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€500M+: Which were the biggest deals in the SEE ecosystem in May

a collage with the people mentioned in the article
Image credit: Canva, from left to right: The founders of Rimac Automobili, Byrd, DRUID, FlexCar and LucidLink
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We are yet to welcome summer officially, but the SEE startup ecosystem is already hot. May has been buzzing with deals, acquisitions, and some of the largest investment rounds we have seen in 2022. Don’t stress about it if you haven’t been paying attention. The Recursive made a list of the 10 most notable startup deals in May across the region and added a quick review of what they mean for the  ecosystem.

The biggest startup deals in May

#1 Company: FlexCar

Country: Greece

Funding Raised: €210M 

Significance of the milestone: Car-as-a-service startup FlexCar raised €210M in a record investment for the Greek ecosystem, led by London-based Fasanara Capital. Other participants in the round were also VentureFriends, Uni.Fund, Frontline Ventures, Seaya Ventures, and Arena. With the new funds, FlexCar plans to expand to two more continents in the upcoming year.

#2 Company: Rimac Automobili 

Country: Croatia

Funding Raised: €120M 

Significance of the milestone: Croatian unicorn and electric vehicle maker Rimac got €120M from Italian investment firm Investindustrial, a leading European group of independently managed investment. In 2021, the Italian company also backed the hypercar manufacturer by leveraging its extensive automotive experience, developed with current and previous investments in Ducati, Aston Martin, and Morgan Motors. The funds will serve as a financial boost for the company to develop its portfolio.

#3 Company: Byrd

Country: Austria

Funding Raised: €56M 

Significance of the milestone: Austria-based e-commerce startup Byrd raised €56M in a Series C funding round led by Florida-based Cambridge Capital, Austrian Speedinvest, Elevator Ventures, and Uniqua Ventures, London-based Mouro Capital, and others, including Greece-based VentureFriends as a previous investor. Byrd aims to create an independent fulfillment network across Europe and locations in more than 10 European countries. 

#4 Company: LucidLink

Country: US-Bulgaria

Funding Raised: €20M 

Significance of the milestone: In a Series B round, led by the San-Francisco-based growth fund Headline, the cloud storage startup that connects teams around the world raised €20M to solve remote collaboration. The funding came one year after the €12M Series A round of LucidLink and raised the total funding of the company to €40M.

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#5 Company: DRUID AI

Country: Romania

Funding Raised: €14M 

Significance of the milestone: Bucharest-based startup offering AI-powered intelligent virtual assistants, DRUID AI, raised over €14M in a Series A funding. The new round was led by Estonian Karma Ventures and British Hoxton Ventures and was also joined by Romanian GapMinder, along with other investors from Germany, Switzerland, Poland, and Romania. This is the startup’s fifth round of funding, reaching a total amount of over €18M. The investment will be used to scale their intelligent chatbot solution internationally in Europe and North America.

#6 Company: OrthoSon

Country: Greece-UK

Funding Raised: €10.4M 

Significance of the milestone: Big Pi Ventures, a Greek technology venture capital firm invested in OrthoSon’s €10.4M Series A, among other international investors such as Yonghua Capital. The UK-based startup is working on solutions for lower back pain and will use the new funding to advance treatment progress at the clinic. 

Who got acquired in May? 

#7 Deal: US-Bulgarian Leanplum was acquired by Clevertap, the US-based retention cloud leader

What it means: Together, the two companies will now have the opportunity to build the first end-to-end user engagement and retention cloud platform. This acquisition itself is of strategic importance to the local ecosystem, as the Bulgarian office is said to become one of the R&D centers of the company, along with the one in Mumbai. 

#8 Deal: Greek-founded TileDB secured investment from Verizon Ventures, one of the biggest American wireless network operators

What it means: Now headquartered in the US, the Greek company provides a database that focuses on universal storage and data management rather than the compute layer. This investment of unknown sum will be used to boost the development of advanced features of the TileDB database and to scale go-to-market functions. 

#9 Deal: Mondly, the Romanian online language learning platform, was acquired by Pearson, a global top-ranked learning company

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What it means: Pearson will expand its self-study service portfolio by providing clients with new tech-based tools to study English and 40 other languages. The acquisition is a strategic move for both the company and its shareholders, as it will accelerate Pearson’s development in the language learning sector, boost revenues and increase investors’ returns.

#10 Deal: UK tech company Ocado Group acquired Greek robotics startup Myrmex for €10M

What it means: In October 2020, the company, which provides end-to-end online grocery fulfillment solutions to some of the world’s largest grocery retailers, acquired a minority stake in Myrmex Inc. The aim of this acquisition is for Ocado to accelerate the development of intelligent asset handling systems for the Ocado Smart Platform.

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