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Durcal raised €8M. Stellantis bought Clicars. Cocoa Ventures is born.

May 23, 2022 • Issue #320

From idea to ready in 10-weeks with the AWS Startup Loft Accelerator.

AWS Startup Loft Accelerator is a 10-week virtual program that allows you to build your own personalized agenda, equips your team with technical resources and guidance, and offers you to join an extensive network of ecosystem partners, investor, experts, and other entrepreneurs.

Every participating startup is also eligible to join the Activate program with up to $25,000 USD to spend on AWS services. Discover the program and apply here.

Startup funding news 💸

  • Barcelona-based Durcal raised €8M from Telefonica, Atresmedia, Mangrove and K Fund. The company sells a smartwatch for seniors, as well as complimentary software
  • Barcelona and UK-based QualityClouds raised £5.5M, led by YFM Equity Partners. The deal included the participation of Adara Ventures and Aldea
  • Madrid-based fintech startup Bnext received additional $4.5M investment, led by Borderless Capital to drive DeFi on Algorand
  • Sevilla-based smart WiFi company Galgus raised €4M from GoHub, Mundi and GED Capital
  • Madrid-based furniture subscription service Bechester raised €1.5M
  • Other rounds of funding: offUgo,, Erasmus Play,

M&A activity 🎊

  • Stellantis acquired the remaining stake it did not have of car ecommerce company Clicars. Europa Press says the deal could be valued at €100M. Clicars has processed the sale of €500M worth of cars. Here's an interview with Clicars' co-founders
  • Barcelona-based biotech firm Molomics Biotech got acquired by US company VeriSIM Life
  • Adtech startup Tappx acquired From The Bench
  • If the due diligence of Glovo performed in the context of its acquisition by Delivery Hero finds contingencies that surpass €100M, the deal could fall through. Interestingly, labour disputes about the working conditions of riders are excluded from those contingencies

Investor & accelerator news 🚀

  • Carmen Rico unveiled Cocoa Ventures, a new $17M VC fund designed to not lead rounds, not argue over stakes and not get in the way of other investors
  • All Iron Ventures participated in the €3M seed round for virtual stadium developers Virtex
  • Sifted published a series of interviews with various European VC firms to chat about the current market environment and reduction in valuations. The article features the opinion of Laura González-Estéfani, founder and CEO of TheVentureCity. Samuel Gil (JME) also wrote about the topic in his newsletter
  • Arcano launched Balboa Ventures II with a target size of €150M. The firm plans to invest in other funds in US, Europe and Israel
  • Bio&Tech Smart Capital is a new Galician fund with a target size of €50M to back Spanish seed and Series A biotech companies
  • Pablo Isla, former president of Inditex, to serve as a senior advisor of VC firm General Atlantic

Startup news 💡

  • Profile of football media company La Media Inglesa. The company has 330K subscribers of which 9K are paid subs and high ambitions to continue to grow as the go-to destination for Spaniards interested in the Premier League
  • Xataka interviewed Fran Villalba Segarra, co-founder of cloud hosting and privacy friendly startup Internxt
  • Juan Lopez, co-founder of Clevergy, is documenting the launch of his startup. In the first entry, he writes about "month 0"
  • Martí Gou, co-founder of Gretel, shared part of their investment report on Linkedin. Gretel provides company management software and recently raised a pre-seed round of $150K
  • Tutrocito, Mogu and Capboard were the winners of the 27th edition of SeedRocket's campus
  • PLD Space to invest €600K in a new test bench in Teruel
  • Revolut announced the opening of its first Spanish office. I found this interesting because I thought that Revolut already had an office in Spain back in the day, in Barcelona
  • Startup profiles:
  • Councilbox: legaltech

Big company news 🏦

  • Romanian telco firm Digi continues to grow aggressively in Spain, which could mean good news for the merge of Masmovil and Orange to avoid regulatory hurdles
  • Adevinta (Schibsted) is not too happy with the "Google Tax" approved by the Spanish government and wants to reduce the number of products that could be affected by it
  • Vorwerk, the German company behind the popular Thermomix, plans to double the size of its Madrid software development centre
  • Zara and Inditex have announced plans to start charging for returns. Here's an op-ed that argues whether the move makes sense and if Zara should try instead to look for technology solutions to solve the issue of returns

Interesting reads 🤓

  • Interesting interview with Pilar Manchon (Intel, Amazon, Google) about a wide variety of topics. From her personal upbringing, to the evolution of certain parts of the Spanish startup ecosystem to her current and past work as head of research at AI at some well-known organisations
  • Avi Meir, CEO of Travelperk, wrote a thread with tips to thriving in crisis, with the context of "as the CEO of a VC-backed business travel startup that just went through 2 years of crisis and thrived, doing at the moment 10X revenue vs. pre-covid ($100M ARR) w/ much stronger company"
  • Ignacio Arriaga of Acumbamail published a list of 33 acquisition channels for companies to win their first 100 clients
  • Antonio Ortiz, co-founder of WeblogsSL, wonders if the startup bubble has popped
  • Javier Megias (Bankinter, former founder of Startupxplore) wrote "Competitive strategies in VC: can VCs differentiate themselves?"

Podcasts 🎧

  • Tadatic interviewed Sara Gozalo, lead music label technical operations at YouTube
  • Itnig interviewed Albert Bosch, co-founder and CEO of Housfy
  • Product Hackers interviewed Rosa Jiménez Cano of Jeeves
  • K Fund interviewed Ana Zamora, co-founder and CEO of insurtech company Vitaance