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Voicemod raised $14m. Kibo launches PE fund. Allfunds' public offer proposal.

February 27, 2023 • Issue #359

AWS will be at 4YFN from February 27th until March 2nd. Don't miss the oportunity to join sessions at the AWS Startups Theater in the AWS Startups Loft (Stand #C64.2).

AWS experts will be there to solve questions, help your business grow and will deliver 14 tailor-made sessions for startups that include various trending topics in the ecosystem such as Cost Optimization, Amazon's Culture of Innovation, fireside chats with founders and more!

Check full agenda here.

Startup funding news 💸

  • Valencia-based AI and voice modification software company Voicemod raised $14.5m, led by us at K Fund, through our new growth fund Leadwind. Minifund, a fund launched by the former CMO of Discord, and previous investor Bitkraft Ventures, also participated in the round. More details here
  • Barcelona-based Qbeast secured €2.5m to simplify data lakes, led by Elaia Partners. More details on the company and round here, which included the participation of Uber's former CTO
  • Madrid-based robotics company StarRobotics raised €2m, led by SEGO Venture
  • Madrid-based fashion company Sepiia raised €1.9m
  • Barcelona-based Zymvol raised €1.3m from Elaia Partners. The company accelerates enzyme discovery and design through computer simulations
  • Murcia-based biotech company Viva in Vitro raised €1.2m
  • Barcelona-based foodtech company Väcka raised €1.1m. The company specializes in producing veggie cheeses
  • Barcelona-based payroll advance company Payflow raised funding from fashion brand Mango
  • Other rounds of funding: NUWE, Improfit, Kumux, Aimentia, Solardrone, ScorePlay

M&A activity 🎊

  • Euronext to launch an acquisition offer of €5.5b to acquire Spanish financial services company Allfunds
  • Finnish company Talenom acquired A Coruña-based accounting and advisory firm BV Asesores. The net sales transferred to Talenom from BV is around €0.9m annually. BV is one of the main Spanish service providers for startups and tech firms

Investor & accelerator news 🚀

  • Kibo Ventures to launch a private equity fund with Oliver Wyman. The new fund, called Nzyme, has a target size of €200m and will focus on acquiring majority stakes in B2B small cap companies that are already profitable. The announcement mentioned two areas of focus for the fund, accounting firms and retail distribution. The goal is to invest €10m to €20m in 10 to 14 companies
  • Clave Capital did a first closing of its new €50m fund to invest in health tech startups
  • Profile of Genesis Ventures, a Barcelona-based advisory and investment firm focused on the biotech sector. The firm offers consulting services, invests in projects in seed stage and also develops its own R&D projects, across sectors such as biopharmaceutical, biotechnological, medical devices, in vitro diagnostic, foodtech, nutraceutical and cosmetics
  • NEOTEC launched a €40m initiative to provide grants and loans to Spanish tech companies
  • Marta Gaia, co-founder of Barcelona-based health tech investment firm Nina Capital, published a post on building and managing a board of directors

Startup news 💡

  • SaaS management company Cledara, co-founded by Spaniard Cristina Vila, published a report on how SaaS spending has evolved in the past few months as the tech downturn continues. The category of products most affected were product, HR and analytics, and the least affected, IT and security, sales and design
  • Games for a Living, a new gaming startup out of Barcelona co-founded by various industry veterans, announced that one of the founders of Electronic Arts, Trip Hawkins, will join the company as co-founder and Chief Strategy Officer
  • Expansion talked to Juan Urdiales, co-founder of Jobandtalent, about the current labour market and the impact of remote (or flexible) work. The article is paywalled, but Juan said in a post that "the reality of essential work is that 70% of jobs cannot be done remotely, and it’s important to support companies in providing flexible solutions that empower essential workers. (...) At Jobandtalent, we continue to develop tools and resources in our platform that create more flexible working conditions."
  • Sevilla-based urban mobility company Scoobic, which manufactures electric vehicles, signed a contract with Toyota worth €150m
  • Transportation company Meep, which provides digital mobility solutions to cities, said that it expects to increase revenues to €2.9m this year
  • Open banking startup Belvo announced the launch of its account-to-account payments product to accept PSE (Pagos Seguros en Línea) in Colombia
  • El Español published a profile of UK-founded neobank Revolut, including interviews with its Chief Innovation Officer, Spaniard Felipe Peñacoba, and other people. The article focuses on the company's future, the importance of data, how Revolut is evolving from a pure banking player, etc
  • Barcelona-based Libre Foods launched to pack the sweet smell of bacon into mushroom meat alternatives
  • EU-Startups published a list of "10 super exciting Spanish startups to watch in 2023 and beyond"
  • Tech Barcelona launched Pier07, a new space for health and life sciences innovation
  • Startup profiles:
  • Vidiv: software for online events and communications
  • Fourvenues: software for managing events and nightlife
  • hrbotfactory: software to develop chatbots
  • LuxQuanta: quantum computing

Big company news 🏦

  • Telefonica grew sales by 1.8% in 2022, the first increase since 2015. Profitability decreased significantly, by 75%, due to additional income last year from corporate transactions. Jose Maria Alvarez-Pallete, president of Telefonica, also requested regulators to level the playing field as competition from internet companies increases. The company also said that it's interested in acquiring more businesses in Brazil to complement its main telco business in the country, with a special interest in fintech, education and energy
  • Javier Olivan, COO of Facebook, received $4.2m in RSUs from Facebook as part of his variable compensation. RSUs are often used in the US as a complement to normal salary

Interesting reads 🤓

  • El Confidencial wrote an article about remote working in Spain and talked to several people who work for US companies from here, which most of the time means earning much more. The article focuses on the story of a Bilbao-based data scientist that makes €90k per year working for Walmart
  • A new report on the economic future of Spain said that the country needs 200,000 engineers in the next 10 years to remain competitive
  • Fundación Innovación Bankinter published Megatrends 2023, a report on some of the bigger trends affecting the tech sector. My colleague Miguel Arias also participated in the report
  • Iñaki Arriaga, co-founder of Acumbamail, published a thread and post about SaaS onboarding practises
  • Luis Bosque, former Director of Engineering at CARTO and former CTO of Sketch, wrote "legacy vs. new", about the sometimes difficult equilibrium that exists in the context of software development
  • Tomas Pueyo was the guest writer of Samuel's Suma Positiva, and wrote "¿Cuándo nos va a quitar el empleo la inteligencia artificial?"
  • Alba Roza wrote last week's Bonilista, about developer communities

Podcasts 🎧

  • Magistral interviewed Bernardo Hernandez, co-founder of Tuenti, idealista, among others, and also an active business angel
  • Product Hackers interviewed Pablo Gil, of PropHero
  • SeedRocket interviewed Nils Thorjussen, co-founder of Verge Aero
  • Hablando con Lideres interviewed Joaquin Cuenca, CEO of Freepik
  • Historias de Crecimiento interviewed Alvaro Fontela, of Raiola Networks
  • Life on Mars interviewed Fabio Basile, to chat about life as UX/UI freelancer