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weekly news by
16 October 2023·7 min read

Sofia Drobychevskaya

VC & Startup Weekly News, October 7 - 13, 2023

Exciting news for startups, investors and business angels:

The fifth Engaged Investments conference, organized by the DEPO Ventures, will take place at the Kaiserstein Palace in Prague on October 24-25th. The conference will bring two days filled with inspiring lectures, discussions, opportunities to meet and network with prominent startup investors, and other engaging experiences. The international headliners include US investor and mentor Marvin Liao, Irish tech entrepreneur and business angel of the year 2023, Mary McKenna, and British investor Keith Grose, an experienced startup operator. They will be joined by renowned investors from Central and Eastern Europe and the Baltics. The conference enjoys a wide ecosystem support, including VC partners like J&T Ventures, Presto Ventures, OTB Ventures, Baltic Sandbox, and Credo Ventures.

The first day will focus on startups, showcasing portfolio companies and hosting the Startup World Cup regional finale. The second day is dedicated to investors, featuring discussions and workshops on investment trends and opportunities in the region.

For more information about the conference, please visit the website.

Notable Funding Rounds across the EU:

New Venture Funds:

  • The European Investment Fund (EIF) has launched the RRF Equity Fund of Funds, aiming to provide innovative Bulgarian companies with access to equity financing. The fund has three windows: Innovation, Growth, and Infrastructure, with a total budget of up to €162M.
  • Stockholm-based Luminar Ventures has closed its second fund, raising €65M. They're known for backing companies like Mindler and Insurely. Luminar Ventures focuses on AI, sustainability, and fintech startups.
  • Barcelona-based Grow Venture Partners is launching a second fund of €50-60M to support deep tech projects emerging from universities and research centers. The fund aims to invest in around 30 startups in quantum computing, AI, robotics, energy, and IoT technologies,, mobilizing between €500M and €1B and generating over 2k jobs.
  • Spanish-Israeli venture capital firm Swanlaab has launched an Agri-Food Tech-focused venture capital fund with an initial capital of over €40M. The fund seeks to invest in technological innovation addressing challenges in agriculture, food processing, logistics, and retail.
  • Berlin-based Vireo Ventures has received a €20M commitment from the European Investment Fund (EIF). The fund focuses on early-stage technologies that accelerate the digitization and electrification of energy systems. It aims to invest in startups driving digitalization, monitoring, and management of energy systems.

Startup Funding Rounds & Acquisitions:

  • Estonian green hydrogen startup Elcogen has secured a €45M strategic investment from South Korean HD Hyundai Group.
  • Greek database startup TileDB has raised $34M in its Series B with notable investors AlleyCorp, Lockheed Martin, Intel Capital, and Big Pi Ventures. TileDB specializes in a universal data engine that allows users to access, analyze, and share complex data flexibly.
  • Polish company TransactionLink secured €5M in a seed round led by White Star Capital. TransactionLink simplifies and automates business onboarding processes, significantly reducing costs and time.
  • Estonian agritech startup Paul-Tech, focusing on real-time insights to enhance soil management, has raised €1.4M in a seed round. The funding was led by Estonian fund Superangel.
  • The Tallinn-based firm Cino has just raised over €1.4M which includes participation from Tera Ventures, APX, and Atomico Syndicate.
  • Estonian logistics platform MyDello has secured €1.25M led by Superhero Capital for expansion into Finland and the Netherlands. Startup simplifies choosing between various transportation options, including air, rail, ocean, or road freight.
  • Lithuanian green loans platform HeavyFinance secured a €1M from Mantas Mikuckas, Vinted co-founder.The company aims to generate 250k carbon credits by end of 2024 and remove 1 gigaton of CO2 emissions by 2050.
  • Ukrainian startup ComeBack Mobility, creators of smart crutch tips, has secured a $500k investment from ZAS Syndicate, part of ZAS Ventures Group. Startup aims to aid weight-bearing control after lower limb injuries.
  • Estonian biotech Gearbox Biosciences has secured €380K led by Specialist VC and UniTartu Ventures, the investment arm of the University of Tartu. Startup has developed technology enabling antibiotic-free protein production.
  • Lithuanian mental health SaaS marketplace Tokitus has raised €125K in a pre-seed round from Latvian private investor network Venture Faculty. Tokitus connects therapists globally, managing calendars, reservations, and payments.
  • Polish pop-up phone widget developer CallPage has acquired LiveCall, its largest competitor in the Polish market, establishing Poland as a global leader in automatic callback tools.
  • Polish medtech IQ Biozoom is securing a funding round led by VC Link, with the amount undisclosed. The startup specializes in non-invasive body monitoring technology, particularly saliva-based biomarker testing.
  • Ukrainian founded web3 platform Paus has been acquired by Latin American streaming service CINDIE. Paus offers technology for streaming and monetizing global film and TV content.

Startup Calls:

  • Join Prague's Engaged Investments conference, organized by DEPO Ventures, is scheduled for October 24-25, 2023. It will feature renowned investors like Marvin Liao, Mary McKenna, and Keith Grose. The event aims to foster networking and knowledge sharing among investors in Central and Eastern Europe. The first day will focus on startups, showcasing portfolio companies and hosting the Startup World Cup regional finale. The second day is dedicated to investors, featuring discussions and workshops on investment trends and opportunities in the region.
  • Join Buildit, a leading IoT and Hardware accelerator in Latvia, offering a comprehensive 4-month program tailored for startups in the hardware and IoT, mobility, productivity, smart living, energy, health-tech space. The program includes invaluable mentorship, office hours with investors, and visits to manufacturing sites. Eligible startups can receive pre-seed and seed funding. If your startup has a working prototype, a team with relevant experience, and a scalable business model, apply before October 31, 2023
  • Estonian accelerator Startup Wise Guys has launched its Fourth Sustainability Acceleration Program, inviting ten early-stage B2B sustainability startups to apply before January 18, 2024. Selected startups can receive up to €120k in convertible investment, with a potential €250k follow-on. The program offers mentorship, workshops, and networking opportunities with experts in sustainability, aiming to support startups working in areas like climate-smart and regenerative agriculture, circular economy, and sustainable land management.
  • Apply now for the IDA Bootcamp's autumn edition, connecting startups with the Ministry of National Defense and PGZ Stocznia Wojenna. The deadline is October 17, 2023. IDA focuses on advancing dual-use technologies, fostering partnerships, and aiding capital acquisition for technology companies. Join to accelerate your technology and engage with potential customers and investors, taking a significant step forward in your startup journey.

Related Posts:

VC & Startup Weekly News, September 30 - October 6, 2023 (by Sofia Drobychevskaya, Editor, Vestbee)

VC & Startup Weekly News, September 23 - 29, 2023 (by Sofia Drobychevskaya, Editor, Vestbee)

VC & Startup Weekly News From CEE, September 16 - 22, 2023 (by Sofia Drobychevskaya, Editor, Vestbee)


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