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The Climb #5 - 2020 predictions, ghost restaurants, drone food delivery and more 🔥

Season's Greetings! Hope you had a wonderful end-of-year celebration and that you are now on track fo
The Climb #5 - 2020 predictions, ghost restaurants, drone food delivery and more 🔥
By Ghislain de Buchet • Issue #5 • View online
Season’s Greetings! Hope you had a wonderful end-of-year celebration and that you are now on track for 2020. It’s another exciting year ahead! Below is a light version of the newsletter as the last 15 days have been quite quiet…

⚡ Hot moves in France
> Majelan, the podcast platform founded by Mathieu Gallet and Arthur Perticoz raised another €6m round bringing the total funding amount to €10m. The new funding comes from existing investor Idinvest, BAs and new shareholder Bpifrance.
> DNVB Kipli bagged €2m from Alter Equity 3P to accelerate the development of its handmade 100% natural latex mattress.
And also…
> Epsilog, the company which develops a software for practitioners called Vega, was sold to German CompuGroup Medical. The target is valued €72m and generated €14m in revenues in 2018.
🌍 European champions
> On-demand delivery company Glovo becomes the second Spanish unicorn after a €150m E round led by new investor Mubadala.
> Freeline Therapeutics, a UK-based biotech company that develops liver directed gene therapies for bleeding disorders and other diseases, bagged a $80m Series C led by Syncona Partners.
> German foodtech pioneer Delivery Hero acquired ghost restaurant startup Honest Food. The company owns several brands only available through online delivery.
Is drone delivery coming to Europe?
> Irish drone delivery startup Manna raised $5.2m in seed funding to roll-out its drone-as-a-service platform in 2020. Drone delivery could be a game changer for food delivery companies, as it is expected to cost a fraction of the cost of road-based deliveries and to reduce dramatically delivery time.
🤝 Fellow backers
> Sapphire Ventures, the former corporate venture arm of German software giant SAP, has raised $1.4bn for growth investments in the US, Europe and Israel.
> Volta Ventures announced an initial close of Volta Ventures II at €35m. The investment firm keeps its focus on early-stage internet companies and SaaS located in the Benelux.
🔥 What's up in the East (brief and short)
> Paypal officially entered China with the completion of GoPay 70% acquisition. The leading player in financial services becomes the first foreign payment platform to provide online payment services in China.
> Tesla’s Chinese competitor Nio saw its shares soared 53% on Monday after it announced its overperformance for the 3rd quarter. The EV company made $257m in revenues in Q3 2019 (+25% vs. 2018) and delivered almost 5,000 vehicles.
🔮 2020 predictions
What do you bet on in 2020?
What do you bet on in 2020?
It’s this time of the year when VCs worldwide try to predict what to expect for the year ahead. Below are my picks among assumptions read here and there. Let me know your feelings about 2020 by answering this email!
> US venture capitalists will take part to more and more European financing operations and will invest at earlier stages than before. Hussein Kanji, partner at Hoxton Ventures, strongly believes that US VCs have been experimenting until now and they are now much more likely to establish a formal presence in Europe and lead more rounds in European ventures.
> 2020 is the year when access to AI and machine learning will be democratized according to Index Ventures. Basically, every company will embark some sort of AI capabilities.
> For Jean de la Rochebrochard, partner at Kima Ventures, Traveltech is the most exciting sector for 2020. After the generation followed by Skyscanner and others, it’s another wave of fresh data-driven tech companies that is ready to enhance the whole travel experience.
> At a time when people are increasingly worried about societal and ecological concerns, purpose-driven startups become more relevant than ever before. Tom Wehmeier, partner at Atomico, is adamant: “many consumers would rather pay more for something that’s sustainable”. Building something meaningful and to generate positive impact will be crucial in 2020.
> It’s no fresh news, Israel is a pioneering nation in tech. However, all eyes could be turned to the country this year. Amit Karp, partner at Bessemer Venture Partners, is confident in the fact that the number of unicorns will increase drastically in 2020 and that the startup nation will produce larger exits than ever before. The country is engaged in a virtuous circle that will generate more and more notable exits in the near future.
📦 Misc
> France’s competition authority fined Google €150m after finding the tech giant abused its ad dominance. The watchdog stated that Google Ads’ operating rules imposed on advertisers are established and applied under non-objective, non-transparent and discriminatory conditions and has requested Google to clarify the functioning of its platform.
> Spotify announced it will stop selling political ads in 2020. Though, the decision only applies to the US as it is the only country where Spotify runs political ads. The move intervenes as part of a heated debate around the role of tech companies vis-a-vis political advertising.
💡 Essential content
> Interesting report of Connie Chan and Avery Segal of a16z on the new-gen ecommerce powered by short videos.
That's it for this issue.
Thanks for reading The Climb!
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✉ 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

Talking about tech & VC every second Wednesday

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