#4 CEE Venture Rounds Review SEP’20

It is that time of the month again to look at the rounds which have been announced in September within our region. As we enter Autumn, and we are starting to feel the pain of Covid19 again, September was not a bad month both for startups and VCs alike.

For September dataset, I tried to look at additional data sources to get a more comprehensive view of the market. Besides Crunchbase, I have also included data from: Dealroom, and community spreadsheets from Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania. Adding additional sources, only slightly enhanced the data. Moving forward, I will include all these data sources in the research.

Here is a snippet of the most important numbers:

📣 38 rounds announced
💰 ~ €33,3M raised (all rounds converted into EUR)
🚀 The largest round was raised by Klaus (announcement) ~ €4,6M
🌍 Outside of local VCs I picked up several international funds like: Icebreaker, Techstars, Target Global, byFounders, Paua Ventures, Senovo, Creandum (and few more)
🇵🇱 Poland was the most active country with 15 rounds, closely followed by 🇪🇪 Estonia with 11. We should note that most rounds in Poland were announced by Space3ac which is an accelerator/fund — 9 rounds to be exact.

Announced CEE Venture Rounds in September 2020

📣 If you would like to get access to the actual spreadsheet — please reach out.

🔥 Some thoughts on the activity in September

Estonia is on fire. Klaus, Cachet, Mercuryo, Sentinel, Outfunnel, Remato all great companies, with top VCs participating in their rounds. What is definitely worth mentioning is the angel activity in Estonia. Andris @ Change Ventures sums it up well:

September showed the strength and maturity of the Estonian startup ecosystem, with many funding rounds announced. These include the angel-only early seed rounds that we are now regularly seeing, for example Sentinel, where significant capital was largely provided by former Skype and Pipedrive founders. Outfunnel and Cachet similarly have been backed by a plethora of Estonian angels.

I also reached out to Kristjan @ Karma, who emphasised the international footprint of investors:

Bigger rounds saw active participation from significant funds from outside of Estonia. For example Global Founders Capital, byFounders, Paua Ventures, Icebreaker. As always all rounds saw active participation from angel investors.

Estonia is definitely leading in quality and volume of great companies. I guess having a few successes like Skype early, starts the flywheel effect. Skype mafia starts to invest and launch new companies. This attracts more VCs to the ecosystem. More companies get funded. More knowledge and experience is built up. The ecosystem starts to thrive. Let’s hope other ecosystems in the region will follow. Romania with UIPath, Poland with Allegro (more on the IPO next month). I guess we only need time and patience.

I’m a Partner at Innovation Nest, a seed VC fund focused on B2B Software. Helping SaaS founders with growth strategies and tactics.