Made in Emerging Europe

Made in emerging Europe: Presto Ventures, The Outfit, SeedBlink

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-up news.

Presto Ventures: VC fund raises 30 million euros to invest in CEE start-ups

Presto Ventures, a VC fund investing in early-stage B2B start-ups from Central and Eastern Europe, has announced the final close of its 30 million euros Fund II.

Presto will invest in up to 40 B2B tech start-ups at seed and pre-seed stages in the CEE region, supporting them with fast access to capital, fast business development, and fast growth.

“We know there is fantastic start-up potential in the CEE region; however, the most ambitious founders still need to fight too many friction points – including a lack of access to global capital and expertise,” Přemysl Rubeš, founder and managing partner at Presto Ventures. “Our goal is to increase access to the guidance and resources needed to fast-track the next generation of company builders, rolling up our sleeves and providing hands-on support to help them succeed.”

With the new fund, Presto wants to accelerate the success of B2B start-ups founded in CEE by providing fast and smart seed money and resources that address the region’s specific issues. Presto’s key value-add consists of the deep domain expertise of its partners and investors, all former founders and operators with technical backgrounds and experience building and scaling B2B tech companies in the region.

The new fund follows Presto’s initial success investing in 15 start-ups through its first fund. Among them is Cloudtalk, a call centre solution provider poised to become Slovakia’s first unicorn, and Wolf3D, one of Estonia’s fastest growing startups that works with metaverse platforms as well as household brands like Adidas, Yieldigo, a Czech AI pricing platform founded by three mathematicians, and IP Fabric, a Prague-based startup building next generation IP network infrastructure management solutions.

The Outfit: Romanian online personal shopping service tops one million euros in funding

Romanian online personal styling service The Outfit has closed a new seed funding round of 766,000 euros, led by TSG Capital with follow-on investment from previous angel investors.

It brings the total raised by the start-up to over one million euros.

Since first launching 12 months ago, The Outfit has seen revenues of 805,000 euros and has delivered 16,000 orders in Romania, combining data science with the expertise of personal shoppers.

More than 60,000 people have created a style profile on the platform, choosing from more than 50 leading European brands, including S.Oliver, Tom Tailor, Edited, Vero Moda, and Only.

Users complete their style profile and are assigned a personal shopper who suggests an initial selection of items with the help of recommendation algorithms. Clients can then choose up to 10 items to try on at home, and are given three days to decide what they want to keep.

Before check-out – paying only for what they keep – they provide structured feedback for every item (fit, style, price, material feel) which improves product recommendations for future orders.

“The Outfit’s data capabilities provide personal shoppers access to a ‘matching index’ which is a metric that predicts the probability of a product being loved by a client,” says Șerban Buliga, co-founder and COO of The Outfit.

“As we collect more data, the algorithms will help stylists recommend better products, optimise the time required to find the right items and make personal shopping highly scalable.”

SeedBlink: Crowd investor inks collaboration deal with TDCX

SeedBlink, the Romanian-founded online investment platform that connects investors with technology start-ups, this week announced a collaboration with TDCX, a Singapore-headquartered digital customer experience (CX) solutions provider for technology and blue-chip companies, with the aim of helping its portfolio companies accelerate their sales journey and deliver higher customer satisfaction.

The collaboration with TDCX deepens the support that SeedBlink provides its portfolio companies in the post-investment phase.

By tapping TDCX’s CX expertise, SeedBlink says that start-ups can hope to scale their CX teams more quickly and achieve better performance. This in turn enables the startups to use the capital raised through SeedBlink more effectively.

“When our start-ups succeed, SeedBlink succeeds,” says Andrei Dudoiu, managing partner at SeedBlink. “Our goal is for start-ups to come to SeedBlink and discover real support for scaling and new opportunities beyond capital – with an array of partners who understand their needs and their stage of growth. Partnering with TDCX, a global CX provider, takes us one step further on our journey beyond crowd investing in tech start-ups.”

SeedBlink’s portfolio of start-ups – which now includes nearly 60 firms – will be able to tap TDCX’s customer experience solutions that span sales and digital marketing, omnichannel customer experience and content moderation.

TDCX is a partner to many of the world’s leading and disruptive brands in sectors such as e-commerce, fintech and technology, providing outsourced solutions in areas including customer service, technical support and inside sales.

According to Daniel Mereuta, country director at TDCX Romania, “We have been helping companies to scale faster and to perform better by delivering exceptional customer experiences. We understand the challenges that start-ups face and are glad to have been able to support these promising enterprises. We are ready to help other start-ups build and strengthen their CX capabilities and our collaboration with SeedBlink will enable us to reach more companies and help them in transforming their CX.”

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