Venture capital firm OTB launches early growth fund for CEE tech start-ups

Venture capital fund OTB Ventures has launched an early growth technology fund worth 100 million US dollars with the intention of investing in early stage, post-product, start-ups in the CEE region, spanning cyber security, big data and AI, fintech, IoT and robotics, as well as cloud and SaaS industry verticals.

The new vehicle, backed by the European Investment Fund (EIF), is targeting investment in a total of 16 companies by the end of 2022.

OTB’s previous investments include Cosmose, SpaceKnow, Silent Eight, Minit, BabbleLabs and Iceye – its largest investment to date, at 10 million US dollars. The Polish-Finnish Iceye produces and develops novel micro satellites used to capture images of the Earth and is considered to be among the biggest breakthroughs in the European space industry to date.

“We are grateful for this backing from new and existing investors who share our vision to develop the start-up ecosystem in Central and Eastern Europe,” said Adam Niewiński, one of OTB’s managing partners and a co-founder. “Our deep market knowledge and investment experience proved to be central to the successful international expansion of our portfolio companies. As the largest VC fund in the region investing in post-product and revenue-generating technology companies, we are excited to be able to support more entrepreneurs with investment and guidance on their journey towards building successful and sustainable businesses for the long-term.”

The launch of the OTB fund reaffirms the company’s commitment to early growth market and the start-up ecosystem in CEE, as well as support for the next generation of innovative entrepreneurs. OTB has previously co-invested with leading international venture capital funds, including  DNX, Draper Associates, Wavemaker Partners and True Ventures, as well as corporate venture capital investors, such as Intel Capital, Dell Technologies Capital, Samsung Next, Salesforce Ventures and Standard Chartered Ventures.

“We believe in companies with strong technological capabilities and global aspirations. Central and Eastern Europe is a cradle of talented engineers and IT specialists, and pioneering innovative companies. We see a huge investment potential in these companies with up-and-running products and initial business traction in international markets. The purpose of our fund is to discover, develop and realise this potential on a global scale,” added Marcin Hejka, managing partner and co-founder at OTB Ventures.

EIF Chief Executive Alain Godard said: “Our core objective is to support highly innovative small businesses across Europe and in particular start-ups and companies at the scale-up stage of their development. We are excited to work with OTB Ventures to provide funding for aspiring technology businesses and foster entrepreneurship and innovation across Central and Eastern Europe. OTB already have eight successful investments under their belt and we are confident that they are well positioned to meet the strong demand for equity among later-stage businesses in the CEE region.”

In November 2019, OTB invested five million US dollars in FintechOS, a digital platform for financial institutions for creating front-end digital products. FintechOS provides one of a few low-code platforms digitising customer-facing processes for financial institutions and is currently expanding its offering for European clients to Asia.