Made in emerging Europe: Omnipack, Catalyst Romania, AutoVantage

Emerging Europe’s start-up scene is thriving: new money and new ideas are coming onto the market all the time. To keep you up to date with the latest investments, innovations, movers and shakers, each Monday Emerging Europe brings you a round-up of the region’s start-ups which recently closed financing rounds, sealed partnerships, or dropped new innovations.

Omnipack: Fulfilment start-up completes 7.5 million euros seed round

Warsaw-based logistics and fulfilment start-up Omnipack has raised 7.5 million euros following a final venture debt round of two million euros led by Flashpoint.

The funding will finance Omnipack’s further growth and enable it to scale to meet the needs of an ever-expanding e-commerce market. Investments will also be made in enhancing Omnipack’s value proposition of enabling e-commerce businesses to focus on their core competencies instead of logistics and overcome the physical limits of their business growth.

Since its 2017 launch, the start-up already has developed into an operation that serves over 100 international SMB merchants, employs 200 staff and processes thousands of parcels every day. Omnipack also supports clients from a range of industries – primarily supporting D2C brands on cosmetics, supplements, and fashion.

Tomek Kasperski, founder and CEO, Omnipack said: “We offer scalable and reliable operations and technology. Hence, e-commerce players do not need to worry about warehouse space, workforce or capacity planning. We own the whole fulfillment process end-to-end and operate in the full-stack model.”

“It is the only way to provide Amazon-grade experience for our merchants and carry out our mission to let them grow frictionless. Frictionless growth coupled with our location in central Europe, and great shipping rates and lead times makes it a strong value proposition for e-commerce players.”

Catalyst Romania: VC fund closes round at 50 million euros

Catalyst Romania, backed by 3TS Capital Partners, last week announced the closing of its second venture capital fund targeting investments in technology companies.

Thanks to strong demand from institutional and private investors, the original target of 40 million euros was substantially exceeded and the fund reached its hard cap of 50 million euros.

Catalyst Romania Fund II was established with support from the European Investment Fund (EIF), as the cornerstone investor with capital from JEREMIE Romania Reflows and the EU’s InnovFin programme, as well as LP contributions from many other investors.

The fund will provide investments of 1-3 million euros to high-potential technology SME’s from Romania and South Eastern Europe to support their growth objectives and international expansion plans.

Catalyst Romania Fund II has already invested in two companies and three more are in the due diligence phase. The first investment, Seedblink, is a next generation crowd-investing platform and the second investment, Code of Talent, is a leading micro-learning solution dedicated to employee training. The Fund has already built a strong pipeline and the team believes in the continued availability of excellent investment opportunities from the growing start-up ecosystem in Romania and in the region.

“We are excited about the fact that in the final closing we reached the maximum fund size of 50 million euros, which is a testimony to our excellent results with the first fund and a confirmation of our proven investment strategy,” said Marius Ghenea, manager of Catalyst II.

“With the support from our cornerstone investor EIF, we will continue to invest in Romania and in the region to bring strategic value and help early-stage tech companies on their journey to success. We will focus in particular in the technology sector, where our country has significant competitive advantages and great potential.”

AutoVantage: Romanian car buying start-up lists on Rōnin to raise 150,000 euros

AutoVantage, a Romanian platform where new car buyers can compare offers from car dealers all over the country, is the latest start-up soon to be listed on Rōnin, an investment platform that supports entrepreneurs in various fields finance their business ideas

The company is raising 150,000 euros through Rōnin, at a two million euros valuation.

“We’re excited about our listing on the Rōnin platform, as we need this investment to take our company to the next step,” said Pincu Ionescu, CEO at AutoVantage.

“Our mission is to bring transparency and peace of mind in the car buying process, helping customers find the best offer for them by negotiating with dealerships all over Romania on their behalf.”

The team behind the Rōnin platform aims to facilitate the connection between entrepreneurs and retail investors and to allow anyone to become an investor in AutoVantage, or any other listed projects, with a minimum contribution of 100 euros.

Another company currently listed on Rōnin, StockBinder, has already reached the minimum investment target of 300,000 euros. The company facilitates the rapid integration between online stores, suppliers, and manufacturers, aiming for a new funding round to fully automate the process and support the company’s international expansion.

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