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Bizum identity. Green Eagle raised €6m. Telefonica & SEPI.

December 26, 2023 • Issue #399


A course from The Startup Academy created by Jaime Medina and Jordi Vidal. Taught by European Venture Capital investors, who have participated in +100 national and cross-border transactions.

- Jaime Medina, CEO at The Startup CFO - Jordi Vidal, Principal at Kibo Ventures

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Our professors, experienced professionals prepared to educate on the VC landscape:

- Johannis Hatt, Founder of JVH Ventures - Assaf Shamia, Investor at G+D - Aristotelis Xenofontos, Partner at Seaya - Paula Pastor, Legal and Operations Manager at Air Street Capital - Patricia Camarero, Early Stage at Octopus - Borja Breña, Principal at Nauta Capital

You'll learn everything you need about Venture Capital, from identifying investment opportunities to negotiating a funding round.

If you are interested in these subjects and want to network with these experts, our VC course is right for you. It will equip you with comprehensive knowledge of the VC world and will also teach you how to adapt to real-time changes in the sector.

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Startup funding news 💸

  • There's no doubt that the funding markets have cooled off in 2023. Data from all sources points in that direction. In the case of Spain, El Mundo highlighted a data point using Fundacion Bankinter as a source: Last year there were 17 rounds of more than €50m in Spain, vs. 8 in 2023
  • Madrid-based renewable energy company Green Eagle raised €6m. The Series A round is led by the Energy Transition Tech Fund of A&G, along with commitments from previous investors Kibo Ventures and SET Ventures. The company provides an AI-powered Enterprise SaaS product to automate the operations of renewable energy assets
  • Madrid-based EV charging company V2C raised €4m. Mutua Madrileña participated in the round with €2m, while Tech Transfer UPV and Easo Ventures chipped in for the remaining amount
  • Madrid-based Crescenta, a digital fund manager for private equity and venture capital investment, expanded its pre-seed financing round with €2m, in addition to the €1.5m announced last July. All Iron Ventures joins existing investors FJ Labs and ourselves at Kfund
  • Asturias-based carsharing company Guppy raised €1m
  • Other rounds of funding: Mainrail, beder, Holapepa,

M&A activity 🎊

  • Gus, a Mexican chatbot startup co-founded by Spaniard Jaime Navarro, got acquired by Brazilian startup Blip. Gus, known for its AI-driven customer service and sales solutions through messaging apps like WhatsApp, Instagram, and Facebook, reported significant growth and revenue: $5m in sales in 2023 vs. $3m in 2022 (+66% YoY). The company has 75 employees and 150 enterprise customers
  • EV charging company Wallbox has sold 25% of its German subsidiary to the management team of ABL, a renowned German company in the sector that it recently acquired

Investor & accelerator news 🚀

  • Kibo Ventures' PE fund (Nzyme) and Almond Capital acquired a majority stake in Dental Ibérica, a company specializing in the distribution of dental materials and products. Dental Ibérica plans to expand across Europe, targeting a turnover of €30m
  • Samaipata published an end of year analysis of its activity. The firm did 7 deals in 2023, a similar pace compared to previous years. More info here
  • ENISA has set a new annual record in granting participative loans, with a total amount of €112.2m (a 6.4% YoY increase) across 643 deals. The average ticket size per loan was €175k

Startup news 💡

  • The founders of Doctor i, previously known as iSalud, repurchased the company from CNP Assurances. In 2022, Doctor i did €14m in revenue (10% YoY growth). The founders aim to expand the business to include automobile and death insurance policies. In 2018, CNP acquired 60% of the company for €30m
  • OTA Destinia expects to close 2023 with revenues of €235m, up 20% YoY. The company employs 250 people
  • Expansion published an article on bootstrapped companies. It highlights businesses that have grown sustainably through self-funding, gaining attractiveness in the current investment climate marked by decreased venture capital. The article highlights Adpone, among other companies
  • Lupina Iturriaga, former CEO of Fintonic, launched SeniorExpert, a a platform targeting 65+ year old people. The platform offers financial planning and short-term liquidity solutions, addressing the socio-economic transformation driven by an aging population
  • Hyperloop development company Zeleros is restructuring its workforce due to funding challenges, leading to a 45% reduction in staff. In this new chapter, the company will apply its hyperloop technology to other sectors like automotive and maritime
  • Profile of Tucuvi, a Madrid-based startup that has developed an AI system that specializes in automating and personalizing patient follow-ups, enhancing the efficiency of healthcare services
  • Overview of the Spanish cleantech and climate sector: "España pierde el tren en 'cleantech', uno de los sectores con más futuro para las 'startups". The article argues that Spain is not producing as many large cleantech companies as our European neighbors, with no unicorn created to date. I'd argue that Wallbox is indeed a large company in the space and that there are several others, but it appears to be true that company production in the climate tech industry has not accelerated yet
  • Voicemod launched VMgram, an AI-powered voice modulator for Telegram. Available on Android (with iOS to follow), VMgram lets you select a variety of AI-powered voices to transform your Telegram calls
  • Cubbo, the Mexican logistics startup co-founded by Spaniard Ignasi Vegas (CTO), published its 2023 report: $8.5m in revenue this year, up from $3.9m in 2022. November’s EBITDA was $258K and the year to date EBITDA on a consolidated level is expected to be $151K
  • Startup profiles:
  • Cluber: digital platform for sports clubs

Big company news 🏦

  • The Spanish government, through SEPI, will acquire up to 10% of Telefónica, in response to Saudi Telecom Company's (STC) investment in the company. This strategic move, worth over €2b, aims to ensure greater stability in Telefónica's shareholder structure. More info here. Also last week, Telefonica announced that the recently communicated ERE will affect fewer people than expected. It reached an agreement for a workforce reduction plan (ERE) affecting 3,400 employees, with a compensation cap set at 68% of the regular salary
  • Carme Artigas, the Secretary of State for Digitalization and AI in Spain, announced her departure from the position. She intends to return to the private sector. El Confidencial published a long article on her departure: "Los 4 años convulsos de Carme Artigas al frente de la Secretaría de IA"
  • Bizum introduced a digital identifier for both users and businesses, offering a convenient, fast, and secure solution for online logins. This new feature, already implemented by major Spanish banks like CaixaBank, Santander, and BBVA, simplifies the registration and access process on third-party websites
  • IBM spent €15m on a voluntary redundancy plan in Spain, impacting dozens of employees across the group and which happened in recent weeks. Previously and before this reduction plan, IBM's Spanish staff was reduced by 15% to approximately 6,800. Additionally, IBM faces a new tax inspection in Spain related to Corporate Income Tax and other taxes for the period 2018-2021
  • Banco Santander hired Raimundo Sala, a former PayPal executive, to lead the expansion of PagoNxt, its global payment platform. This move aims to open PagoNxt to other banks, fintech companies, and various businesses
  • Deloitte Spain launched the AI&Data Transformation Hub, a new area dedicated to helping companies manage their data lifecycle and maximize the benefits of AI

Interesting reads 🤓

  • Simon Muñoz, platform PM at Voicemod, published "Sam Altman y la importancia de la velocidad de iteración"
  • Ignacio Arriaga, co-founder of Acumbamail, wrote "Por qué la cultura Hustle está dañando el sector". The article criticizes the narrative that one must sacrifice everything for business success, highlighting the negative impact this mindset can have on mental health and personal life

Podcasts 🎧

  • Kfund interviewed Javi Lopez, co-founder of gen AI startup Magnific
  • SeedRocket interviewed the founders of Vidext: "Cómo la IA revolucionará el mundo audiovisual en 2024"
  • The Product Channel interviewed Ramon Castro, CPO and co-founder of Trucksters
  • Itnig interviewed Ilya Zayats, VP of Engineering at Factorial
  • Product Hackers interviewed Guillermo Vicandi, CEO of Bnext