View profile

The Climb #2 - Growth financing, EV, 6G, gaming rules and more 🔥

Hi all! Here’s the second issue of The Climb, a bi-monthly roundup of what’s going on in the French t
The Climb #2 - Growth financing, EV, 6G, gaming rules and more 🔥
By Ghislain de Buchet • Issue #2 • View online
Hi all! Here’s the second issue of The Climb, a bi-monthly roundup of what’s going on in the French tech ecosystem and beyond. I’ll keep improving the format of this digest according to feedbacks I’m given: make sure to hit reply or DM me to express your opinion!
In this issue, we’ll discuss European late-stage financing capabilities, the EV race, 6G and gaming regulations among other buoyant topics. 🔥

Home insurance disruptor Luko bagged €20m from top-tier American investors
Home insurance disruptor Luko bagged €20m from top-tier American investors
🥖 Major funding rounds in France
> Net Reviews bagged €32m from Providence Growth Strategic. The operation is a mix of cash-in and cash-out with the investment firm becoming a majority investor. The company will use the funds to accelerate its international expansion, particularly in the US.
> Hoppen raised €32m to keep enhancing patients in-hospital experience.
> Home insurance disruptor Luko raised a €20m Series A led by top-tier American VC Accel. Founders Fund and Speedinvest joined the round.
> French eSport team Team Vitality raised a €14m round from existing investor Rewired GG, less than 1 year after its first financing round. Total funding amount is brought to €34m, a record in the European eSport landscape.
> Fleet management software company Optimum Automotive raised €14m of which €8m from Demeter. Revenues are expected to range between €15 and 20m in 2019.
> Remedee Labs raised a €11m Series A led by Hardware Club to keep on developing and start marketing a wearable device to relieve pain.
> Acticor Biotech raised €7m in addition to the €15.3m raised in October, bringing the total Series B funding to €22.3m. The company, which develops an antithrombotic agent for the treatment of the acute phase of ischemic stroke, will use the funds to accelerate in the US.
> Other funding rounds include fertility tech startup Mojo, logistics specialist Kardinal, fintechs Finfrog and Libeo, biotech Urania Therapeutics, HRtech Snapshift, ride-hailing player Heetch, real estate disruptor Cherche Mon Nid and distributor of organic eggs Poulehouse.
⚡ Other hot moves in France
> Carrefour announced the sale of its electronics ecommerce subsidiary Rue du Commerce to ecommerce group Shopinvest as part of its strategic refocus on food.
> 3D printing specialist Sculpteo founded by Eric Carreel and Clément Moreau, was sold to German chemical group BASF. Additive manufacturing is a highly strategic segment on which BASF has been strengthening its positioning in the past years with the acquisition of small players in the field (e.g. Advanc3D Materials, Setup Performance).
🌍 European champions
> OLX invested $400m in German used car marketplace Frontier Car Group. The operation, which is a mix of equity and secondary share acquisitions and existing business shares, values the company at $700m post-money.
> Israeli payments and fraud-prevention solutions provider Riskified raised a $165m Series E at a $1bn valuation led by General Atlantic. Another unicorn in the Israeli tech ecosystem!
> Swedish micro-mobility company Voi raised a $85m Series B to bolster its position in 38 cities across Europe, improve the hardware and achieve profitability. The company reported that it was already breakeven in Stockholm and Olso.
> Estonian ride-hailing platform Bolt is talking with SoftBank about a new funding round. Bolt’s CEO Markus Villig says the round should be similar to the previous one (€60m). Let’s see what happen in the next few weeks/months!
> London-based machine learning specialist Eigen raised a $37m Series B led by Lakestar.
> Barcelona-based delivery company Glovo further penetrates the Polish market by acquiring Pizza Portal, the second food-service platform in Poland, for €35m. Glovo also announced it will open its first technology hub abroad in Poland.
> London-based Proptech Plentific raised a $32m Series B led by A/O Proptech.
> Finnish Mobility As A Service company MaaS Global nabbed €29.5m to bring multi-modal transport subscriptions to cities globally.
> UK-based startup Wayve will launch self-driving car trials in central London after having raised a $20 million Series A led by Eclipse Ventures.
🤝 Fellow backers
European VCs are on fire: numerous new funds announced in the last 15 days. The European growth financing landscape is densifying at a fast pace, allowing best performers to count on local investors to support them in their crucial growth phase.
🏋 Growth, growth, growth
> Eurozeo Growth strengthens its European foothold by recruiting two Managing Directors: Nathalie Kornhoff-Brüls and Zoé Fabian, in London and Berlin respectively. The investment firm also announced the recruitment of Maud Gillot as Associate in the Paris office. These appointments come in a context of increasing late stage financing needs in France and Europe.
> Germany-based Acton Capital announced the closing of Acton V, a $215m fund dedicated to tech or tech-enabled startups in their growth stage. The investment firm will invest 75% of the amount raised in Europe and the other quarter in the US.
> Lazard quietly recruited a 10 people “Venture and Growth” banking team. The London-based division will advise European scale-ups on their financing needs, connecting them to world-class investors and corporates.
👋 And also…
> London-based Balderton Capital raised another $400m fund to back European Series A.
> EQT Ventures closed its second fund at €660m. As with its first fund, EQT Ventures will invest in Series A or B with European startups and a bit later, Series B or C, with American companies who are looking to expand into Europe.
> Deep-tech focused investment firm Angular Ventures raised a $41m seed fund to invest tickets between $250k and $1.5m in promising startups in Europe and Israel.
> Dutch investment firm Finch Capital is about to raise a $75m fund to back early-stage companies is South-East Asia.
> CapHorn appointed Clara Audry, Alexandre Pelletier and Marion Chanéac as Partners.
🔥 What's up in the East (brief and short)
> China enforced new gaming rules for children to curb video game addiction: limited gaming time and capped amount to be spent weekly online are implemented. Limited impact on gaming companies is expected as although minors represent a significant percentage of gamers in China, most of in-games revenues come from older people that are more likely to spend larger amounts.
> Ucommune, the biggest shared workspace provider in China filed for US IPO. The company expects to go public before the end of the year, a surprising move after WeWork saga.
> Singaporean government launched its national AI strategy to fuel AI adoption in numerous key verticals and position the city-state as a global platform on which to develop and testbed AI applications.
> Alibaba will invest $3.3bn in its logistics unit Cainiao. The subsidiary plays a highly strategic role to handle the insane number of deliveries processed by the Chinese giant. Last November 12nd, the group generated a $38.4bn GMV in 24 hours for its annual Singles’ Day event, an increase of 26% over 2018. However, this viral event is more about customer acquisition than anything else: Alibaba doesn’t actually make money from transactions, its revenue is mainly based on advertising slots bought by sellers.
Major growth times are over for Alibaba’s Singles’ Day
Major growth times are over for Alibaba’s Singles’ Day
🏎️ The EV race
Car manufacturers and tech companies are at war to lead the future of mobility. While the US has made great progress in the EV field, China is progressing at an insane pace. However, the decline in EV prices could take more time than expected according to a MIT analysis.
> Elon Musk announced the construction of a Tesla gigafactory in Berlin. The company is also about to unveil its first all-electric pick-up this week: a challenging product that has numerous different demands than a passenger car!
> Xiaomi made a strategic investment of $400m in Xpeng Motors, the Chinese electric vehicle startup backed by Alibaba and Foxconn. The round comes as XPeng prepares to launch its electric P7 sedan in spring 2020.
> Incumbent car manufacturers are all in the race: Audi revealed its all-electric e-tron Sportback, Ford unveiled its Mustang Mach-E crossover, BMW revealed its powerful i4 and luxury manufacturer Karma Automotive disclosed its $145k Revero GTS.
📦 Misc
> The Chinese cashless society becomes more and more accessible to foreigners: Tencent’s payment app WeChat follows Alipay’s move by opening its service to foreign visitors that do not have Chinese bank account nor local mobile number.
> While 5G deployment worldwide is only in its first phases, China announced the formation of a R&D team to focus on the development of 6G.
> Samsung’s Galaxy Fold ran out of stock only 5 minutes after its launch in China despite its prohibitive price. Does this sound like the beginning of a new era for smartphones?
> Newbie streaming platform Disney+ announced European roll-out to be started in March 2020.
💡 Essential content
> How China is becoming a technological super-power relying on long-term strategic projects to gradually Asianize the world.
> How to design a rewarding stock-option plan?
That's it for this issue.
Thanks for reading The Climb!
📢 If you liked it, don’t forget to share this digest with a friend (or two).
👋 If you’re not a subscriber, you’re invited to join the crew.
✉ Feel free to reach out to me for any feedback, recommendation or just to send kind words.

-See you in two weeks-
Did you enjoy this issue?
Ghislain de Buchet

Founders are rushing to the top | Tech & VC news every second Wednesday in your inbox

If you don't want these updates anymore, please unsubscribe here.
If you were forwarded this newsletter and you like it, you can subscribe here.
Powered by Revue