These were the 10 biggest European tech stories this week

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Happy Friday!

We sincerely hope you and yours are keeping healthy and safe. Please take care of yourself and others.

This week, our research team tracked 70 tech funding deals worth over €900 million, along with a dozen M&A transactions, rumours, and related news stories across Europe, including Russia, Israel, and Turkey.

Meanwhile, here’s an overview of the 10 biggest European tech news items for this week (subscribe to our free newsletter to get this roundup in your inbox every Monday morning):

1) The European Commission announced Tuesday that it’s launching two antitrust investigations into Apple’s App Store rules and the Apple Pay platform. The Commission said it will assess whether Apple’s rules for app developers on the distribution of apps via the App Store breach EU competition rules.

2) Swedish video game developer Stillfront has raised just over €113 million in a directed shared issue to Swedish and international investors. The move was made so the company can “act swiftly on potential future acquisitions and growth opportunities.”

3) Berlin-based CMS Contentful has raised $80 million in Series E funding, fueling the company on its path toward unicorn status, which CB Insights predicted last year. The round was led by Sapphire Ventures, with participation from General Catalyst, Salesforce Ventures and five other new and existing backers.

4) Wirecard, the German payments firm that’s fending off allegations about its accounting, delayed the publication of its annual financial results for the fourth time after auditors were unable to find about 1.9 billion euros in cash. The shares collapsed.

5) Facebook on Thursday acquired Swedish mapping technology company Mapillary, which collects images from tens of thousands of contributors to build immersive and up-to-date maps.

6) Æternity co-founder Nikola Stojanow is launching Meta Change Capital (MCC), a €100 million VC fund focused on blockchain. Still securing investors, the London-based fund is led by AE Ventures and will close its first round in Q4 of this year.

7) The United States has shocked Europe by pulling out of negotiations over an international digital tax and threatened to retaliate if the region moves ahead with plans on its own. A number of European countries were hoping to impose taxes on digital companies above a certain revenue threshold, which would hit mainly US tech firms given their size.

8) The payments company Square has acquired a Spanish peer-to-peer payments app called Verse that allows users to send money to friends and family for free. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

9) Digital bank Monzo has confirmed a fresh funding round of £60 million from existing investors, which is understood to have been accompanied by significant cut to its valuation. Backers included Y Combinator, General Catalyst, Accel, Stripe, Goodwater, Orange, Thrive, Passion Capital, as well as some new investors such as Reference Capital and Vanderbilt University. Monzo’s capital position is now around $220 million, though its valuation is said to have been slashed by 40 per cent.

10) Berlin-based Fly Ventures has announced its second fund at €53 million, dedicated to early-stage European startups in enterprise and deep tech. Led by Gabriel Matuschka and Fredrik Bergenlid, the firm will use Fund II to make initial investments between €500,000 and €1.3 million.

Podcast(s): Podcast #173: EU is still after Amazon; bioinformatics 101 with Lifebit

Bonus link(s):

Slush has launched its new white paper “Entrepreneurship Redefined” on the future of entrepreneurship. The white paper is divided into three different themes, which all represent one of the key ways for the European startup ecosystem to reach its potential; diversity, purpose, and revolutionary innovation.