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Indexa went public. Factorial restructures product team. Verse to shut down.

July 17, 2023 • Issue #379

Take a well-deserved summer break with no surprises on your cloud bills

In the current context of uncertainty, it is difficult for many to visualize relaxing summer holidays... Funding rounds are down, costs are up, and high temperatures remind us of global sustainability challenges… But hope is not lost!

Can a cloud provider help us with these challenges? We think it's a clear YES. Cloud providers should not only provide us with powerful and innovative cloud solutions, but should also ensure total cost-efficiency, data privacy and security, the lowest environmental impact and above all the freedom to interconnect cloud solutions or switch providers.

From the OVHcloud Startup Program we help startups to scale with free cloud credits, technical support and visibility and access to new markets to accelerate internationally but we are also committed to:

• Transparent, predictable billing with no hidden costs (like, ahem, bandwidth) • Interoperable and sustainable solutions with no vendor lock-in • Full data protection and sovereignty in accordance with the most stringent regulations

Join the OVHcloud Startup Program and enjoy your holidays with your data in the cloud without any surprises 🌞

Startup funding news 💸

  • Barcelona-based corporate travel startup TravelPerk picked up €17m in funding from Kinnevik, already one of its largest shareholders. After the transaction, Kinnevik owes a 16% stake in TravelPerk. According to La Informacion, the transaction was most likely a secondary offering to existing shareholders
  • Barcelona-based proptech company SAALG Geomechanics raised €3.65m, led by Acciona
  • US-based new buildings platform Trebellar raised $3.5m led by Haystack and Altcapital. We (Kfund) also participated in the round, with a $600k investment. Although based in the US, Trebellar's founders are both Spaniard and the company has several employees here. Haystack's founder Semil Shah wrote about the investment here, and we also wrote about it here
  • Madrid-based Algori, a data insights startup for the consumer goods vertical, raised €3.3m, co-led by Shilling Capital and Change Ventures
  • Madrid-based Crescenta, a platform that aims to bring alternative investments such as PE, VC and other assets to retail investors, raised €1.5m led by us at Kfund. More about the round here
  • Madrid-based corporate carpooling platform Hoop Carpool raised €1.2m, co-led by Ship2B Ventures and 4Founders Capital

M&A activity 🎊

  • Indexa Capital went public on the BME Growth. In its first three days of trading, the company's stock increased by 38%, reaching a €200m+ valuation. Here's an interview with co-founder Unai Asenjo and also a summary of the company's history. Another interview, this time with François Derbaix is also available here
  • Barcelona-based Wide Eyes was acquired by US company Stylitics. Wide Eyes offers a visual AI solution for fashion and retail. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Wide Eyes is a Kfund portfolio company

Startup news 💡

  • Factorial announced that it would layoff around 20 people, in order to restructure its product team. As part of the changes the company also replaced its Chief Product Officer. Co-founders Jordi Romero and Bernat Farrero talked about the changes in an itnig podcast episode. Business Insider covered the changes here and Simon Muñoz, author of the "Estrategia de Producto" blog also wrote about the situation. Factorial is a Kfund portfolio company
  • Mobile payment startup Verse announced that it will shut down in December. The company was acquired by Square in 2020 for €30 to €40m. Last year, the company received a €280k fine from the Bank of Lithuania -where it has its license- because it "risked breaking anti-money laundering and terror financing laws". Expansion wrote about the competition that Verse faced from Bizum in Spain, which is pretty much omnipresent. More on the shut down here
  • Last week I wrote about Clibrain's launch of LINCE, one of the first Spanish-focused LLMs out there. This week the company was featured in a Techcrunch article: "Clibrain joins the generative AI race with Lince, an LLM optimized for Spanish"
  • Tech talent company Manfred published its "State of Hiring Report", where it analyzes the Spanish tech job market from both the employee and company perspective
  • El Mundo published an interview with Cabify CEO Juan de Antonio, where they talk about a bunch of topics: the evolution of Cabify, the possibility of an exit, the VTC conundrum in Spain and other topics. The title of the interview is "En cuanto se hace grande una empresa en España, te dan con el mazo"
  • The joint venture of Spanish quantum startup Qilimanjaro and GMV completed the first delivery specified in the contract for the installation of the first quantum computer in Spain at the Barcelona Supercomputing Center – Centro Nacional de Supercomputación (BSC-CNS). On more quantum computing news, startup Multiverse Computing and Iberdrola announced a partnership to use quantum computing optimization to green up power grids
  • Glovo announced new ads products, which will be grouped under its Glovo Ads division. The company said that over 5,000 Glovo partner businesses and more than 350 brands use these advertisement products
  • 8 Spanish startups to watch, according to investors. VCs from Mundi Ventures, Seaya Ventures, Seaya Andromeda and JME Ventures shared the Spanish startups they’ve got in their sights
  • Plant-based meat company Heura said that it would lay off 10% of its workforce, or 20 people. Earlier this year, the company had already reduced its staff by 9%. In both cases the decision was made to try to reach profitability
  • Startup profiles:
  • Bound4blue: automated wind-assisted propulsion systems

Big company news 🏦

  • Twitch, the video streaming platform owned by Amazon, only generated around €500k of sales in Spain last year. This is due to the tax scheme used by the company. Its real business is much bigger, since Spain is a key market for the company
  • The Spanish Association of Media (Asociación de Medios de Información, AMI) said in a statement that Google's Bard uses content produced by media entities without citation

Interesting reads 🤓

  • Maciej Gawłowski, senior software engineer at Glovo, published "How to deliver new features successfully as a Software Engineer?"
  • Philippe Gelis, co-founder of Kantox (acquired by BNP Paribas), wrote "Some thoughts on fundraisings and exits, beyond bullshit…"
  • Thomas Petit, mobile growth consultant, wrote "Show me the money! Why marketers should focus on payback periods and cash flow in 2023"
  • Eduardo Manchon, CEO at Mailtrack and previously founder of Panoramio (acquired by Google), wrote "La momificación de Silicon Valley, o por qué cuanta más gente contratas peor te va a ir"
  • David Bonilla, co-founder of Manfred, wrote "Alumni" on the importance and value that former colleagues can provide and the importance of maintaining those relationships
  • Iñaki Arriaga, co-founder of Acumbamail, wrote about the pros and cons of outsourcing certain parts of a company/product
  • The Views newsletter published an interview with Ariadna Farres, astrodynamics Specialist at NASA: "insights from NASA's legendary research lab, building the future of space tech, lessons to improve STEM ecosystems"
  • Alexis de las Heras, co-founder of solar company Lumio, wrote "Lo que no me esperaba cuando decidí emprender"

Podcasts 🎧