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11 September 2023·10 min read

Sofia Drobychevskaya

VC & Startup Weekly News, September 2 - 8, 2023

Notable Funding Rounds across EU:

  • Norway -based Strise, an anti-money laundering (AML) intelligence startup, has raised €10M in a Series A funding round led by Atomico. Startup develops AI-powered solutions to help banks and financial institutions combat financial crimes and adhere to complex regulations effectively.
  • Ostrom, a Berlin-based company, focusing on advancing Europe's green energy transition, raised €7.5M in an investment led by SE Ventures. Startup providing green electricity with flexible monthly tariffs, real-time energy monitoring, and electric vehicle charging integration.
  • Danish startup Rig.dev has raised €2M in a pre-seed funding round. Rig.dev offers an open-source platform that enables developers to focus more on coding user-facing elements, saving time and maintaining control over projects.

New Venture Funds:

  • Antler, an early-stage VC firm, launched its second Nordic€150M fund. Antler will invest in tech from pre-seed to Series A startups across Sweden, Norway, and Denmark and plans to enter Finland in 2024. Nearly 40% of Antler's Nordics-backed startups focus on positive social or environmental impacts.
  • Budapest-based EIT InnoEnergy has raised over €140M. The funding will support its portfolio companies in the clean tech and energy innovation sectors, with a goal to reduce 2.1B tonnes of CO2e by 2030. The portfolio includes three unicorn companies and has raised €9.7B in total investments.
  • The London-based Air Street Capital has launched a $121M Fund II to support early-stage AI-first startups. Air Street Capital's first fund invested in 19 AI-first technology and life science companies across North America and Europe. The firm aims to promote openness and knowledge-sharing in the AI community, advocate for improved policies, and strengthen the technology ecosystem.
  • Berlin-based climate tech venture capital firm, World Fund secured over €50M in funding. Their investments aim to support European startups in renewable energy, sustainable agriculture, and environmental technologies.
  • Lisbon-based Apex has launched a €50M Elite Performance Fund, backed by star athletes like Lando Norris, Raphaël Varane, and others. This fund will focus on investments in the sports, media, and entertainment sectors. Notable targets for the fund include Tmrw Sports, PlaySight, and ScorePlay.
  • Unconventional Ventures, a Copenhagen-based venture capital firm, is nearing a €30M fund close to support early-stage startups in Europe led by underrepresented founders. Their focus areas include climatetech, healthtech, edtech, and fintech. LPs in the fund include Atomico, EIFO, Investinor, and others.  Some of their previous investments include Leia Health, Climate X, and Equality Check.
  • Polish VC firm Black Pearls VC achieved a 3.16x return on investment with the exit of Solwit, which was acquired by ALTEN Group. This successful exit is part of Black Pearls VC's track record, which includes four profitable exits in the last two years.

Startup Funding Rounds & Acquisitions:

  • Hungarian-based Commsignia, a V2X solutions provider, has secured $15M in a Series B led by PortfoLion Capital Partners, Inventure, Day One Capital, and Inference Partners. The startup collaborates with global automakers like Volkswagen, Audi, and Ford.
  • Latvian adtech Monetizr raises $4M from Change Ventures, Techstars, and Ludus Ventures to enhance mobile games advertising and integrate brand storytelling into games. Clients include Procter & Gamble and Voodoo Games. 
  • Estonian EV charging startup VOOL has raised €2.9M led by Specialist VC. VOOL provides EV charging solutions for businesses and individuals, optimizing charging for cost-efficiency, saving up to 90% on charging costs.
  • Sofia-based biotech company Nasekomo receives €2.5M in grant to establish an insect farm network. They rear Black Soldier Fly species to produce protein, oil, and fertilizer, aiming to combat overfishing and cut carbon emissions by 430k tons annually.
  • Lithuanian aerospace startup WeSky raised €1.1M from Coinvest Capital, Baltic Sandbox Ventures, Notarc Management Group, and LitBAN angel investors. WeSky develops lightweight, sustainable in-seat power systems for commercial aircraft, contributing to reduced emissions and operational costs for airlines.
  • Polish medtech MediSensonic secured €716k through a Series D share issue. The company specializes in innovative medical solutions - the world's first fully non-invasive device for glucose monitoring for non-invasive tooth pulp testing. 
  • Croatian fintech startup BE-ON has secured €700k from Feelsgood. BE-ON specializes in helping individuals with blocked banking accounts and acts as a credit mediator, aiding 260 individuals in financial recovery and providing consultancy to 10k Croatian citizens.
  • Estonian space tech KappaZeta raised €480k from Ambient Sound Investments and NATO Cooperative Cyber Defence Centre of Excellence. The company specializes in radar satellite data analysis for agriculture, insurance, forestry, defense, mining, and environmental protection.
  • Ukrainian online reputation management startup Pluspoint has raised $400k from Pragmatech Ventures to expand their services, including adding AI features. Pluspoint helps businesses manage customer reviews on platforms like Google and Facebook.
  • Polish-based Better Egg, a plant-based substitute for scrambled eggs, has received investment from SPINAKER alfa fund. This liquid product mimics the taste and texture of eggs after cooking, catering to vegetarians, vegans, and those with egg allergies.
  • Lithuanian-based Infare, a provider of competitor air travel data, has been acquired by OAG, a global travel data platform. This acquisition strengthens OAG's presence in Lithuania focusing on enhanced air travel intelligence worldwide.

Startup Calls:

  • Amazon Web Services with Vestbee's support launched AWS Emerging Technologies Accelerator - four-week, equity-free, online program dedicated to seed-stage to series A startups operating in emerging technologies across the United Kingdom and Ireland. Apply till October 15th.
  • Prague-based AceON Accelerator is launching its Autumn program, offering early-stage startups up to €70k in investment funds and tailored support.  It aims to help startups develop MVPs and attract initial customers. The program concludes in November/ December 2023 after a selection process and bootcamp. Startups in software and online solutions can apply until September 11.
  • Open Calls for climate tech startups from the Baltic region to join Latvian a pre-accelerator Future Hub Climate, the program offers up to €5k for 10 weeks of support to 8 early-stage teams. Backed by the government, it builds on the existing Future Hub initiative and is supported by Latvia's Investment and Development Agency and Riga City Council. Apply till September 12th
  • Munich-based YZR Capital and the Ukrainian Startup Fund have jointly launched a program to support pre-seed and seed stage healthtech startups, offering investments ranging from €250k to €12.5M per company. Eligible startups in digital medtech, digital health, and digital health services can apply until October 1, 2023
  • Cyprus based Ultra.VC accelerator is inviting  early-stage startups and solo-founders with impactful ideas aligned with themes like health, mindfulness, climate, and social justice. The 12-week program offers tailored support, expert mentoring, up to $35k initial investment, and potential co-investment up to $100k. Application deadline: September 25th.
  • Calling all European space tech startups apply to a 6-month acceleration program organized by the CASSINI Business Accelerator. Startups should have proven commercial traction with the goal to increase your sales and explore new market opportunities. Apply till September 29th.

Events & Summits

  • The New Mobility Congress 2023, the largest sustainable transport conference in CEE, will take place in Łódź, Poland, from September 26 to 28.. The conference covers various aspects of sustainable mobility and attracts stakeholders across the EV value chain, including politicians, policymakers, and industry experts.

August 2023 Update of the Central & Eastern Europe SaaS Index

  • As of the close of August 2023, the median revenue multiple for Central & Eastern Europe (CEE) stood at 4.32 times annual revenue. This figure is only 2% lower than that of July 2023 (4.43x) but represents a slight increase from the end of 2022 (4.01x). Nevertheless, the CEE median revenue multiple remains significantly below its peak of 6.17x, which was reached in December 2021.
  • In contrast, the United States (US) recorded a median revenue multiple of 6.37 times annual revenue by the end of August 2023. This marks a substantial decrease from July 2023 (7.83x), amounting to a 19% decline. However, it remains a noteworthy ascent from the end of 2022 (5.64x). The US median revenue multiple also falls far short of its all-time high of 18.74x, recorded at the end of February 2021.
  • The combined market capitalization of all companies featured in the CEE SaaS Index reached EUR 1.76 billion, displaying consistent growth since the start of the year (EUR 1.43 billion in January).
  • It is evident that revenue multiples in the US are rebounding at a faster rate than those in the CEE region. By the end of 2022, the US revenue multiples were 41% higher than those in the CEE, and this gap has widened to 47% by the end of August 2023. Nevertheless, when examining data from the beginning of 2020, CEE revenue multiples are gradually closing the disparity with the US multiples. In early 2020, the median ARR multiple in the US exceeded that in the CEE by more than 3.5 times (10.22x vs. 2.58x).

The CEE SaaS Index, developed by Vestbee and Warsaw Equity Group, serves as a valuable tool for both startups and investors in evaluating SaaS companies in Central & Eastern Europe. It leverages revenue multiples from publicly traded CEE SaaS businesses. Each month, the CEE SaaS Index is updated, providing a comparative analysis with the BVP Nasdaq Emerging Cloud Index in the US, which tracks the performance of emerging public companies offering cloud software to their customers.

Related Posts:

VC & Startup Weekly News From CEE,  August 26 - September 1, 2023 (by Sofia Drobychevskaya, Editor, Vestbee)

VC & Startup Weekly News From CEE,  August 19 - 25, 2023 (by Sofia Drobychevskaya, Editor, Vestbee)

VC & Startup Weekly News From CEE,  August 12 - 18, 2023 (by Sofia Drobychevskaya, Editor, Vestbee)

VC & Startup Weekly News From CEE,  August 5 - 11, 2023 (by Sofia Drobychevskaya, Editor, Vestbee)

VC & Startup Weekly News From CEE,  July 29 - August 4, 2023 (by Sofia Drobychevskaya, Editor, Vestbee)

VC & Startup Weekly News From CEE,  July 22 - 28, 2023 (by Sofia Drobychevskaya, Editor, Vestbee)

VC & Startup Weekly News From CEE,  July 15 - 21, 2023 (by Sofia Drobychevskaya, Editor, Vestbee)

VC & Startup Weekly News From CEE,  July 8 - 14, 2023 (by Sofia Drobychevskaya, Editor, Vestbee)

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