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Spain ecosystem report 2023. Veridas raised €15m. Freepik and AI.

April 24, 2023 • Issue #367

Factorial is the fastest-growing HR & people management software on the market, covering the entire employee life cycle, streamlining hiring, onboarding, document management, time & performance management, payroll and expenses. Factorial turns manual processes into integrated, efficient ones currently serving over 8,000+ business customers across Europe, the US and Latin America.

Amazon Web Services (AWS) provides Factorial with a scalable, reliable and secure infrastructure for their SaaS, allowing them to handle large amounts of data and process complex tasks in a cost-effective manner. With AWS' advanced security tools and services, Factorial can ensure the privacy and confidentiality of its clients' sensitive HR data and deliver reliable and secure HR solutions at scale.

The collaboration between AWS and Factorial boosts the digitalization of mid-size businesses around the world, being able to acquire Factorial’s solution through AWS Marketplace worldwide.

Startup funding news 💸

  • Navarra-based identity verification company Veridas raised €15m from existing investors. The company grew revenues by 133% in 2022 and expects to reach €26m in sales this year
  • Gijon-based energy startup Plexigrid raised €4.5m from various investors
  • Barcelona-based crypto and fintech startup Rand raised €3m, led by Stratminds VC
  • Alava-based EV charging company Veltium raised €1.5m, led by Capital Cell
  • Barcelona-based online business school Founderz raised €1m, led by Oryon Universal
  • Other rounds of funding: Fisify, Nutual, Kimera (€660k, Adara wrote about the investment here ), Tutrocito, Envita, InVerbis, Vankor, EOXSENSE

M&A activity 🎊

  • Amelia Virtual Care, a Barcelona-based VR company operating in the mental health space, announced plans to merge with Boston-based XRHealth, in a deal led by investment firm Asabys Partners
  • Digital marketing company Arkeero to integrate social commerce platforms Peoople and 21buttons. The latter was acquired by the former two years ago. David Pena, co-founder of Peoople, wrote about the deal here
  • Barcelona-based edtech acquired BuscaExtraEscolares, largest directory of children’s activities in Spain

Investor & accelerator news 🚀

  • Interview with Sonia Fernandez, partner at Kibo Ventures, about diversity in the startup and investment sector
  • Samaipata announced the hiring of Luis Garay, business angel and former CFO of several companies
  • My colleague Cesar Traseira, analyst at Kfund, wrote about his first year as an investor. Cesar has a double major in medicine and business

Startup news 💡

  • Last week I wrote about Freepik's use of AI. The company was once again in the news last week. In an interview, its founders talked about how the company plans to implement AI and how it might affect (or not) the work of freelancers and designers that promote their art on the platform: "We don't want to cause the layoff of designers, but to increase productivity"
  • It's tax season in Spain, and Taxdown was a lot in the news in the past couple of weeks. The company announced that last week it helped more than 1m Spaniards file their taxes and helped them save €50m
  • Second hand women clothing marketplace Micolet has ambitious plans: the Basque company has 2.5 million users and sells 150k clothes per month across 6 countries. Its new CEO, Iker Velez, said in an interview that it plans to open new warehouses, as well as increase its footprint of retail stores
  • Profile of 011h, the Spanish construction startup co-founded by Lucas Carne (former co-founder of Privalia) that specializes in sustainable building development
  • Voicemod is now available on macOS. Voicemod on macOS is supported on both Intel- and Apple Silicon-powered Macs, and works by creating its own virtual microphone so you can use it in any application. Voicemod is a Kfund portfolio company
  • Glovo announced the launch of Glovo Fashion, a new initiative to delivery fashion and beauty products in about 30 minutes to consumers in Madrid and Barcelona
  • Tinybird announced a bunch of new features and products last week: Confluent and Snowflake connectors, as well as an AI-powered demo data generator and more stuff
  • Scalar is a new Spanish startup that helps hypergrowth companies to achieve organizational excellence. Roberto Gomez, co-founder of the company and former COO of Cobee, wrote about the launch here
  • Mundimoto to invest €1.7m to launch in Italy
  • The future plans of Malaga's TechPark, which just turned 30 years old

Big company news 🏦

  • Inditex to rely on Shopify to launch its second hand clothing marketplace, called Zara Pre-Owned. The marketplace is only available in the UK
  • Although it's not exactly clear the magnitude of Amazon's business in Spain (Jesus Martinez explains why here ), recent numbers disclosed by the ecommerce giant mention €6.4b in sales in 2022 in Spain, combining its main business as well as marketplace sales
  • More info on the Telefonica and Liberty negotiations in the UK here, which impacts the merger of O2 and Virgin
  • Spain's tax office, Hacienda, continues to keep an eye on tech giants. It's opened a third probe into Microsoft's practices in Spain and Europe, which could result in requests of up to €19m
  • Indra won a €28m contract in Argentina to manage and count votes in the local elections
  • Fujitsu and Galicia's supercomputing centre to launch a quantum centre in Galicia in September 2023

Interesting reads 🤓

  • Spain became the latest market so far to report another record year for e-bike sales in 2022 with 236k e-bikes sold (5.7% YoY). I find it amusing that despite Spain's year-long good climate and other good conditions for biking, it was only the sixth market in terms of total e-bike sales last year, behind Germany, France, Netherlands, Austria and Switzerland. More details here
  • Ametic, the representative Association of the digital industry sector in Spain, published a report on the microelectronics sector in Spain
  • Ricardo Forcano, former CIO of BBVA and now board member at Sngular, published "The organization as a network of teams: Revisiting organizational design from the perspective of network science"
  • Felix Lopez, VP Engineering at Tinybird, wrote "Complicated situations as a manager"
  • Samuel Gil, of JME, wrote "The Spanish deeptech ecosystem"

Podcasts 🎧