#7 CEE Venture Rounds Review DEC’20

Marcin Szelag
Jan 21 · 3 min read

on the 3rd of July’20 I’ve shared with you the first Rounds Review for announced VC rounds in CEE. I started with this primer. The goal was simple. I wanted to learn more about investing in CEE. I thought that the best way to do that is to look at companies who raised venture funding. I started tracking rounds I could find in public databases.

Each month from June until now I’ve shared with you some basic stats on funding in CEE. I tried to comment on the things I thought were interesting. If you are interested in what has happened in the last six month, you can visit the following posts July, August, September, October, November.

Some of you have reached out with comments. Others shared their insights and suggestions. Your input was helpful — thank you.

Before I dive into December, I would like to share with you some learnings I picked up along the way:

1. CEE is a very diverse ecosystem. I have counted roughly 800 different investors who participated in ~560 funding rounds. Hiventures is by far the most active investor in the region. Startup Wise Guys are also at the top of the list. Most funds invest locally.

2. CEE is definitely on the radar of established Series A funds. Atomico, Index, Balderton, Creandum, Northzone, Lakestar all invested here in the last 6 months. To make it even more competitive, A16Z and Battery were also able to deploy capital in CEE based companies. The quality of these brands speaks for itself. I think we can tick the box with “great companies can be founded and funded anywhere”.

3. Getting into “hot deals” is becoming more competitive. I have noticed an increased density of ecosystems in Estonia and Poland. Definitely more money, probably chasing the same number of triple A founders. I assume that competition will only increase as more international investors will start investing at seed or even pre-seed in the region. Building strong relationships with the best founders will be crucial to secure a seat at the table. Merxu, Saleor, Lokalise, Reface are only some of the highly competitive deals of the last few months.

4. Even with the pandemic in full swing, we have seen a number of mega-rounds. Bolt, Brainly, Skeleton raised tens of millions of Euros. There were also many sub €10M rounds. It is great to see that the region is attracting later stage financing but still most rounds were less than €2M. CEE companies are mostly raising pre-seed and seed rounds. We need to wait and see how many of these convert into Series As.

#DEC’20 Here is a snippet of the most important numbers:

📣 39 rounds announced (highest number in the last 6 months)
💰 ~ €255M raised (all rounds converted into EUR)
🚀 We have seen two mega rounds. Bolt raised €150M, Brainly raised €65M.
🌍 A16Z, TQ Ventures, Prosus Ventures were among some of the international investors active this month.
🇭🇺 Hungary was the most active country again! This time with 12 rounds. Hiventures continues to be the most active investor in the region.

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The lists keep getting longer and it is harder to screenshot. If you would like to get access to the original Google Sheet leave a comment or write me.

📣 If you would like to discuss any of the data points — please reach out.

#goodreads

• Cobin Angels published their remarks on the State of European Tech and what it means for Poland

• Sarah Drinkwater (ex Head of Campus London) shares her thoughts on Atomico’s Angel Program

• Andre Retterath laid out the Future of VC -> most insightful post I’ve read so far on data-driven sourcing

Notes from Innovation Nest

Innovation Nest is a Early Stage VC firm that invest in…

Marcin Szelag

Written by

I’m a Partner at Innovation Nest, a seed VC fund focused on B2B Software. Helping SaaS founders with growth strategies and tactics.

Notes from Innovation Nest

Innovation Nest is a Early Stage VC firm that invest in European B2B Software companies.

Marcin Szelag

Written by

I’m a Partner at Innovation Nest, a seed VC fund focused on B2B Software. Helping SaaS founders with growth strategies and tactics.

Notes from Innovation Nest

Innovation Nest is a Early Stage VC firm that invest in European B2B Software companies.

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