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Exoticca expects €300m in sales. Aldara raised €2.7m. Semiconductors.

February 5, 2024 • Issue #404

Sometimes companies face a difficult reality: their data management works well in times of stability, but cracks during times of growth come or whenever a key team data member leaves.

Suddenly, trust in information is compromised and difficulties in filling knowledge gaps arise.

What to do during those weeks of transition?

At zenital, we understand this concern and are here to strengthen your data systems for the long term. Our customized plans are designed to preserve critical knowledge, preventing it from being lost when employees decide to leave. We create customized tools that document processes and democratize data knowledge across your team.

With our help, you can minimize knowledge loss and ensure the continuity of your operations. Visit our website to discover a success case on how to avoid data knowledge loss during a critical transition

Startup funding news 💸

  • The Norwegian Sovereign Wealth Fund has made a significant entry into Spanish EV charger manufacturer Wallbox, by acquiring a 2.6% stake
  • Barcelona-based proptech Aldara raised €2.7m, led by us at Kfund and with the participation of Y Combinator and business angels. Aldara is building a new kind of administrador de fincas (HOA), to be able to provide building owners with fast responses as well as real time information of their building
  • Madrid-based Clevergy closed a funding round of €1.5m for its home energy management platform. The round was led by Zubi, with additional investments from Earth (who wrote about the investment here ) and various climate-tech sector business angels.
  • San Sebastian-based health startup Trak raised €1.3m, led by Decelera Ventures. Trak uses AI to improve musculoskeletal injury rehabilitation processes
  • Barcelona-based Deale raised €1m with the participation of Andbank, Actyus, Nortia Capital, Tekpolio, and BCLAN. Deale facilitates M&A operations for SMEs
  • Other rounds of funding: Agrow Analytics, Genesy, WoWPlay,

M&A activity 🎊

  • Idealista has refinanced €300 million of debt, extending its maturity to 2029, in preparation for a potential future sale by its current owner, EQT. This financial restructuring is seen as a step towards facilitating the company's sale
  • Spanish travel giant Amadeus is set to acquire Vision-Box, a Portuguese biometrics company, for €320m. The deal is expected to close in H1 2024. This should allow Amadeus to deliver a seamless passenger experience from booking to boarding
  • Pet food startup Dogfy sold a majority stake to Inveramen. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Dogfy claims to have generated revenue of €30m euros in 2023. Inveramen was already a shareholder of the company (19% stake)
  • Tech consulting firm Sngular acquired IT talent platform Circular. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Circular, founded in 2019, had raised around $10m in funding from local and international investors
  • The owners of PcComponentes acquired Atlas Informática, a pioneering gaming retailer based in Malaga. Atlas achieved a peak revenue of €21m during the pandemic

Investor & accelerator news 🚀

  • BBVA Spark, under Roberto Albaladejo's leadership, has significantly grown since its launch in summer 2022, now serving over 1,000 clients and managing over €300m in deposits. BBVA Spark aims to provide banking services to tech companies, ofrom digital banking to venture debt
  • Axon and Arcano are set to manage a €100m public fund from the Andalusian government, backed by the European Investment Bank (EIB), aimed at R&D and innovation projects
  • Nzyme, a private equity fund by Kibo Ventures and Oliver Wyman, achieved a second closing of €70m, aiming for a €200m goal to invest in profitable Spanish SMEs in B2B service industries
  • Antai Ventures Management is a new VC fund created by Antai that plans to invest in 25 startups, with cheques ranging from €200k to €500k. The firm has already invested in 9 companies in the past 24 months. Antai was also mentioned in this overview of venture studios that operate in Spain
  • Cardumen Capital launched its third fund, focusing on Israeli and Spanish agro-food sector companies, in collaboration with the Basque Culinary Center
  • Bolsa Social, Spain's first CNMV-authorized participatory investment platform, is evolving into an impact investment ecosystem. This transition aims to foster impact projects, offering new investment instruments to a diverse investor base interested in both financial returns and positive societal and planetary impact. The company anticipates a 300% increase in investment volume to €8m in 2024

Startup news 💡

  • Travel tech startup Exoticca aims to reach €300m in revenue and achieve profitability in 2024. After achieving €200m in 2023, the company seeks to expand its presence, especially in North America, which constitutes a significant portion of its revenue
  • Holaluz faced a 27% revenue drop in Q4 2023 due to falling energy prices and a 53% decrease in its solar panel division. The company also implemented a workforce reduction in response to a 50% market downturn in residential solar and normalized electricity prices post the 2022 peaks
  • BigBuy, a company specializing in technology and logistics services for online commerce, closed 2023 with over €120m in sales
  • Fashion brand Tropicfeel, which specializes in sustainable backpacks, footwear, and clothing, did €22m in sales in 2022
  • Forbes published a profile of financial planning and analysis startup Abacum. The company has already raised $40m in investment and claims to have signed up several hundred customers
  • Profile of Amphora Logistics, a startup that digitizes shipping logistics for SMEs. Amphora has increased revenues from €400k in 2021 to nearly €4m in 2022, and expects to close 2023 with €13m in sales
  • Profile of François Derbaix, co-CEO and co-founder of Indexa Capital, the company that he has successfully managed to grow to over €2b in Assets Under Management
  • Profile of Jacinto Roca, former CEO of Rakuten TV, who was dismissed after a decade of service, but now challenges giants like Google with his new project, Titan OS, a television operating system
  • The Minister of Science, Innovation, and Universities, Diana Morant, announced that the company PLD Space will develop the first Spanish launcher for small satellites. This project, funded with European funds, has a public investment of up to €45m and aims to position Spain at the forefront of technology in Europe
  • Crowdfunding investment platform Housers aims to surpass €40m in funding for developers in 2024, focusing on projects with mortgage guarantees. Housers is focused on the Spanish market and plans to re-enter Italy and Portugal
  • Uptodown joined Epic and Spotify in criticizing Apple's approach to the European Digital Markets Act, alleging it twists regulations to maintain its app store's dominance
  • Eduardo Manchon, CEO of Mailtrack, announced that the company will change its name to Mailsuite and will “reinventar el correo electrónico para aquellos para quienes las relaciones personales son el centro del negocio”
  • Startups Institute is a new business school focused on innovative entrepreneurs, founded by experienced entrepreneurs. Its goal is to reduce startup failure and improve the odds of success through training and mentorship
  • Other startup profiles and industry overviews:
  • Spanish semiconductor market map and analysis (created by JME, link )
  • Construtech, or construction companies (link )
  • Travel tech (link )
  • Expansion talked to investors and entrepreneurs to ask them: “¿Veremos unicornios españoles de inteligencia artificial?” (link )

Big company news 🏦

  • Málaga will host a new R&D center in microelectronics established by IMEC (Interuniversity Microelectronics Center), a global institute for semiconductor research. Additionally, discussions are ongoing with semiconductor manufacturer Broadcom for the location of a chip substrate plant in Spain
  • Spanish real estate company Merlin Properties secured the support of Meta (Facebook) for its significant investment in data centers. Meta has become the main tenant of Merlin's three new data centers. On the topic of data centers, this is also an interesting article published last week: “La industria de los centros de datos ante la promesa de aportar 60.000 millones de euros al PIB español”. The article says that the data center industry in Spain has a significant economic impact, with the ability to contribute €60b to the national GDP. Spain is becoming a key destination for data center investment, with an estimated €8b in direct investment growth by 2026
  • Amazon has been condemned for employing 3,688 false self-employed workers in Spain under the "Ley Rider". The ruling will require Amazon to hire the couriers as regular employees
  • The Minister of Digital Transformation and Public Function, José Luis Escrivá, announced two key initiatives for his portfolio: a new cybersecurity law and the opening of new chip factories in Spain
  • The Ministry of Finance will delay the obligation to report sales made through digital platforms such as Wallapop, Vinted, or Airbnb to the tax authorities

Interesting reads 🤓

  • According to a report by Randstad and CEOE, 75% of companies in Spain are unable to fill vacancies for technology profiles. Although one million tech jobs have been created in Spain, the pace of growth in technology employment (4.3% annually) is below countries like Germany (5%) and Portugal (4.5%)
  • Talent company Nova wrote a second post post explaining “why and how we turned Nova into a paying membership - the learnings from the best (and toughest) decision in Nova’s history”
  • Interesting conversation on Twitter about the taxation of stock options in Spain for employees of US companies: “Does anyone know an expert on international stock options taxes when residing in Spain? 🇪🇸”
  • Ignacio Arriaga, co-founder of Acumbamail, published “17 tácticas de Go to Market y cómo aplicarlas”

Podcasts 🎧

  • MarsBased interviewed Javi Santana, co-founder of Tinybird
  • Dani Diestre interviewed Guli Moreno, co-founder of Capchase
  • Tenemos Que Hablar De Producto interviewed Jaime, co-founder of 21buttons and now of Saivo
  • Vivir Al Maximo interviewed Carlos Hernandez, co-founder of Quaderno
  • Itnig interviewed Iñigo Juantegui, co-founder of Ontruck
  • Product Hackers interviewed Juan Garcia, co-founder of Tuio