We are an early-stage venture capital firm investing in companies that jumpstart new industries in the emerging markets of Europe
Investment thesisInfrastructure for innovation
Infrastructure for innovation
We invest in startups that build the infrastructure for innovation and jumpstart new industries by breaking vicious cycles.
The root of all evil
Vicious cycles are endemic in emerging ecosystems — they are the byproduct of systemic deficiencies and make it difficult or even impossible for the emerging ecosystem to grow and develop. Example of such a vicious cycle at work in Central and Eastern Europe: the adoption of electric vehicles (EVs) is slowed down by the lack of the charging infrastructure; conversely, the charging infrastructure is not being built because of the lack of the EVs to use it.
Because of their systemic origin, breaking such vicious cycles is a capital-intensive and a long-term endeavor — the kind of task a VC fund is both qualified and responsible to assume.
On a high note — the root of all evil is where the promise of venture returns lies.
A (technological) leap of faith
Emerging ecosystems are strong enough to leapfrog existing technologies and adopt the solutions of the future. It happened in the past (see LTE adoption in Africa/India leapfrogging classical landlines) giving birth to a breed of companies that created their own markets. These startups are the backbone of the future ecosystem populated by dependent/client third parties.
OpportunitiesA brave new world
B2C - The rising billions
In 2000, 6% of the world population was connected to the internet. In 2010, online adoption increased to 23% or 2 billion people connected. In 2020, more than 66% of all people will have online access. That’s an additional 3 billion people that will get access to the internet, raising the total number of connected population to 5.5 billion.
B2B - The unicorn of one
It is now possible to start a company valued at $1BN from your garage, with no assets and basically no employees. And this company may serve the giants of the corporate world. Fortune 500 companies already acknowledged that innovations come from small companies agile enough to disrupt industries. Today, the business development and strategy VPs turned into innovation scouters actively seeking emerging technologies and valuable teams to acquire or hire.
Let’s talk moneyHow we do it
Our philosophy is quite straightforward: we invest at the earliest stages in companies whose founders have skin in the game, are coachable and address big markets. If the opportunity is real, we prefer to be the first institutional investor in such startups.
Our firm recruits regionally (in CEE) and invests locally (in Romania) to take advantage of country’s great technical talent, low labor costs, low operating costs and high-speed Internet access.
Because of our active engagement with our companies, we typically will take a correspondingly substantial equity ownership position (5% to 15%) in our investments and will join as a member of the company’s board of directors (Series A).
At the Accelerator stage — we invest anywhere between €50,000 and €200,000 in exchange for 5% to 15% common stock.
At the Seed stage — our sweet spot is €500,000 but, if the opportunity is real, we can invest up to €4,500,000 in one company.
We are fast to say NO – won’t waste your time. Saying YES takes a bit longer: 4 to 6 weeks on average, but that depends on you too.