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Seedtag & Adara's fund returner. Voxel exits for €113m. Online sales of Spanish giants.

March 18, 2024 • Issue #410

Showcase 2024: un evento para el ecosistema emprendedor

OVHcloud organiza un evento presencial con el ecosistema del OVHcloud Startup Program el próximo 25 de abril en Madrid. Será una oportunidad para explorar nuevas oportunidades y conexiones: están previstas sesiones con reconocidos ponentes, reuniones 1on1 y networking con startups, scaleups, inversores, incubadoras y aceleradoras.

En las sesiones “Ask Me Anything” participarán expertos en temas como la cuántica, la expansión internacional, la comunicación y la inversión. Algunos de los ponentes ya confirmados son: Muriel Moscardini y Manal Salah, ¡y pronto se comunicarán muchos más!

Además, algunas startups y facilitadores del ecosistema ofrecerán beneficios comerciales y tecnológicos a los asistentes. Y habrá un cóctel con varias sorpresas… ¡Regístrate aquí y no te lo pierdas, que las plazas vuelan...!

Pd. ¿No conoces a OVHcloud? Son el líder europeo del cloud, y abogan por tecnologías abiertas y soberanas, con precios predecibles y una protección total de tus datos. Más info aquí y en el evento, con su equipo local al completo.

Startup funding news 💸

  • Slow week in terms of deals, with only three investments announced in the past 7 days:
  • Barcelona-based €7m biopharma company AbilityPharma raised €7m, led by CTI Life Sciences Fund
  • Last week it was also revealed that Leonardo DiCaprio has invested in the subscription-based photovoltaic installation startup SolarMente. Contrary to what a lot of press has said, this is not DiCaprio’s first investment in Spain. He’s also the majority owner of Diamond Foundry, a US company that specializes in the development of synthetic diamonds. Diamond Foundry is building a manufacturing plant in Extremadura
  • And one small round of funding:
  • Mito
  • Also relevant was the €10m round announced by French startup Bene Bono, a company that aims to combat food waste by rescuing organic and imperfect fruits and vegetables and offering them to customers at a discounted price. Spain is Bene Bono’s second largest market, and it’s available in 92 cities across the country

M&A activity 🎊

  • Amadeus has acquired Catalan payment company Voxel for €113m, complementing its payment business in the travel agencies and hotels sector
  • Bnext, the Spanish neobank, is negotiating its sale to the US company Rêv Worldwide (according to elEconomista). The deal could be valued at €50m
  • It seems as if lately we get one piece about idealista’s potential sale every week. This time, it was revealed that four major PE funds, CPPI, TA Associates, Cinven, and Hellman&Friedman, are preparing to submit bids for Idealista. EQT, the current majority shareholder, has hired Morgan Stanley to manage the sale. According to the press, EQT could be looking to sell the company fort €2.5 billion. idealista closed 2022 (2023 financials are not available yet) with €79m in EBITDA, which means that the asking price would be a very significant multiple
  • Bain & Company has acquired PiperLab, a Spanish company specialized in AI and ML solutions, with the aim of strengthening and expanding its service offering in Europe, Middle East, and Africa
  • Apax Partners has proposed to acquire a majority stake in Minsait, a technology consulting subsidiary of Indra, which is partly government-controlled via SEPI. This move comes as Indra announced its willingness to welcome a partner into this division. The potential deal values Minsait at up to €1.8 billion. There's an ongoing debate within Indra's board regarding whether to sell a minority or majority stake, with significant implications for Indra's business structure and its position in the Ibex 35 index

Investor & accelerator news 🚀

  • Maria Raga, a Spanish entrepreneur based in London that co-founded Depop (sold to etsy in 2021 for $1.6 billion), announced that she’s joining VC firm Creandum as venture partner
  • The ICO, through its Next Tech fund, has allocated €64m in public investment directly to startups, including significant contributions to companies like Cabify, Wallapop, Paack, Xoople and Trucksters. Next Tech was established to stimulate technological innovation and has adjusted its strategy to invest directly in companies

Startup news 💡

  • Seedtag, the adtech startup known for its contextual advertising technology, increased its revenue by 50% after entering the US market, reaching around €180m. The growth came following a significant investment by Advent, which acquired a 60% stake in the company for €270m. The US represents 15% of Seedtag’s business. According to La Informacion, that €270m investment from Advent was mostly a secondary transaction (€50m in primary). The founders sold part of their shares, and so did Seedtag’s first investors. Adara returned the whole fund with the Seedtag secondary (€45m in proceeds, vs. €40m in fund size). After the transaction, Adara still has a 6.9% stake in the company. Massive kudos to all people involved, especially Albert, Jorge and the rest of the Seedtag team
  • Sateliot, a satellite telecommunications operator owned by Indra, Cellnex, and Sepides, plans to launch four satellites this year to provide connectivity to IoT devices. The company claims to have signed contracts with Telefónica and other clients worth €186m and expects to reach a turnover of €400m in 2027
  • Joinup, a B2B mobility services company, reported a 30% revenue increase last year, reaching €16m
  • Streaming platform, Filmin, will increase its prices for the first time in its history, going from €7.99 to €9.99 per month. The increase is due to rising costs and competition in the market. Here’s what the company told customers in an email
  • "Todo el mundo está subiendo precios o poniendo publicidad, algo que no contemplamos porque somos una plataforma de cine y respetamos la integridad de las obras. Hemos aguantado muchos años, pero nuestros costes cada vez son mayores y algo teníamos que hacer. Subimos la suscripción mensual, mantenemos el precio de la anual [84 euros] para premiar a esos suscriptores y no ponemos publicidad. Hemos preferido subir dos euros que cortar las películas con anuncios, va en contra de nuestro ADN".
  • Cabify is looking to expand its services in Madrid and Barcelona, focusing on increasing the number of VTC licenses. The company has requested 4,456 new VTC licenses in Madrid, citing previous court rulings that deemed the 1/30 ratio limit (one VTC for every 30 taxis) as unlawful. Also last week, Cabify announced the launch of a new business division called Cabify Media, which will allow companies to place advertisements on Cabify vehicles, both on VTCs and collaborating taxis. This new initiative will offer two advertising formats, including the publication of ads within the Cabify application itself
  • Latitude, the data analytics startup, announced that it’s going open source. Cesar Miguelanez, co-founder, announced on Twitter that “After spending 2 years building data tools, we just went open-source. During this time, we’ve learned a ton from our users and realized that the best way to build data apps is with code. We're releasing an open-source framework to build apps on top of your database/warehouse using SQL and simple frontend components. Common use cases are embedded analytics and interactive data apps with real-time data.” For more info, check GitHub
  • Wallapop sent a statement to its users to clarify that there will be no changes in the taxation of sales on the platform. An EU Directive requires platforms to register transactions and report them to Hacienda. Non-professional users do not have to pay taxes on their sales, as long as the selling price is lower than the original cost. The regulations establish taxes of 19% for profits up to 6,000 euros, 21% for profits between 6,001 and 50,000 euros, and 23% for profits over 50,000 euros
  • Three company profiles:
  • Profile of Paraty Tech, a Malaga-based company that enhances direct hotel sales through. Founded by siblings Gina Matheis and Franz Matheis, the company does €16m in annual sales and has 200 employees
  • Profile of ID Finance, the Barcelona-based fintech company that specializes in consumer lending products. The company did €180m in sales in 2023 (+6% YoY, not sure if this is gross or net revenue) and €7.1m in net profit (+13% YoY)
  • Profile of digital signature company Signaturit. The company and its group (Ivnosys and Universign) reported over €40m in revenue in 2023, serving 250,000 clients
  • Two overviews of tech markets/sectors:
  • Quantum computing
  • GridTech
  • One new company:
  • RaudaAI: customer support powered by AI. More info here

Big company news 🏦

  • Three Spanish giants published their financial results, including online sales:
  • Inditex: €9b in online sales, 25% of total sales
  • Mercadona: €650m in annual sales and 4m orders served (2% of total sales)
  • Mango: €1b in online sales, 33% of total sales
  • AstraZeneca reinforces its investment in its Barcelona hub, increasing the planned investment to €1.3 billion until 2027. The company plans to hire nearly 2,000 employees by the end of 2025, doubling the initial forecasts. The center focuses on research and development in key therapeutic areas such as oncology and rare diseases
  • Merlin Properties expects a 50% appreciation on its €2.6 billion investment in data centers, anticipating their value to reach around €4 billion by 2026
  • OpenAI has announced a collaboration with Prisa. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. OpenAI has been signing similar deals with other media publications across the world, to have access to their content
  • The Comunidad de Madrid has announced a subsidy program of up to 2,500 euros per employee to promote remote work, both for new hires and for the conversion of existing employees
  • El Corte Ingles to accept payments via Alipay+ at its stores

Interesting reads 🤓

  • A new report by RevenueCat on the subscription app economy reveals that most mobile apps struggle financially, with the top 5% generating significantly more revenue than the lower quartiles. The median monthly revenue for apps after a year is under $50, and only a small fraction reach meaningful revenue milestones. Health and fitness apps perform better than other categories, while travel and productivity apps lag behind
  • The Financial Times published an overview of the Barcelona startup ecosystem . Some interesting data in there, but I also thought it was quite vague with not a lot of substance. If you’re familiar with the ecosystem, you won’t find anything new and relevant
  • David Bonilla published “No montes una empresa“
  • Simon Muñoz, platform PM at Voicemod, published “Malos tiempos para los mánagers“

Podcasts 🎧

  • Dani Diestre interviewed Carlos Jimenez, formerly of Rappi, Factorial and now VP of Product at KingMakers
  • SeedRocket interviewed Joel Balague, co-founder of Volava
  • Historias de Crecimiento interviewed Ricardo Tayar, co-founder of Flat 101