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New Day One Capital fund backs CEE startups

Independent venture capital firm and tech investor Day One Capital, based in Budapest, is launching a new fund to back the most promising startups in the CEE region, according to a press release sent to the Budapest Business Journal.

Day One Capitalʼs team

Day One Capital has been managing funds in the CEE region since 2011, investing in early stage, innovative companies that aim at addressing global problems and markets, the press release explains. Last year, Day One completed the second closing of its Day One CEE Fund, at EUR 22 million. The new fund represents the continuation of the firmʼs regional strategy, successfully implemented in its two existing funds.

So far, Day One Capital has made investments in Hungary, Slovenia and Croatia, with several of the supported companies - such as Oradian, Commsignia, AImotive, and OnRobot (formerly Optoforce) - currently among the best performers in their respective regions, according to the press release.

Day One Capital says it also aspires to co-invest with other funds, closing deals with Inventure, B Capital, Techstars, 3TS Capital, Credo Ventures and Cisco, among others.

The firmʼs partners - Csaba Kakosy, György Simó, Elek Straub and Aurel Pásztor - are well recognized within the local and regional technology and startup community. Day One was named Investor of the Year in Hungary in 2015, 2016 and 2018 by the Central European Startup Awards.

"Central and Eastern Europe is one of the emerging strongholds of the international technology markets," says Kakosy, managing partner of Day One. "A world-class technology talent pool, strengthening startup ecosystems and positive entrepreneurial attitude to conquer global markets are the cornerstones of our business."

The fund’s investors and limited partners include the European Investment Fund (EIF), which committed 50% of the planned EUR 40 mln fund size. In contrast to most regional venture caps in the CEE, which manage largely public funds, all other limited partners of Day One Capital come from the private sector.

"We are especially proud to have a very strong, market-oriented investor community supporting our fund," says Simó, also a Day One managing partner. "Besides the EIF and other committed institutional players, we have a distinguished, proven and experienced group of entrepreneurs backing our fund, representing a wide variety of different industries and best practices."

Angel investor Zsolt Weiszbart is set to join the fund as a venture partner in 2019. He has been an active angel investor in tech startups since 2010. His portfolio included Distinction Ltd., which was acquired by Skyscanner in 2014. Weiszbart is co-founder of the White Summers Co-founder Program and advisory firm A3 Ventures.

Since the first closing of the CEE Fund in February 2018, Day One Capital has made investments into a further three companies: Tresorit, Talk-a-Bot and Gamee, with more lined up for this year. Overall, Day One expects to make 25 new investments in the coming few years. The fund’s size at the end of 2018 was EUR 22 mln, and the press release says this will reach EUR 40 mln in 2019.