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Renfe's €78m contract. Fractal raised $10m. Oakley acquires Alerce.

November 6, 2023 • Issue #392

Aunque pueda parecer solo una palabra de moda, la IA generativa ya ha demostrado ser una herramienta poderosa que está revolucionando industrias en todo el mundo.

Durante el AWS Generative AI Day conversaremos sobre cómo la IA generativa está transformando empresas de diversos sectores.

Descubrirás los principales casos de uso y mejores prácticas sobre la inteligencia artificial generativa, innovación y la nube de AWS. Obtén más detalles y reserva tu plaza aquí.

Startup funding news 💸

  • Madrid-based Fractal, builders of a maintenance management solution, raised $10m led by Kayyak Ventures
  • Madrid-based freelance matching platform Shakers raised €6m from Adevinta, Brighteye, Athos, Wayra and other investors
  • Bilbao-based biotech company Cocoon raised €2m, led by Columbus Venture Partners and Cleon Capital
  • Barcelona-based Kalma raised €1m to facilitate the conversion of home equity into post-retirement liquidity for seniors
  • Other rounds of funding: Luda Partners, Sounds Market,

M&A news 🎊

  • Investment firm Oakley Capital acquired a 70% stake in logistics software company Alerce. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Alerce does around €12m in sales and between €4m and €5m in EBITDA
  • Accenture acquired cybersecurity company Innotec Security

Investor & accelerator news 🚀

  • Nauta led a €8.8m Series A round in UK-based workforce management company Spotted Zebra
  • Samuel Gil (JME) wrote "Los siete pecados capitales de los consejos de administración en startups"
  • Martin Varsavsky published a tweet with "a list of the points to make when you are fund raising" aimed at startup founders
  • Long and insightful interview with Manuel Silva, managing partner of Mouro Capital
  • Marta Antunez, director of Wayra Barcelona, wrote a post explaining their recent investment in fintech company Uelz

Startup news 💡

  • Spotahome says that it was profitable during the summer months and that it expects to become fully profitable in 2024. According to the article, the company closed 2022 with €200m in GMV, 60k rentals, revenues of €16m and a loss of €6.5m. The goal for this year is to increase revenue by 30%
  • Profile of Holaluz and its apparent financial struggles in recent quarters. The company's stock is down by 60% and it has told investors that EBITDA projections for the 2023-2025 period have been adjusted to the downside, between 30% to 41%, due to lower demand and high interest rates. Its current market cap is €70m
  • More details about Jeff's financial situation. El Economista says that it's negotiating with new funds
  • Spyros Assonitis is Colvin's new CEO. Spyros was previously at eDreams, Expedia and other companies. Colvin announced a €10m round in July and also that its two co-founders were leaving the company
  • Revenue-based financing company Capchase said in an interview that it did €20m in revenue in 2022
  • The Spanish government has begun reaching out to AI tech companies to take part in its new AI sandbox, the first attempt by an EU country at helping founders adapt to the legislation
  • In 2022, Atrys Health, a Spanish tech company that provides telemedicine and precision medical treatment, transitioned from the BME Growth to the Spanish stock exchange at a valuation of more than €600m. In that deal, the company raised €72m from various investors, led by the owners of Gestamp (the Ribera brothers). Atrys' stock is down 50% since and El Confidencial has more details about the company and its investors: "El dueño de Gestamp se pilla los dedos con Atrys Health: así va perdiendo 14 millones"
  • Omar Pera, founder of (acquired by Kustomer) and up until now at Meta, announced that he's joining Freepik as VP Product, Labs to "go all in on AI and creativity"
  • Profile of edtech Zrive and interview with its co-founders Eduardo Riera (CEO) and Guillermo Barquero (CTO). Zrive describes itself as "a space for individuals to explore careers, gain skills & build a network, outside traditional educational institutions."
  • El Referente published a list of some of the most well known startups in Bilbao, as well as investors and other institutions
  • Startups' Oasis did an overview of the reverse logistics market in Spain, featuring startups such as IF, Dawa, Citibox, Reveni and others
  • Norrsken opened its startup hub in Barcelona, within Desigual's headquarters near the sea
  • Startup profiles:
  • Clicars: car ecommerce
  • Carina: AI virtual assistant on Whatsapp
  • Apartool: hospitality

Big company news 🏦

  • Renfe to pay €78m to Accenture to try to fix its website. Amazing
  • SEPI, the Spanish state-owned industrial holding company (Sociedad Estatal de Participaciones Industriales) is apparently considering an investment in Telefonica as a response to STC's 9.9% stake in the telco, to sort of guarantee that it remains "a Spanish company"
  • How Iberia approaches open innovation and its relationship with startups. The article mentions Bob, Smartvel and Renacen as examples of companies that collaborate with the airline
  • BBVA participated in the £100m round raised by neobank Atom. BBVA is one of the largest shareholders in the fintech
  • Interview with Fuencisla Clemares, head of Google in Spain. She talks about AI, Google's 25h anniversary, the Spanish startup ecosystem and more
  • Tripadvisor's ERE to affect 69 employees

¡Vuelven los Premios EmprendeXXI!, la iniciativa de CaixaBank y Enisa para acompañar y reconocer a las startups más innovadoras y con mayor potencial en España y Portugal. Apúntate a la 17ª edición hasta el 12 de diciembre y conviértete en un #Referente4Tomorrow optando a premios en metálico, formación, acceso a inversión y networking global.

Interesting reads 🤓

  • Thomas Petit, mobile growth consultant, published a presentation about the "doomed quest towards perfect Lifetime Value (LTV)."
  • Alfredo Artiles, co-founder and CTO of Audiense, wrote "Mi péndulo developer — manager"
  • Simon Muñoz, platform PM at Voicemod, published "¿Qué produce un Product Manager?"
  • Javi Lopez, founder of Erasmusu and gen AI mastermind, released a Halloween version of Angry Birds (Angry Pumpkins 🎃") using GPT4 for all the coding and Midjourney / DALLE for the graphics. He explains all of the details in this thread
  • Philippe Gelis, co-founder of Kantox (acquired by BNP), published "Strategic thinking, a missing piece in many start-ups"
  • Nacho Ortiz, of instant payments API company Devengo, published "How to Generate Up-to-Date Documentation for your API: Good code and documentation go hand in hand. But did you know that the automation of up-to-date documentation is equally as valuable?"
  • Ignacio Arriaga, co-founder of Acumbamail, published "What is vendor lock-in?"
  • Vicent Marti, co-founder of Streamloots, published an episode on "El Problema de la Analítica de Producto que toda Startup tiene"

Podcasts 🎧

  • Investing in Spain interviewed Carina Szpilka, co-founder of Kfund
  • Product Hackers interviewed Elena González-Blanco, co-founder of Clibrain