Spain and the ‘The State of European Tech 2016’

Hey there! Remember me? I haven’t forgotten about Novobrief, it’s just that the first few weeks at K Fund have been pretty hectic. As a journalist, at times you might think you know a lot about the venture business, but once you’re in the inside you realize you’re pretty much clueless about a ton of things. At least that’s my case.

Anyway, my idea is to continue to publish over here on a weekly basis. I miss it. I really do. I obviously won’t be able to do it in the same way as before, because these days I have access to a lot of confidential information that could definitely affect my writing. So yeah, I won’t be breaking any stories or criticising startups and investors alike. However, I do think there’s a lot of stuff I can write about, including the first steps in my investment career. But I’ll leave that for another day.

This evening I’d like to tell you about ‘The State of European Tech 2016‘ a report that a bunch of guys and companies I really appreciate are currently putting together.

Atomico and Slush are behind it, and if you haven’t checked their 2015 edition, you should. My beloved and Dealroom are also pitching in and helping with the report and analysis, so you can be sure that it’s going to be as good as last year’s and probably even better.

However, very few Spanish entrepreneurs and investors have completed the survey. I have done it -but I’m not representative of anything in this case- and it only takes 5 minutes to do it.

If I may, I’d like to encourage my Spanish colleagues to go ahead and complete the survey, because it will help Atomico and the rest of the guys and it will allow them to have a better idea of what’s going on in Spain and the potential of the country’s tech ecosystem. Would you, please?

(Oh, and it’s powered by Barcelona-based Typeform, which has just been chosen by Accel Partners as one of Europe’s top-100 SaaS companies.)


Google Launchpad: myABCKit – The subtle interactions that make successful products

google launchpad In this Google Launchpad case study we took a different approach. Instead of sharing the lessons learned by a startup during the Google Launchpad week, we decided to focus on certain aspects that one of the participating startups shared with us.

We are talking about myABCKit and their approach in the development of an education product for kids of ages 3 to 7. As As myABCKit started to perform research on the sector they were about to tackle, they realised its nuances and the difficulties of approaching such a young clientele due to two main reasons: the kids’ specific demands in regards to how such a product should perform, and also on getting to work with them during the research.

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eBay compra Ticketbis por €165 millones

Ticketbis, la startup española de ticketing para el mercado secundario, ha sido comprada por €165 millones por eBay, el gigante americano de compraventa de productos de segunda mano, según fuentes cercanas a la empresa.

Fundada por Ander Michelena y Jon Uriarte en 2009, Ticketbis se ha convertido con el paso de los años en uno de los principales players en el mercado de compraventa de entradas para espectáculos y deportes.

La startup de origen vasco pero con sede en Madrid, tiene más de 400 empleados en plantilla y opera en varios países en el mercado europeo, latinoamericano y asiático.

En 2015 Ticketbis facturó €84 millones y, desde su fundación, ha crecido todos los años por encima del 60% en términos de negocio. Hasta la fecha había levantado €12.1 millones en varias rondas de financiación, que incluyeron la participación de VCs como Active Venture Partners y business angels como Eneko Knorr.

eBay es también propietaria de StubHub, líder de ticketing en el mercado secundario en Estados Unidos, y que además acaba de lanzar en México.

La compra de Ticketbis se produce pocas semanas después de la venta de Privalia por €500 millones. Buenas noticias para el ecosistema español de startups. Más información en el comunicado oficial de eBay.

La fusión de Wallapop y Letgo, contada por sus fundadores

wallapop letgo “Lo veo de puta madre. Ha sido un éxito y esto será el inicio de algo más poderoso”. El que habla al otro lado del teléfono es Agustín Gómez, consejero delegado en Wallapop y posiblemente uno de los CEOs españoles con menos presencia en los medios, al menos cuando dicha presencia se mide en relación al tamaño de la criatura.

Wallapop, entre rondas de financiación anunciadas y otras que parece que nunca lo serán, ha levantado entre $100 y $150 millones de financiación de numerosos fondos de capital riesgo (Fidelity, Northzone, Vostok New Ventures, Accel Partners, Insight Venture Partners, Bonsai Venture Capital, etc) y ha conseguido instalarse no solo en el móvil de millones de usuarios a ambos lados del atlántico, sino también en la mente de muchos consumidores (tecnológicos o no), traspasando lo que muchos llaman el umbral del mainstream.

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What impact can the ‘Civil UAVs Initiative’ have in Galicia?

This guest post was written by Alexandre Bastos, currently Product Consultant at ONTHEBUS innovation and co-founder of nomya. Prior to that, Alexandre founded and lead iQUBE research, an innovative aeronautical electronics company, acquired and integrated into CENTUM corporation as CENTUM Research & Technology.

On February 25, Galician president Alberto Nuñez Feijoo announced the final decision on the pre-commercial procurement process called Civil UAVs Initiative. INAER (Babcock group) and INDRA won the final round over aeronautical giants AIRBUS and BOEING with a joint offer of €75 million in private investment, combined withh a governmental contribution of €40 million.

Even with reasonable margin for opinion and criticism, the initiative led by GAIN innovation -which will be signed in the next few days- agency can already be considered as a big success for the regional Government. They were able to bring together some of the most important aeronautical companies in the world, in concurrence for a public funded research program designed to solve many of the existing challenges in using drones for government managed services. Moreover, they got a strong competence in the final tendering round with 4 extraordinaire bidding offers, which required increasing the public budget from €25 to €40 million.

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Privalia has been acquired by Vente-Privee

A couple of weeks ago I wrote about the possibility of Paris-based Vente-Privee acquiring Privalia, one of the largest Spanish players in the e-commerce space.

Well, it seems that the acquisition is in fact taking place and will soon be announced by both companies. A couple of sources have told me that Vente-Privee’s employees were informed about the acquisition today, and the same will soon happen at Privalia’s headquarters in Barcelona.

No word about the price, but previous rumours said Vente-Privee would pay up to €500 million for Privalia. In any case, and even if the acquisition ends up being smaller than that, it could become one of the larger exits of the Spanish tech ecosystem in recent years, and the largest by a local non-telco company to date.

Privalia had sales of €415 million in 2014 with an EBITDA of just 4%. Vente-privee’s sales in 2014 reached €1.7 billion.

Privalia has raised more than €200 million from multiple European, American and Spanish investors, including Caixa Capital Risc, Nauta Capital, Highland Capital Partners, Index Ventures, Sofina, Insight Venture Partners and General Atlantic.

Google Launchpad: Geemba – creating a Minimum Viable Product for every challenge

google launchpad

Today we resume the publication of Google Launchpad’s case studies with the first one from Barcelona’s most recent edition, which took place in December 2015.

This case study is about Geemba‘s beginnings, a Catalan fitness startup that has a built a new type of subscription service for consumers. The report analyses how the company started with a very lean approach, left it behind as it started to grow, and later came back to it to become, once again, more agile.

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Spanish-founded and now Spanish-backed: Jinn closes $7.5 million Series A led by Samaipata Ventures

Jinn, a delivery startup based in London, has closed a $7.5 million Series A round led by Samaipata Ventures, the Madrid-based VC fund launched by La Nevera Roja’s co-founder José del Barrio.

TechCrunch has all the details.

Jinn has healthy unit economics and growth, according to data I’ve seen which was shopped around to potential investors late last year. That said, participation of Samaipata Ventures looks strategically like a good fit.

In a call, Jinn co-founder and CEO Mario Navarro tells me the startup is now seeing 50,000 monthly orders via its app in Central London just two years after launch. This, he says, equates to an annual run rate of $25 million in sales (that is revenue passed through the app, not Jinn’s cut alone), and seeing the company grow 30 per cent month on month with customers ordering on average once a week. Perhaps crucially, Jinn is now also hitting an average delivery time of 32 minutes, down from 45 minutes six months ago.

This is not the only Spanish connection of the UK-based startup. Jinn’s co-founders (Mario Navarro, Leon Herrera, Joseba Mendivil) are all Spaniards who move to London in recent years.

The way Jinn operates is very similar to Barcelona’s Glovo, which to date has raised more than €2 million from investors. The app lets you order anything locally for delivery.

Uber to (re)launch in Madrid this week (Updated)

UPDATE: Uber is again available in Madrid as of March 30.

Uber, more specifically UberPop, was banned in Spain in December 2014. Since then, the company has been trying to adapt to Spanish legislation in order to relaunch its services in the country using VTC licenses.

As the company’s country manager put it a few months ago, “we tried to do too much and too fast”.

On Monday, Uber announced with a tweet and 25 second video that’s coming back to Madrid, possibly under a new and legal model that operates with VTC licenses, which are artificially, and stupidly, limited by Spanish law (there can only be 1 VTC license per 30 regular taxi licenses).

Cabify has been operating this way for years, which hasn’t stopped taxi drivers from complaining about “unfair competition” from the Spanish startup.

While Uber has not confirmed when it plans to launch in Madrid, I’ve heard from several people close to the company that they will fulfill their promise. In December 2015 Uber told El Pais that they would be back in the first quarter of 2016, which ends on Friday. That gives the company three days to relaunch in the Spanish capital.

Good news for consumers.