Awaiting keywords... raised €25m. Aunav & Nalanda exits. Henko Partners new fund.

April 8, 2024 • Issue #413

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Startup funding news 💸

  •, a Malaga-based company, secured €25m from UK fund IQuote to assist consumers affected by car price fixing between 2006 and 2013. The CNMC's 2015 ruling found that 25 car manufacturers engaged in anti-competitive practices, raising prices by 10-15%
  • Barcelona-based coworking space Aticco closed a financing round of €10m with the participation of various family offices and GCO Activos Inmobiliarios, belonging to GCO (Grupo Catalana Occidente)
  • Korean conglomerate Hancom Group will invest €5m in online identity company Facephi, becoming its second shareholder and exclusive provider in Asia. Facephi is listed on the BME Growth and has a market cap of €41m
  • Holaglow, a Barcelona-based aesthetic medicine company, raised €1.2m to expand its business in Spain. The round was came from business angels and Demium Capital
  • Navarra-based biotech MediBioFarma raised €1m to advance the clinical phase of its three pharmaceutical products, with contributions from Sodena and Inveready
  • Other (smaller) rounds of funding:
  • Yuït: €300k, foodtech

M&A activity 🎊

  • Spanish company Escribano Mechanical & Engineering has acquired robotics company Aunav from NTT Data to expand in the field of robotic systems for explosive deactivation. Escribano has also been in the news recently due to its increasing stake in Indra
  • Madrid-based supply chain risk and compliance management software platform Nalanda has been acquired by Once For All. Nalanda’s services will be integrated into Once For All’s larger product. PE firm PSG had previously acquired a majority stake position in Nalanda in 2021. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. More info here

Investor & accelerator news 🚀

  • Henko Partners, a Spanish PE fund founded in 2021, has successfully raised €100m for its second fund, Henko Capital Partners II. This fund aims to invest in SMEs companies in Spain and Portugal, focusing on sectors like health, technology, sustainability, and industrial automation
  • Interview with Gonzalo Martínez de Azagra, founder and General Partner of Cardumen Capital, the Spanish/Israeli VC firm that exclusively focuses on the latter market
  • ICO (Instituto de Crédito Oficial) plans to invest up to €45m in the AG Energy Transition Tech Fund, focused on advancing technologies in the energy sector. This commitment is part of ICO's broader strategy to support sustainable development and innovation
  • CDTI Innovation plans to invest more than €125m in Spanish startups in 2024
  • Spanish investors backing foreign companies:
  • Cocoa VC, the firm founded by Spaniard Carmen Alfonso Rico, participated in the pre-seed round of Condukt, founded by former employees of Revolut
  • Mouro (formerly Santander InnoVentures) participated in the $30m round of US company Skuflow

Startup news 💡

  • Analia Plaza at EPE published a long article on the business of coding bootcamps. The article is titled “La trampa de los cursos para aprender a programar en meses: “Te endeudas y no consigues trabajo””. The article presents the experience of students who enrolled in these bootcamps, but were disappointed with the quality of the training and unfulfilled promises
  • Pablo Szefner talked about the process of launching, working to try to find product-market fit and then deciding to shut down Moonoa, a startup that had the goal of helping people sleep more and better. Full interview here. Pablo also talked about the journey in this podcast. At Kfund we were backers of the startup, alongside a bunch of well known business angels and small funds. It’s great to see a successful entrepreneur and operator talked so openly about the ups and downs of company building
  • Profile of Omar Pera, who recently moved to Malaga as Freepik’s VP Product, Labs. Omar was previously in NYC, where he worked for Meta, where he ended as a result of the Facebook owner acquiring Kustomer, a US startup that acquired, of which Omar was co-founder
  • Interview with Rodrigo Rodríguez, co-founder and CEO of Odilo, the educational and entertainment content platform. Odilo closed 2023 with €16.8m in revenues, up from €12.4m year-on-year, and expects ro finish 2024 with €24.7m
  • Clikalia, the proptech company, grew revenues by just 4% in 2023, to €250m, in a challenging real estate market. The company, initially focused on the iBuyer model, has expanded its services to include rentals, financing, sales management and others
  • Urbanitae, the real estate crowdfunding platform, is expanding to Italy with the aim of reaching €50m in funded projects in its first year. Since its inception in 2019, Urbanitae has funded over €240m in projects in Spain and has started its internationalization process in France and Portugal. Urbanitae is a Kfund portfolio company
  • Wallbox has tripled its interest expense on loans due to the increase in debt. The company has significantly increased its debt in the last two years, leading to an increase in financial expenses
  • Interview with Salvador Mas, co-founder of GPTAdvisor. He says that AI will not replace financial advisors and that banks like Santander and Bankinter are already testing pilot projects with AI models in the financial advisory sector
  • Teo Ruiz and Pedro Torrecillas put Vernon on idle when they decided to launch recruiting startup Circular (acquired by Sngular). They’re back at it but with a different focus: Vernon is relaunching with a focus on AI, leveraging their experience in building Circular and working with AI technologies
  • Startups’ Oasis published a piece on open source and examples of Spanish OSS companies, featuring PrivateGPT, Qbeast, Argilla, Nuclia and others
  • The Cabify startup mafia: this article tracks some of the 90 companies founded by former employees of Cabify. Featuring Invopop, Jüsto, Boopos and others
  • Sifted published a list of “15 Spanish startups to watch from outside Barcelona and Madrid”
  • Company profiles:
  • Lingokids: edtech. Not a lot of new relevant numbers or insights in the article. Here’s another article published last week that focuses on the edtech sector
  • Fracctal: digital maintenance and asset management solutions
  • Tuio: insurtech

Big company news 🏦

  • The current Spanish government has signed a collaboration agreement with IBM to create a large-scale AI model trained in Spanish. The project will be open source and will involve the participation of the local community and specialized SMEs. This reminds me of all of the initiatives 15 years ago to create nation-specific search engines to “compete” with Google
  • Vodafone is expanding its Open RAN development center in Málaga, initially created with around 50 employees, to include an additional 374 employees transitioning from Vodafone España to Vodafone Intelligent Solutions (VOIS) after the sale of Vodafone's Spanish subsidiary to Zegona

Interesting reads 🤓

  • Two new articles by Ignacio Arriaga (Acumbamail):
  • “SaaS verticales: there are riches in the niches” (link )
  • “Cómo crear una marca B2B” (link )
  • Javier Escribano wrote “¿Eres un 5x o 0.1x Product Manager? Reflexiono sobre lo que hace que un PM sea un muy buen Product Manager, y lo que hace que ralentice a su equipo siendo realmente un Project Manager”
  • Miguel Carranza, co-founder of RevenueCat, published “From J1 visa to Blue Passport: A startup founder's immigration journey”
  • Interview with Unicornio en Paro, the popular anonymous Twitter account that often tweets about startups and investors. “Nos han dicho que somos Pep Gómez, Jaime Novoa, David Bonilla, David Pombar... La verdad es que no somos ninguna de esta gente tan interesante, somos mucho más grises” 😂

Podcasts 🎧

  • Kfund published a deep dive of Project A, a Berlin and London-based VC firm
  • SeedRocket interviewed the founders of Morrison Shoes
  • Historias de Crecimiento interviewed Jaime Castillo, co-founder of Shakers
  • Product Hackers interviewed Joseba Menoyo, CEO and founder of SantiagoWays