10 Top CEE Funding Rounds Closed In March 2020

Anna Kazmierczak Analyst, Next Road Ventures

In these turbulent times, a number of investors is still ready to back innovative ventures. Below I present several regional companies that succeed in closing an investment round in March.

Preply

Location: Kyiv, Ukraine
Launch date: 2013
Funding Round: Series A €9.3M
Funding Source: Hoxton Ventures, Point Nine Capital, The Family, All Iron Ventures, EDUCAPITAL, Diligent Capital Partners, business angels
Total funding received: €14.4M

It was definitely one of the biggest investment rounds in the region in March 2020. Preply has successfully secured the series A round amounting to €9.3M, which is quite an impressive sum. Among the number of prominent investors, figure VCs like Hoxton Ventures (lead investor), Berlin-based Point Nine Capital or the Family. Preply is an online language tutoring platform providing classes with native teachers from all around the world. Looking at the time we found ourselves in, being locked down and having more extra time for pursuing extracurricular activities, it is safe to assume that the timing is just perfect for a solution like that.

Viveo Health

Location: Tallinn, Estonia
Launch date: 2017
Funding Round: Seed €2M
Funding Source: Anders Anderson, Tallink, Ain Hanschmidt, Graanul Invest
Total funding received: €4M

Another startup, that addresses the real obstacles, raising in those dubious times we are facing right now. Viveo Health is a health tech company, which aims to ensure the safety of the patients and time saving, by limiting their time spent in the clinics' waiting rooms. In other words, the company provides a platform for a video consultation with the doctor. The product is sold in the form of a monthly subscription package with a fee of 9.99€. The plan covers unlimited consultation via several e-channels, prescriptions, quick bookings for lab test and many more. The recent €2M round from the business angels will be especially useful in serving the patients in the time of lockdown and social distancing, which limit dramatically the possibility of visiting the doctor in person. As we say in Next Road Ventures, timing is one out of the three success factors that, when addressed well, leads companies to become big market players (as Uber or Airbnb did). Saying that I keep my fingers crossed for Viveo Health.

Kipwise

Location: Tallinn, Estonia
Launch date: 2018
Funding Round: Seed €400K
Funding Source: Icebreaker.vc, Techstars London, angel investors
Total funding received: €790K

Kipwise addresses the problem of the vast amount of information scattered over many channels inside of the organization. The startup focuses on building a knowledge base, by aggregating the data from the various communication channels like Slack or Google Drive. That way the organization can not only enhance the onboarding process for new employees but also raise the productivity of the team and systematize the workflow. The product seems like a perfect tool for the teams that work remotely and as at the moment, most of us do so. For now, the startup sells the tool to 53 countries all over the world, and after the recent financing round plans to expand its global ambitions further.

Respeecher

Location: Kyiv, Ukraine
Launch date: 2018
Funding Round: seed €1.4M
Funding Source: ff Venture Capital, Acrobator Ventures, ICU Ventures, Network VC, business angels
Total funding received: €1.5M

Without a doubt, Respeecher makes one of the most interesting startups on the list today. A company originating in Ukraine delivers a voice converting technology backed by an Artificial Intelligence engine. Whether you would like to speak with a voice of Barack Obama or any other famous person, Respecheer makes it possible for you. The founders emphasize, that the project aims to “create innovative entertainment content and make communicating with different accents as easy as understanding a friend” while staying in line with moral rules and law. The solution has been recognized by Techstars in 2019, which chose Respeecher, along with 10 other startups from around the globe, for a Comcast NBCUniversal Lift Labs Accelerator. Last month the startup secured a 1.4M seed round from a number of VCs and private investors, among others New York-based ff Venture Capital.

Payhawk

Location: London, UK (ex Bulgaria)
Launch date: 2018
Funding Round: Seed €3M
Funding Source: Earlybird Venture Capital, Eleven, Tiny VC, business angels
Total funding received: €3.6M

Payhawk was originally founded in Bulgaria, and two years later it holds the offices in London and Berlin. The fintech develops cost management software for B2B clients. It aggregates the expenses, payments and card spending costs of the business. The platform integrates with the user's current account to extract, analyze and manage data about the business-related costs. The client can both use his/her own banking account and card or open a Payhawk business account with an integrated Payhawk card. The seed round of €3M will be used for expanding the operations in Germany, after successfully establishing the sales base in Berlin.

Paynetics

Location: Sofia, Bulgaria
Launch date: 2005
Funding Round: €2.5M
Funding Source: Bulgarian American Credit Bank, New Vision 3 VC
Total funding received: N/A

The Bulgarian fintech established by highly experienced professionals in the area of finance, Igor Gueorguiev and Valeri Valtchev, has raised a funding round of €2.5M from BACB and venture capital New Vision 3. The startup delivers an all-in-one complex payment solution and banking products for micro and SME merchants. Among the most appealing features are software for transforming Android phones into payment devices, e-wallet feature, tokenization module for securing the payments and providing additional functionalities to the clients. The money pocketed by Paynetics will be allocated to the expansion of the business.

SanoPass

Location: Bucharest, Romania
Launch date: 2018
Funding Round: Seed €400K
Funding Source: Cleverage Venture Capital, Founders Bridge, SeedBlink
Total funding received: €400K

SanoPass, the provider of healthcare packages aimed at business clients, has secured the €400K investment at the current €2M valuation. The Romanian venture combines the offers of private clinics and delivers the “ready to use” subscription healthcare plan to companies, as an element of social benefit for employees. The investment was covered in €300K by venture capital firms, while the remaining sum was raised via a crowdfunding platform. The funds will support SanoPass in expanding the network of clinics, which is planned to reach the base of 1200 institutions from Romania by the end of 2020.

SME Finance

Location: Vilnius, Lithuania
Launch date: 2016
Funding Round: Debt Financing €10M
Funding Source: Citadele Bank
Total funding received: N/D

SME Finance provides fast and convenient funds injection for the business via the process of invoices factoring. The product is targeted at SMEs in Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Poland. The business client who wishes to use the service submits a request for financing online, and after being verified receives the funds in less than an hour. SME Finance is backed by Citadele Bank, which invested €10M in a partnership with the fintech and became the first bank in a Baltics region to work with a non-banking lending platform on a factoring product. The solution looks especially appealing now, in the times of tight financial resources.

DEV.BG

Location: Sofia, Bulgaria
Launch date: 2017
Funding Round: Seed €200K
Funding Source: non disclosed private company
Total funding received: €200K

The DEV.BG is a Bulgarian platform connecting professionals from the IT world. On a daily basis, the startup organizes community meetups (so far over 500) and performs IT projects for the corporate clients (i.e. Uber, SAP). After pocketing €200K from an undisclosed private investor, the Bulgarian startup plans to become a leading IT Hub in Bulgaria and the region of Eastern Europe. The recent seed investment secured the DEV.BG’s post-money valuation to €2M.

truck4goods

Location: Randvere, Estonia
Launch date: 2019
Funding Round: Pre-Seed €100K
Funding Source: Baltic International Bank
Total funding received: €100K

Estonian venture truck4goods develops a freight platform for matching the carriers with the suppliers, who are seeking transport for cargo. The truck4goods app allows, among others, real-time tracking of the goods, filling the orders and taking the signatures. The €100K pre-seed investment is aimed at developing the RETHINKING LOGISTICS 2.0 platform, which, according to the plan, will be available this month.

These are the chosen 10 startups from Central & Eastern Europe that successfully closed funding rounds in March. Stay tuned for the upcoming funding news!

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