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The Climb #7 - Asian money, fintech acceleration, micromobility consolidation and more 🔥

Good morning! The last 15 days have been quite impressive. Asian money poured on the French Tech scen
The Climb #7 - Asian money, fintech acceleration, micromobility consolidation and more 🔥
By Ghislain de Buchet • Issue #7 • View online
Good morning! The last 15 days have been quite impressive. Asian money poured on the French Tech scene with Chinese Tencent and Singaporean Temasek leading 3 of the biggest rounds of the last 15 days for a cumulative amount of €270m. Other news include some French exits, the on-going consolidation on the tough micro-mobility segment and more.

🥖 Major funding rounds in France
> Chinese giant Tencent led two big rounds in the French tech economy, investing in mobile payment platform Lydia (€40m Series B) and bank for SMEs Qonto (€104m Series C). Tencent, which heavily participated to the transformation of China into a cashless society with its flagship super-app WeChat, is accelerating its investment strategy in Europe. Are WeChat-like apps coming to the West? Read my detailed article here.
> DIY marketplace ManoMano has raised €125m in a round led by Singapore’s Sovereign Fund Temasek, existing investors General Atlantic, Eurazeo, Piton Capital, Bpifrance and Kismet Holdings also participating. The operation, which occurs only one year after a €110m Series D, should help the scaleup strengthen its position in Europe and become profitable out of France.
> Lyon-based LumApps, which develops a platform to connect and engage all employees in a central hub, raised a $70m Series C. Investors include Goldman Sachs (lead), BpifranceIdinvest PartnersIris Capital and Famille C (Courtin-Clarins).
> iBuyer Homeloop bagged €20m from Crescendix to achieve its ambitious goal of €100m in deal value in 2020. The company offers to quickly buy your properties online at a discounted price and then resell it with a great margin.
> SaaS solution for community management (alumni, employees, etc.) Hivebrite landed a €18m Series A led by NYC-based Insight Venture Partners.
> SaaS platform for residential property management Matera (formerly illicopro) grabbed €10m in a round led by Index Ventures. The startup already enrolled 1,000 residential buildings and 25,000 users.
> Other funding rounds include temp platform GoJob (€11m), open-source cloud platform Containous (€9m), live video enabler Aviwest (€8m), environmental quality sensors startup Rubix S&I (€7m), workplace virtualization Wisper (€5m), 2nd-hand automotive parts marketplace (€3m), energy-efficient solution for mobile infrastructure Wupatec (€2.5m), medical transport solution Sanilea (€2.5m), cybersecurity SaaS Yogosha (€2m), design-testing platform Maze (€1.8m), data protection startup Fair&Smart (€1.7), food procurement solution FoodMeUp (€1.7m) and recruiting platform Extracadabra (€1.5m) among others.
⚡ Other hot moves in France
> Carrefour acquired Lyon-based foodtech Potager City which delivers fresh, seasonal and locally-sourced fruit and vegetables baskets through a private network of picking points. Having previously acquired Greenweez, Quitoque and Dejbox, the French retailer keeps strengthening its digital capabilities.
> Lyon-based software company Everteam was acquired by Japanese conglomerate Kyocera. Investors Advent, Partech, Idinvest, Ardian and BNP Paribas had already exited as part of a MBO in 2014.
> Crédit Agricole acquired fintech Linxo. The acquired company aggregates banking accounts, makes it easier for individuals to borrow and facilitates insurance subscription. Terms of the deal undisclosed.
🌍 European champions
> Personio, the German version of French gem Payfit, is valued $500m after a $75m Series C led by Accel. Lightspeed VP and Lars Dalgaard become shareholders with existing investors Index, Northzone and GFC also participating.
> US-based micromobility unicorn Bird acquired German competitor Circ. The venture was struggling with raising a new funding round whereas most European biggest players bagged big amounts recently (Voi, Tier and Wind) and Lime and Uber still fight hard to maintain their market share. It feels like it’s just the beginning of a bigger become profitable or get acquired story…
> Tencent launched a bid to acquire Norwegian listed computer games maker Funcom at a 27% premium.
🤝 Fellow backers
> As part of the French plan to support growth equity financing, institutional investors have chosen 4 funds to deploy their €3bn: Eurazeo Growth Fund III, InfraVia Growth Fund, Partech Growth II and Jeito I. Other funds could be added to the list in the near future.
> HEC Alumni launched a €30m fund to be managed by Idinvest. Money will be invested in tickets comprised between €0.2m and €2m in Seed and Series A rounds. 80% of the fund is dedicated to back companies with at least 1 HEC alumnus in the founding team.
> London-based Blossom Capital gathered $185m for its second fund. The money will be deployed in European early-stage startups.
📱 Super-apps in the West
One app to rule them all?
One app to rule them all?
Pure auto-promo: I recently wrote an article on WeChat-like apps and whether or not such a model could ever exist in Europe/US.
> Super-apps have benefited from favorable conditions for fast growth in emerging countries, but it’s a whole different picture in the West.
> American tech giants draw heavily on WeChat and other Asian super-apps, but cultural, regulatory and financial boundaries prevent the emergence of a WeChat-like app in the West.
> A deep-rooted trend is the increased interconnection between players to build a seamless in-app experience.
🔥 What's up in the East (brief and short)
> During his trip to India, Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos unveiled its plan to invest $1bn to bring Indian kirana stores online. The huge network of small shops will be used as a delivery platform to pick-up parcels all around the country. The executive also announced in a video on Twitter the launching of an electric rickshaw to tackle climate change.
Jeff Bezos
Hey, India. We’re rolling out our new fleet of electric delivery rickshaws. Fully electric. Zero carbon. #ClimatePledge
> Vietnam officially legalized ride-hailing services at the national scale. Vietnamese ride-hailing market is estimated to be worth $4bn by 2025 according to Google, Temasek, Bain & Co. e-conomy SEA 2019 report and players in the space are fighting hard to defend their market share. Grab is replacing its Vietnam’s CEO again.
🧮 By the numberz
> 750m downloads globally for short video platform TikTok in 2019. The Chinese app operated by Bytedance becomes the 2nd most downloaded app in the world after WhatsApp.
> $1.55 trillion was spent on online shopping by Chinese consumers in 2019 (+16.5% over last year).
> 6m of articles are now available in English on Wikipedia.
That's it for this issue.
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Ghislain de Buchet

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