Made in emerging Europe is our regular look at the technology, start-up, and investment scene across the region.
Estonia’s angel investment platform Funderbeam scores 36 million euros investment from VentureWave
The investment will enable VentureWave to take a strategic majority stake in Funderbeam and contribute its capital, global networks, leadership, and Vestiver platform capabilities.
Co-investors in the round include Mistletoe, Draper Associates, and Kaidi Ruusalepp, the founder of Funderbeam.
Funderbeam was founded in 2013 to solve the liquidity problem of angel and venture investments. Funderbeam’s infrastructure is built to help investors manage syndicated investments, post-investment flows, and secondary transactions across borders. With a strong impact methodology and appraisal process, it aims to democratize investments in startups and enable exits when needed.
Following the deal, VentureWave will take an active and strategic leadership role in scaling Funderbeam’s ground-breaking technology across venture assets. The group now has an evolved US market entry strategy through Vestiver, the institutional venture platform.
“This transaction creates a powerful platform to fast forward Funderbeam’s vision which is to serve venture investments across borders and create a unique secondary market for private assets,” says Kaidi Ruusalepp, founder and CEO of Funderbeam. “The timing of the transaction couldn’t be better – we are strong at a time when the market is ready for our solution.”
“VentureWave’s investment in Funderbeam is a game-changer for the industry, shaping the future of venture markets and enabling access to global venture deals and secondaries. Together, we have the necessary assets, technology, and capital to take on the entire venture investment life cycle. This represents a transformative moment to put impact at the centre of the investment industry,” adds Alan Foy, VentureWave’s chairman.
“Private companies from venture investments have a long history of difficult liquidity. Our portfolio company, Funderbeam together with VentureWave allow venture backed startups to be liquid. This is a major breakthrough and the new liquidity will allow for GPs and LPs to more easily trade otherwise illiquid positions,” says Tim Draper, founder of Draper Associates.
Funderbeam will continue to serve investor networks and provide private market as a service for private investor networks.
Following the transaction with VentureWave, it will now additionally serve institutional clients – VC funds, family offices, brokers and investment banks. Until the transaction is approved by the regulators in the UK, Singapore and Estonia, no further corporate-level actions and decisions will be made.
Latvian-Romanian innovations ecosystems set to come together at HackCodeX hackathon
Start-up founders, investors, and tech enthusiasts from Romania are invited to participate in the HackCodeX hackathon, which will be held on June 3-5 in Riga, Latvia. The event aims to bring the two ecosystems closer together, learn from one another, take advantage of mutual growth opportunities, and expand horizons.
The hackathon is the culmination of a Latvian-Romanian innovation tour, where members of the Latvian start-up ecosystem visited Romania to meet with local innovators. They are now invited to return the trip and join the HackCodeX hackathon, where over the course of two days, teams will tackle corporate innovation challenges, develop new professional contacts, be mentored by some of the Baltic region’s leading innovators, and participate in the post-hackathon event that will consist of the HackCodeX Forum and job fair.
The Baltic region has been named a “unicorn factory”, with one of the highest rates of unicorns per capita in the world. Meanwhile, Latvia, which is at the centre of the Baltics, has been named the most start-up-friendly country in the world, thanks to its start-up visa, business-friendly taxes, stock option policies, and more.
Through their rapid economic development, in part thanks to startup innovations, the Baltics are considered by many the “New Nordics”, with close connections within the region. Latvia’s emphasis on building a startup-friendly environment lays the foundation for successful cross-border collaboration, and Latvia invites Romanian innovators to take advantage of these opportunities.
“We see a lot of common values between the Baltics and Romania. We’re excited to build future partnerships, strengthen startup ecosystem collaboration, and beyond. We hope to welcome participants from the region to Riga to showcase what the Baltics has to offer – come and take the first step to unlock Northern Europe,” says Zane Grants, HackCodeX’s head organiser.
Apart from Romania, HackCodeX also hopes to develop ties with other countries in the South-Eastern corner of Europe, including but not limited to Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, Kosovo, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia, Slovenia, and Turkey.
During the hackathon, developers will ideate solutions to challenges hosted by leading tech companies, such as Emergn, Area, and Ubiquiti. Participation in the hackathon is free of charge, and team matchmaking will be done on-site. Meals will be provided, and for those participants that wish to hack through the night, a designated sleeping area will be provided at the venue.
Participants will gain a front-row view into how the Baltic region’s innovation ecosystem works. They will be mentored by some of Northern Europe’s leading innovators, present systems for corporates, and will be able to participate in the job fair with the region’s largest employers. The hackathon will be concluded by a public event, the HackCodeX Forum, to which hackathon participants will have free access.
The HackCodeX event is an initiative spearheaded by Helve, a company geared toward helping corporations innovate. A cornerstone of that innovation is pairing corporates with startups, which has proven to be a successful and scalable model. The event is supported by the Latvian Investment and Development Agency (LIAA), and the European Regional Development Fund.
Registration for the hackathon can be carried out until May 22, here.
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