Inside Inovo
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Inside Inovo

💰The ultimate map of the Polish funding ecosystem — 2022 edition

Analysis by: Krzysztof Przybylak, Investment Associate at Inovo Venture Partners

Foreword by: Tomasz Swieboda, Co-founder and Partner at Inovo Venture Partners

Last update: June 27, 2022

Two years ago we published a map of the Polish funding ecosystem (you can find it here). Since then, a lot has changed in the market:

  1. In 2021 we hit a record high! Polish and international VCs participated in 424 rounds, resulting in EUR 793M (PLN 3.6B) total funding (70% YoY growth!) → details here.
  2. If that wasn’t enough, Q1’22 was a record quarter — EUR 250.7M (PLN 1.16B) was invested in Polish startups, almost as high as in all of 2019 → details here.
  3. Approximately 100 new international VCs have started to invest in Poland → details below.

Seeing those numbers and bearing in mind that we are facing uncertain times, we decided to update our map, hoping that we will once again help startups of all industries and sizes get the most out of their fundraising.

Currently, there are approx. 200 active VCs and CVCs in Poland (+/- 100 new international VCs since our last map):

  • 66 active local VCs
    (“active” — meaning that they made an investment in 2020 and beyond → 01/2020–06/2022)
  • 128 foreign VCs that recently invested in a Polish company
    (“recently” — meaning within the timeframe mentioned above)
  • and at least 9 CVCs

The number of active investors almost doubled.

This jump was mostly noticed among international VCs → 97 new foreign investors were added to the list.

A few examples of rounds raised by Polish startups with the world’s tier-1 VCs include:

  • Uncapped partnered with Lakestar, GFC, White Star Capital
  • Ramp got backed by Balderton Capital, NFX, Seedcamp
  • VueStorefront raised from Earlybird, and Creandum
  • Spacelift secured funding from Blossom Capital and Insight Partners
  • And Zowie raised from 10x Founders, Gradient Ventures and Tiger Global

Most of the VCs that we have found are focused on Pre-Seed / Seed level, as illustrated on the map below.

The European Investment Fund (EIF) so far has invested in 5 VCs in Poland (this hasn’t changed since our last funding map) — we are happy to be in this elite group of VCs.

Here📗 you can find a google spreadsheet with the full list of the funds💸

You may notice that some of the names were actually excluded from the list. That’s because we want to present only the most relevant data, and a VC that made an investment in Poland 6 or 7 years ago doesn’t quite meet that criteria. Hence, A16Z, Bessemer, Index Ventures and 22 other VCs and CVCs are no longer on our map.

…at least 52 good Business Angels…

A good BA, just like a good VC, should bring in three important assets to the table: 1) knowledge and experience, 2) network, 3) money.

There are plenty of Angels to choose from, but those 52 definitely deliver on the things mentioned above. We know all of them personally and have worked with most.

You will find a list of the top 52 Business Angels👼 worth knowing here📗 (2nd tab of the spreadsheet).

…34 accelerators for the earliest startups…

For all of those who are just starting their entrepreneurial journey, it might be useful to check out accelerator programmes. Apart from the world-renowned accelerators like YCombinator or Techstars, there are also many local options that are worth looking into.

Here📗 is a list of 34 accelerators🚀 you should consider (3rd tab of the spreadsheet).

…8 venture builders…

When one thinks of venture building, the name that immediately pops up is Rocket Internet. So far no other company has matched the Samwer brothers’ success, but there are many interesting projects which are worth a closer look. For instance, Vue Storefront, a startup that raised ∼$19M in VC funding, actually originates from Divante. That’s why we decided to include those “startup factories” in our map this year.

Here📗 is a list of 8 venture builders 🚀 you should consider (4th tab of the spreadsheet).

…and 3 matching programmes!

Another new category on the list is Matching Programmes. Those are places where you can apply if you want to find a co-founder or clarify your business idea. Polish founders have worked with two such projects. For now, the list is short, but it will probably grow. Let us know if you have heard about other good programmes for founder-wannabes!

Here📗 is a list of 3 matching programmes 🚀 you should consider (5th tab of the spreadsheet).

Here are the high-quality images 🎨:

If you think that you should be included in the list or if you know anyone who should be listed above, don’t be afraid to comment below or on our LinkedIn!

For the purposes of this blog post, we define active VCs in Poland as funds that are Poland-based and we know that they are in the investment phase or non-Poland-based funds that have made investments in Poland in the past 2.5 years (01/2020–06/2022).

Thanks to Paweł Maj, who recently wrote about “+100 Polish startups with foreign VCs”. Data from his blog post was also used in our map.

Many thanks for helping to: Oliwia Dusińska, Magdalena Zawisza and Michal Bachmacz.

Last but not least, a huge thank you to Krzysztof Przybylak, who was in charge of this map.

Inovo Venture Partners is a first-choice VC for ambitious founders from Poland and the CEE region. We back early-stage, post-traction startups with up to €3M of initial investment, and help them build global brands while driving growth of the local startup ecosystem. We take great pride in being close to top founders who think big. We’re investors in: Booksy, Infermedica, Spacelift, Tidio, AI Clearing, Zowie, Jutro Medical, Intiaro, Packhelp, Preply, Eyerim, Allset, SunRoof, Archbee, AhoyConnect, and uPacjenta. Our second fund reached a total of €54M.

For more information visit: inovo.vc

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Tomasz Swieboda

Tomasz Swieboda

Managing Partner @ Inovo Venture Partners. Ex-Penta and ex-Rotschild, 10+ years investment experience, including early stage investments since 2012.