Europe

Ant Financial, the financial services behemoth 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 price would also line up with multiple reports from December claiming the two were in
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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 companies and engineers working as freelancers. There are currently 100,000 freelancers
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A long-time London-based entrepreneur re-surfaces today with the launch of Numan, a new kind of subscription business, with a rather unusual approach to a very old problem. Sokratis Papafloratos (pictured) is one of the more “serial of serial” European entrepreneurs. He was one of the first investors in Calm.com, the mindfulness sleep and meditation site
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Following the pre-Christmas drone debacle in the UK — which plunged thousands of people into travel misery after repeated drone sightings closed the runway at Gatwick, and later also briefly suspended departures at Heathrow — consumer drone maker DJI has announced it’s upgrading its geofencing system across Europe. It says its Geospatial Environment Online (GEO) 2.0 system
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As ever more transactions move onto digital platforms, a startup that is building a Swiss army knife of financial services — from payments to currency transfers, ID verifications and card issuing for companies to use by way of a single API — is announcing funding. Rapyd, a “fintech as a service” startup akin to AWS for
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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 said 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
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Cluno, the Munich startup providing what it calls a “car subscription” service, has raised $28 million in Series B funding. The round is led by Valar Ventures, the U.S.-based venture capital firm founded by Peter Thiel. Acton Capital Partners and Atlantic Labs, which both backed the company’s Series A round, also participated. It brings total
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Rovio’s efforts to diversify beyond its Angry Birds franchise is getting a little investment boost today. The company announced that Japan’s NTT Docomo is taking a stake in Hatch, a Rovio subsidiary that describes itself as the “Netflix of gaming,” providing subscribers with a rotating mix of freemium games from a mix of publishers, with
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U.K. home health analysis kit startup Thriva is adding three more products to its range later this month: A saliva-based cortisol stress test and two female hormone kits. The Seedcamp-backed U.K. startup has been offering blood-prick-based health monitoring kits since 2016, and says it’s had more than 50,000 customers sign up to stab their own finger
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Productboard, the San Francisco and Prague-based startup that offers product management software, has raised $10 million in further funding, adding to its Series A in July last year. The round is led by Index Ventures, and sees Index General Partner Jan Hammer joining the board. Also participating is previous backers Kleiner Perkins, Credo Ventures, Rockaway
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The UK’s data protection watchdog has issued fines against a pro-Brexit campaign, Leave.EU, and an insurance company owned by the largest individual donor to the leave cause, Arron Banks’ Eldon Insurance. The penalties have been handed down for what the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO) dubs “serious breaches of electronic marketing laws” during the 2016 referendum on
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