Categories: Tech News

This week in European tech: €250 million for Verkor, RIP, Volkswagen sells WeShare, Octopus Energy absorbs Bulb and more

This week, our research team tracked more than 80 technological financing offers worth more 2,800 million eurosand more 20 exits, M&A deals, rumorsand related news across Europe.

As always, we’re putting them all together in a list sent in our summary 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 news for you: we are already preparing the second edition of the Summit! Save the date:

Tickets are now on sale.

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

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


>> Notable and large funding rounds

Electric vehicle maker Polestar has secured $1.6 billion in financial support from its two major shareholders to secure the company’s growth plans “in an era of volatile markets,” the Swedish brand said in a statement. Volvo, which co-founded the brand with China’s Geely, said it would provide an $800 million loan to the Gothenburg-based company.

French battery startup Verkor has raised €250 million from investors to fund a battery “megafactory” on the way to building a much larger plant to produce batteries for its client Renault.

In the second signing of its Series E funding round, Bruchsal, Germany-based urban aerial mobility company Volocopter has raised an additional $182 million.

Siegen Germany-based quantum computer developer eleQtron has raised more than €50 million in new funding, including venture capital from Earlybird and Siegerlandfonds.

Munich-based mobility energy solutions company The Mobility House has raised $50 million in a Series C funding round. The round was led by Mercuria and co-led by Ventura Capital and Green Gateway Fund . Other strategic investors include Mercedes-Benz, Alliance Venture, Mitsui and SP Group.

Plend, a UK “ethical lender” that is ditching the traditional credit system and instead using open bank data to make lending decisions, has raised £40m in seed funding.

Barcelona-based Lodgify has announced that it has raised $30 million in Series B funding. The investment round was led by Octopus Ventures.

Paris-based payments infrastructure provider Fintecture has raised €26 million in a Series A funding round.

Gitpod, a Kiel, Germany-based open source development platform that creates code-ready workspaces in the cloud, raised $25 million in Series A funding.

Cloud-native payments-as-a-service platform Form3 has secured a €23m venture debt facility to explore acquisitions, launch into new markets and support new product growth.


>> Notable acquisitions, mergers, IPOs and SPAC transactions

Volkswagen is selling its WeShare car-sharing service to Miles Mobility, under a deal that will see the Berlin-based competitor order more than 10,000 electric cars from the Audi, Seat/Cupra and VW brands.

The UK government has approved a deal between the energy company and Bulb’s special administrators, under which Octopus will acquire all of Bulb’s 1.5 million customers.

Swiss Post has acquired a majority stake in Unblu. Its platform allows companies to exchange all types of information quickly, directly and securely with their customers, and vice versa.

Blume, a UK-based client acquisition specialist for the legal sector, has been acquired by private equity house Sun Capital Partners.

UK-based Frontier has acquired game development studio Complex Games.

SD Worx, a Brussels, Belgium-based HR solutions platform provider, acquired Intelligo, an Ireland-based provider of HR and payroll software and outsourcing services.

Swiss tax crypto wallet tracking platform Accointing has been acquired by Glassnode, which specializes in on-chain data and market intelligence.

UK-based AMPYR Solar Europe, a pan-European solar developer and independent power producer, has acquired the solar business of Netherlands-based SolarEnergyWorks for an undisclosed sum.


>> Interesting moves by investors

Helsinki/Stockholm-based Inventure has announced the second close of its fourth fund, with €144m of a €150m target.

GoHub Ventures has launched a €60 million fund to invest in B2B technology companies.

Concentric, a pan-European venture capital firm based in London, UK and Copenhagen, Denmark, has launched Timechain, a fund dedicated to equity investments in early-stage bitcoin-based companies. The fund is more than 60% of the way to its first closing goal of $21 million.

Privilège Ventures, the venture capital fund based in Lugano, Switzerland, has just launched its fourth fund. The fund of more than USD 20 million is aimed at women-led start-ups across Europe.

The UK Environment Agency has deployed part of its pension fund to World Fund, a Berlin-based climate technology venture capital firm.

Berlin-based Atlantic Labs and FoodLabs, European early-stage and food-tech investors, announced Wednesday that they have launched “Founders for Climate,” Europe’s first climate tech Entrepreneur In Residence program.

Founders Factory, a London-based global business builder and early-stage investor, and hubraum, Deutsche Telekom’s technology incubator, are launching a new business studio as a joint venture, based in Berlin.

Madrid-based CEMEX Ventures, the CVC and open innovation unit of CEMEX, announced the launch of CEMEX Ventures Leaplab, an intensive accelerator program for innovative startups addressing critical challenges in the construction industry.

MediVentures, a fund backed by a group of private investors from the Polish diaspora in the US, has announced a new investment fund. The firm plans to invest nearly 5.3 million euros in the Polish medical technology sector.


>> In other (important) news.

The EU Digital Markets Act (DMA) came into force this week. The European Union says the new regulation will put an end to unfair practices by companies that act as gatekeepers to the online platform economy.

Revolut is adding a crypto spend mode to its debit cards in the UK and Switzerland, allowing customers to switch between crypto and fiat purchases either online or offline., the furniture retailer aimed at millennials, suspended its shares from trading on the London Stock Exchange on Tuesday, after failing to agree a rescue deal before a November deadline.

British commercial electric vehicle company Arrival has received a warning from the Nasdaq stock market that its share price is trading too low.

The European Commission is set to launch an in-depth investigation into Microsoft’s record $69 billion bid for game developer Activision-Blizzard after the US tech giant opted not to file appeals with EU antitrust enforcers.

Pleo, the Danish unicorn behind an expense management tool and linked smart business cards, is reducing its workforce by 15% with the loss of 150 jobs.

London-based renewable energy investor Octopus Energy has committed more than £110m on behalf of its Sky fund to Manchester’s public electric vehicle charging network Be.EV.

Britishvolt has been granted a stay from going into administration after the car battery start-up secured funding to avoid collapse.

Boomin, the online property portal founded by the former boss of Purplebricks, has called in liquidators after failing to secure new funding.

Digital health provider Kry, known as Livi in ​​the UK and France, has announced that another 10% of its workforce of around 3,000 will be made redundant.


>> Recommended reading and listening

European tech investment slowdown continues in October 2022, despite two new unicorns: the month in data and charts

European risk trades fell in the third quarter as market conditions became increasingly difficult. The value of the operation fell by 36.1% quarter-on-quarter, to 18.4 billion euros, according to Pitchbook.

Tech Nation’s Climate Tech Report 2022 has revealed that international investment in UK climate tech companies has almost doubled from $4 billion in 2021 to $7.5 billion so far in 2022.

The State of Crypto in Northern Europe: Hostile Scandinavia and Vibrant Baltics

Tim Mills, managing partner of ACF Investors, an early-stage venture capital fund that backs fast-growing companies in a variety of industries, explains why venture capitalists don’t always have all the answers all the time.

A group of European Union policy professionals is trying to coordinate an exit from Twitter in the wake of Elon Musk’s $44 billion takeover, arguing the billionaire could make the site inhospitable to them.

Regulating the future: A look at the EU’s plan to restart product liability rules for AI

UK cryptocurrency companies and investors have high hopes that new Prime Minister Rishi Sunak can reverse the UK’s fading crypto aspirations.

International Trade Secretary Kemi Badenoch has called for the UK to invest in innovative green technology as a way of “future-proofing” the economy.

Digital trust: a new benchmark we didn’t know we needed.

European and US policymakers are responding at different speeds to digital challenges and unilateralism must stop, writes Bill Echikson.


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