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TravelPerk raised $104m. Cardumen's new fund. HotelBeds IPO.

January 29, 2024 • Issue #403

On the surface, your data systems seem to be running smoothly. But lurking underneath are risks that can sink your data's reliability.

Many companies realize too late about their data deficiencies. Poor data quality, broken systems, data growth problems and weak documentation make data unreliable.

At zenital, we reinforce data systems for the long-term. We optimize pipelines and architecture to maintain quality as you scale. With preventative audits, we identify risks before they disrupt operations.

Don't wait for data issues to surface. To learn more about how to navigate the data iceberg, check out the success case on how to future-proof data systems from unseen risks.

Startup funding news 💸

  • Before we get into the week’s founding rounds, Fundación Bankinter published its 2023 report: Last year, investment in Spanish startups declined, with a 32% drop in investment volume and a 10% decrease in the number of funding rounds. However, early-stage investments showed resilience, and domestic investment grew by 31%, driven by new national VC funds. The decrease in overall activity was mainly due to a significant reduction in large rounds, often led by international VCs international rounds and foreign investments. Full report available here
  • Barcelona-based business travel management company TravelPerk raised $104m, led by SoftBank’s Vision Fund 2 and backed by Kinnevik and Felix Capital. SoftBank invested $70m in the round. The round slightly increases TravelPerk’s valuation to $1.4b, up from $1.3b a year ago, and brings the total amount raised by the company to date to more than $500m. The company said that in 2023 it grew revenues by 70% YoY and its gross profit by 90%, thanks in part to applying AI to some of the company’s human tasks. More info on the round here. In a LikedIn post, CEO Avi Meir wrote about the timing of the round, the cons of raising too much or too little money, the problem of raising at very high multiples and other details. Also, Avi added that “our latest fundraise, at a 8x NTM revenue multiple, is very reasonable given the current market and our growth rate”. This implies that TravelPerk is doing around $175m in annual revenues
  • London and Madrid-based biotech company IMU Biosciences raised £11.5m in Series A funding, led by UK firm Molten Ventures. IMU aims to revolutionise immune powered precision medicine. We interviewed Mario Cantero, co-founder and COO, in the Kfund podKast
  • Barcelona-based Titan OS raised €6m. Titan OS is the new company of Jacinto Roca, previously founder of Wuaki TV (acquired by Rakuten). The company sells an operating system for smart TVs. More info on the actual product here
  • Atresmedia acquired a 15% equity stake in interactive video company PlayFilm, as part of its diversification strategy in the audiovisual sector
  • Other rounds of funding: Inmedical Therapeutics, Capital Cell, Fideltour, Findder, Hispatec

M&A activity 🎊

  • Palma de Mallorca-based Hotelbeds, the online hotel bed supermarket, has decided to reject purchase offers and opt for an IPO with a valuation of over €4b. The main shareholders, Cinven, EQT, and CPPIB, have hired financial advisors and are working on the deal Although a direct sale was initially considered, the decision has been made to go public. It is expected to debut on the market between Easter and summer
  • Kave Home, the manufacturer and distributor of furniture, reached an agreement with the German manager Aquila Capital to sell its logistics center in Tordera, Barcelona, for €100m
  • Grupo Orenes acquired a majority stake in gaming startup Gamersfy. Terms of the deal were not disclosed

Investor & accelerator news 🚀

  • Cardumen Capital, the Spanish-Israeli VC firm, has raised $120m for its second deep tech fund to invest in early-stage Israeli startups. The fund will focus on AI, cybersecurity, big data, and information technologies. With this funding, Cardumen's assets under management reach $225m
  • Hyperion is a new cybersecurity fund with a target size of €150m to back early stage startups in Spain and across Europe. Former leader of Spanish political party Pablo Casado is one of the founders of the fund, along with Ricardo Gómez-Acebo Botín, Joaquín Ortiz Escobar and José Antonio Bartrina
  • Caixa Capital Risc unveiled Criteria Venture Tech, a new evergreen fund. The goal is to move away from the traditional 10-year fund cycle. Criteria Venture Tech will operate with a perpetual perspective
  • Five former executives from companies like Google, Expedia, Booking, Meta, and El Corte Inglés have launched Travel Tech 2 (TT2), a VC fund that will invest €50m in traveltech
  • Borja Cabezón replaced José Bayón as CEO of Enisa, who will now lead the EOI. Enisa has certified more than 500 startups out of the 1000 that applied for the innovative company seal
  • Eatable Adventures said that it has invested €6m in 9 startups through its new VC fund
  • baby vc, the leading community of juniors in the EU tech ecosystem, is coming to Iberia. The non-profit initiative includes a 10-week bootcamp that brings together students and young professionals with leading investors and other relevant players in the region. If you want to know more, sign up for the waiting list and be the first to find out when the selection process for the first bootcamp opens, which will take place in Madrid, Barcelona and Lisbon starting in March.

Startup news 💡

  • Judges have suspended a €64m payment by Glovo due to its "extreme situation", including reported losses of €209 million in 2023, short-term liquidity problems, and the impact of Delivery Hero's stock market decline. This decision is based on the potential risk of bankruptcy and the need to avoid severe and difficult-to-repair damages to Glovo
  • Also related to Glovo, YouLend and the company signed an alliance to offer financing to hospitality businesses operating with the delivery platform. Glovo's partner restaurants can apply for YouLend's financing program, accessing amounts ranging from 1,000 euros to €1m, depending on their monthly sales volume
  • Wetaca did €16m in sales in 2023, and has grown by 70% in the past two years. The company also said that weekly orders part of its subscription service have increased from 7k to 10k in the same period. Also last week, El Pais published an overview of the Spanish foodtech sector
  • According to an article by El Confidencial, Citibox, the company specializing in smart mailboxes for online package delivery, is negotiating with Maersk for an urgent loan to secure liquidity. The company seeks a €45m injection to address deviations from its plan, with initial investment discussions involving Maersk Growth, the investment arm of the logistics giant. Citibox's situation is apparently critical, as audited reports indicate doubts about its ongoing viability without new capital influx. The funding aims to ensure business continuity for at least 12 months. After the information was published, CEO David Bernabeu told El Confidencial that the transaction is intended to finance Citibox's growth, not to rescue the company
  • It’s a win for Felipe Navio and Juan Urdiales, co-founder of Jobandtalent. A Madrid court ruled in favor of Jobandtalent's founders, regarding the sale price of shares to shareholders Pelayo Cortina Koplowitz and Alberto Cortina. The court recognized that the Cortinas should receive €818,853.02, not the up to €8 million they claimed
  • Bolt, the mobility platform that competes with Uber and Cabify in Spain, announced plans to invest more than €100m in the country over the next three years. The funds will be allocated towards fleet electrification, expanding into new cities, and enhancing partnerships. Currently, Bolt has approximately 10,000 drivers/licenses in Spain, with VTCs contributing to 90% of its revenue
  • Trackingplan provides a comprehensive testing solution for web, iOS, Android, and backend analytics powered by ClickHouse. By intercepting and sampling data sent to various platforms, Trackingplan ensures complete and consistent data for precise marketing reports. The company was featured in an in-depth article published by ClickHouse. Trackingplan is a Kfund portfolio company
  • Profile of Emilio Nicolas and Javilop, co-founders of Magnific AI. The company’s main product helps users improve their images, and has achieved significant traction since launching only a few weeks ago. Javilop was also on our Kfund podKast recently to chat about Magnific
  • Profile of Ebury, the FX management startup founded in London by Spanish engineers Juan Lobato and Salvador García. As mentioned in several interviews a few months ago, Ebury plans to go public in 2025 with an estimated value of €2b
  • Banco de España announced three new projects that will participate in the sixth edition of the financial sandbox in Spain. Two of them have received provisional approval from the CNMV (Didit and GPTAdvisor)
  • Revenue-based lending company Capchase announced a new partnership with HubSpot, allowing HubSpot users to offer flexible payment terms to their customers through the Capchase for HubSpot integration
  • Crescenta, a digital fund manager for private equity and venture capital investment, announced the hiring of Enrique Tellado, former CEO of Evo Banco, for its advisory board
  • Profile of health startup Mysphera, which has developed real-time patient monitoring solutions in hospitals, which has allowed for a 16% reduction in the surgical waiting list
  • Ecommerce acounts for 62% of Nude Project ’s online sales
  • Limehome, a German short and medium-term apartment operator, aims to become the leading manager of tourist apartments in Spain. Currently, it has 1,200 units and expects to double its size next year, managing 15,000 properties within five years. The company has raised significant funding from European VCs. More of a tech-enabled business than pure tech business, tho
  • Startup profiles:
  • Eaship: logistics
  • Renaiss: generative AI

Big company news 🏦

  • Finance newspaper Expansion announced that it now has more than 80,000 subscribers to its online paid edition
  • Suzana Curic was named the new General Manager of AWS in Spain, replacing Miguel Álava. Curic, an industrial engineer, joined AWS in 2017 and has held various positions within the company
  • Online sales of Dia in Spain increased by 26% during 2023, contributing to the overall growth of the company. Dia closed the year with global gross sales €4.8b in Spain. Ecommerce accounted for 4% of all sales
  • Fashion brand Mango opened its first store in the online video game Roblox
  • Amancio Ortega's investment company, Pontegadea, has become a major landlord for Amazon, with properties in several countries. The latest acquisition is a logistics center in Canada. Pontegadea has spent more than €2b in the acquisition of buildings and logistic centres than then rents to Amazon

Interesting reads 🤓

  • Iñaki Arriaga, co-founder of Acumbamail, wrote “Bootstrapping: cómo crear una empresa sin financiación”. He knows a thing or two about this, since Acumba was a boostrapped company

Podcasts 🎧

  • Itnig interviewed Francesc Julia, CEO of Kave Home
  • Pablo Isla, former CEO of Inditex, interviewed Jose Maria Alvarez-Pallete, president of Telefonica
  • Freepik interviewed Victoriano Izquierdo, co-founder of Graphext
  • SeedRocket interviewed Juan Pablo Tejela, co-founder of Metricool