OTB Ventures (OTB), a leading venture capital fund specialised in investments in technology companies in Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), today announces the launch of its early growth technology fund – the largest venture capital fund in CEE – with $100m in commitments from international institutional investors, including the European Investment Fund (EIF), and high-profile backers including Greg Jankilevitch.
Focusing on early stage, post-product, start-ups in the CEE region – spanning Cyber Security, Big Data and AI, Fintech, IoT and Robotics, as well as Cloud and SaaS industry verticals – the new investment vehicle is targeting investment in a total of 16 companies to comprise its portfolio by the end of 2022.
The $100m fund is set to be the largest fund in CEE with a long-term investment time horizon of up to 10 years. The fund will deploy up to $15m per company and will typically acquire a stake of 10-15% in a given company.
OTB’s mission is to empower entrepreneurs to scale their businesses globally, while keeping a strong focus on technology advancement. It focuses on start-ups with unique IP and disruptive ideas in every technology domain with strong regional footprint across CEE. OTB invests in companies at the post-product stage with demonstrated revenue streams, as well as potential for high growth and willingness to scale up internationally.
OTB has a proven track record as an adviser, supporting the expansion of portfolio companies to international markets with the highest technology consumption. The fund has already invested in 8 companies, including Cosmose, SpaceKnow, Silent Eight, Minit, BabbleLabs, Segron, FintechOS and ICEYE.
ICEYE is OTB’s largest investment to date, with $10m committed in May 2018. The business produces and develops novel micro satellites used to capture images of the Earth and is considered to be among the biggest breakthroughs in the European space industry to date.
In November 2019, OTB invested $5m in FintechOS, a digital platform for financial institutions for creating front-end digital products. FintechOS provides one of a few low-code platforms digitising customer-facing processes for financial institutions and is currently expanding its offering for European clients to Asia.
The launch of the OTB fund reaffirms the company’s commitment to early growth market and the start-up ecosystem in CEE, as well as support for the next generation of innovative entrepreneurs. OTB has previously co-invested with leading international venture capital funds, including DNX, Draper Associates, Wavemaker Partners and True Ventures, as well as corporate venture capital investors, such as Intel Capital, Dell Technologies Capital, Samsung Next, Salesforce Ventures and Standard Chartered Ventures.
Adam Niewiński, Managing Partner and co-founder at OTB Ventures, said: “We are grateful for this backing from new and existing investors who share our vision to develop the start-up ecosystem in Central and Eastern Europe. Our deep market knowledge and investment experience proved to be central to the successful international expansion of our portfolio companies. As the largest VC fund in the region investing in post-product and revenue-generating technology companies, we are excited to be able to support more entrepreneurs with investment and guidance on their journey towards building successful and sustainable businesses for the long-term.”
Marcin Hejka, Managing Partner and co-founder at OTB Ventures, said: “We believe in companies with strong technological capabilities and global aspirations. Central and Eastern Europe is a cradle of talented engineers and IT specialists, pioneering innovative companies. We see a huge investment potential in these companies with up-and-running products and initial business traction in international markets. The purpose of our fund is to discover, develop and realise this potential on a global scale.”
Alain Godard, EIF Chief Executive, said: “Our core objective is to support highly innovative small businesses across Europe and in particular start-ups and companies at the scale-up stage of their development. We are excited to work with OTB Ventures to provide funding for aspiring technology businesses and foster entrepreneurship and innovation across Central and Eastern Europe. OTB already have 8 successful investments under their belt and we are confident that they are well positioned to meet the strong demand for equity among later-stage businesses in the CEE region.“