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Funding in CEE report - 1Q 2021
21 April 2021·14 min read

Konrad Koncerewicz

Head of VC & Startups, Vestbee

VC Funding In CEE Report - 1Q 2021

In this report, we have included the disclosed VC rounds that have been made public before the end of the 1Q 2021 or provided by our VC & startup community. It does not include grants and transactions below €50k. Additionally, although we’re always happy to see startups operating in CEE, we have decided to focus only on companies that originate from CEE, self-identify as CEE companies or there is a significant presence of the CEE founder.

Sources: Vestbee VC & startup community, startup press releases, web & social media monitoring, Crunchbase, PFR (Polish Development Fund), BVCA (Bulgarian Private Equity and Venture Capital Association).

Startup investment rounds in CEE in 1Q 2021

> Number of funding rounds: 160 
> The biggest disclosed investment round:  UiPath - Series F - €623M, Rohlik - Series B - €190M, Rimac-Automobili - Venture series - €70M,  Gtmhub - Series B - €25M, Tylko - Series C - €22M
> Total value of funding closed  in CEE: over €1B*
> Countries with the majority of funding rounds: Poland - 94 rounds, Estonia - 17 rounds
> The most active VC fund: Early Game Ventures, 70Ventures, Gapminder VC, Simple Capital, Startup Wise Guys, Netrix Ventures.
> The most appreciated industries: Healthcare, Robotics, AI, Advertising, Cleantech, E-commerce, Delivery services, Automotive, Fintech and Security.

*15 rounds undisclosed in terms of transaction value

In the 1st quarter of 2021, 160 investment rounds were closed in Central and Eastern Europe, while only 71 were fully disclosed in terms of amount, month, participating investors and company details. According to fully disclosed data, 32 funding rounds took place in January, 29 in February and 20 in March. During the first two months of the new year, the number of transactions remained at a similar level - 32 in January and 29 in February. However, February was much more abundant in terms of amounts of investments that reached an astonishing amount of over €670M mainly thanks to the huge round of Romanian unicorn - UiPath, which secured €623M. In the last month of 1Q 2021 - March, startups raised over €350M during 20 funding rounds thanks to impressive investment into Czech Rohlik, which secured €190M during the series B round. The total value of investments (including the value of undisclosed ones) reached over €1B.  

The most active countries in terms of the majority of funding rounds in Q1 were Poland and Estonia, which secured 94 and 17 rounds respectively. Once again, the Polish ecosystem has shown its strength and wealth in interesting startups and the multitude of investors, which allowed it to achieve a 40% increase in the number of transactions compared to the same period last year. These countries also left their mark on the total funding obtained in CEE - Polish and Estonian startups secured over €90M, which shows the enormous strength and development opportunities of these ecosystems. Nor can we forget about the share of Romania and its UiPath, which made the volume of financing exceed €1B in Q1 2021 in the region. The Czech Republic and Croatia are also worth distinguishing thanks to attracting an impressive amount of investments - €207M and €72M respectively. Among other popular countries in terms of the number of investments secured were Lithuania and Bulgaria. 

Considering sectors, in the first quarter funds were mainly invested into Healthcare, Robotics, Advertising, AI, Cleantech, E-commerce, Delivery services, Automotive, Fintech and Security while the most active investors were Early Game Ventures, 70Ventures, Gapminder VC, Simple Capital, Startup Wise Guys and Netrix Ventures.

Take a look at CEE startup and VC market analysis from the 1Q 2020. 

Now let’s move to an overview of monthly analysis. The summary overview was prepared based on fully disclosed investment rounds (startup name, month of investment closure, amount, participating investors).

Investment rounds in March

> Number of funding rounds: 20
> The biggest investment rounds: Rohlik - Series B - €190M, Rimac-Automobili - Venture series - €70M,  Tylko - Series C - €22M
> Total value of funding secured in CEE: over €350M 
> Countries with the majority of funding rounds: Poland - 6 rounds, Estonia - 4, Romania - 4
> The most active VC fund: Netrix Ventures, Simple Capital, PortfoLion Capital Partners, Startup Wise Guys.
> The most appreciated industries: Delivery services, E-commerce, Automotive, Big Data.

March was not particularly rich in the number of funding rounds, but the amount of financing obtained by startups this month exceeded the value of €350M secured during 20 rounds. In March Poland was the leader with 6 rounds, followed closely by Estonia and Romania with 4 rounds each. The biggest investment rounds were secured by Rohlik, Rimac-Automobili and Tylko, which attracted €190M, €70M and €22M, respectively. Among the most active VC funds were Polish Nettix Ventures, Romanian Simple Capital, Hungarian PortfoLion Capital Partners and Estonian Startup Wise Guys, whereas among the top areas that attracted investors’ attention were Delivery Services, E-commerce, Big Data, and Automotive.

Find out more: TOP CEE Funding Rounds Closed in March

Investment rounds in February

> Number of funding rounds: 29
> The biggest investment round: UiPath - Series F - €623M, Katana - Series A - €9.2M, CGTrader - Series B - €8M
> Total value of funding secured this in CEE: over €670M
> Countries with the majority of funding rounds: Estonia - 9 rounds, Poland - 5 rounds
> The most active VC fund: Startup Wise Guys - in terms of number of financing rounds, Coatue, Alkeon Capital, Altimeter Capital, Dragoneer, IVP, Sequoia Capital, Tiger Global, T. Rowe Price, Atomico and Evli Growth Partners - in terms of leading the biggest investment rounds of UiPath, Katana and CGTrader respectively.
> The most appreciated industries: Advertising, Robotics, Enterprise software, AI and Financial Services.

February was very similar to January in terms of the number of funding rounds secured (29 in February and 32 in January) but the total funding allocated on the market within the CEE region in February exceeded an impressive amount of €670M. The biggest funding rounds were secured by Romanian UiPath with its series F round of €670M, Estonian Katana with series A of €9.2M, and Lithuanian CGTrader with its series B of €8M.  Estonia was leading in terms of the majority of funding rounds secured by landing 9 out of 29 funding rounds, but it was Romania who overtook everyone in terms of the amount of funding obtained this month. VC funds generally maintained a similar level of activity, while Coatue, Alkeon Capital, Altimeter Capital, Dragoneer, IVP, Sequoia Capital, Tiger Global, T. Rowe Price, Atomico and Evli Growth Partners are worth distinguishing due to their leading position in investments into companies securing the biggest rounds. Among the most appreciated industries were Robotics, Advertising, Enterprise software, AI and Financial Services.

Find out more: TOP CEE Funding Rounds Closed in February

Investment rounds in January

> Number of funding rounds: 32
> The biggest investment round: Gtmhub - Series B - €25M, Twisto - Series C - €16M, Affise - Series A - €6.7M
> Total value of funding secured in CEE: over €55M
> Countries with the majority of funding rounds: Estonia - 6 rounds, Lithuania - 5
> The most active VC fund: Movens Capital, Startup Wise Guys, 70Ventures, Early Game Ventures, Gapminder VC, Netrix Ventures.
> The most appreciated industries: AI, FinTech, Advertising, E-commerce, Legal Tech.

January was the most abundant month in the 1st quarter in terms of the number of investment rounds, while the total value of funding secured by CEE startups exceeded €55M. Top investment rounds were allocated to Czech Twisto - €16M series C round, Lithuanian Affise with its series A of €6.7M and Bulgarian Gtmhub with its series B round of €25M. Estonian, Lithuanian, and Bulgarian startups also recorded the highest number of investments securing 6, 5 and 5 rounds respectively. AI, FinTech, Advertising, E-commerce and Legal Tech were the most popular courses of investment in January, while among the most active investors were Movens Capital, Startup Wise Guys, 70 Ventures, Early Game Ventures, Gapminder VC and Netrix Ventures.

Find out more: TOP CEE Funding Rounds Closed in January

Want to explore funded startups? Let’s take a look at a quick overview of Top 50 CEE startups that had their funding rounds closed between January and March!

Top 50 CEE startup funding rounds closed in 1Q 2021:

  • Rohlik Czech online supermarket with the fastest delivery in the city is well-known for good service and high customers’ satisfaction.
  • UiPath - Romanian software company developing robotic process automation and artificial intelligence software.
  • Rimac Automobili - Croatian technology powerhouse, manufacturing electric hypercars and providing full technology solutions to global automotive manufacturers.
  • Tylko - Polish direct-to-customer furniture startup that allows its clients to order shelves based on mass customization offering AR-powered mobile app.
  • Twisto - Czech cash flow management platform allowing its customers to buy the product now and pay for it later which helps to manage the cash flow more efficiently.
  • SEON. Fraud Fighters - Hungarian fraud prevention platform providing companies with a tool for fighting fake accounts and cutting chargebacks.
  • Codecool - Hungarian online platform providing programming courses, developing individual tech skills and connecting businesses around the world with digital experts.
  • Natufia Labs - Estonian startup from the health and wellness industry making it possible to grow food to scale all products right at home.
  • Airly - Polish cleantech startup providing knowledge about air quality by building the biggest air monitoring system in the world with a real-time analytics platform.
  • Saleor Commerce - Polish e-commerce platform delivering a dynamic and personalized shopping experience.
  • Gtmhub - Bulgarian-USA startup that helps companies align strategy and execution by providing OKRs management platform with 150+ data integrations.
  • DRUID - Romanian startup developing an AI-powered chatbot platform that allows its customers to reduce time consumption, costs and enhance the user experience.
  • Alium Finance - Estonian decentralized AMM Exchange with multi-blockchain option attracting to new and promising technologies with a special focus on NFTs.
  • Ubraniadooddania - is a Polish startup believing that the assumptions of the circular economy are not only catchy phrases, therefore, they offer the possibility of recycling clothes.
  • ZELF - Latvian fintech startup providing access to all the basic banking operations via most popular communication apps.
  • Gymsteer - Polish startup that makes it easier for people to stay active through one platform, wherever they are by enabling an integrated software solution and payment models for clubs, personal trainers, companies and users.
  • Binalyze - Estonian cyber-security startup developing enterprise digital forensics and incident response software.
  • Halo Diagnostics  - Bulgarian - USA startup is a rapid growth technology company that creates life-changing patient insights and outcomes in radiology.
  • Orqa - Croatian technology company developing First Person View and Remote Reality solutions for remotely operated drones and autonomous vehicles.
  • Questo - Romanian leading platform for city exploration games dedicated to both travelers and locals to discover the city in unordinary ways.
  • Vue Storefront - Polish startup offering front-end as a service solution for e-commerce companies that allows customers to improve their site’s performance company.
  • Plenti - Polish startup allowing game players to borrow many electronic devices and test them out before making final purchase.
  • Arf - Estonian company offers cutting-edge payment rails technology coupled with its easy-to-deploy API enabling instant international payouts & settlements for both regulated and unregulated enterprises.
  • Jeff - Latvian fintech connecting borrowers and lending institutions making financing accessible for everyone.
  • Pergamin - Polish SaaS tool enabling customers to create, manage, negotiate and sign contracts or any documents in one place.
  • HiPets - Polish all-in-one, SaaS marketplace for pet parents allowing them to arrange an appointment, create a pet profile that monitors its visits history.
  • ONDO Smart Farming Solutions - Bulgarian all-in-one automated platform helping farmers to become more profitable by controlling and automating routine processes.
  • FINQware - a Romanian cloud-based middleware startup operating in the open banking sector. They offer a financial API aggregation platform that connects businesses and their financial service providers.
  • Attention Insight - German startup working on visual attention prediction algorithm based on deep learning.
  • Bookee.ai - Slovakia startup working in the finance sector and offering automated book-keeping entries using AI solution.
  • DigitalKidZ - Bulgarian startup offering STEM educational tools based on storytelling and play to help children learn basic digital skills and coding.
  • PsiBufet - Polish company producing individually-tailored meals for dogs depending on their preferable diet and health condition.
  • Droplet Genomics - Lithuanian startup made of scientists that develop high-throughput analysis and selection tools delivering cutting-edge products and services.
  • CloudTalk - Slovakian smart cloud-based contact center solution that makes its users work more efficiently and boost the satisfaction of their clients.
  • Turbine - Hungarian simulation-driven drug discovery startup delivers targeted cancer therapies to targeted patient populations
  • Biomatter Designs - a Lithuanian startup working in the biotechnology sector. They are creating the technologies for generative protein design at the intersection of synthetic biology and AI.
  • Single.Earth - Estonian platform that trades natural resources as tokenized virtual goods, such as carbon allowance and biodiversity offset.
  • Katana MRP - Estonian inventory and manufacturing software that allows you to track materials, get real-time updates, make automatic inventory adjustments, and much more.
  • Boommio - Lithuanian innovative Digital Marketing Platform for the FMCG sector to boost product visibility, influence purchasing decisions, increase store foot traffic, and capture data of product market performance.
  • U24 Solutions - Estonian software development studio specializing in the development of virtual reality games and software making it available to a wider audience.
  • DaiBau - Slovenian startup creating a construction network connecting adjacent markets and offering full support to investors, developers and construction professionals.
  • Safeway FX2 - Polish company developing a solution for maintaining the security of transported goods.
  • Miluu - Romanian startup, which has developed an online platform that digitizes the apartment rental process.
  • Sensus Septima - Estonian Intelligent Decision Support Software that provides right info to the right people at the right time.
  • Goldilock - Czech startup redefining how sensitive digital data is handled by individuals and institutions.
  • CGTrader - Lithuanian startup providing 3D visualization solution that enables to transform 2D product images into photorealistic 3D models with different complexity and scales.
  • Affise - Lithuanian management platform supported by intelligent and protected technology allows advertisers and agencies to automate and scale their partner relations via all possible performance marketing channels.
  • Hyperhuman - Romanian AI-powered mobile app that helps trainers to create and monetize personalized video content online.
  • Trisbee - Czech startup offering an app for free and safe cashless payment for businesses.
  • HearMe  - Polish startup offering online psychological support from psychotherapists with a business background for employees.


*If you have some insights about the report, drop me a line!

Want to get the more detailed view on the CEE Startup & VC Scene in 1Q 2020?

Discover our monthly reports:
TOP CEE funding rounds closed in January
TOP CEE funding rounds closed in February
TOP CEE funding rounds closed in March

Sources: Vestbee VC & startup community, startup press releases, web & social media monitoring, Crunchbase, PFR (Polish Development Fund).


Related Posts:

VC Funding in CEE Report - 2020 (by Konrad Koncerewicz, Community Builder, Vestbee)

VC Funding in CEE Report - 4Q 2020 (by Konrad Koncerewicz, Community Builder, Vestbee)

VC Funding in CEE Report - 3Q 2020 (by Konrad Koncerewicz, Community Builder, Vestbee)



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