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The Climb #8 - IoT nanosatellites, GP moves, CoronavirusTech and more 🔥

Another 15 busy days for the French tech ecosystem with c. 25 deals o/w a significant number of Serie
The Climb #8 - IoT nanosatellites, GP moves, CoronavirusTech and more 🔥
By Ghislain de Buchet • Issue #8 • View online
Another 15 busy days for the French tech ecosystem with c. 25 deals o/w a significant number of Series B rounds. On the investors side, numerous funds have been announced and legendary US VC Sequoia is coming to Europe. In the East, tech companies are all in to offer alternative solutions and prevent the expansion of the Coronavirus epidemic in a context of public panic.

🥖 Major funding rounds in France
> Kinéis raised €100m to further develop its IoT network connectivity solution and finance its constellation of nanosatellites to be launched in 2022. Investors include CLS, CNES, Bpifrance, Thales, Hemeria, Celad and smaller participations.
> Cybersecurity startup CybelAngel raised a €33m Series B funding led by Prime Ventures and joined by Bpifrance, Open CNP, Tempocap and successful US based entrepreneurs.
> Shippeo takes €20m as part of a Series B to leverage data in the transportation industry. Investors include NGP Capital (lead), ETF Partners, Bpifrance Digital Venture and Partech. With its unique platform, the startup aims at offering unrivaled digital solutions to digitize the whole supply chain starting from freight transport.
> Biotech Stilla Technologies grabbed €20m in a Series B funding from Chinese group TUS-Holdings, alongside the participation of existing investors Illumina Ventures, Kurma Partners, LBO France, Paris Saclay Seed Funds, BNPP Développement and Idinvest Partners. The company has developed and markets a ground-breaking PCR solution that enables scientists to quantify DNA mutations with unrivaled precision. Use cases include liquid biopsy tests for cancer diagnostics, pre-natal testing or even GMO detection.
> Lyon-based biotech MaaT Pharma raised a €18m Series B to finance phases Ib and II trials of its biotherapeutic drug, which aims to restore the microbiome and improve outcomes in patients with various types of blood cancer and solid tumors. Investors include Seventure Partners, Crédit Mutuel Innovation, Symbiosis and Biocodex.
> Powell Software bagged $16m from CapHorn and Level Equity to further develop its enterprise portal SaaS solution and improve work collaboration.
> Inato, a platform that helps drug companies increase their pools of clinical trial patients, raised €12.5m from American VC firm Obvious Ventures and Cathay Innovation. Existing investors Serena Capital and Fly Ventures also participated to the round.
> Fine art shipping solution Convelio raised a €9m Series A from Acton Capital, GFC and Innoport (Bernhard Schulte’s investment arm) to accelerate dramatically in the US.
> Other funding rounds include SaaS for non-profit organizations AssoConnect (€7m), anti-drone protection solution CerbAir (€5.5m), IP network operator Alsatis (€5m), business meetings disruptor Beekast (€5m), platform to match retired people and host families CetteFamille (€4m), IoT enabler Otodo (€3m), brain disease detection CV solution Avicenna.ai (€2.7m), edtech SaaS EvidenceB (€2m), citizen engagement platform Fluicity (€2m), AR mobile game developer Hootside (€1.6m), cloud-based field service management software for complex operations Siteflow (€1.5m), matching platform WeLink (€1.5m), and SaaS comparison tool Appvizer (€1.5m) among others.
⚡ Other hot moves in France
> AI-based solution to analyze car data Munic raised €18.4m as part of its IPO on Euronext Growth, valuing the company at €60m.
🌍 European champions
> German open audio music platform SoundCloud bagged $75m from US-based public company Sirius XM. The group acquired Pandora last year, with whom SoundCloud established a partnership on its ad inventory.
> UK challenger bank Starling Bank gets another £60m from existing backers, bringing the total funding amount to £323m, while German fintech N26 announced it was pulling out of the UK for Brexit reasons. Some suggests poor performance on a highly competitive market could also be the rationale behind the decision.
🤝 Fellow backers
> VC firm A/O proptech just launched in London to invest a €250m fund in proptech and real estate startups across Europe. TC has more here.
> London-based VC firm Oxx announced a €123m fund to be deployed in Europe’s most promising B2B SaaS startups from Series A and beyond.
> Skymind Global Ventures opened an office in London and launched a $800m vehicle to back promising AI companies and finance research and development in AI. The firm also announced its ambition to expand to Southeast Asia.
> Arvalis and Unigrains joined forces to provide startup mentoring and invest early stage through a joint venture called Unilis Agtech. As the name suggests, the JV will focus on agtech companies and invest tickets comprised between €200k and €300k over the 3 coming years.
And also…
> Real estate specialist Robin Rivaton joined Idinvest as Investment Director. He will manage a fund focused on tech, energy, mobility and smart cities.
> David Thévenon joined Balderton Capital in London as General Partner after having quietly left Softbank in December. Fintech star Rana Yared also left Goldman Sachs to join the investment firm as General Partner.
> US-based Sequoia Capital is coming to Europe: the VC firm will open an office in London in the year and is actively looking for a Partner to invest in European tech companies.
🔥 Coronavirus boosts tech footprint in China
> Coronavirus epidemic in China is boosting ecommerce, online groceries and diversified digital consumer services but one major trend is the rise of contactless services as customers worry about getting infected by their food couriers, Didi drivers, etc.
Keith Zhai
China’s food delivery company @meituan launched this “contactless” service that provides zero physical contact between customers and delivery folks amid #coronavirus https://t.co/6BPXPPnI0K
4:25 AM - 3 Feb 2020
> No transit: with the Coronavirus outbreak, edtech startups are heavily recruited to provide schools and universities with online courses and exercises. In the adult world, business collaboration softwares are suddenly much more used as white collars are asked to work from home. As Bloomberg said, “Coronavirus forces world’s largest work-from-home experiment”.
🧮 By the numberz
> 1m downloads for TikTok competitor Byte, the short-video platform launched two weeks ago by Vine’s co-founder.
> WhatsApp reached 2bn users (vs. 1.5bn two years ago).
> 400m monthly active users in China for food delivery apps (c. 30% of the country’s population).
💡 Essential content
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