Hello - welcome to a new edition of Sunday CET, our weekly coverage of what’s interesting in the startup ecosystem from Europe.
who are the late stage investors taking a portfolio cut
how will Apple trick the EU next?
German startup closed down as it got robbed
Let’s dive in.
Interesting Euro deals
🇸🇪 SimPPL, which sells gift cards with a planet-positive twist, raised $500k.
🇳🇴 Bandit, building an e-commerce marketplace that wants to compete on price with Amazon, raised $1 million.
🇫🇷 Giskard, building a framework used to test AI models, raised $1.6 million.
🇨🇭 Oxyle, developing clean tech used to degrade hazardous micropollutants from wastewater, such as pesticides or chemicals, raised $2.8 million.
🇩🇪 Bling, building a banking service for parents, raised $3.8 million.
🇩🇰 Mxney, which sells financial services for ecommerce operators, raised $4.6 million.
🇸🇪 Sib, selling a video analytics platform for logistics customers, raised $4.9 million.
🇨🇭 SmartHelio, developer of an advanced analytics platform to increase solar PV plant performance, raised $5 million.
🇬🇧 Qkine, manufacturer of growth factor proteins for stem cell, organoid and cellular agriculture applications, raised $5.3 million.
🇳🇱 Viktor, developing and operating a platform for developing applications that automate workflows, raised $5.4 million.
🇬🇧 Primary Portal, building a digital platform that aggregates and digitises equity capital market deals for banks and asset managers, raised $6.5 million.
🇬🇧 Tepeo, developing a consumer low-cost, easy-to-install low carbon boiler as a direct replacement for the gas or oil ones, raised $13 million.
More intel bits
🗣️ Cheat sheets
Investors in Europe:
💲 Fresh powder:
Munich Private Equity Partners held the final closing of its fourth fund-of-funds programme, MPEP IV, with capital commitments of around €392 million.
Speedinvest raised €300 million for its fourth flagship fund and another €200m for an overage fund.
Fondo Italiano di Investimento announced the first closing of a €130 million food and agritech fund.
People Ventures launched a new Nordic fund of €100 million to back early-stage tech startups with a soft focus on Digital Health and B2B software.
Foundamental, a German VC firm, raised $85 million for a fund focused on early-stage construction tech startups.
Baltic Sandbox Ventures raised €10 million for a deeptech fund out of Lithuania.
🚶 On the move
Damon Buffini, former head of Permira, was named deputy chair of the BBC.
Andrea Donzelli is stepping down as CEO of Credit Suisse’s Italy business in order to join Jefferies.
Laurent-David Charbit jumped ship from Unilever into private equity as Tikehau Capital’s co-head of its regenerative agriculture practice.
Glenn Hutchins, co-founder of Silver Lake, was named an independent director of Banco Santander.
👓 Also notable
BGF exited its £12 million investment in British furniture retailer Furniture Village via a company share buyback, after 8 years.
Seedcamp, Force Over Mass and Ascension exited from Libryo, acquired by an American company. Libryo has raised about 5 million since being founded in 2016.
Bitcoin Group from Germany bought a local traditional bank from Munich for a mere 14 million.
Microsoft bought a 4% stake in the London Stock Exchange Group, valued at £1.5 billion, as part of a larger commercial partnership - that’d be a net of 60 million equity stake for a massive product implementation deal spread across 10 years with a $2.8 billion LTV. The equity seller was Blackstone/Thomson Reuters.
Checkout.com joins the European club of unicorns slashing their internal valuation to about $11 billion, from the 40 billion in January 2022.
💲 Who are the late stage investors taking a portfolio cut
Founder rightly says that the valuation is an investors problem, and indeed it is, so I looked a bit into the late stage VC deals numbers this morning - who are the ones taking European portfolio haircuts.
click here to read more (available for Nordic9 customers)
Nordic 9 numbers for 2022
new European startups added in DB: 9800
investors tracked this year in Europe: 8200, of which 3400 angel investors
new transactions added in the DB: 11800, of which 6400 done this year.
cheat sheets added this year: 46 (almost one every week)
N9 tracks all the investment deals from the VC market in Europe, the DB has roughly 40,000 deals and 20,000 investors active in 30 countries. The data is proprietary i.e. we’re not scrapping other people’s work but work our asses off for building quality sets and use a fairly comprehensive methodology for collecting and cleaning it up. Our customers love the product, you should give it a try too.
You can sign up and become a subscriber from here.
The story of the week in European tech is Apple’s official admission to working to comply with the EU regulation in order to allow alternate app stores on its iPhone and iPads. That means app developers can have their customers download (and pay) apps on Apple devices from outside sources, bypassing Apple’s 30% cut.
This whole dance EU vs tech American companies is not about the end user, as both parties imply, it never was - rather look at it as a part of a never-ending fascinating Capitalism vs State fight for power. On one side, you have smart people producing tangible societal innovation and profiting from a powerful market position. On the other you have politicians catching up on business in order to balance out their arbiter position of making sure the market is functional in the name protecting the taxpayers as much as possible. And the economy as a whole - alas, politicians have always been behind tech innovators - probably a handy example of this is how Europe has lost hundreds of billions of dollars in taxes because American tech companies used a tax loophole for more than a decade.
Back to our specific case, the enforcement is a result of the EU simply claiming Apple has too much market power and it’s abusing it to the detriment of other value contributors. It will be interesting to see the actual implementation of it, because Apple’s stake is as high as about $95 billion in sales produced in Europe, and you will never see a rich dude pissing away their wealth because some clueless politician dictates them to do so. One of Apple’s counter-ways to protect itself could be having vendors willing to do sideloading (the process of making iOS downloads available outside Apple Stores) to be pre-certified against a yearly fee in the name of meeting certain security requirements. And/or simply selling them API access in order to be Apple-compliant - they will find a smart way to respond, to which the EU will take another 5-10 years to analyse and counter and so on.
Biggest Euro $ producers for the Apple Store are not Europeans btw - they are the European operations of other American vendors such as the gaming and media companies (and Chinese i.e. TikTok). I am also curious whether and how Spotify will react as a result - right now, the Swedes don’t allow their users to subscribe via Apple’s assets, as there’s not too much love between Stockholm and Cupertino.
All in all, this is a big deal and a precedent - this together with forcing Apple to provide a standard USB-C connector on their next devices are a direct change result of European regulation via the DMA, with significant impact on the business side.
🇩🇪 Watchmaster, one of Europe’s largest pre-owned retailers in Berlin, closed down shop last month as it saw $10 million worth of luxury watches stolen from its facility by professional thieves. Just like in the Wild Wild West - it’s unclear why they folded the business as they claim to have been insured. Watchmaster is a VC-backed company that’s raised north of $30 million from the likes of Cherry Ventures, Piton Capital and Milano Investment Partners.
🤖 Uber Eats launches robot delivery service in Miami. You get an alert, go outside and unlock the stuff with your phone. I love the idea but - speaking of wild Wild West theft, btw - the big problem is that those robots may get stolen and sold for pieces, if nothing else. I mean, to take a random example, in wealthy Sweden nowadays criminals steal gas from the cars tanks that’s worth less than $100, how about a little robot that has merchandise and/or food?
🌟 Tell me the NFTs are a fad without telling me that. Just about when a whole ecosystem is crumbling, Trump is selling a collection of NFT trading cards at $99 a pop featuring his head photoshopped onto the bodies of NASCAR drivers, astronauts, Wild West sheriffs, and the like. To make it commercial, the campaign activation includes sweepstakes with prizes such as a dinner, a golf outing, and even a Zoom call with Trump. Cringy, but if there’s demand, there will be supply.
💲 Rich Norwegians flee to low-tax Switzerland - a total of 30 last year, with more likely to follow suit. They fret about tax changes and say they hurt the country’s competitiveness - yeah, Switzerland is not famous for competitiveness either but offers better tax deals, particularly to foreigners. However, some of them rich dudes (a tech startup founder, of course) make a good point that Norway, like the other Nordic countries, taxes un-realised revenues from stock options, which is unfair. On top of that, Norway has a so-called wealth tax, an extra 0.95 percent for net wealth between NOK 1.7M-20M, and 1.1 percent for net wealth above NOK 20M. NOK 1M = $100k.
One last piece of info, for context - an entry level salary for a software developer out of ETH at FAANG in Switzerland starts from $140-160k, incl. stocks and perks, which is awfully close to the NOK 1.7M ($170k) low limit from the wealth tax range above.
🇳🇱 A republican organization is suing the king and the Dutch state, arguing the existence of a monarchy violates fair trial rights. They’re pissed the royals have privileges.
🔥 Bereal’s users demographic in France, Germany and the UK - kids, mostly females.
⏏️ The golden age of the streaming wars has ended. Netflix has been crap for a long time now anyways.
💶 The times we live in - corruption is everywhere and at all levels, you just have to understand how things work, the EU chapter.
👽 James Cameron says Avatar 2 needs to bring in $2 billion to break even. Confession: I haven’t seen the first one, nor do I intend to see this one. And I find the superhero movies boring af.
⚽ British soccer fans at the World Cup in Qatar behaved impeccably and none were arrested, which is a first, according to the Brits police. Many were quick to point to the difficulty of acquiring alcohol, which is tightly controlled in the Muslim nation, as the reason British fans avoided trips to Qatari jails.
🐟 Big bada-boom in Berlin. Berlin's giant AquaDom hotel aquarium containing 1,500 fish exploded this week, flooding the hotel and nearby streets. The vast majority of the fish died and two people were injured - the incident happened at 5 in the morning. The aquarium was described as the largest free-standing cylindrical aquarium in the world.
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