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Novobrief #149: Schibsted closes Milanuncios acquisition in €150m deal, Sherpa.ai raised $8.5m, Goin picks up €2.2m investment, the taxi wars and much more

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Last week in the Spanish startup ecosystem

January 28 · Issue #106 · View online
Manually curated by Jaime Novoa. The best way to keep up with the Spanish startup and tech ecosystem.

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Startup funding news 💸
○ Bilbao-based conversational AI startup Sherpa.ai landed an $8.5 million funding round led by Mundi Ventures, with participation from the chairman and CEO of British Airways, Alex Cruz
○ Barcelona-based Goin raised €2.2 million to help millennials achieve their financial goals. The company’s last funding round was led by UK investor Anthemis, and included the participation of previous investors K Fund and Encomenda. David Riudor, co-founder and CEO, published a recap of the company’s past couple of years in a piece titled ’The road to $2.5 million
○ Capaball is a startup that wants to help individuals improve their professional skills. The company announced last week a €500,000 investment from Encomenda and business angels Kike Sarasola, Marieta del Rivero, Maylis Chevalier and Javier Gayoso
○ Inveready was one of the main institutional investors to back MasMovil, which over the years has become the fourth main telco in Spain. Last week it was announced that Inveready is continuing to support VozTelecom, a telco for the enterprise. Inveready now owns 20% of the company after buying 100,000 shares in January from existing investors
Startup exits 🎊
○ In 2014, Schibsted Classified Media Spain (SCMS) paid €50 million in cash to acquire Milanuncios, the classifieds company founded by Ricardo García Cobaleda. As part of the acquisition, Ricardo ended up also owning 10% of SCMS. Now it has been disclosed that Schibsted has paid €100 million to acquire that 10% stake owned by Ricardo. An amazing exit
○ Spanish laundry startup Mr Jeff acquired Brazil’s Lava e Leva
○ ‘Expand to Spain’ published a list with the 34 exits that took place in Spain in 2018
Investor & accelerator news 🚀
○ Kibo Ventures invested in 5 new companies in 2018, completed 16 follow-on rounds for its existing portfolio companies and had 4 exits. These and many other numbers were disclosed by partner Sonia Fernandez in this post
○ Encomenda published a summary of its investment activity in 2018, with 12 startups backed in that time
Startup news 💡
○ Ecommerce startup Deporvillage announced that it reached profitability in 2018 while increasing its sales to €45 million, a 28% increase compared to the previous year
○ Podo, a startup that sells renewable energy to consumers and companies, said last week in an article that it has more than 35,000 cleints and that last year giant company Galp acquired a 25% stake in the startup
○ Another energy company, Holaluz, disclosed last week that it had gross sales of €180 million in 2018, 180,000 clients (500 new each day) and wants to finish this year with 350,000. Carlota Pi, CEO, says that the company could look to raise between €30 and €60 million
○ Lingokids is a Madrid-based edtech startup that’s killing it. The company announced last week that it has hired Javier Arevalo (U-tad, Pyro Studios) and Dorothe Monschau (Birchbox, Softonic) to lead its product and business development divisions, respectively
○ Expansion talked to Laura Urquizu, CEO of Barcelona-based SaaS startup Red Points. Some interesting numbers in the article: Red Points expects to close 2018 with more than €10 million in ARR, it has 170 employees and expects to get to 250 this year, 5% of its clients are Spanish companies and 38% are from the US
○ Real estate crowdfunding platform Housers was once again the news. This time it was El Español that paid a visit to the company, which is trying to raise €4 million despite internal trouble with its previous CEO and shareholder. The company talked about its expansion plans through joint-ventures and other types of agreements
○ Barcelona-based electronic voting company Scytl has won the contract to manage the Spanish elections of May 26th, beating Indra. It’s €8.6 million contract
○ El Pais published a profile of health startup DocToDoctor. The company has built a system for doctors to securely exchange patient information for medical purposes
○ Kippel01 published Lleida.net numbers for 2018: the technology services company posted €12.3 million in revenue (+25% year-on-year) and an EBITDA of €1.8 million
○ Ecommerce startup Runnics plans to launch its store in the US in the next few months. Apparently, the company has raised funding from an unnamed US investor, thus the movement into the American market
○ Cabify’s electric scooters can now be found around Madrid. They are part of the strategy of its sister company Movo, which until now managed a fleet of electric motorbikes in Madrid
○ Fintech company Aplazame, which got acquired a few months ago by Wizink, also announced last week the hiring of Jose Maria Garcia Amezcua as Director of Growth. Jose Maria has spent the majority of his career in the financial services sector
○ Diana Morato is no longer the country manager of Deliveroo in Spain
Wide Eyes is a Barcelona-based startup that has developed an AI visual technology solution to help fashion brands and retailers improve online sales conversion and the engagement with their customers. Wide Eyes is now looking for a Strategic Account Director who will responsible for starting and developing commercial opportunities and closing new business in new enterprise accounts. This is a great chance to join a VC-backed company with global aspirations and clients in the US and Europe. To apply (and for more info) click here.
Big company news 🏦
○ In 2017 Bankinter launched its own robo-advisor, Popcoin. According to the company, the product now has more than 1,000 clients and €4 million of assets under management (AUM). Just for the sake of comparison, if I’m not mistaken, Indexa Capital currently has close to €150 million of AUM
○ Telefonica to sell its business in Guatemala and El Salvador to Carlos Slim’s America Movil for €570 million
Tech and policy 💂🏼
○ Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you’ve probably heard about the taxi strike that took place in Madrid and Barcelona last week. Taxi drivers are trying to have both local governments regulate in their favour, limiting the activity of Uber and Cabify by imposing distance and time restrictions. If those laws go into effect, Uber and Cabify could pull back from both cities. In the end, one of thing is true, consumers and individuals that paid a lot of money for their VTC licenses are going to be the most hurt by this. To Keep up with what’s goin on, take a look at this section in El Confidencial
○ Here are two interesting articles on the topic. This one from Analia Plaza in ElDiario analyses how much taxi drivers make vs. VTC drivers, and this other one from El Confidencial looks at the impact that Cabify and Uber have had in the taxi business
Interesting reads 🤓
○ If you’ve been following this newsletter for a while, you’ve probably noticed that I tend to link to Kippel01 a lot. I think they’ve done a great job covering the Spanish tech ecosystem. Unfortunately, the company said last week that it’s ceasing operations to rethink their future. It’s such a shame
○ Here’s an interview with Francisco Polo, Secretary of State of Information Society and Digital Agenda of Spain. The interview doesn’t share a lot of details about the government’s plans to make life easier for technology startups. Polo says in the interview that Spain is looking at various ways to improve taxation of investments from business angels, as well as making stock options a viable option for entrepreneurs
○ El Pais looked at the average investment received by AI companies in Spain. Spanish startups in the field only received 3% of the total funding raised by European companies last year
○ This is not a pure tech article, but I found it interesting anyway. In the past few weeks, various iconic book shoops in Spain have shut down. El Pais talked to them to understand what led to the decision. The article includes interesting figures about how much book stores make and the impact that Amazon and new consumer behaviour has had on them
○ Xataka published an article about microbrands that mostly sell and acquire customers via Instagram. The article features Victor Rodado, founder of Minimalism
○ Mauricio Prieto (eDreams): ’The surge of freelance entrepreneurs’ - Mauricio says in his article that the next billion dollar company could be run by a single entrepreneur with no employees
Podcasts and videos of the week 🎧
○ K Fund interviewed Rafa Garrido, founder of Secuoyas, eShop Ventures and investment vehicle Vitamina K
○ Big congrats to our friends at Vostok6 for their partnership with Cadena Ser to host its fantastic podcast. Congrats Paloma, Paty and Andrea!
○ Itnig interviewed M&A lawyer David Miranda
○ Liz Fleming of Adara Ventures interviewed Alfonso de la Nuez, CEO of UserZoom. In the interview Alfonso explains how he grew the company to $12 million ARR with no external funding and what led him to move to Silicon Valley and raise more than $30 million in funding from US investors 
○ Faraday Venture Partners published a video interview with Jose Martin Cabiedes of Cabiedes & Partners
○ Jan Almuni interviewed Daniel Abad, founder of Neurafy
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