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Novobrief #133: Lingokids raised $6m, Factorial picked up €2.8m, three acquisitions of Spanish startups, new laws to help (?) startups and much more

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Novobrief

October 8 · Issue #90 · View online
This is a weekly summary of the ins and outs of the Spanish startup ecosystem, curated by Jaime Novoa

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Startup funding news 💸
○ Madrid-based Lingokids scored a $6 million Series A for its English language learning platform. The round was led by Holtzbrinck Ventures, with participation from existing investors JME, Sabadell Ventures, Big Sur Ventures, and Gwynne Shotwell (President and COO of SpaceX), as well as new investors Reach Capital, Athos Capital and All Iron Ventures
○ Barcelona-based HR startup Factorial landed €2.8 million has landed a €2.8 million funding round from Creandum, Point Nine Capital, and K Fund. Factorial CEO Jordi Romero published a good piece about the round under the title ’everything you wanted to know about Factorial’s €2.8M seed round but were afraid to ask’, and Creandum also wrote an article about the investment
○ Barcelona-based telco company Parlem raised almost €1 million through equity crowdfunding platfrom The Crowd Angel. The company plans to start floating in the Spanish MAB market next year
Startup exits 🎊
○ US-based Idera announced the acquisition of Spanish startup Kiuwan, a SaaS solution for measuring and analyzing risk and security in the software development lifecycle
○ Fintech startup PayTPV got acquired by Banco Sabadell’s InnoCells arm
○ Carrefour acquired Spanish food ecommerce site PlanetaHuerto
Investor & accelerator news 🚀
○ Jesus Martinez published an analysis of the activity of fintech corporate venture capital fund Santander Innoventures. At the end of 2017, the fund had investments that were valued at more than €130 million
○ Mexican startup Yogome to shut down after an internal investigation that points to fraud from one of its founders. One of the company’s largest investors is Madrid-based Seaya Ventures
○ Monica Black is TheVentureCity’s newest partner, to be based in Miami. Black previously worked for the Gates Foundation, the Zuckerberg Chan Initiative and other entrepreneurial endeavours
○ Kippel01 looked at Estrella Galicia’s plans for its startup accelerator program
○ Business angel network ESADE Ban is looking to back B2B startups and services companies. The network invested almost €5 million last year, with an average ticket size of €203,000
○ Law firm Cuatrecasas announced the name of the four startups that will join its latest accelerator batch
○ Renfe and Wayra launched TrenLab startup incubator and accelerator
Startup news 💡
○ El Confidencial profiled bootstrapped company Blue Banana Brand, a digital native vertical brand that reached €400,000 in sales in the first half of 2018, just two years after launch
○ New laws that will regulate the VTC license market, which are especially tough four years from now, are already causing the price of VTC licenses in the market to drop significantly. Obviously, Cabify and Uber are not happy at all with this whole situation
○ According to La Informacion, eBay will layoff more than 100 employees of Ticketbis, the Spanish startup it acquired a few years ago for more than €200 million
○ Glovo Business is Glovo’s new offering that caters to companies and larger organisations
○ Xataka published an interesting profile of Hemav and other Spanish agritech startups. The article focus on drone usage in the agricultural sector
○ Kippel01 published an analysis of activity in the Spanish insurtech market, featuring startups such as Coverfy and also the digital activity by traditional large insurance companies
○ Spanish energy startup Holaluz to launch an ‘all you can eat’ plan
○ Cabify to increase its prices by 4% in Spain
○ El Español profiled Rentger, a new Spanish startup that offers a solution to manage property rentals
Big company news 🏦
○ Why Virgin has chosen Spain to launch its first hyperloop train: good market conditions and also a bunch of tax payer money
○ Netflix to open an office in Madrid in 2019. Will move some of its Amsterdam-based employees to the Spanish capital. This office will be the company’s second in Spain, following the announcement of a production hub to be also based in Madrid. Netflix plans to produce between 9 to 12 new movies and TV shows per year locally
○ CaixaBank joined a bunch of other banks and corporates from all over Europe in the blockchain project We.Trade
Tech and policy 💂🏼
○ Spanish president Pedro Sánchez announced new measures to promote entrepreneurship and make life easier for early stage companies. It seems more of a PR stunt that something that could truly help the local tech ecosystem. That’s my opinion and also the one shared by a bunch of investors and founders. Juan de Antonio (Cabify’s CEO) has been very outspoken about this and other measures taken by the Spanish government in recent times
○ Related to the above, the Financial Times published the following piece: ’Cabify boss urges Madrid to promote innovation or fall behind
○ The Spanish government could soon officially announce a new tax that will go against the local activity (and revenues) of the world’s largest tech companies, such as Airbnb, Uber or Google
Valencia and Madrid announced laws that will regulate electric scooters in its cities. At first sight, this new regulation seems reasonable. Barcelona is expected to publish new legislation to regulate car sharing services soon
Interesting reads 🤓
Podcasts of the week 🎧
○ En.Digital put together a panel to talk about the new wave of ecommerce companies, featuring Colchón Morfeo, Minimalism, Deltantix, Pangea and Singularu
Want to sponsor this newsletter and reach more than 4,100 relevant thinkers and doers in the Spanish tech ecosystem? Send me an email at jaimenovoa@gmail.com and let’s have a chat about what we can do for you.
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