Another two new venture capital funds, 70 Ventures Accel and 70 Ventures Seed, have been established to help young, ambitious and business-to-business oriented companies to grow their income and develop their business at a particularly early stage.
The pre-seed venture capital fund 70 Ventures Accel will provide training and business development knowledge to emerging companies and will invest in them later, while the seed fund 70 Ventures Seed will finance young enterprises at the subsequent stages of their development. Both venture capital funds will come under the management of the 70 Ventures team which was selected by UAB Investicijų ir Verslo Garantijos (Invega) as the manager of the accelerator funds back in autumn 2018.
‘The accelerator funds were one of the most important missing pieces of the start-up ecosystem puzzle. Venture capital funds operating in Lithuania most often invest in start-ups that have already grown a little, and emerging enterprises have found it difficult to attract funds at the stage of ideas. The accelerator funds and the knowledge they bring should address this problem and help young and innovative companies to enter the system,’ claims Virginijus Sinkevičius, Minister of Economy and Innovation.
The two newly established accelerator funds will implement the financial instrument Accelerator Fund of the Ministry of Economy and Innovation.
The pre-seed fund 70 Ventures Accel constitutes EUR 4.8 million of public sector funds. The Fund will implement accelerator programmes for companies setting up in Lithuania, and will also invest in business acceleration.
The estimated size of the seed fund 70 Ventures Seed is EUR 3 million, of which EUR 2.02 million are public sector funds and the remaining part includes the money of the 70 Ventures team and private investors.
‘The 70 Ventures team will invest in several stages in B2B companies with a high development potential. In the first stage, the team plans to invest EUR 20 000 in 70 start-ups which will receive assistance for identifying their first clients. In the second stage, EUR 40 000–80 000 are to be invested in 20 residents of the accelerator that have demonstrated the most rapid growth, with the aim of enlarging the sales team and ensuring product stability. In the third stage, the fund 70 Ventures Seed plans to invest EUR 100 000-300 000 in seven to 10 companies generating stable monthly revenues of more than EUR 20 000 in their portfolios.
The first start-ups are to be accelerated already in April. The official kick-off event of the Fund scheduled for mid-April will announce the list of the first start-ups that have been enrolled in the accelerator.
‘Over more than five years of my career as a business angel, I have not seen a single start-up that would suspend its activities for the reason that the team would fail to programme or create what they have already done. However, most start-ups close, as they programme first, and only later on try to sell something that no one needs in the end. Together with the 70 Ventures team, we want to reverse this situation and help companies to focus on customer needs and sales in overseas markets,’ says Per Moeller, Managing Partner of the 70 Ventures funds.
About 70 Ventures
The 70 Ventures team is comprised of three members: Per Moeller, Jean-Baptiste Daguene and Gytenis Galkis.
Per Moeller has worked in Lithuania since 1992 and has held managerial positions at the Lithuanian and Danish branches of the audit and consultancy companies Arthur Andersen and Ernst & Young. In recent years, he has also been the Chief Executive Officer of UAB Altechna.
Jean-Baptiste Daguene has contributed to the success of the Danish start-up Trustpilot by bringing more than 600 customers within two years. He arrived in Lithuania in 2014 and since then has helped more than 40 entrepreneurs to increase their sales (the most successful cases being more than 1000% annual sales growth).
Gytenis Galkis has worked with Per Moeller over the past four years and has established UAB Pulsetip that won an opportunity to represent Lithuania in the United Nations (UN) global competition World Summit Awards 2018, and became one of the winners in the Business and Commerce category. Moreover at the beginning of 2018, Gytenis Galkis initiated the establishment of the network LitBAN to unite Lithuanian business angels, and in cooperation with the Board has already attracted more than 65 investors to the network.
About the venture capital instrument Accelerator Fund
The Accelerator Fund is implemented via the fund of funds Business Financing Fund financed from the European Regional Development Fund, its manager being Invega and its founders including the Ministry of Economy and Innovation, the Ministry of Finance and Invega. The Business Financing Fund is financed from the EU funds under the Operational Programme for the EU Funds’ Investments in 2014–2020. At present, a total of two accelerator funds and two seed venture capital funds are operating under the instrument Accelerator Funds.
Invega implements and manages various financial instruments designed to promote business funding which are financed from the EU funds, the national budget or finances that have already been used once and returned to the national or other funds. For more information go to http://www.invega.lt.