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Magnific & Onna exit. Sesame raised €23m. Typeform founder back at it.

May 13, 2024 • Issue #418

Not registered yet for the biggest Google Cloud Spain event? On 23 May, get ready for a first-class meeting.

For the first time, we will have a meeting point for the Startup ecosystem, powered by Telefónica, where you will be able to connect with leading companies, investors and other entrepreneurs.

Jorge Nogales, Digital Natives Customer Engineering at Google Cloud Iberia: “This is an excellent opportunity to discover the advantages of Google for Startups and boost your growth. Also to learn more about the investment trends of 2024 and be prepared to solve the challenges of tomorrow. Together we will learn about all the latest developments in AI and explore its potential for digital marketing. It's time to bring your ideas to life and transform the future.”

Do you have questions? Visit the Ask The Expert area and the Google Cloud engineering team will answer them instantly. Plus, you'll be able to see the latest technologies in action with live demonstrations. Register now and discover the agenda for the event of the year: Google Cloud Summit ‘24 Madrid on May 23rd at the Estadio Cívitas Metropolitano.

Startup funding news 💸

  • 60% of VC investment in the healthcare sector in Catalonia in 2023 came from international funds, according to a study conducted by CataloniaBio & HealthTech and Ernst & Young. The study is available here
  • Valencia-based Sesame, an HR software company, raised €23m, led by GP Bullhound. Previous investor PSG also participated in the round. Sesame has more than 8,000 customers
  • Madrid-based Luzia, the AI assistant that can be integrated into messaging apps, raised $19m, led by Brazilian fund Monashees. As of last October, the company reported that the platform had nearly 17 million users. The app is free, but the company's terms and conditions include the possibility of paying a subscription of $0.99 per month to use all functionalities on Whatsapp
  • Barcelona-based MLCode raised additional funding from Bullnet, which has invested a total of €3m in the company. Founded by Joan Raventós and Sergi Zapater, MLCode specializes in software that automates data management and security for AI applications. The startup, established following the sale of their previous company Zhilabs to Samsung, has developed technology for monitoring LLMs and addressing associated risks
  • Madrid-based Muppy secured €2.3m in seed funding. Muppy specializes in short to mid-term accommodations, positioning itself as a leader in Flex-Living across Spain
  • Barcelona-based Float, the new company co-founded by former Typeform founder David Okuniev, raised €1.6m, led by Point Nine Capital. The relationship between David and P9 goes back to the origins of Typeform, since P9 was an early investor in the company. The funds will be used to accelerate the development of Float's first product, called ツSupercut
  • Valencia-based Internxt received €1.4 million in public funding from CDTI to develop post-quantum encryption algorithms and new services such as encrypted video calls, encrypted email, and an encrypted VPN
  • A Coruña-based Codee, a deep tech company that helps large enterprises run faster and more secure code, raised €1.2m from CDTI
  • Barcelona-based startup Routal closed a funding round of €1 million. The company has developed an AI-based platform to improve last-mile delivery management. The deal involved the participation of PE firm H Capital and the European innovation initiative EIT Innoenergy. More info here
  • Other rounds of funding:
  • Identify Travel: €400k, travel tech
  • Ecogranular: €174k, the biological treatment of wastewater
  • Vumi: €100k, financial investment management
  • Intelia: undisclosed size, digitalization of SMEs processes

M&A activity 🎊

  • Magnific, the AI-based image enhancer company co-founded by Javi Lopez and Emilio Nicolas, was acquired by Freepik. Terms of the deal were not disclosed, although apparently this is Freepik’s most expensive acquisition to date, and the highest and known deal made by the Malaga company was €12m. Magnific has more than 700k users and had grown to this scale fully bootstrapped, with no external funding, and in less than one year. This is Javi and Emilio’s second exit, after successfully selling Erasmusu to Spotahome in 2018
  • US company Reveal, a global provider of AI-powered eDiscovery solutions, has acquired Barcelona-based Onna Technologies, a provider of unstructured data management from cloud-based collaboration tools. Terms of the deal were not disclosed. The company had previously raised more than $50m in funding from Atomico, Dawn, Nauta and other investors

Investor & accelerator news 🚀

  • Zubi Capital is preparing to launch a VC fund focused on companies fighting against diabetes. The Zubi Capital Diabetes-Immune Fund will have a capacity of around €50m and will invest in 20 to 25 companies, primarily at seed and Series A
  • Interview with Jose Cabiedes, of Cabiedes & Partners, to chat about their search fund activity. Cabiedes has been focused on the search fund sector since 2016, and to date has invested in 150 search funds and completed 50 acquisitions
  • Anna Piñol has been promoted to Partner at US firm NFX
  • Axon participated in the €14m round of Italian startup Futura. The round was led by Eurazeo
  • Profile of Seaya, Kfund and Kibo Ventures: “así es la 'crème de la crème' del 'venture capital' español”

Startup news 💡

  • In the first quarter of 2024, Wallbox reported a revenue increase of 23% YoY, reaching €43.1m. The company, specializing in electric vehicle (EV) charging solutions, also saw an improvement in its financial performance, with gross margins at 39.6% and a narrowed adjusted EBITDA loss of €13.5 million. The stock is down by 15% so far this year, and Wallbox’s current market cap is $300m
  • Holaluz is exploring a new refinancing option that includes potentially welcoming an industrial partner into its shareholding structure. This move comes as part of efforts to alleviate its liquidity issues, featuring a possible convertible loan of €7 million from an industrial sector investor. The company previously announced options including loans totaling €14.8 million from various sources. More info here
  • Carlos Reines left RubiconMD, the company he co-founded in NYC, “after more than 10 years and hundreds of patients' lives impacted”. The company was acquired in 2021 by Oak Street Health for up to $190m
  • Jorge Izquierdo introduced his new startup: Tuyo, “a next-gen app that combines the convenience of CEXs and the freedoms afforded by self-custodial wallets w/o tradeoffs”
  • Talent agency Manfred published its 2024 Tech Salary guide
  • Databricks announced that it will open its first office in Spain, in Madrid
  • El Referente put together an overview of the Galician startup ecosystem, highlighting some of the most well known companies in the region
  • Mobility platform Bolt plans to invest €7m over three years to expand its micromobility business in Spain
  • Startup profiles:
  • Boopos: operates as a marketplace for buying and selling small businesses, also offering financing for these transactions. Boopos CEO was also interviewed here
  • Aldara: home association management (administracion de fincas)
  • 2BOLD: turn ideas into spaces

Big company news 🏦

  • Merlin Properties announced at its General Shareholders' Meeting a plan to raise €1b for the development of data centers. The Spanish real estate investment trust aims to leverage this investment, combined with debt, to expand its data center capacity by 200 megawatts within five years, expecting to generate annual revenues of €350m
  • This was a bit surprising to me 👉 The Spanish Association of Startups, representing around 700 emerging companies, has filed a complaint against Microsoft with the Spanish Competition Authority (CNMC) for anti-competitive practices in the cloud services market. They accuse Microsoft of using its dominant position in operating systems and office software to unfairly promote its Azure cloud services

Sean Ellis, el mayor referente del Growth Hacking y líder de crecimiento de empresas como Dropbox o Eventbrite, dará una Masterclass y un taller en el mayor evento de Growth europeo organizado por Product Hackers en Madrid: la Product Hackers Conference. Descuento 30€: PH-DEALFLOW

Interesting reads 🤓

  • Ana Asuero (Citibox) asked on Twitter if anyone knows of cases of people in startups in Spain who sold part or all of their phantoms or stock options in secondary rounds. Interesting replies
  • Miguel Arias (Kfund) published his thoughts on trends he’s seeing in the VC and M&A market
  • Marco Patiño (Pulpo) published “I analyzed code review best practices for a year. This is what I learned.”
  • Ignacio Arriaga (Acumbamail), published “PR 101: una historia, un dato, algo novedoso” about PR and startups
  • Samaipata interviewed Paulo Rodriguez (Vanta), to chat about “mastering the art of sales at early-stage startups”

Podcasts 🎧