Solarmente picks up €50m. Columbus' new biotech fund. Issues at Jeff.
April 17, 2023 • Issue #366
Comenzamos la VI Edición del curso Startup Finance de The Startup Academy
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Startup funding news 💸
- Barcelona-based energy company Solarmente picked up €50m in funding, from GNE Finance. The deal doesn't appear to be an equity investment, but more like a business agreement or a mix of debt and equity
- Madrid-based UNIT 1 raised $3.5m in a Series A funding round, led by Slingshot Ventures. The company focuses on smart bike accessories
- Barcelona-based telemedicine startup Mediquo raised €1.4m, led by Silanes
- Valencia-based Playoffnations announced a €1m investment from Angels Capital. Playoffnations is a comms agency focused on streamers and influencers
- Valencia-based crypto startup CryptoTechFin raised €1m
- Other rounds of funding: Rayvolt Bike Kimera Technologies Honei, Notrick, CryptoTechFin, Swingo
- Startups looking for funding: Fazil Neonank
M&A activity 🎊
- US gaming studio Scopely to be acquired by Saudi's Savvy Games Group for $4.9b. Scopely is not a Spanish company, but it does have a very large studio in Barcelona with almost 800 employees, or 44% of its total workforce
- ClimateTrade acquired Austrian startup TeamClimate, to be able to offer carbon compensation services directly to consumers
Investor & accelerator news 🚀
- Overview of current fundraising activity by Spanish VC firms. Kibo wants to raise a second opportunity fund, with a target size of €200m, as well as its previously announced Nzyme to invest in traditional companies (in partnership with Oliver Wyman). JME is apparently also fundraising for a new fund larger than its previous one (€60m). Then there's also us at Kfund, with our growth fund Leadwind, and Seaya. Good news for the ecosystem and for founders
- Health tech and biotech Columbus Venture Partners announced a new fund, with a target size of €150m
- Iris Ventures announced a new partner, Celia Bosch Torres, who has more than 10 years in consumer across investing, operating and innovation
- SeedRocket to launch a new edition of its campus for business angels, to take place in June 2023
- Profile of DraperB1, the Valencia-based fund that's been active for more than 10 years
Startup news 💡
A new edition of The Startup Academy 's Startup Finance program will take place on April 27th. If you're interested in the world of finance and you need financial skills for your daily job, this is a great opportunity to become a better professional. Sign up here
- Lots of chatter last week about Jeff. The company announced an €83m round in February, but apparently that round has never materialized and the company has no money. Employees have not been paid for more than 8 months and there are several court cases pending in Valencia. The company performed another RIF (ERE) recently, affecting 103 of its 157 employees. It appears as if Jeff has not requested to voluntarily go into administration in order to be able to improve its debt situation and fix things a little bit
- Iván Prado, head of AI at Freepik, wrote a very interesting post about how they've built the new search engine using AI: "A new search for a new world". Also last week, Freepik l aunched Freepik Video on Product Hunt
- Bewater Funds updated their list of efficient startups and tech companies. The list is led by PC Componentes, with €568m in sales in 2021 and EBITDA of €28m with almost no outside funding
- 'Mini-revolt' as TravelPerk U-turns on remote work, asks employees to come back to the office at least three days a week. A group of TravelPerk engineers have sent a signed letter of disagreement to the CEO, Avi Meir, sources tell Sifted
- Typeform has announced several key hires and C-level moves in recent times: new CPO, new president and CFO and the promotion of Gordon Pretorius to CTO
- Tech consulting and product firm Sngular posted its 2022 results: €92m (+55% YoY) and EBITDA of €13m (+47%). More info here
- I wrote a couple of newsletters ago about the issues Domestika faces. The company decided to layoff a big chunk of its staff and the official version coming out of Domestika was that it was done because of the negative consequences of generative AI. Another version paints a very different picture about the company. More here
- Tucuvi, a health startup that automates medical phone conversations through AI, said that it's now live in the UK and that it plans to launch in the US in 2024
- Interesting article by Demofilo Pelaez in the Malaga Hub newsletter about the upcoming challenges the local ecosystem faces. "El fin de la Málaga de los titulares" talks about the real hurdles the ecosystem has to jump over, in order to build a sustainable and scalable ecosystem based on solid principles
- Why photonics is an opportunity for startups. An article featuring startups such as Meetoptics, Cooling Photonics and others
- Enjoyers, an ecommerce company for creative products, is shutting down. Carlos Martinez wrote a goodbye post here
- Startup profiles:
- Qlip: after-sales services in the real estate market
Big company and policy news 🏦
- Spain’s data protection authority, the AEPD, has followed Italy’s lead and announced a preliminary investigation of ChatGPT-maker OpenAI over suspected breaches of the EU's GDPR
- Amazon reduced by 25% the capital injections to its Spanish logistics business, to €435m
- How TikTok operates in Spain from a company structure and fiscal standpoint
Interesting reads 🤓
- German Quinteros, senior frontend engineer at Glovo, wrote "Memory Leaks in SSR Web Apps"
- Jose del Barrio, co-founder and partner at Samaipata, did a talk on network effects
- Profile of Iñigo Amoribieta, currently Managing Director of Western Europe at Otovo, and previously CEO at La Nevera Roja or COO at We Are Knitters
- Jose Luis Antunez was the guest writer at Suma Positive and published "capitalism for the 21st century"
- Javi Santana, co-founder at Tinybird, published "The bionic arm"
- David Bonilla, founder of Manfred, published "The shit circle", about the tech consulting industry
- Bigseo interviewed Bernat Farrero, co-founder of Factorial, to talk about sales and marketing
- Woodea interviewed Andrés Torrubia to chat about how AI might change the construction sector
- Kfund interviewed Eric Acher, of LatAm VC firm Monashees. Eric is considered by many one of the founding fathers of LatAm venture capital
- Historias de Crecimiento interviewed Fernando Arencibia, co-founder of Habber Tec