11M to build out the messaging layer for Web3, led by USV. The company appears to be remote first, but I'm including it here because its CEO Pedro Gomes is based in Barcelona, according to his Linkedin profile
- Valencia-based HR startup Sesame raised €10M led by PSG
- Madrid-based logistics company Trucksters announced an €8M extension of its Series A from various existing and new investors. They expect to close 2021 with €30M in sales
- Barcelona-based biotech Mowoot raised €1M
- Other rounds of funding: Sycai Medical, Mediobiofarma,
M&A activity 🎊
- Chinese giant Tencent acquired a majority stake in Madrid-based gaming studio Tequila Works
- Based on Delivery Hero's stock price on Monday 14th, Glovo's acquisition price was less than the total amount of funding raised by Glovo as an independent company (€1B). Delivery Hero agreed to acquire Glovo in an all-stock deal. It's also worth noting that DH's stock behaved much better through the rest of last's week and ended up at +10%
- Also last week, Glovo announced the acquisition of Portuguese foodtech startup Kitch, developers of software for restaurants to manage and centralize their delivery and takeaway, or create their own online store for their restaurant
- Travelzoo acquired Secret Escape’s business in Spain, adding 1.5 million subscribers to its travel and leisure deals service
Investor & accelerator news 🚀
- Barcelona-based health tech firm Nina Capital announced a $1.5M investment in US health company MedaSystems
Startup news 💡
Madrid-based Cobee means employee benefits plans done right. It's good for HR teams because it allows them to not have to focus on this on a daily basis, and it's great for employees because through Cobee’s app, every user is able to decide what to consume, when and how. Check them out here and also this podcast interview with co-founder Nacho Travesí.
- Wallbox, the Barcelona-based startup that sells various products and services for electric vehicles, announced Q4 2021 and full year revenues of $31M and $86M, respectively. 2021 revenues increased by 266% compared to 2020. The company plans to expand its offering to become an energy management solution for businesses and homes
- Investment firm GP Bullhound believes that Factorial, Typeform, Lingokids and Red Points will become unicorns in the next few years
- Avi Meir, CEO of TravelPerk, gave an interview and talked about the company's plans in the near future. The 800-person startup could continue to acquire other businesses to complement its organic growth, and also launched GreenPerk API, a product to help companies measure their carbon footprint and build strategies that help reduce emissions
- Before the pandemic, a ton of escooter (patinetes) companies operated in multiple Spanish cities. As months went by and the pandemic hit, the sector saw consolidation in the form of M&A and many of the players were also forced to stop business due to regulation by local governments. Now that European unicorn Voi is back in Madrid, La Informacion looked at the current state of the sector
- Streamloots, the Valencia-based startup that helps streamers monetise their audience, launched a new product: MyLastVideo, a single-URL creator that allows streamers to redirect their communities to their latest YouTube video
- ForceManager says that its CRM solution for the mobile workforce is currently being used by 20,000 sales people and 1,500 customers
- Glovo partially resumed operations across 20 Ukrainian cities, including the capital Kyiv, to provide essential services and give humanitarian support
- Business Insider published an article about Cabify's mafia, which included interviews with six former employees of the company to ask them what they learned while working at the company and what they're up to now
- Bilbao-based fashion startu Lookiero currently has 550 employees and is looking to add 300 more this year
- Fleet is a French startup that allows clients to rent computers and smartphones for a flat monthly fee. The company is bootstrapped and is expected to generate an annual turnover of €12M at its current run rate. The company recently announced the launch of its device-as-a-service offering in Spain and the opening of an office in Barcelona
- Startup profiles:
- Fundeen: energy crowdfunding platform
- A bunch of companies of all sizes announced plans to open offices in Spain: ERNI in Valencia, Vultr in Madrid, Dative in Bilbao, Cheqroom, Payfit and Qonto are also expanding their offices in Barcelona
Big company news 🏦
- Facebook (Meta) announced big investment plans for Spain. The plans include hiring up to 2,000 people over the next five years, the company's first Meta Lab (a flexible base for Meta’s remote workers in Spain), new connectivity infrastructure in the form of submarine cables, a new data centre in Castilla and other initiatives. The announcement was made by Spaniard Javier Oliván, currently VP Cross-Meta Products and Infrastructure. Olivan was also profiled last week in the Spanish press
- Mercadona's online sales grew to €510M in 2021, up from €360M in the previous year, accounting for 1.8% of the company's total sales
- Facebook has paid €34M to the Spanish tax office. It's not exactly clear the reason behind the payment
- If Orange and MasMovil merge finally happens, both companies will have to let go part of their 5G spectrum allocation
- Uber increased by 50 cents each trip in Spain to compensate for high prices
- Spotify and FC Barcelona announced a long-term partnership, which officially kicks off in July 2022, where Spotify will become the main partner of the club and the official audio streaming partner. The deal is reportedly valued at €300M for 4 seasons
Tech and policy 💂🏼♂️
- Kit Digital is an initiative launched by the Spanish government (and supported by the EU) to help SMBs be more digital, by buying products and services from Spanish providers and startups. The initiative has one main goal: to connect SMBs looking to be more digital with providers that can thus see their business increase. Several of our startups at K Fund have applied to join the program. Large Spanish companies (telcos, consulting firms, etc) can also apply to become providers of Kit Digital, and startups are increasingly worried that contracts would go to these large companies, thus in part defeating the purpose of the whole initiative. Fingers crossed, because if applied well, it can be a good thing for both traditional SMBs and startups
- Years later, the legal battle between VTC companies, operators of taxi alternatives, the CNMC and local governments continues
Interesting reads 🤓
- El Español published a profile of Xavier Padellorens, co-founder of ecommerce startup Deporvillage, which got acquired for between €125M and €150M last year
- Asier Marques (Packlink) published a post about the roll out a new tool to measure and track the maturity level of the company's engineering teams
- VC in times of war: how Russia’s invasion of Ukraine affects the Spanish startup ecosystem