Europe

Ant Financial, the financial services giant affiliated with Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba, has made its first big move into Europe. It’s acquired London-headquartered payments company WorldFirst in a deal that sources tell us is valued at around $700 million. (That would line up with multiple reports from December claiming the two were in talks for
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The European Union’s political institutions have reached agreement over new rules designed to boost transparency around online platform businesses and curb unfair practices to support traders and other businesses that rely on digital intermediaries for discovery and sales. The European Commission proposed a regulation for fairness and transparency in online platform trading last April. And late yesterday
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French startup Malt is raising a $28.6 million funding round (€25 million) with Idinvest Partners leading the round and existing investors ISAI and Serena also participating. Overall, the company has raised $36.6 million since its creation (€32 million). Malt has created a marketplace for engineers working as freelancers and companies. There are currently 100,000 freelancers
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InReach Ventures, the so-called “AI-powered” venture capital firm based in London, is announcing the first closing of a new €53 million fund targeting early-stage European technology companies — surpassing the original fund target of €50 million, apparently. Founded by former Balderton Capital General Partner Roberto Bonanzinga, along with Ben Smith (former U.K. Engineering Director at
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Lunar Way, the Nordic banking app that’s riding new EU regulation to help inject more competition into the region, has raised €13 million in new funding. The round is led by SEED Capital, with participation from Greyhound Capital, Socii Capital and a number of individual investors from the financial services industry. It also comes shortly
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The UK government has suggested it could legislate to require age verification checks on users of dating apps, following an investigation into underage use of dating apps published by the Sunday Times yesterday. The newspaper found more than 30 cases of child rape have been investigated by police related to use of dating apps including Grindr and Tinder since
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British startup OakNorth has raised a $440 million funding round from SoftBank’s Vision Fund as well as the Clermont Group. The company is creating a digital bank and focuses on loans for small and medium enterprises and the technology behind those loans. Today’s funding round is the biggest funding round in a European fintech company.
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Dixa, a Copenhagen-based startup that offers a platform to help companies provide better and more consistent customer service across multiple channels, has raised $14 million in Series funding. The round is led by Project A Ventures, with participation from early investor SEED Capital. Founded in 2015 by Jacob Vous Petersen and Mads Fosselius, Dixa is
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A lengthy antitrust probe into how Facebook gathers data on users has resulted in Germany’s competition watchdog banning the social network giant from combining data on users across its own suite of social platforms without their consent. The investigation of Facebook data-gathering practices began in March 2016. The decision by Germany’s Federal Cartel Office, announced
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Tink, the European open banking platform headquartered in Sweden, has deposited €56 million in new funding. Leading the round is U.S.-based Insight Venture Partners. Existing backers Sunstone, SEB, Nordea Ventures and ABN AMRO Digital Impact Fund also participated. A number of other investors have been added to Tink’s cap table, too. They include Christian Clausen,
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Two dog walking and sitting startups are merging: HouseMyDog, the U.K.-headquartered online community that enables dog owners to find and book local trusted dog walkers and sitters, has agreed to join forces with Gudog, a similar offering based in Spain. I understand that HouseMyDog and Gudog will continue to operate under their existing brands for
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The still fresh-in-post boss of Instagram, Adam Mosseri, has been asked to meet the UK’s health secretary, Matt Hancock, to discuss the social media platform’s handling of content that promotes suicide and self harm, the BBC reports. Mosseri’s summons follows an outcry in the UK over disturbing content being recommended to vulnerable users of Instagram, following the suicide
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