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LuzIA raised €9.5m. Flanks got $8m. New funds in town.

October 23, 2023 • Issue #390

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Startup funding news 💸

  • Madrid-based LuzIA, the startup that offers a mobile personal assistant within Whatsapp and Telegram as well as audio transcription services, raised €9.5m. Among the investors are Pau Gasol's firm Gasol16 Ventures and Silicon Valley firm Khosla Ventures
  • Barcelona-based Flanks raised $8m, led by Earlybird. Existing investors JME Ventures and 4Founders Capital also participated in the round. Flanks has built an API for automated wealth services
  • Barcelona-based Apartool raised €5.5m A to lead the European corporate housing market. The round was led by Barlon Capital and ROCH Ventures
  • Galicia-based pet health company Barkibu raised €5m in venture debt from Sabadell
  • Madrid-based Vivla raised €2.7m. Vivla is a home fractional ownership platform
  • Madrid-based Webel raised €2.1m, from Trind Ventures and Decelera, among others. Webel promises to "bring almost any service (e.g., cleaning, tutors, beauty...) to your doorstep"
  • Barcelona-based furniture ecommerce company Hannun raised €1.1m from Inveready
  • Madrid-based Rentall & Partners raised €1.1m, via Fellow Funders. The company offers renting services to third parties
  • Other rounds of funding: Winahost, Plazy, Let's Cook

M&A activity 🎊

  • Wallbox announced the acquisition ABL, a German EV charging provider. Wallbox paid €15m for ABL. Wallbox says that the acquisition is strategic because it "accelerates Wallbox’s commercial business plan, (...) Wallbox will benefit from reduced operational risk through reduced Capex and R&D spend, plus leveraging ABL’s in-house component manufacturing, and (...) adds substantial sales and improving future earnings"

Investor & accelerator news 🚀

  • Barlon Capital is a new fund with a target size of €50m, launched by Javier Rubió (also co-founder of Nauta Capital). Barlon will invest in both B2C and B2B companies, and just this week announced a new investment out of this fund (Apartool, more details below). This is Barlon's third fund, with the first two being of €10m and €20m, respectively. Barlon Capital has also backed Vicio, Flax & Kale and Badi, among others
  • La Informacion published information that we (Kfund ) have launched a new fund with a target size of €11m, to invest in pre-seed startups. We'll publish more details about this new vehicle soon
  • Caixa Capital Risc announced four new investments in the past few months: Inari (insurtech), AbolerIS Pharma, Codee (automated code inspection for performance) and Nanusens
  • In an interview, Enisa's managing director, Jose Bayon, talked about the current status of Enisa and other topics surrounding the Ley de Startups. Bayon says that in 2022 the entity approved the highest number of loans in its history, at 642. It did not say how many millions of euros those 642 deals represented, though

Startup news 💡

  • Endeavor published its "The Venture Landscape in Spain" report. You can read it here. The article looks at the evolution of the Spanish startup ecosystem and especially focus on the lack of growth capital available in the country. Sifted published a piece on the report, titled "Spain’s VC resilience to global slump exposes shortage of later-stage capital". Another summary of the report available here, and here
  • I've never met anyone at Heura Foods, the Barcelona plant-based meat producer, but their PR strategy has always been a bit surprising to me. In an article last week, the company says that it's interested in reaching a distribution agreement (who wouldn't) with Mercadona and that it plans to raise €25m in funding before the end of the year. The company expects to reach €31m in sales this year, up 10% YoY
  • Profile of Galgus, a Sevilla-based company that develops cloud-based intelligent WiFi technology that optimises network performance. The company has just turned 10 and also expects to reach €10m in sales this year
  • Interview with the CTO of Denodo, Alberto Pan and also another interview with its CEO, Angel Viña. Denodo provides data virtualization software to thousands of companies around the world. I've written about Denodo several times in the past few months: the company has flown under the radar for a long time, but since it's recently announced $300m+ round it has drawn a lot more attention from the community. Denodo was founded in Coruña, where it still has all of its product and engineering talent, and is probably the largest enterprise SaaS company to come out of Spain, ever. $100m+ in ARR and unicorn valuation. Viña says in the interview that the goal is for the company to IPO in 2-3 years
  • Ebury, the FX fintech company that Santander acquired a few years ago, plans to significantly increase its Malaga presence, where it already has more than 50% of its staff. The company says it could also go public in the near future
  • Official launch of Crescenta as it has received the green light by the CNMV. Crescenta offers large and small investors access to PE, VC funds and other type of investment opportunities
  • Bit2Me says that 3k companies have shown interest in its B2B solutions. B2B accounted for 20% of its total revenues in September
  • Since 2021, 98 companies or projects have applied to join the fintech sandbox launched by Banco de España and other local institutions. Out of those, 30 received a positive response and 22 were given the green light to test their services within the sandbox. According to this article, some in the industry consider sandbox far from a success
  • Wallbox received a €35m loan from private and public institutions to expand their manufacturing plants. Wallbox's stock is down by 88% since its SPAC in late 2021 and currently has a market cap of $327m
  • Mumbler launched on Product Hunt. Mumbler offers creators a set of tools to sell their podcasts and audio content directly to their audience
  • Íkualo is a new Valencia-based neobank aimed at immigrants that reside within Europe
  • Startup profiles:
  • Cirineo: platform for donations

Big company news 🏦

  • Netflix to get rid of its most basic pricing plan in Spain

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Interesting reads 🤓

  • I thought this was an interesting read: during the pandemic, Spanish Twitch streamers ruled the hispanic world, even becoming some of the most watched streamers worldwide. The situation has changed significantly and many have seen their audience cut in half, as they now faced a lot more competition from Latam streamers
  • An article in El Mundo argues that Spain should build more companies that sell products and services to semiconductor and chip manufacturers. The context of the article are the strong national and European subsidies to the industry, with the goal of building local champions in the semis space or to attract investment from the leaders in the space (Intel, TSCM and others)
  • Ignacio Arriaga, co-founder of Acumbamail, published "Why customer support is key in a SaaS company"
  • Carlos Barrabes, founder of Barrabes, published "¿Ya nadie quiere trabajar?"
  • Cris Carrascosa, founder of ATH21, published "Hacienda, privacidad y dispositivos electrónicos: Una reflexión sobre Wallets, y actuación administrativa"
  • Kevin Branscum, senior director of brand marketing at Typeform, published "Why AI-powered marketing teams are about to do their best work yet"

Podcasts 🎧

  • Seedrocket interviewed Aurken, co-founder of Zenrows
  • MarketingProfs published an interview with Kristen Habacht, Typeform's Chief Revenue Officer
  • Itnig interviewed Timo Buetefisch, CEO and founder of Cooltra
  • Interview with Patrik Bergareche,'s Executive Vice President for Southern Europe, Israel, Australia and New Zealand