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Monday, March 20, 2023

This Week In European Tech: EQT Closes €1.1B Fund, Crypto Payments Firm Ramp Raises $70M, Meta Buys Audio Analytic & More

This week, our research team tracked 100 technology financing agreements worth more €1 billionand more 20 exits, mergers and acquisitions transactions, rumorsand related news across Europe.

As always, we’ll pull them all together for you in a list sent out in our roundup newsletter next Monday (note: the full list is for paying customers only, and also comes in the form of a handy downloadable spreadsheet).

We also have some news for you: we are already preparing for the second edition of the Tech.eu Summit! Booking:

Tickets are already on sale.

If you haven’t seen them yet, we’ve made all the videos from the Tech.eu Summit last May available as a playlist on our YouTube channel. Enjoy them!

With that said, let’s get down to business with the biggest European tech news of the past few days (subscribe to our free newsletter to get this roundup delivered to your inbox).


>> Notable and large funding rounds

Lille, France-based marketing technology company Positive Group, formerly known as Sarbacane, has raised $110 million in funding to fuel its growth and finance its third acquisition in two years.

Demant, a Denmark-based company covering all areas of hearing health, has received a €115 million loan from the European Investment Bank (EIB).

Osler Diagnostics, an Oxford, UK-based medical diagnostics company that aims to transform global healthcare by providing lab-quality diagnostic tests to anyone, anywhere, anytime, announced it has raised $85 million in a Series C financing.

Polish cryptocurrency payment startup Ramp has raised $70 million in Series B funding. Mubadala Capital from the United Arab Emirates and Korelya Capital from France co-led the round.

Agriconomie, a Paris, France-based e-commerce company dedicated to farmers, raised €60 million in Series B funding.

Zurich-based workplace app that connects the non-desktop workforce with operating systems and communication channels Beekeeper has raised $50 million in a Series C funding round.

Offering the crème de la crème, fully digitized designer apartments, Munich-based Limehome plans to expand with a €45 million raise.

Mytraffic, a Paris, France-based web analytics-grade digital intelligence provider for tracking traffic on physical addresses, has raised €30 million in a round led by AXA Venture Partners, the strategic investment arm of the security firm. AXA insurance.

Silicon Valley Bank has acquired a partial ownership stake in Founders Forum Group for an undisclosed sum.


>> Featured acquisitions, mergers, initial public offerings and SPAC deals

Meta has reportedly acquired Cambridge-based sound recognition developer Audio Analytic in a deal that will inevitably be seen as a refreshing boost after a dismal third quarter for the social media, ad, and metaverse giant.

Next acquired Made.com’s brand, domain names and intellectual property for £3.4 million in a prepackage administration less than 18 months after the online furniture retailer went public in London at a valuation of £775 million.

Sony has acquired Beyond Sports, a Dutch AI-based data visualization and analytics company that specializes in fan engagement.

Dutch middle-market infrastructure fund manager DIF Capital Partners has acquired a majority stake in Stockholm-based developer of unsubsidized solar projects in the Nordics, Alight. As part of the deal, DIF will invest €150 million in the company and make a secondary buyout from a number of existing shareholders.

B2B services platform for small businesses and freelancers FINOM has paid an eight-figure sum to acquire UK-based cross-border payment facilitator Kapaga to help it expand across the UK and Europe.

E.GRUPPE has acquired Control Mechatronics based in Germany. This acquisition will allow E.GRUPPE to expand its range of products in control technology and measurement of industrial electrical processes.

US pet health insurance provider Trupanion has acquired Prague-based veterinary-focused insurance startup PetExpert. The amount of the transaction is not disclosed.


>> Interesting investor moves

There are venture capital firms that have firepower, then there are those that have significant firepower, and then there is Stockholm-based EQT, which has just announced the final closing of its third fund at €1.1bn.

Hg, the leading European private equity firm, has raised $11bn for its latest fund, Saturn 3, well above the original $8.5bn and making it the largest European buyout fund to close so far of the year.

Invenio Partners from Bulgaria launched a new €55 million regional private equity fund.

The Lithuanian team of Estonian accelerator Startup Wise Guys has launched a new venture capital company, FIRSTPICK. The firm plans to raise 20 million euros for the fund, of which 15 million have already been committed.

Atomico has added seven more people to its 2022 Angel Program cohort.

Inveready launched a new €50 million fund for biotech start-ups.

Bristol-based Science Creates Ventures has secured £15m in funding from British Business Investment’s Regional Angels Programme.

The tenth cohort of Seraphim Capital’s space technology accelerator, Seraphim Space Camp, is about to kick off with the help of nine startups on four continents.


>> In other (important) news

Microsoft faces a new antitrust complaint over its cloud computing practices as trade group CISPE, whose members include Amazon, filed its complaint with EU antitrust regulators on Wednesday.

The European Commission published a new regulation to optimize rental platform operations and data sharing practices in the EU single market, targeting companies such as Booking.com, Airbnb and Expedia.

EU antitrust regulators are bringing charges against Facebook parent company Meta for using customer data and linking its classifieds service to its social network.

The European Commission will conduct an “in-depth investigation” into Microsoft’s $69 billion acquisition of gaming company Activision Blizzard.

Germany has blocked another Chinese takeover of a national semiconductor company, in yet another sign of the government’s tougher approach to protecting its high-tech sector.

Railsr, a UK-based integrated finance fintech company, is exploring options to sell its business after engaging advisors FT Partners to help it assess options, according to a press report.

The Spanish Parliament has given the green light to a new startup law that will bring tax benefits and other advantages to entrepreneurs, remote workers and digital nomads who want to live and work in Spain.

Stockholm-based Instabox, a company that claims to transform last-mile deliveries for e-commerce, announced Thursday that its Dutch operations Instabox Netherlands, Red je Pakketje and their subsidiaries have filed for bankruptcy.


>> Recommended reading and listening

In 2022, Borderbridge and Tech.eu, as a key media partner, will publish a new research report focused on analyzing the effect of media investments by capital from a global perspective.

Can Mastodon be the first great social network ‘Made in Europe’?

How Beetroot helps companies sustainably scale health technology development.

Revealed: Spotify Founder Daniel Ek’s Secret Health Tech Startup

CEE Tech Ecosystem Report: 8 New Unicorns, 19 Funds and Combined Value of Startups Totaling €190 Billion

Deezer CEO lays out streaming war battle plan

What’s next for European banking as a service?

GEIGER lets small businesses and startups know that they are not alone when it comes to cybersecurity.

Within the new EIT Health Attract to Invest program.

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