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Data centre galore. Capchase's €105m. credit facility. 3 new VC funds.

May 30, 2024 • Issue #420

At the AWS Startup Loft, you'll have the opportunity to connect with some of Spain's most innovative and rapidly growing startups and scaleups, including Glovo, Cabify, Jobandtalent, Fever, Rated Power, Cobee, and Copado. Join us to network, learn from investors and leaders of other startups, scaleups, and unicorns.

The Startup Loft will feature tailored startup sessions, from building generative AI architectures to leveraging AWS for accelerated go-to-market strategies, and conclude with networking at the Founders Bar by Automat-IT, where you’ll be able to meet investors and fellow startups attending the AWS Summit Madrid. Book your spot for June 5th here.

Startup funding news 💸

  • Capchase secured a €105m credit facility led by Deutsche Bank. This latest funding adds to more than $1 billion in joint debt and equity financing received since being founded just 4 years ago. More info here
  • Huspy, a Dubai-based real estate company, raised a $37m Series A led by Balderton. The company has more than 400 employees, 100 of which are based in Madrid. The company offers end-to-end home buying and selling services in the United Arab Emirates and Spain (where it launched in 2022). More info here
  • Andalusian startup Zinkee has raised €1.9m in a new funding round led by Athos Capital. Zinkee's no-code platform simplifies SME management and allows the creation of work apps without programming knowledge
  • Other rounds of funding:
  • CDTI backed Voovio, previously funded by Moira Capital Partners
  • Biotech company Ownmed raised €630k

M&A activity 🎊

  • BD Capital has initiated a takeover bid for the Galician edtech company Netex, valuing the company at €65m (25% more than Netex’s value in the BME Growth). more than 65 million euros. Netex did €23m in sales last year, up 14% YoY
  • PayRetailers, a fintech company based in Barcelona that focuses on payment operations in Latin America, has acquired Transfeera, a regulated payment company in Brazil. The specific amount of the deal has not been disclosed

Investor & accelerator news 🚀

  • 4Founders Capital has started raising capital for its third fund of €65m. The first closing is expected to take place by the end of the year, with the final closing in 2025
  • Beka Finance launched the TFTL Foodtech Fund I, a new €50m VC fund aimed at revolutionizing the agrifood industry in Europe and Israel
  • International activity of Spanish funds:
  • Samaipata paticipated in the €15m Series A round of Nory, a Dublin-based hospitality company, where it was already an investor
  • LifeX led a €6.2m round in Swiss biotech firm Limula
  • Not a Spanish fund, but Propel (the investment arm of BBVA with headquarters in the US), led a $7m round in Chilean fintech startup Fintoc
  • Cayetana Hurtado, from Balderton Capital, launched her executive coaching practice working with founders, CEOs and investors

Big company news 🏦

  • Amazon Web Services (AWS) plans to invest €15.7b in its three data centers in Aragon, Spain, creating 6,800 new jobs. This investment is 6x larger than the original plan announced in 2021. AWS aims to support local businesses and contribute to the region's economy, estimating a yearly equivalent of 17,500 full-time jobs and a 21.6 billion euro contribution to Spain's GDP by 2033. More info here. Two of the main needs data centres have are land and proximity of cheap energy sources. Aragon has both. This article wonders “Los centros de datos se multiplican en España: ¿Habrá energía para todos?”
  • La Caixa, through its financial arm CriteriaCaixa, plans to double its stake in Telefónica from 5% to 10%, matching the Spanish government's ownership. The increase, requiring an additional investment of approximately €600m, seeks to maintain La Caixa's influence and ensure stability in the telecommunications company.
  • Google declares revenues of €262m in Spain and pays €17m in corporate taxes. Most of the services are billed from Ireland, which reduces the tax bill. Although the declared figure is lower than the actual business, it reflects a 23% growth compared to the previous year. The company has 529 employees in Spain and is searching for a new CEO for the region
  • Íñigo Barea, General Director of Just Eat Spain, highlights the challenges that the company faces in Spain due to the competition (Glovo) that continues to use autonomous riders despite being illegal. El Pais published an analysis of the sector, highlighting the lack of profitability of many of the companies operating in it, as well as the fact that Stuart and others have recently decided to shut down operations in Spain
  • BBVA has partnered with OpenAI to utilize ChatGPT's APIs for market analysis and decision-making. The bank will not exclusively use ChatGPT and is considering other AI tools as well
  • Cani Fernandez, President of the National Commission of Markets and Competition (CNMC), highlights the importance of protecting the innovative potential of SMEs and startups against tech giants
  • Indra has selected Citi and AZ Capital as financial advisors for the sale process of Minsait, the technology division of the group

Startup news 💸

  • Javi Lopez and Emilio Nicolas, founders of Magnific, appeared in two podcast interviews this week, on the Itnig and SeedRocket show. They talked at length about the acquisition, growth of the company and also provided some interesting numbers on the company’s traction before the acquisition. One of the most interesting things they share is the fact that in the exit they did not negotiate for a specific price, but for a multiple of revenue, signaling to how fast the company was growing and their confidence that they could keep that growth trajectory
  • Avi Meir, CEO of TravelPerk, states in an interview that the startup has no plans to go public and highlights the availability of money for companies with real customers and a clear path to profitability. Meir also mentions TravelPerk's focus on implementing AI in their corporate travel platform and their healthy growth. Additionally, he comments on the importance of business travel and rejects the idea that it will disappear in the post-pandemic world
  • More trouble in the solar panel sector:
  • SolarProfit suffered a significant financial setback in 2023, reporting a loss of €37m. This substantial loss has severely impacted the company's liquidity, raising concerns about its financial stability. The company's financial health has been under scrutiny, with auditors previously warning about the potential difficulties in collecting payments from various entities
  • Holaluz is facing new financial challenges with upcoming maturities in July and has yet to secure the necessary financing. This situation raises concerns about the company's ability to manage its financial obligations and maintain stability amidst these pressures
  • Also, Holaluz is experiencing a severe crisis exacerbated by a significant customer exodus. The electricity retailer lost over 65,000 customers in the first half of 2023, dropping from 283,930 to 218,104
  • Crescenta has surpassed its initial fundraising goals for its two inaugural private equity funds within two months of their launch in February. The targets for the Crescenta Private Equity Buyouts Top Performers I and Growth Top Performers I funds have been increased from €20m to €35m and from €15m to €25m, respectively, to meet high demand
  • Meal subscription servicer Wetaca now serves over 100 companies in Spain. Launched in 2021, their B2B service allows businesses to offer meals to employees, with flexible funding options ranging from 0% to 100%
  • The Spanish startup Brickken has been selected to participate in PwC's Scale Digital Assets program. Brickken offers real-world asset tokenization services and has tokenized over $200 million in 14 jurisdictions
  • Despite the aviation sector's challenges for startups, innovative companies like Renacen and Smartvel are succeeding through unique solutions like 3D seat selection and AI-driven travel content. Startups such as DeuSens, Bob, ClimateTrade, and Caravelo also thrive by offering VR training, off-airport baggage check-in, carbon offset marketplaces, and travel subscription models, partnering with major airlines to enhance industry operations
  • This article highlights 15 Spanish AI startups to follow in 2024
  • Company profiles:
  • Clikalia: proptech
  • SesameHR: HR software
  • GranVoyage: travel tech

Podcasts 🎧

  • Kfund interviewed Carlos Alonso-Torras, partner at Fintech Collective
  • Historias de Crecimiento interviewed Maxence de Damas, co-founder of Filtroo