European VC catalyzes global investors for EUR 54 mln


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Venture capital fund investing in technology startups across Poland and CEE, Inovo, has announced the final close of its second fund, Inovo II, at EUR 54 million. A range of global funds, entrepreneurs, and family offices joined the European Investment Fund (EIF) as the cornerstone investor, the Warsaw Business Journal reports.

Inovo specializes in identifying disruptive tech startups and supporting their development and growth through participation in early-stage, post-traction seed, and Series A funding. Having a diverse range of LPs in the fund will enable portfolio companies to secure global funding as they scale and expand abroad. The new fund has already committed funding to several investment opportunities with leading international investors.

This fundraise follows the success of Inovo I which generated a 3.2x return on investments from a portfolio of 15 high-growth tech startups, most of which have since been sold profitably, two have IPO'd, and the three top-performing remain in the portfolio. One of the remaining investments is Booksy, the marketplace for beauty services where Inovo invested at the Seed stage. Now the company is one of the world's top 100 marketplaces with 10 million app downloads and raised USD 70 million in a Series C round (led by CatRock). Booksy is widely considered to become one of the first unicorn startups (those that have a valuation of USD 1 billion) from Poland. 

"The tech ecosystem in the CEE region is growing at an exceptional pace. In Poland, the growth rate is 70% year-on-year. In 2020, almost EUR 500 million in venture capital was deployed to 300 companies, which will almost certainly grow this year. It is our expectation that this decade will produce 10 unicorns and a few decacorns from Poland," Tomasz Swieboda, managing partner at Inovo commented. 

With the launch of its second fund, Inovo is aiming to cement its reputation as one of the leading early-stage investors in Poland and the CEE region, while helping enterprising startups realize their potential, paving the way for later-stage funding from international VCs. 

"With 38 million people, Poland is a large market itself. Last year we've seen IPOs of two tech companies valued at over USD 1 billion and focused on the domestic market - Allegro and InPost. Market size is both an advantage and an obstacle, resulting in the Polish ecosystem being not very well connected to the West. At Inovo we strive to change that," Swieboda added. 

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