Lots of questions and who is doing the European Harvard for startups

#37

Hi guys, happy Sunday!

PSA: I will take the next week off and do a bit of news detoxing, as I’m thinking and planning through the rest of the year. By all means, please do reach out and send interesting stuff my way - I usually get a dozen comments and replies to what I write, and I respond to all of them.

Enjoy!


MICRO

🇸🇪 Antler says it made a total of 58 investments since the beginning of March. Speaking of which, their team is packed with ex-McKinsey people.

🇫🇷 The 20 most active female business angels in France

🇫🇷 Top 30 business angels in France

🇪🇸 20 Spanish healthtech companies to watch

🇫🇷 The rookie VC exploring the scouting VC

🇫🇷 VC questions bible

🇬🇧 The Hierarchy of Marketplaces

🇸🇪 Spotify is now rolling out video ads to users in the US, UK, and Canada

🇩🇰 Why micro-payments are not a solution in the media industry.

🇩🇪 DAZN and Sky paid €4.4B for 4-year domestic broadcasting rights to Germany's Bundesliga soccer league.

🇵🇱 Bloober Team, the Polish studio behind Xbox Series X console exclusive The Medium, has entered second round of merger and acquisition talks with “a dozen or so” companies, including three from the United States, two from Poland and one from the UK.

🇬🇧 David Beckham has invested in a new UK-based esports startup, Guild Esports.

🇪🇺 Disney+ will expand to 8 more European countries on Sept 15 with prices in the €7-8 range depending on country.

🇫🇷 Mediawan launched a new pan-European entity, Mediawan Alliance, and has entered exclusive negotiations to acquire France’s Lagardere Studios. It also bought a majority stake in Spain’s Good Mood and is being financially backed by the French investment firm MACSF and the U.S. private equity firm KKR.

Mediawan, which acquired 23 companies since its start in 2015, was launched as a SPAC (special-purpose acquisition company) on the Paris stock exchange by telco billionaire Xavier Niel, banker Matthieu Pigasse and TV exec Pierre-Antoine Capton to roll up scripted TV production companies in Europe.

🇫🇷 Margo Bank became Memo Bank, the first independent bank to offer payment, deposit, and financing solutions to SMEs since 50 years in France. Also raised.

🇫🇮 Nordic Entertainment Group, the Nordic region’s leading streaming company, and Elisa, Finland’s market-leading telecoms operator, will combine their streaming services in Finland.

🇩🇪 Buzfeed got an offer for its German operations from an investor group consisting of Markus Posset, Alexander Schütz and Klemens Hallmann.


MACRO

🇪🇺 EU says GDPR is working but it needs more resources for enforcing it.

🇫🇷 French constitutional authority rejects law forcing online platforms to delete hate-speech content

🇪🇸 In Madrid you get subsidies of €150 for buying a scooter, €500 for an e-bike, €600 for an e-moped, and €750 for an e-motorcycle. Super cool.

🇫🇷 Paris Mayor Anne Hidalgo released a “Manifesto for Paris” placing ecology at the heart of city policy, including a 30km/hr speed limit everywhere; parking spaces cut in half; the city’s new temporary cycle lanes & pedestrian streets made permanent.

🇪🇸 Jaime is creating Corruption-O-Pedia by scrapping data from public yet hard to use databases of public tendering and contracting with political parties census

🇳🇱 Amsterdam ejects Airbnb et al from three central districts in latest P2P platform limits.

Travel as we knew it is over anyways, according to Airbnb’s CEO.

🇬🇧 The UK’s planned reductions in emissions, even if it hits net zero by 2050, would be two or three times greater than its fair share of emissions under the landmark 2015 Paris agreement, where countries agreed to hold global increases in temperature to “well below 2C  and to pursue 1.5C”.

Globally the wealthiest 10% are responsible for half of all emissions, the wealthiest 20% for 70% of emissions.

If regulations forced the top 10% to cut their emissions to the level of the average EU citizen, and the other 90% made no change in their lifestyles, that would still cut total emissions by a third.

🇪🇺 The European Parliament considers implementing their own version of the Great Firewall of China.

🇪🇺 Also the E.U. will bar most travelers from the U.S., Russia and Brazil, which have been excluded from a list of countries deemed to have curbed the coronavirus.

🇪🇺 Looking to start or join a company in Europe? Here's a spreadsheet of 40+ European visas for tech founders and employees.

Btw, ICYMI - the US suspended H1-B visa applications through the end of the year.

🇪🇺 American whiskey distillers lost more than $300 million in export revenue due to trade disputes between the U.S. and the EU.

🇩🇪 The astonishing rise of Angela Merkel, the most powerful woman in the world.

🇪🇺 How Europe can dominate the next decade of tech

Reading this about the current EU startup landscape and imagining it 5 years down the road, an evident missing piece is a platform that could provide guidance, benchmarks and role models for wannabe founders across Europe. An educational pillar of sort, providing a common denominator for founders from 27 different countries.

The balance is not at equilibrium - corporate vs. startup world, old money vs. new money, traditional media vs. new media, schools vs. <insert the future here>.

Training people for taking risks at scale requires a large talent pool able to network, learn from the best and from each other and move fast.

In Europe we have hundreds of useless startup accelerators, an outdated educational system and a young customer base, tech savvy and hungry to create, with English as their default language learnt via Roblox, Minecraft and the likes.

Who is going to build a suitable system for those guys looking to find models, mentors and a fertile ground for building stuff?

Who is going to teach them that it is ok to fail, still a stigma across the entire Europe.

Is it a business opportunity at all? An EU thing? Something schools should do? An incumbent?

Is it going to happen at all or we will all end up using Startup School, which looks very well positioned to become the Harvard for startups.

🇪🇺 Meanwhile here is a very meta thread, discussing why Europeans don’t have enough discussions about the European startup ecosystem. You get it? You know, like dudes in Silicon Valley do. :D

This simply indicates that perhaps there is a higher need of more media outlets aggregating a very fragmented European ecosystem of opinions and reflecting real work done by entrepreneurs.

Is the today’s Euro startup media output enough? Assuming the Euro startup world increases 3-5x in the next 5 to 10 years, shouldn’t the media covering it grow at a similar pace? Who is going to aggregate the new new media?

Yes, lots of questions to add to the discussion. Hussein puts it very well:

There are those who talk about what should happen and there are those who go on and make it happen. If anything Europe has too many of the former, and too few of the latter.


DEALFLOW

💰More money in the market

🇳🇱 BioGeneration Ventures (BGV), an early-stage VC in European biotech, has closed its 4th fund at €105 million.

🇬🇧 Epidarex Capital, a transatlantic life science venture firm, closed Epidarex Capital III UK LP, at £102.1 million.

🇬🇧 Connect Ventures announced its 3rd fund at €71 million to invest in purpose-led founders.

🇺🇸 Amazon Announces $2 Billion Climate Pledge Fund to Invest in Companies Building Products, Services, and Technologies to Decarbonize the Economy and Protect the Planet

🇸🇪 Martin Witt has been appointed as Vice President and Head of Volvo Group Venture Capital, based in Göteborg.

He comes after being an MD at Accenture for 3 years - the very Accenture that has been very active in the Euro M&A market in the past couple of years.

💵 Interesting bets

🇫🇷 €70 million | corporate lunch card and benefits app | Index Ventures

🇭🇺 $20 million | driver-assistance and self-driving car software | Lead Ventures

🇦🇹 €8.3 million | online tutoring platform | Left Lane Capital, DN Capital

🇳🇱 €7.8 million | AI-based system that allows dairy farmers to monitor their herds | ADM Capital

🇨🇭 €6 million | PPA (Power Purchase Agreement) software developers | Encavis AG, RP Global

🇫🇷 €2.5 million | video streaming solution developer | Elaia, Go Capital

🇮🇹 €2.5 million | alcohol ecommerce & delivery | Intesa Sanpaolo

🇮🇪 €2 million | transport data company for bus networks | Irelandia Investments, Act Venture Capital

🇬🇧 £1.1 million | online toolkit for surviving modern alcohol-free society

🇳🇴 new media business | Schibsted


ENCORE

🗣️ Observations

  • Unilever says it will halt U.S. advertising on Facebook and Twitter for at least the remainder of 2020, citing divisive content on the platforms.

    It is not the only one as it joins some other 90 brands such as Coca Cola, Levi’s, Dockers, North Face, Ben & Jerrys, Verizon etc.

    Two things:

    1. Financially Facebook is not too affected as the bulk of its money comes from circa 8 million small businesses spenders while the top 100 advertisers bring in less than 20% of revenues.

    Also notable, in 2017-2019 YT had the same problem and came out ok.

    2. But this puts pressure on Facebook, as this doesn't have only a monetary impact but also a product one, and Facebook’s reaction looks really defensive. They keep saying they will change and become better at doing their business, just like a broken record - if you know how media works and still believe an iota from what FB says, it’s on you.

    Also interesting to think about timing i.e. whether in times of economic boom big brands would have done the same - these days the consumer demand is pretty weak anyways as the economy is bad.

  • Meanwhile in the Google land, they announced they will start paying publishers for news.

    This has nothing to do with Google’s DNA and the way they do business. My guess is that it’s a legal tactic with business consequences emerged from the chess game with the regulators breathing down Google’s neck.

    The company has already signed deals with a number of publishers in Germany, Brazil, and Australia and included Spiegel Group in the PR spiel. Does Google finally admit that now it is a media company?

  • Amazon acquired Zoox, a California-based company working to design autonomous ride-hailing vehicles from the ground up. $1bn.

  • Microsoft killed Mixer livestreaming service, which was competing with Twitch.
    Tencent is launching Trovo, a Twitch-like streaming service, in the US.

  • Microsoft also killed its 83 retail stores, which were launched 10 years ago in the Ballmer era to specifically mimic Apple’s ones. Remember Zune, btw?

  • Just what is Tencent’s Endgame? (good overview of their business)

  • Superhuman’s email app is overhyped and overpriced (yes)

  • Goldman Sachs releases the font Goldman Sans. Because why not.

  • The most successful and ambitious mapping project of all time, Google Maps, is an advertising platform. There is no “geospatial industry,” only industries with spatial problems. thread

  • Bill Ackman, a billionaire investor, announced a new blank-check company that will invest in “Mature Unicorns.” 

  • Carta launched a SAFE and convertible note calculator, very useful.

  • Kanye will design basic apparel for men, women and kids over at Gap (yes, that Kanye)

  • Best 2020 sneakers so far

  • Used Car Prices Hit a Record During a Pandemic. Yes, you read that right.
    One of the reasons for which UK’s Cazoo is an unicorn nowadays.

  • 👁👄👁 - the new Silicon Valley meme decomposed.

🗞️ Interesting reads

Have a nice summer!


Thanks for reading 🙌

Please reply with comments and feedback, or helpful suggestions for future editions.

Created every Sunday by @drnovac. Please share it with your networks and encourage your colleagues to sign up here - thanks!

When not to raise VC, why you get passed by investors and a larger Euro context

#36

Hello from Stockholm, where everyone is already vacationing.

This weekend is Midsommar, the most important holiday in the Nordics, officially celebrated on a Saturday between June 20 and June 26.

Unofficially, it is a 3-day weekend full of parties, kicking off the infamous Nordic summer holiday - around this time, people in Scandinavia usually take time off until the first or second week of August.

Summer solstice, which was yesterday, means we’re mid year and 2020 still has plenty of surprises ahead of us.

I’m trying a new format with this edition, let me know what you think of it. Enjoy!


MICRO

🇬🇧 Good profile of Hoxton, one of the most prolific early stage investors from the UK. They just announced their second fund at 100M.

🇷🇺 An interesting interview with Mail.ru co-founder Dmitry Grishin, who raised a second fund of $100 million to invest in seed and series A in US.

🇫🇮 If you’re a founder, before raising $1M from a $50M venture fund, look in the mirror and ask:

Do I see myself building a $3B business?

If the answer is Uh, no you are probably better off not raising VC.

This is from a great presentation full of gems about what VC raising really means for founders made by Jyri Engeström.

🇪🇺 Why VC investors pass on startups: a thread.

Alternative title: don't take it personally.

🇪🇺 Another day, another research piece with another invented term: soonicorns from France.

🇬🇧 Citymapper is looking for a buyer.

I don’t think anyone wanted to invest in them because they have no business model

Most certainly Facebook looked at them before acquiring the Swedish Mapillary, presumably cheaper judging from the money raised.

Mapillary raised about $25M from Atomico and Sequoia, Citymapper north of $50M from Index and Benchmark.

🇫🇮 Frustrated by the long process of securing a permit in the EU, Health Hack Labs decided to go ahead and launch Fixu Drink in the US and Russia.

Fixu Drink is a hangover drink made from natural ingredients.

🇮🇹 Bain Capital has made a 3 billion-euro bid for a ~25% stake in Serie A, Italy's pro soccer league, in competition with rival private equity firm CVC Capital Partners.

Serie A revenue in 2018-19 season was $2.5bn, 60% of it from broadcast rights.

🇸🇪 How The Local tweaked its way to 11,000 new paying members in 3 months.

🇪🇺 A good list with 10 agricultural and food technology startups.

🇪🇺 Another list with European startups built with social and environmental impact in mind.

🇬🇧 News by the ton: 75 years of US advertising

🇬🇧 UK’s Triumph Motorcycles introduces its first electric bike

🇩🇪 BMW Group and Mercedes-Benz AG end ‘long term’ automated driving alliance. BMW will slash 6,000 of its over 120,000 jobs worldwide this year, while 'Germans are not tired of cars'

🇳🇱 Uber fires 200 of the 1,500 employees from its international headquarters in Amsterdam. Plenty of engineers in the market.

🇨🇭 You can stay in a 'hotel room' without walls that offers breathtaking views of the Swiss Alps. 295 Swiss francs ($310) a night.


MACRO

🇪🇺 A good piece explaining why Amazon is under investigation by EU.

EU:

Amazon runs an online store and also sells its own products on that platform. The criticism is that it's both the player and the referee.

Amazon:

There are plenty of companies that act as both a shop and supplier. Tesco and Sainsbury's both sell their own labelled products in their stores, for example.

🇪🇺 The European Commission opened two antitrust investigations into Apple’s App Store and Apple Pay practices, following complaints by Spotify and Rakuten over Apple’s 30 percent cut on subscriptions and sales of ebooks through its App Store

🇩🇪 Germany launched a coronavirus contact tracing app on iOS and Android, says it costs €20M to develop and will require €2.5M- €3.5M per month to operate.

Already downloaded by 6.5 million people.

🇳🇴 Norway ends virus tracing app over privacy concerns

🇬🇧 Sadiq Khan (London’s mayor) took a 10% pay cut to his £152,734 salary and also froze pay for his senior appointments at City Hall.

🇩🇪 Germany considers tax advantages for working from home

🇬🇧 In June 2016, the UK voted to leave the EU. Then a funny thing happened...

Quietly, with zero fanfare, the EU grew its trade in goods by more than the total value of all the trade it does with the UK.

thread

🇬🇧 Speaking of Brexit - the U.K. will use “shock and awe” tactics based on behavioral science to spur businesses and the public to prepare for the end of the Brexit transition period.

🇩🇪 A great interview with a former German diplomat in the UK from 2018 to 2020, touching upon cultural and political differences, British exceptionalism and the lack of a compromise culture.

🇪🇺 EU wants to build a green Ultra-Rapid-Train network, part of a recovery programme from the COVID–19 crisis - 10-year, €2 trillion investment program focusing on public health, transport infrastructure and energy/decarbonisation.

An average speed in the range of 250–350 km/h should be achieved.

This would allow passengers to halve the current rail travel times, for instance, from Paris to Berlin to about four hours, making air travel for a large part of the intra-European passenger transport obsolete.

🇪🇺 China lost its status as a market economy after it initiated a lawsuit against the European Union, and which was further suspended at the request of China.

Here’s the why and the what.

🇫🇷 What is happening in India

🇪🇺 A good map of technology platform origin - goes well with the background explanations.


DEALFLOW

💰More money in the market

🇬🇧 Meta Change Capital, based in London, announced a €100 million VC fund focused on blockchain, founded by Æternity co-founder Nikola Stojanow and estimated to close in Q4 2020.

🇩🇪 Fly Ventures, based in Berlin, raised its second fund at €53 million to invests in seed-stage European startups within enterprise and deep tech,

🇸🇪 Pale Blue Dot, based in Malmö, is a newly announced €53 million seed-stage venture company focusing on climate-tech companies from Europe.

🇨🇦 ArcTern Ventures hired the former MD of Equinor to head its European operations of what they claim to be the world's largest cleantech funds ($150M)

💵 Interesting bets

🇸🇪 €50 million equity & debt | podcasting company

🇫🇮 $40 million | refurbished electronics marketplace | Finnish-only investors (bold bet)

🇫🇷 €15 million | a telemedicine booth manufacturer | Atoga, Aviva France, Bpifrance

🇬🇧 $10 million | money transfer service for migrants | Seventure, Vostok

🇬🇧 €8 million | textile recycling technology company | H&M, Sulzer

🇸🇪 $3.4 million | manufacturer of electric water boards | local angels

🇪🇸 €3.3 million | manufacturer of fully biodegradable hunting and shooting cartridges

🇩🇪 $3.3 million | a concierge bot for employees on Slack | La Famiglia, Gradient Ventures, P9, Seedcamp

🇪🇸 €3 million | digital real estate agency | Torch Capital, DN Capital, Cathay Capital and Seaya Ventures.


🈴 M&A

🇪🇸 Verse Technologies (payment company) was acquired by Square

🇸🇪 Mapillary (mapping company) was acquired by Facebook.

🇫🇷 Sentelis (industrial AI) was acquired by Accenture

🇸🇪 Oumph! (plant-based meat company) was acquired by US-based Livekindly.


ENCORE

🗣️ Observations

  • The Basecamp crew launched an email service called Hey specifically positioned to compete against Gmail.

    In the process they started a war with Apple, invoking some common sense reasons. Apple doesn’t really care because when you’re the strongest dude in the room you have leverage and don’t really listen, you just tell others what to do.

    So in order to compete with Google, Basecamp needs Apple’s approval - a paradox that reflects very well the mobile duopoly and in general the internet gateway role played by the two.

    It is an interesting case with long term implications.

    Related: this is how you do troll marketing.

  • Twitter launched an audio-tweet feature option.

  • Uber started selling SAAS to transit companies.

  • Tesla released its 2019 impact report which is an eye opener about the climate impact a car manufacturer can make with spillover effects in so many adjacent verticals.

  • Podyssey launched Deep Dives, curated guides on trending podcasts, hot topics, and relevant podcast recommendations.

  • SiriusXM acquires Simplecast to double down on podcasts with distribution and analytics tools

  • Y Combinator is relaunching its free online bootcamp Startup School as a continuous year-round program.

  • Things to know in AdTech, today.

  • The e-bike market

The five leading e-bike brands are Rad Power, Pedego, Trek, Specialized, and the Alta Group — Raleigh, IZIP, et al. These five collectively enjoy about 70% of the total e-bike market in 2020. 

📚 Books

🗞️ Interesting reads

Happy Sunday!


Thanks for reading 🙌

This email is a labour of love - please reply with comments and feedback, or helpful suggestions for future editions.

Created every Sunday by @drnovac. Please share it with your networks and encourage your colleagues to sign up here - thanks!

Why PE beats VC and the new new media consolidation

#35

Hello everyone and welcome to another edition of Sunday CET!

MENU
Observations, research and data
Notable deals
Interesting bets
Books and other reads


Observations, research, data

🇪🇸 Freepik’s founder Joaquín Cuenca says in an interview that they had 20 suitors and 16 offers on the table for selling the company in a deal announced two weeks ago and estimated at $250M.

Freepik deliberately chose PE investors over VCs, even though the VC valuation would have been higher and the founders would have made more $$.

The reason: the VCs would’ve put a huge growth pressure and the PE guys seemed to be “better business mentors”.

I have no inside intel but key of the deal here probably was Hjalmar Winbladh who runs EQT’s VC division and founded a company with a model somewhat similar to Freepik’s, which he flipped to EQT’s PE fund in 2017.

Freepik decided not to go to venture capital as possible partners because, although the company's valuation was going to be higher (and they would have broken a record in Spain), the demand and pressure were going to be very high to the point of evaluating that it could have had a detrimental effect on the operation of the company.

In addition, the partners were looking for a mentor, that is, to have some pressure or demand to grow the company but in a healthy way. For this reason, they finally opted for private equity.

Joaquín Cuenca (CEO):
"It has not been a process that we have developed on our own, we have relied on a consulting company to help. Within the universe of funds, we chose 20 funds with which we were going to deal and from there 16 made us an offer.

From there we screened and we kept the offers based on the financial offer, those who had the most knowledge and could contribute to us and, of course, those who shared our vision of the future about the company "

🇪🇺 The top 50 cross-border e-commerce companies in Europe - the ranking was created by Cross-Border based on four criteria: web sales within EU, SEO performance indicators, a country score and a ratio of unique visits versus total visits (%).

🇬🇧 VCs patterns

160 European unicorn founding teams deconstructed...
* 11.5% --> one or more non-white founders
* 5.8% --> one or more non-male founders
* 1.9% --> one or more non-white-male founders
* 15.4% --> either (remember this number)

🇪🇺 What you need to know about the Nordic investment market in May 2020.

🇸🇪 Angel investor Erik Byrenius (founded online food ordering company OnlinePizza, acquired by Delivery Hero in 2012) started Trellis Road w/ Anna Ottosson to invest in food-only startups.

🇪🇺 Here’s a kind of revealing read showing Sifted’s editorial strategy and product positioning. Nothing out of the ordinary for people familiar with how media is done but pretty interesting nonetheless for guys like me, who did this for a living.

Also the fact that they get “hundreds of story pitches every day” indicates that:

i) they have some market validation for their output;
ii) there’s plenty of value to create outside a copy-pasted press release of “X company has raised X money to do X”, which is pretty much the paradigm of how the English-based tech startup media operates in Europe.

The only little problem in the whole equation is monetization.

Give it a year or so for the “new new media” creators wave (podcasts and Substack authors) to consolidate positions and find a consistent pace and we’ll likely see an aggregation of the most prominent ones as independent brands covering tech-related stuff or under umbrellas of traditional media orgs.

Just like it happened 15 years ago with bloggers and podcasters, which at that time were called new media. Buzzfeed, Techcrunch, Business Insider, The Verge - all those “old brands” emerged as extension of or based on bloggers work.

Fun fact: 15-ish years ago I used to run a weekly podcast show about tech startups. I did it for about 18 months, the tech back then was rudimentary but it was fun and nobody would do micropayments like nowadays.

Podcasts ads was even a more difficult case, ad spenders were just starting to get comfortable with terms like CPMs and CPAs and in general there were fewer people on the internet, there was no mobile internet except for Symbian, which was horrible in retrospect, Facebook was starting to get cool, Twitter was an unreliable SMS service, Google had just acquired YT and Instagram and iPhones were not even invented. Being in the loop meant reading free online versions of printed papers.

Today, 2-3 cycles later, media is done primarily online by multiple non and traditional brands and there’s increased evidence of online content-paying behavior as even some of the new new media already charges. Arguably it is easier to implement a payment model now than then and there is a difference between paying for content to support individuals trying to contribute versus for big media brands covering a space.

But looking at the 12-24 months ahead, I wouldn’t be surprised about an aggregating move of the new new media long tail towards a bundled approach which would lead to scale and a better consumer proposition. If you add in the mix the data-based and online event-based content providers, the aggregation need will be even more accentuated as the demand side can’t keep up w/ what the supply is publishing.

Making a business of it will require a solid value proposition backed by a good brand with a correct positioning. Europe is a particular, difficult case - winners will have balls, vision and strong voices but that is what makes the difference in life in general, I guess.

Fwiw, Sifted was launched about 18 months ago and, besides FT’s money and structure, has also some angel backing. What they lack the most is probably a sparring partner.

🇪🇺 A comprehensive list of tech podcasts coming from/covering Europe.

🇪🇺 A list w/ 100+ diversity initiatives in Europe - schemes and networks which support diverse and underrepresented founders in Europe's tech ecosystem.

🇪🇺 Digiday says that publishers in Europe and US are set for a second wave of layoffs

🇮🇹 Lamborghini gets into e-sports as it announced its first-ever esports series called ‘The Real Race’ in collaboration with Assetto Corsa Competizione. The sim-racing series will be open to gamers of all skill levels, and consists of five qualifying weeks – all the way through August.

🇪🇸 FC Barcelona to launch 'BARÇA TV+' streaming service with more than 3,000 videos and 1,000 hours of content

🇫🇮 Varjo started a project for astronaut training for spaceflight - from pre-launch to docking to landing – entirely in VR. Awesome.

🇪🇺 Benedict Evans crashed a Franco-German “innovation” by simply linking to it from his newsletter. The project in case, GAIA-X project, is an European cloud computing system, developed as an alternative to the global technology ecosystem.

Benedict has ~140k subscribers, at, say, a 50% open rate and 10% click rate - a few thous concurrent connections defeated Europe's cloud infrastructure shop front.

But yeah, we have plenty of money in Europe too - I actually got complaints I was mean by saying Europeans don’t know how to innovate the other week. :D

🇩🇪 Volkswagen ready to deliver its alternative to Tesla’s Model 3 in September.

🇩🇪 The German government announced funds of €2 billion “to be invested in AI” and for the construction of at least two quantum computers.

🇫🇮 The Finnish government announced they will support the acquisition of a quantum computer with €20.7M.

🇫🇮 IQM, a manufacturer of hardware for universal quantum computers, raised €17.5 million.

🇪🇺 Unilever picks London as its home after Brexit over Rotterdam.

🇸🇪 Ikea in talks to return all government support money to the 9 countries it took it from

🇪🇺 EU plans to file formal antitrust charges against Amazon for scooping up data from third-party sellers and using that info to compete against them

🇪🇸 Facebook launched its payment service in Spain.

🇪🇸 A good, old fashioned international expansion tactic: Google and Telefonica do back-to-back sales in Europe and more.

🇬🇧 In most of the world, airlines are being bailed out by their governments. In Britain they're taking the government to court.

🇬🇧 The times we live in:

In 2015 the British taxpayers finished paying off the last installment on the loan to compensate slave *owners*.

🇪🇺 Findings from a research on the state of blockchain in Europe:

In 2019, around $700m was invested in European blockchain companies, which is 24% of the $2.8bn invested globally.

However, around 30% of 800 global blockchain deals were European — meaning Europe has smaller deal sizes ($3m average deal size in Europe vs. $3.6m globally)

🇪🇺 The beauty with EU is that there’s so much data publicly available. The downside is that the UX of their tools sucks and so you need to read their reports to learn stuff like

Retail trade in the EU dropped by 10.1 % in March 2020 and by 11.1 % in April 2020 compared with previous months.

In March and April 2020, purchases of automotive fuel dropped in the EU by 42.6 %, with the largest decreases in Italy (-66.2 %), France (-64.7 %) and Spain (-56.5 %).

MORE

  • Facebook establishing a venture arm to invest in startups

  • Facebook filed for a patent in January that lets Facebook users turn their photos into ads, and most importantly, monetize their data - thread.

  • Also Facebook launched Facebook News for all US users today. Tech doing media never went well - Apple is struggling with Apple News.

  • Of course, Facebook will always be the elephant in the room for media industry

  • Airbnb CEO says that from May 17-June 6 “we did more nights booked than that period last year.”

  • With ~50m participants, fishing is the 2nd most popular outdoor activity in the US after jogging and drives a lot of boat sales.

  • Most investors value stocks using multiples and seek to distinguish between value and growth stocks. But multiples obscure the drivers of value and few investors have a sense of how revisions in expectations for those drivers change multiples. link

In 2007, Toronto-based angel investor John Phillips heard about the company through a friend. He was impressed by the product and even more by Lütke. He invested $250,000 at a $3 million valuation. He bought more shares subsequently, building a position of about 5 million sha]res.

  • Dataset showing why investor optimism is surging

  • If you want to understand why US state attorneys are leaning towards a breakup of Google's ad technology business - read this.


Notable deals

🇩🇪 Former Rocket Internet executives Alexander Kudlich and Ludwig Ensthaler, and California-based Airbnb and Twitter alumnus Florian Leibert, raised a €170M fund for European machine learning and automation start-ups

🇪🇸 K Fund announced its second fund at €70M to invest in seed companies from Spain.

🇮🇹 Italian Investment firm Azimut has partnered with investment platform Gellify Group to launch a new €50M venture capital fund focused on B2B software startups. 

🇸🇪 Foreseeti secured $3.2M in a round led by Fairpoint Capital

🇫🇷 Vizcab closed €1.6 million for building tools allowing construction and real estate players to reduce their carbon footprint

🇸🇪 PantaPå announced securing $1M from Verdane Capital, Orkla Ventures and Almi Invest for a mobile solution for recycling packaging.

🇬🇧 Just Eat Takeaway's $7.3bn Grubhub deal is Europe's 3rd biggest acquisition of a US tech company in the last 10 years, after other 2 made by the German SAP, roughly at $8bn each (Qualtrics in 2018, Concur Technologies in 2014).

🇸🇪 Scrive was acquired by Vitruvian Partners

🇺🇸 HackerNoon raised $1M.

🇺🇸 SuperAnnotate raised $3M in a seed round led by Berlin’s Point Nine Capital

🇺🇸 Whatifi, a social video app for DYI, choose your own adventure, raised $10M in funding from Andreessen Horowitz, Netflix CFO David Wells, Supercell CEO Ilkka Paananen, Affirm founder Max Levchin, and Zynga founder Marc Pincus

🇺🇸 Wave, a startup whose platform hosts concerts within virtual worlds, raised $30M in Series B funding.


Interesting bets

🇩🇪 football tech platform

🇫🇷 provider of a platform to handle inter-hospital patient transfers

🇫🇷 image recognition system for car damage detection (they raised)

🇳🇴 AI-based software used for pre-feasibility analysis for solar projects

🇪🇸 The most complete fishing app (competing with Swedish Fishbrain, which raised about $40M so far)


Books and other interesting reads

📚 Books

🗞️ Interesting stuff

Happy Sunday!


Thanks for reading 🙌

This email is a labour of love - please reply with comments and feedback, or helpful suggestions for future editions.

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The disconnect between tech and politics and the invisible hand.

#34

Happy Sunday from sunny Stockholm and welcome to another edition of Sunday CET!

This a long-ish piece, folks, but it’s packed. Enjoy!

MENU
Observations, research and data
Notable deals
Interesting bets
Books and other reads


Observations, research, data

🇫🇷 Here’s a scenario for Europe:

1. There’s a big worldwide fragmentation going on i.e. US vs everybody, within EU, Russia and China meddling etc and that would lead to trade barriers, travel frictions and cultural misunderstandings.

2. Politics would lead to a slow down of cross-border investments, American investors will be deterred to have a global approach and favor a US-centric focus, w/ more ops triggered by the covid crisis within the 52 states.

3. EU founders will have to learn to live without the rest of the world and will have free rein on their own local markets, inventing Europe-centric models.

4. The EU investors will learn to cope with less impressive returns, and investors from outside the tech world will back startups whose risk-adjusted returns they recognize as more familiar.

Authored by Nicolas Colin, you can read the entire piece here.

It is a scenario that looks a bit like a politician’s calculation. And then you read about how France plays the prey role for foreign buyers, shake your head and think Nicolas could be right, we’d better gun up.

Here’s what I think: that drama ain’t going to happen. The French are over-reacting (both Nicolas and the state) and the world of tech, both as business and as asset class, is a bit bigger and more complex than that.

And here’s why: there is a big disconnect between politics and the tech world.

Tech is decoupled from politics

The tech ecosystem has developed tremendously in the past 15 years, in spite of the shitty politics from across both ponds.

That is the very reason for which governments want to regulate Google and Facebook. The gap is so big between the two worlds that the politics is out of control.

More regulation and protectionism will not narrow it down, au contraire, it will force tech to be more creative, they invent things for a living after all. And yes, US is a very different beast than Europe but smart people adapt.

Europe is already local-centric and it’s not really working out

There’s two types of entrepreneurs - the ones who think locally and the ones with global ambitions.

Europe’s default was very local until we started to have access to the internet and real benchmarks. Arguably, today we have not gone that far and most of the founders here are still too country-centric, doing stuff locally and waiting for outside inspiration, copying or adapting from the Silicon Valley. This is as opposed to being a leader, pioneering and creating something on our own and conquer the world with it. It is a mentality thing, we talked about this. Copying Silicon Valley has become an obsession - being competitive is good but I mean how about inventing something from your head and lead the way, like they do.

Heavy protectionism is exactly not being competitive. Copying the other guys but without competing with them will be worse off for consumers - less worse choice - and for the investors - where will the exits come from? Add to that that most of the early stage investment funds are already heavily subsidized by the EU. The loop is closed.

And btw what the hell stopped Euro startups until now to get “free rein on their own local markets”?

Nothing, really - that is just another way to complain that they can’t keep up with competition as they’re out-innovated.

Think about it - Europe is the place where the Germans founded Rocket Internet to copy all SV ideas and where the French keep cloning Google, Airbnb and Amazon or whatever cool toys the smart kids invent and they can’t. Throwing money at a problem doesn’t automatically solve it - you also need a different mentality.

Uhm, Johnny, have you seen this cool stuff those guys did in America, it makes a lot of money, let’s copy it quickly in Europe and trick those suckers to buy us if they come over here!

Anonymous European VC investor looking at scooters circa 2018.

That is the usual European approach - and don’t get me wrong, being opportunistic is not bad at all and can definitely be a very lucrative strategy.

And, besides this mentality, we complain that we have the inability to expand to foreign markets, which is usually bad management, caused by not understanding the cultural differences. And not only from UK or Germany to US but also from France to Italy or Scandinavia. Of course, it’s also the other way around i.e. Yelp, Uber coming to EU etc etc. They even teach international expansion in schools nowadays.

There’s also good news

There is more and more European founders thinking big rather than small. Every day more evidence shows up - it is an irreversible process, again, in spite of politics, Trump and Brexit and the racist idiots from around us making life a zero sum game.

Yes, geo-politically we are at a global turning point. Brexit, Trump, China, Russia - all because the politicians would like to explore opportunities globally with new kinds of regulation and public policy. It’s a stress test for EU’s unity as well. This may not be a bad thing either.

But follow the money - the top guys are backed by the power poles, namely the investors. Arguably, politicians raison d'être is to help people with money make more money. And now, as opposed to 15-20 years ago, there’s more money to be made internationally than locally, it’s a simple arbitrage fact. Especially in tech, which is easier to scale.

As an anecdote, I have never seen my friends who run hedge funds or big fat pension funds more bullish in spite of the covid situation. That is because:

i) in general the balance sheets are clean and
ii) there’s never been such an aligned and concerted governmental effort to get over the hump since WWII.

Even the US stock market is not really affected by the BLM-related events happening these days over there. It is weird but that is the investors sentiment - probably because the latest US employment numbers are better than expected.

There is a lot of fresh powder on both sides of the ocean.

When I say I lot, I mean probably the most VC money it has ever been available to deploy in the world. And when the stakes are so high, no professional VC investor from anywhere will settle for “less impressive returns and local familiar business”. Do you think VCs convinced their LPs to give them billions of dollars with fund-the-next-Google and the-world-is-flat theories to just settle and “cope with less impressive returns”? VCs have a mandate to take risks and their job is to maximize the portfolio’s returns, as simple as that.

The whole logic of raising venture money is scale and grow as quickly as possible across as many markets as possible. You don’t even need VC money to build a mobility service available in Paris and Lyon, with optionality to expand to the south of France. A few angels will do.

Location has become less important.

You can build stuff from anywhere and sell it anywhere without even traveling there. The WFH has become normal these days because of covid, but that’s a train that was already coming.

It has never been easier to open companies, set bank accounts, get customers and build networks in a foreign country. It’s a fact.

Another anecdote - in the past few years I have moved and lived in three different countries on three different continents for a few months in each and have built network and business without knowing anybody there. And I am just a small cookie.

The tech infrastructure as the invisible hand in the startup world.

I don’t agree with Nicolas’ hypothesis but I do share some of his underlining skepticism and sometimes have an acute sensation of end of the world when I check the news. It is in real time, and simultaneously from different parts of the world - it is as if you’re in the middle of all of it and you get swallowed by a bad movie.

We need to change many things in the world but when you get back to work, you realize that actually change starts with you and your own contribution and attitude, and that the ball is still rolling on and we progress each day.

But I don’t think, tech-wise, we will see a geo-fragmentation. Even the covid period shows us that if there is a will there is a way and biz starts to get done all over the world, in spite of the quarantine, lack of travel, BLM protests or even people dying because of the flu. We adapt and that is the beauty of tech-enabled business - the tech stack has become a solid infrastructure which acts as an invisible hand for the startup world.

Add to that plenty of smart people willing to tackle big important problems in a collaborative way. And, unlike in politics, in the tech world people mostly create value don’t destroy it, as they work together and help each other no matter their location. And, not least important, there’s plenty of money available to fund solving those problems.

It’s a great time to be alive.

🇫🇷 Robin wrote a polite overview about how the French startup accelerator The Family failed to make a business with European founders as customers.

From what I gather, The Family was in fact an event company which also had some money to invest - unlike the tons of accelerators out there, they actually managed to raise €15 million on the side, to be able to invest in some of their customers as well.

But that didn’t change the business model and now they had to fire employees and to stop paying office rent. The Family employed 24 people based in 3 countries - maybe a decent size for an event organizer but huge for a 15 mil. investor.

And I don’t know about you guys, but I’d find it a bit odd to take business advice from an investor when his own business is not working out.

🇫🇷 Twitter Inc. would be welcome to move to France should the social-media platform face an adverse operating environment in the U.S.

You gotta give it to the French, they are persistent. :D

🇪🇸 Orca Studios built in Gran Canaria a virtual production facility that uses the same LED volume technology as Disney’s The Mandalorian.

The LED wall volumes create exterior or interior images that adjust in sync with camera movement, powered by video game PC engines. Pretty cool.

🇸🇪 Even Google has opinions about the Euro startup funding environment post-covid these days. Spent some marketing money for it.

🇪🇺 Why more funds should consider launching scout programmes in Europe?

🇬🇧 For UK startups raising their 1st round - you can pitch them online, once a month.

🇸🇪 In 2009, Sean Parker wrote an email to Daniel Ek about Spotify. Here it is.

🇸🇪 Speaking of Daniel, here’s a video interview with him talking about Spotify transitioning from music towards an audio company.

🇫🇷 Podcast app Majelan pivots from a podcast aggregator to premium audio content around personal growth. They raised €10 million from Idinvest and BPIFrance.

🇪🇺 The European consumer startups map 2020

🇪🇺 ebikes in Europe

🇪🇺 Nordic game awards winners

🇪🇺 In August, Mediapro and TF1 will launch Telefoot, a football-only channel, priced 25 euros per month, with the aim to reach 3.5 million subscribers.

🇬🇧 What would you do if you were the CEO of Facebook? thread

More:

  • Medium launched a Newsletters feature for those with publications on Medium. Just like Substack but there’s one trick - in Medium it looks like you can’t have access to your subscribers email. In Substack you are in control and can export your email list any time. So far.

  • Apple will launch news audio stories, only available to News Plus subscribers. These podcast-style stories appear to be recordings of long-form articles from magazines and news outlets. The beta adds an Audio tab to the Apple News app, separating them for listening.

  • Apple also is hiring an editor/curator for the Podcasts app, based in LA.

  • YouTube is the most popular way for US children aged 3-12 to learn about new mobile games.

  • What mobile games do they play? 1 of 2 play Minecraft and Roblox in US and UK.

  • Facebook will begin blocking state-controlled media outlets from buying advertising in the U.S. this summer

  • Washington Post makes major move into local news

  • Can Flight Subscriptions Help Airlines Recover From an Unprecedented Drop in Demand?
    Nope.


Notable deals

🇹🇷 Zynga acquires Turkey’s Peak Games for $1.8B. What’s important:

  • 8.6x gross fund return for Hummingbird Ventures from one sale.

  • 4x fund return for Earlybird (largest profit distribution from a single transaction in the history of Germany-based Venture Capital Funds)

  • £12 million net for Draper Esprit which bought a 27% interest in Earlybird's EB IV fund for approx. €63 million in January 2019

  • in 2017 Zynga had bought a part of Peak for $100 million and tried to compete against the other Peak’s games they didn’t buy. Didn’t work out and had to acquire the whole thing 3 years later.

Everybody happy, lots of hot takes all around, the best written story is over at Techcrunch.

🇮🇱 The Israeli mobile gamer Playtika is prepping for an IPO with goals of raising $1B at a $10B valuation. Playtika is owned by a Chinese investor group.

🇨🇭 BOND Mobility, a premium station-less E-Bike sharing operator, acquired e-motionlabs, a micromobility technology company.

🇸🇪 PayPal invests more in Tink.

🇮🇹 FLEEP Technologies, which develops technology for printed electronics, closed a €800k seed round investment.

🇩🇪 Bryter, a no-code platform based in Berlin, raised $16 million in Series A round co-led by Accel and Dawn Capital, with Notion Capital and Chalfen Ventures also participating.

🇪🇸 Zeleros Hyperloop raised €7 million to build a supersonic train.

🇬🇧 Tictrac secures $7.5M to expand employee wellbeing platform as WFH balloons

🇨🇭Appway raises $37M, its first-ever funding, after bootstrapping and being profitable since 2003. About the same valuation as Spanish Freepik, sold to PE last week.

🇫🇷 Accenture finalised the acquisition of Gekko, a French Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud services company. I mentioned about Accenture being aggressive in the M&A market a few weeks ago.

🇩🇪 US-based Cruise acquired the German radar company Astyx, a spin-off of Daimler Benz Aerospace.

🇪🇺 Self-driving vehicle startup Argo AI completes $2.6B deal with Volkswagen, expands to Europe - best take from Rodolfo:

This is a complete exact replica of what happened with Symbian and the mobile phone industry
first: ignore the problem,
second: do not rearchitect yourself as a software company,
third: all the incumbents pool money so they don’t have to change,
four: a they lose


More money in the market

🇬🇧 C4 Ventures announces €80 million fund, led by former EMEA head of Apple Pascal Cagni

🇳🇴 Alliance Venture announced a $60 million fond and opening a new office in Stockholm.


Interesting bets

🇩🇰 platform for meetings in interactive VR spaces

🇩🇰 If you ever wondered about Greenland’s startup ecosystem, meet Usisaat, which provides household relocations services. They raised money last month. Greenland is technically part of Denmark.

🇩🇪 3D printer with clean room integration

🇮🇱 software platform tracking product strategy intelligence (they just raised)

🇫🇷 world’s first universal and efficient wireless charging technology
for all workspace devices.

🇳🇴 developer of an open-source editing environment that you can customize with JavaScript and a real-time hosted data store

🇳🇴 AI-based SAAS for heavy-asset industries

🇨🇭 mobile platform connecting growers, their suppliers and crop purchasers into a single network

🇬🇧 in-memory graph database engineered to power real-time operational graph applications

🇬🇧 digital freight forwarder (launched by former Uber guys and backed by Jeff Bezos)

🇬🇧 world smallest flow sensor 


Books and other interesting reads

📚 Books

🗞️ Interesting stuff

Happy Sunday!


Thanks for reading 🙌

This email is a labour of love - please reply with comments and feedback, or helpful suggestions for future editions.

Created every Sunday by @drnovac. Please share it with your networks and encourage your colleagues to sign up here - thanks!

Spanish gems, Swedish horse tech and how much does a CMO make per year.

#33

Happy Sunday from Stockholm and welcome to another edition of Sunday CET!

Let’s get straight to the good stuff.

MENU
Observations, research and data
Interesting bets
Books and other interesting reads


Observations, research, data

🇪🇸 Freepik was acquired by EQT in a deal estimated at 250 million euro, roughly 8X revenues.

Multi brand business, operating a marketplace of vector graphics and stock photos, with Brazil the largest market and Spanish-speaking countries as core market. 300k recurring sub payers out of 20 mil registered users. A decent business, remarkably grown out of Malaga by their founders in roughly 10 years, and which exploded in 2018 when grew from 3 to 30 mil in revenues.

A few quick notes:

i) a good confirmation that Spain is a gem, beyond the Euro VC view that Southern Europe’s deal flow is not as interesting as in other parts of Europe.

ii) big payout for the founders which is great for them and for the Spanish entrepreneurial ecosystem. Super important to have such stories in Spain - more money back in the ecosystem, more experienced angels, more people to look up to etc.

iii) interesting loss for the VCs who were not able to get into this deal at early stages - the company was actually bootstrapped. It’s either a miss or there’s some background stories here.

The fact that EQT competed with other PE houses like KKR and did the deal by itself and not through its VC arm, also quite active in Europe, makes me think it was rather a miss.

It’s a bit odd as to why this was a PE deal rather than a venture one. Sure, it’s an exit and the path is as good as any but conventional thinking says that the trajectory for a tech company with the potential of an “European Google for images” to be either to a strategic acquisition or to an IPO if it flies.

Not flip it to PE, which usually has a different role than a VC in the investment ecosystem. And EQT is not exactly famous as a tech investor in Europe.

iv) “Freepik’s underlying market […] is backed by favorable secular megatrends” - the press release is a fun read. (secular megatrend has exactly 125 hits on Google)

A deal a bit unusual for EQT’s portfolio - here’s what else is there, if you’re curious like me:

  • high-speed ISP provider - Spain

  • automation solutions for complex manufacturing - Germany

  • IT services provider - Sweden

  • boots manufacturer - Netherlands

  • pharma manufacturer - Denmark

  • IT networks security provider - Switzerland

  • turnkey security solutions for telecoms and ISPs

  • music-tech company - Sweden (this was actually bought off from early stage VCs after the company raised a mere $7M)

🇪🇺 Antler wants to raise $600 million by the end of next year to use it for followon investments. Reminder - Antler, like EF, invests in companies founded by individuals they train to become entrepreneurs. Just like business schools.

🇸🇪 In Sweden, the projected number of companies that go bankrupt per day in May is 22, compared to the average of 20 bankruptcies per day in 2019.

🇫🇷 In France online platforms will have to remove within 24 hours illicit content that has been flagged. Illicit means anything that would be considered as an offense or a crime in the offline world.

🇸🇪 Horse tech startups made in Sweden - Sweden has the highest number of horses per capita. Maybe I should follow up on this one.

🇩🇪 Christoph Janz’s take about the state of affairs on the capital fundraising front.

🇸🇪 How FoodTech goes beyond convenience and is becoming more about climate, people and health

🇬🇧 How do you do virtual hiring and people onboarding remotely. link

🇪🇺 EU wants to introduce a digital tax for the big tech firms from US. Because of coronavirus.

🇷🇺 This is what a good investment deal looks like. Made by an outsider at that time btw.

In 2009, DST’s Yuri Milner invested in Facebook $200M in primary at $10B, then aggressively went down the cap table and scooped up all of the secondary he could find, ultimately investing another ~$400M at $6B.

6 months later, many firms were buying secondary shares on the open market at $15-20B.

🇩🇪 B2B marketplaces are the next generation of marketplaces to be built. link

🇮🇹 American VCs in Europe: Benchmark led a Series A of $6 million in Commerce Layer, which built a “headless” e-commerce platform.

Quick reminder: Benchmark once had a full European arm based in Israel, which separated in 2007 and now goes by the name Balderton, based in the UK.

🇸🇪 Most streamed track of the day on Spotify by country.

🇨🇭 Companies must pay share of rent for employees working from home.

🇫🇮 Finland is officially in recession.

🇬🇧 Majoring in sciences instead of the humanities triples earnings.
Economics degrees have returns around 20% greater than the average degree.
According to British researchers.

More:

  • Trailhead flips the usual application process for startups raising capital:

    We provide value to you first in exchange for every bit of information we ask for. You'll receive a series of emails over the next few weeks with exercises designed to be helpful and thought-provoking.

  • How do you successfully bootstrap your company.

  • What founders owned what at IPO

  • The average CMO keeps his job for 41 months (median at 30 months).

  • A good thread about the average number of Instagram accounts w/ 50k+ followers. Tl:dr: about 25 million people have more than 50k followers!

  • Facebook launches CatchUp, an audio-only calling app that shows who’s ready to chat now.

    Now that VCs validated the market by investing in Clubhouse, how many engineers should throw FB to be in that market? Name is good too :-)

  • Here’s the first M&A deal between two Substack accounts: Double Sided was acquired by Forward Thinking Media. No further details, it’s probably the emails database.

  • Layoffs.fyi advanced quite a bit since last time I linked to it, a month ago. Really good

  • Since we’re at data tools, check TV Chart also, if that’s your cup of tea

  • Brave is building a private and unlimited video conferencing service into the browser, based on open source. US only for the moment.

  • In just two weeks, Google got 12,000 applications from newsrooms in 140 countries looking for financial help. It rejected 50 percent of them for not meeting the criteria (had to be news, and more than 2 employees). Grants are from $5,000 to $30,000.


Interesting bets

🇩🇰 SAAS solution to automate all your privacy requests and management

🇩🇰 SAAS for planning in shipping as it maximizes utilization and capacity for terminals and carriers

🇩🇪 B2B conversational marketing platform (chatbots for corporate clients)

🇩🇪 healthtech recruiting platform  

🇩🇪 developer of a sentiment analysis algorithm for cryptoassets

🇩🇪 virtual reality-based psychotherapy treatment for anxiety disorders

🇮🇹 new wave of tech for the deaf and hard of hearing

🇫🇷 some French guys want to build perfect quantum computer. They raised.

🇳🇱 a digital matchmaking dance party: find the person dancing to your song

🇸🇰 e-commerce platform for fitness, nutritional supplements, functional foods and equipment (good niche)

🇸🇪 producer of fungi-based, next-generation vegan protein

🇬🇧 waste recognition software

🇬🇧 ad agency that does 3D and AR campaigns on demand

More money in the market:

  • henQ announced its 4th fund with a first close of €70M, with focus on pre-seed up to Series A rounds in B2B software companies across Europe.


Books and other interesting reads

📚 Books

  • If you only wanted to read one thing that would affect the way you live or do business, what would that be?

🗞️ Interesting reads

Happy Sunday!


Thanks for reading 🙌

This email is a labour of love - please reply with comments and feedback, or helpful suggestions for future editions.

Created every Sunday by @drnovac. Please share it with your networks and encourage your colleagues to sign up here - thanks!

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