In today’s top Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) news, Italian luxury fashion firm Zegna goes public in a $3.1 billion deal; Europe’s digital healthcare sector gets a $30 million funding boost; venture capital investment in Saudi firms is on the rise; the Davos Economic Forum is postponed amid travel bans in Israel and Europe; regulators could agree on a cryptocurrency framework in 2022; and more.
Italian luxury fashion company Zegna has made its debut on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker symbol ZGN after a special purpose acquisition company (SPAC) deal with European private equity company Investindustrial that valued the company at $3.1 billion. Former UBS CEO Sergio Ermotti leads the Investindustrial team, which crafted the deal with Zegna in July.
German health technology startup Formel Skin has secured 30 million euros ($33.8 million) in a Series A funding round for its dermatology platform. Led by Paris-based VC firm Singular and German HealthTech investor Heal Capital, the round brings the company’s total funding to 36 million euros ($40.6 million), making the firm one of the fastest-growing health technology companies in Europe.
B2B eCommerce marketplace Sary has raised $75 million in a Series C funding round, seven months after it raised $30.5 million in a Series B round. The latest funding round, led by Public Investment Fund-backed Sanabil Investments, brings the firm’s total funding raised to $112 million, making it one of the top VC-funded Saudi firms.
The World Economic Forum (WEF) has postponed the forum’s meeting that was scheduled for Jan. 17-21 at Davos, the Swiss mountain resort. This is the second consecutive year it has been postponed. “Despite the meeting’s stringent health protocols, the transmissibility of omicron and its impact on travel and mobility have made deferral necessary,” the organization said.
Benoît Cœuré, CEO of the Bank for International Settlements (BIS) innovation hub, suggested that financial regulators should agree on a global framework for crypto next year after the rapid growth of decentralized finance (DeFi). Conversations about high-level global principles for cryptocurrency and DeFi have intensified in recent months.
Thierry Breton, the EU internal markets commissioner, said a senior U.S. official has been campaigning on Big Tech’s behalf — despite the EU’s approval of a draft rule to cut back on American tech companies’ power. This has come along with a trans-Atlantic grudge between officials. Breton said U.S. Commerce Secretary Gina Raimondo has been lobbying on Big Tech’s behalf.