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H2B2's €750m SPAC. Quark acquired for €100m. idealista to go public?

May 15, 2023 • Issue #370

From "growing at all costs" to "profitability & healthy growth": the startup ecosystem is undergoing a significant transformation due to the economic downturn and a growing preference for sustainable growth strategies among investors.

In this context, the ability to adapt quickly in uncertain times prioritizing talent management, scalability, flexibility, and agility becomes paramount to startups’ success. Outsourcing specific activities can be an optimal solution for startups aiming to focus on their core business, optimize costs, and maintain high performance.

The Nest by Webhelp is the CX outsourcing partner of startups and scale-ups, designed to help them scale-up their team internationally and improve their CX operations, quickly and simply.

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Startup funding news 💸

  • Barcelona-based eyewear company PJ Lobester raised €2m, led by Dozen
  • Barcelona-based biotech company Oniria Therapeutics raised €1.28m, led by MindtheGap
  • Madrid-based cybersecurity company Enthec raised €1m, led by DraperB1
  • Salsa, a US startup focused on payroll founded by Spaniard Juan Barroso, announced a $10m round. No Spanish fund or business angel participated in the round. More details here
  • Other rounds of funding: Chekin, Matiz,

M&A activity 🎊

  • H2B2, a Sevilla-based company that operates systems based on electrolyzers for hydrogen production from water and electricity, is finally going public via a SPAC that will value the company at €750m. Felipe Benjumea, ex president of Abengoa, is the founder of H2B2
  • Data center tech consulting firm Quark acquired by Sener for €100m
  • EQT and the other funds that own a majority stake in idealista could be exploring the possibility of taking the real estate classifieds company public
  • Fintech startup Micappital announced the acquisition of the 4,000 policies held by insurtech company Singular Cover. The latter went into administration at the end of last year
  • Scaling or prearing your company to be sold may be challenging if you are a first-time founder. Upgrade is trying to solve this problem with different cohort-based programs for entrepreneurs. Their last Camp, led by Remo Domingo, is specifically focused on startup management where he and the rest of the experts share their experience in running and selling their companies.

Investor & accelerator news 🚀

  • Yellow is the name of the new VC firm created by Glovo founders Oscar Pierre and Sacha Michaud. The fund will be also led by Adam Lasri, formerly of Atomico, and Victor Navarro, a former colleague of ours at Kfund. Target size of the fund is €50m.
  • Next Tier Ventures is another new VC firm also unveiled last week, created by Ruben Colomer and Patricia Pastor, formerly of GoHub Ventures. The fund will have headquarters in Miami and Valencia, and plans to raise €30m to invest in AI companies
  • Sonia Fernandez, partner at Kibo Ventures, explained in a blog post the rationale behind their €20m investment in edtech startup Innovamat

Startup news 💡

  • Juan de Antonio, co-founder of Cabify, was interviewed in El Pais. He mentions than 2022 sales were around 30% larger than those in 2021 (€518m), that it's not yet time to optimize EBITDA, the company's last round of funding of €100m and other topics
  • Another interview, this time of Eric Asuncion, co-founder of public company Wallbox. "Europe is behind the US and China in the electric vehicle industry". Eric believes that the company won't have to execute more layoffs in the near future
  • European fund/accelerator Startup Wise Guys (SWG) announced in 2022 plans to open an office in Malaga to invest in local startups. Last week, the same fund said that it's going to scale back its Malaga ambitions because "there are fewer companies than we initially thought". Bernardo Quintero, of VirusTotal (Google), replied in a tweet the following, which sparked a conversation with the managers of SWG: "No será la primera ni la última decepción. Siendo toda la crítica bienvenida y no falta de razón, también era totalmente previsible si se conoce mínimamente el entorno local. Es lo que pasa cuando se viene a pescar sin hacer los deberes antes."
  • On the topic of Malaga, here's a profile published last week of Plytix, a PIM (product information management) startup based in the city. The company has around 100 employees in the city and raised more than €8m to date
  • US/Madrid-based Capchase, a provider of non-dilutive growth capital, is now in the buy now, pay later space after launching Capchase Pay to help software-as-a-service companies close deals faster. More details here
  • The Spanish government recently approved 'Ley de la vivienda' could jeopardize part of the business of companies such as Clikalia or Casavo, according to this article. The reason is a 20% tax on apartments and houses that are sold less than two years after its acquisition. I found the article a bit... weird, with lots of negativity towards these proptech players
  • Moove Cars, one of the main VTC companies in Spain, owes Uber €225m. Uber also owns a 30% stake in the company
  • We're seeing more and more professional sports players invest (and get involved) with startups. This article showcases the activity of Iker Casillas, the Gasol brothers, Leo Messi and others
  • How several startups in the agritech space want to help build the Murcia of the future, one of Spain's largest agriculture regions
  • If you are struggling to put OKR's into action or if you are already utilizing them but desire an additional external mentor for your team, we suggest exploring the service provided by MasterMeUp. MasterMeUp has gained an extensive knowledge of guiding over 300 teams to carry out OKR's successfully in the last 4 years

Big company news 🏦

  • Amadeus posted its Q1 earnings. Net profit increased to €262m (+183%) and EBITDA to €509m (+72%). More details available here
  • Tesla has started selling its Powerwall battery in Spain
  • Spanish professional football league, LaLiga, and sports accelerator SportBoost launched an AI-driven ‘Meet LaLiga’ initiative. The program aims to discover startups from around the globe that harness the power of AI to optimize processes, enhance productivity, and drive innovation within the sports industry
  • Amazon opened a new logistics centre in Empordà, with capacity to manage up to 600k orders in a single day
  • Interview with Elena Cabrera, country manager of Ryanair, about the company's software development centre in Madrid and how the company plans to use AI to improve the experience of customers

Interesting reads 🤓

  • Felipe Alfaro, data scientist at Glovo, explained in a blog post how the company uses machine learning to prevent refund abuse
  • JJ Velaz, founder and CEO of last mile logistics company Kosmo, published "how we are finding Product Market Fit at Kosmo". Kosmo is a Kfund portfolio company
  • Caroline Lagergren, of Expand To Spain, published "2023,a pivotal year for deep tech investing and venture building in Spain?"

Podcasts 🎧

  • Itnig interviewed David Sanmartin, co-founder and head of Europe of Nothing
  • Product Hackers interviewed Catalina Jimena, of Slides Carnival
  • Historias de Crecimiento interviewed Jan Hinrichs, founder of LocLunch
  • Seedrocket interviewed the founders of foodtech startup Honei