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Telefonica invests in Bit2me. Toqio raised €20M. Penpot, a Figma alternative.

October 3, 2022 • Issue #338 is a studio with +6 years of experience specialized in data engineering for you to build, optimize and scale your business project, without bottlenecks and with the right information. We help you in data architectures for reporting, automation and advanced analytics.

We have realized that, fundamentally, there are two types of companies: those that trust their data and those that do NOT.

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Startup funding news 💸

  • Alicante-based Bit2me raised funding from Telefonica. The news was previously announced by La Informacion two weeks ago, and it said that the amount of the round is between €20M and €30M. As a result of the partnership, Telefonica will also offer crypto payments in its website. The telco won't receive crypto from customers, as crypto will be automatically converted to fiat by Bit2me before hitting the telco's bank accounts
  • London and Madrid-based embedded fintech provider Toqio raised €20M in Series A funding, led by AlbionVC. Aldea Ventures also participated in the round, and so did Seaya, who led the company's seed
  • Madrid-based Penpot, an open source alternative to Figma, announced an $8M round led by US fund Decibel. Penpot’s CEO Pablo Ruiz-Múzquiz told Techcrunch that sign-ups were growing at around 40% per month before Figma's acquisition, after that the figure ballooned to 5,600%
  • Madrid-based mobility startup PandaGo raised €4.7M, led by Kibo Ventures. Big Sur Ventures and JME Ventures also participated in the round. The company operates a B2B electric-vehicle renting marketplace
  • Papaya is a London-based company co-founded by Spaniard Santi Ureta. Papaya's software is designed to help fleet operators source and manage electric or light-electric vehicles. The company announced last week a $3.5M round
  • Madrid-based insurtech Tuio raised €3M, led by Otium Capital. Extension Fund and Kalonia Venture Partners also participated in the deal
  • Madrid-based Box2box raised €1.1M
  • Barcelona-based play-to-earn startup Metasoccer raised funding from Telefonica. NFT startup Crossmint also received funding from the telco
  • Other rounds of funding: Vitruve, Lifecole, Nivimu, Finanfox, Epsiloom,

M&A activity 🎊

  • Zaragoza-based metaverse startup Imascono was acquired by Telefonica. Terms of the deal were not disclosed
  • Barcelona-based vacation rental software company Kigo was acquired by Guesty
  • UK company Way2VAT acquired DevoluIVA, one of the first digital solutions for corporate expense and VAT (value added tax) recovery in Spain

Investor & accelerator news 🚀

  • ICO has €450M in fresh capital to invest in nine Spanish funds
  • Moira Capital increased its stake in logistics company Goi from 30% to 34%
  • GoHub Ventures led a $2.8M seed round in UK-based startup NeuralSpace to bring voice AI to all local languages around the world
  • Telefonica announced investments in blockchain-focused funds Boarderless Capital and Nova Labs. The telco is also entering the NFT sector with its own initiative
  • Spain's "Crea y Crece" law has gone into effect, which will have an impact on the local tech and investment sector. It it will lower the minimum required investment in Venture Capital funds from €100K to €10K, thus opening the asset class to a bigger pool of potential investors, and it will also allow for the quick creation of companies. On this latter point, French startup Qonto launched last week a service to create new companies faster (you'll still have to physically go to a notary though)
  • Here's an interview with Amol Sarva, co-founder of longevity focused fund LifeX Ventures, the $100M fund he shares with Spaniard Iñaki Berenguer

Startup news 💡

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  • Adtech company Seedtag said that they plan to hit €150M in sales this year. The company recently raised €250M from Advent Capital and plans to heavily expand in the US
  • Cloud hosting company Gigas said that it plans to launch its own B2B ISP, thus moving into the telco sector. The fibre service will allow companies to pay for their bandwidth consumption, instead of a flat fee. Also last week, Gigas announced the acquisition of Catalan VOIP company TPartner for almost €12M
  • Endurance Motive, a Valencia-based startup that designs and assembles lithium-ion battery systems for industrial logistics, plans to open a battery factory in Mexico
  • What the Capchase founders learned about fundraising - and what you need to know. The Spanish and American revenue-based financing company has raised almost $1B in debt and equity in less than three years
  • Belvo, developers of open banking APIs for the Latam market, announced that it is now approved to develop payment initiation solutions in Brazil, adding to the existing portfolio of data aggregation for regulated institutions and enrichment tools
  • Buy-now-pay-later company SeQura secured a €150M credit line

Big company news 🏦

  • Chinese car company BYD Auto to partner with Galician vehicle manufacturer Castrosua to build electric buses for the Spanish market
  • Snap announced a partnership with LaLiga to bring the best football content to all of their users, who will be able to enjoy weekly football highlights, historic archives and more on the platform
  • United Nations to open a computing centre in Valencia with more than 100 employees. Japanese tech company Hitachi also plans to open a development centre in the Mediterranean city

Interesting reads 🤓

  • uiFromMars interviewed Manu Gamero, co-founder of product and design agency Sensa. Manu and Sensa are actually the ones who created what you're reading right now, the design behind
  • Caroline Lagergren of 'Expand to Spain' published "Unicornesses to-be; Spanish unicorn candidates with female tech founders"

Podcasts 🎧

  • K Fund interviewed Manuel Silva, general partner at Mouro Capital (previously known as Santander InnoVentures). Full transcription available here
  • Life on Mars published a podcast on "remote worker solitude"
  • SeedRocket interviewed Octavi Uyà, co-founder of Woodea, and previously of Nautal
  • Product Hackers interviewed Pepe Martin (Minimalism) and Ricardo Llamas (Deportae)