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Arthex raised €42m. Barkibu picked up $5m. Lots of interesting reads.

May 8, 2023 • Issue #369

June 15, 2023 - AWS Summit Madrid - IFEMA

The AWS Startup Loft returns to the AWS Summit Madrid 2023 greater than ever!

Join us in this space dedicated to startups where you can meet 24 successful startups and discover how they are innovating to accelerate their journey to the cloud while you enjoy a great networking environment among the local startup ecosystem.

In addition, in the AWS Startup Loft you can attend 6 startup-specific sessions (4 business and 2 technical) throughout the day, to learn everything from how to implement innovation mechanisms for scaling your business to technical concepts such as the Web 3.0 investment ecosystem.

In addition, throughout the AWS Summit Madrid, we will have 10 tracks and more than 50 sessions designed for all profiles. We look forward to seeing you on June 15th. Our spots are limited.

Startup funding news 💸

  • Valencia-based biotech Arthex raised €42m, led by Columbus Venture Partners. Arthex is a spin-off from the University of Valencia that develops microRNA modulators for diseases with unmet medical needs
  • Galicia-based pet health company Barkibu raised $5m, led by us at Kfund. The company was quite transparent with revenue traction, which currently stands at $6m of ARR. You can find more details in the article and also in this thread
  • Tarragona-based Xhype raised €1.8m from Holders&Brothers for its DeFi marketplace
  • Barcelona-based biotech D-Sight raised €1m from Clave Capital
  • Other rounds of funding: Nanostine, Orain

M&A activity 🎊

  • Audiense announced the acquisition of Tweet Binder, a Twitter analytics tool for agencies and marketers. This is Audiense's second acquisition in the past few months. In December 2022 it acquired Soprism
  • On the topic of M&A, Nico Bour, co-founder of wine commerce site Uvinum, wrote a thread about the closure of the company. Uvinum was acquired by Pernord Ricard in 2019. Nico was not pleased about how the shut down was communicated to users and customers, and he touches on the topic of the complexity of exits, especially for the acquired teams when they try to continue to work under a new leadership and as part of a different company

Investor & accelerator news 🚀

  • Interview with Jose Bayon, CEO of ENISA. He says that they're thinking about lowering the interest rate charged to startups that receive ENISA loans, and he also talks quite extensively about the role ENISA will have in the new ley de startups context. Last week the government approved almost €100m in new loans to be granted via ENISA
  • Valencia-based fund First Drop VC has made four investments out of its first pre-seed fund. The fund invests between €50k and €150k
  • Bonsai Venture Capital invested in French startup Garantme SAS
  • GoHub Ventures made its second investment in the US, in data company BaseCap

Startup news 💡

  • Profile of Jaime Bosch and Voicemod, the Valencia-based startup that has developed an AI-powered real-time voice changer. Jaime is quite open in the interview about the status of the company: €12.5m in sales last year, 156 employees, 3m MAUs and 40m downloads of its software, which is used by a lot of creators and gamers. Voicemod is a Kfund portfolio company
  • Very interesting thread by Enric Gabarro about the mistakes they made at Picker. The company shut down recently, and Enric talks quite openly about the things they did wrong. Solid tips about premature scaling, the difficult of scaling companies based on affiliate marketing, doing less with more, the problem of having a relatively large team when trying to move quickly, etc
  • Spanish cloud gaming platform Nware signed a 10-year agreement with Microsoft to stream PC games built by Xbox on its platform, as well as Activision Blizzard games (if the acquisition closes)
  • Wallbox published its latest earnings report. The EV company did $35m in sales in the first quarter of 2023 (+24% YoY) and posted a loss of $36m. More details here
  • Badger, a SEO reporting tool launched by the fine folks at marketgoo, launched on Product Hunt. Badget automates SEO data collection and quickly generates easily customizable reports
  • Galgus, a company that develops cloud-based intelligent WiFi technology, said that it expects to reach €12m in sales this year
  • Crypto startup Atani has been authorized by the Bank of Spain as a provider of exchange services for virtual assets and fiduciary currency, and as a custodian of electronic wallets. Following the authorisation, the company launched its own exchange
  • An article in El Confidencial focused on the job tech market and how despite numerous layoffs, some companies continue to struggle to fill a lot of its open positions. The article also talks about a referral program that Cabify recently launched that pays employees €10k for each successfully hire referred
  • Long interview with Alicia Vicente, COO of proptech Clikalia. She talks about female leadership, the past and future of the company and other topics. Another long interview here with Angel Bou, founder of Simplr, a "platform for people, households and businesses that powers circular manufacturing and consumption"
  • Overview of various AI Spanish startups, featuring Voicemod, Idoven, Seedtag and others
  • Startup profiles:
  • LuzIA: AI
  • Lawwwing: legaltech
  • Frenetic: magnetics
  • SesameHR: HR software

Big company news 🏦

  • Online ticketing platform Eventbrite plans to hire 100 more people in Spain, increasing its current staff to 200

Interesting reads 🤓

  • Julio Martinez, co-founder of Abacum, wrote a post with some "practical advice on how both founders and finance teams can strengthen their risk management and cash management strategies"
  • Martí Gou, co-founder of Gretel, published his "personal story as a recent graduate, venture capitalist, and entrepreneur who successfully closed a $700k pre-seed round with my former employers in these tough times"
  • Miguel Arias, general partner at Kfund, wrote "Entrepreneurs and privileges", about diversity in entrepreneurship and investing, and how coming from a certain background (from a educational and economical point of view) can make entrepreneurship more feasible
  • Iñaki Arriaga, co-founder of Acumbamail, wrote a thread about the good, the bad and the future of Disaaster, his newsletter about SaaS and company building. His newsletter this week also touched on the topic
  • Jose del Barrio, founder of VC firm Samaipata, published an oped about "three keys to create valuable generative AI tools". He also wrote about it here
  • The Economist wrote about the role of Spain in the renewable energy economy: "Spanish renewable-energy development is waking from its siesta"

Podcasts 🎧

  • Kfund interviewed Jimena Catalina, founder of Slides Carnival (acquired by Canva). Slides Carnival was a side project of Jimena Catalina that had amazing traction (€400k in annual sales at its peak)
  • Product Hackers interviewed Ángel Agudo, VP of Product at Clarity AI
  • Marketing4Ecommerce interviewed Minerva Sanchez, SEO manager at PC Componentes
  • Itnig interviewed Andres Casal, co-founder of foodtech Wetaca
  • Novicap interviewed Marta Zaragoza, co-founder of Declarando