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  • Oleksandr Melnyk

Check size, industry, and track record. 10 funds investing in CEE startups

After New York-based ffVC launched a $50-million fund to specifically support startups founded in Ukraine, we decided to compile a list of investment funds that — apart from Flyer One Ventures — work in this region.


Here’s a list of nine VC firms that invest in startups from Central and Eastern Europe.


ffVC (US)


ffVC invested in Ukrainian startup Respeecher in 2019, and it was the fund’s first investment in the CEE region. That same year, ffVC opened an office in Warsaw, Poland. Later in 2020, ffVC launched its first CEE-focused fund.


Now it’s launching a $50-million fund — ff Blue & Yellow Heritage Fund — to specifically support startups founded in Ukraine. It aims to fund 20 startups at pre-Seed, Seed, and Series A stages.


ffVC invests in cybersecurity, AI, machine learning, drones, and cloud software. An average ticket size: $500,000–2.5 million.


Latest investments by ffVC in CEE startups:

  • Polish developer platform for data sharing Trusted Twin, September 2022.

  • Estonian fintech company Montonio, April 2022.

  • Polish cloud computing startup Linker Cloud Fulfillment Network, February 2022.

​Deal count in 2022: 8 startups.

The number of investments: 349.

The number of exits: 29.

Most notable: Cornerstone OnDemand, Lithium Technologies, and Plated.

Most recent investment: September 2022; participation in a round raised by Trusted Twin (€850,000).

Credo Ventures (Czech Republic)


Credo Ventures is industry agnostic and founder-centric. It invests from €100,000 to €5 million in pre-seed to Series A tech companies.


In October, Credo Ventures raised €75 million for its fourth fund and will intensify its activity in Poland. The fund invested in two unicorns — a Robot process automation platform UiPath and a product management platform Productboard.


Latest investments by Credo Ventures in CEE startups:

  • Czech software company Better Stack, July 2022.

  • Polish marketplace The Village Network, July 2022.

  • Polish wellness startup Mindgram, April 2022.

​Deal count in 2022: 10 startups.

The number of investments: 93.

The number of exits: 18.

Most notable: UiPath, Displate, and GAMEE.

Most recent investment: July 2022; participation in a round raised by Better Stack ($18.6 million).

Hoxton Ventures (UK)


In March, Hoxton Ventures launched a $215-million fund to invest in early-stage startups in Europe.


Hoxton Ventures focuses on deep tech, digital health, enterprise, fintech, biotech, and consumer startups. An average ticket size: $500,000–$5 million.


Latest investments by Hoxton Ventures in CEE startups:

  • Polish robotics startup Nomagic, May 2022.

  • Romanian conversational AI platform DRUID, May 2022.

Deal count in 2022: More than 10 startups.

The number of investments: 83.

The number of exits: 13.

Most notable: Deliveroo, Darktrace, and SuperAwesome.

Most recent investment: September 2022; participation in a round raised by Phagos Biotech (€2.4 million).

Startup Wise Guys (Estonia)


Startup Wise Guys is not only a fund, but also a mentorship-driven accelerator for early-stage B2B startups that work in fintech, cyber, sustainability, and XR industries. It helps startups with raising Seed rounds, as well as with mentorship and office space.


Its five-month acceleration program is focused on validating and developing a business idea, and then actually selling products to customers. The accelerator has access to over 250 mentors with experience in building B2B products.


In May, Startup Wise Guys said it was looking to find about 40 startups for its acceleration program.


Latest investments by Startup Wise Guys in CEE startups:

  • Polish developer platform for data sharing Trusted Twin, September 2022;

  • Estonian digital hotel solution HotelBuddy, July 2022.

Deal count in 2022: More than 10 startups.

The number of investments: 391.

The number of exits: 11.

Most notable: CallPage, VOCHI, and VitalFields.

Most recent investment: September 2022; participation in a round raised by Trusted Twin (€850,000).

Venture Friends (Greece)


Venture Friends has offices in Athens and London. It invests in B2C and B2B startups at Seed and Series A stages, focusing on marketplaces, SaaS, property tech, fintech, and travel tech. An average ticket size: €300,000–€2.5 million.


Venture Friends closed two big deals in 2022: car dealership platform Spotawheel (Series B round; $100 million) and property tech startup Huspy (Series A round; $37 million).


Latest investments by Venture Friends in CEE startups:

  • Slovenian MedTech startup Mediately, February 2022.

​Deal count in 2022: More than 10 startups.

The number of investments: 81.

The number of exits: 9.

Most notable: factory14, AdEspresso, and Viral Loops.

Most recent investment: July 2022; participation in a round raised by THE ALPHS ($280,000).

Inovo (Poland)


Inovo invests in developer tools, AI, machine learning, data science, healthcare, SaaS-enabled marketplaces, B2C and B2B enterprise.


The fund has over 30 companies in its portfolio, and six of them are worth more than €100 million.


In August, Inovo raised €100 million for its third fund to invest in 20-30 CEE startups — from pre-Seed to Series B. An average ticket size: €500,000–€4 million.


Latest investments by Inovo in CEE startups:

  • Polish venture builder More Growth, July 2022.

  • Polish healthcare platform Upacjenta, February 2022.

  • Polish healthcare startup Infermedica, January 2022.

Deal count in 2022: 7 startups.

The number of investments: 37.

The number of exits: 2 — Brand24 and ECC Games.

Most recent investment: October 2022; participation in a round raised by Index Health ($6 million).

500 Emerging Europe (Turkey)


In September, 500 Istanbul rebranded into 500 Emerging Europe and raised more than €50 million for its second fund, which is targeting a close of €70 million. It plans to invest a half on CEE countries, especially Poland, Romania and the Baltics.


500 Emerging Europe will invest in very early-stage projects, writing cheques of up to €1 million for 5-10% ownership stakes. The fund chooses startups from any sector, but it prefers businesses based on gaming or machine learning.


Although the fund invested in startups from Turkey and the U.S. last time, it also has CEE startups in its portfolio, such as ClaimCompass, Inc., Innovative Learning Kft, Newoldstamp Inc., and Village Network.

​Deal count in 2022: 5 startups.

The number of investments: 21.

The number of exits: 2 – MovieLaLa and Cloudpipes.

Most recent investment: May 2022; participation in a round raised by Freeflow.

Presto Ventures (Czech Republic)


Presto Ventures invests in CEE startups at pre-Seed and Seed stages. The fund focuses on B2B companies in data and analytics, SaaS, fintech, AI and AR.


Presto’s ticket can be up to €3 million.


Latest investments by Presto Ventures in CEE startups:

  • Polish developer platform for data sharing Trusted Twin, September 2022.

  • Lithuanian open data platform Okredo, August 2022.

  • Czech-based FoodTech startup Choice, July 2022.

​Deal count in 2022: More than 10 startups.

The number of investments: 34.

Most recent investment: September 2022; participation in a round raised by Zypl.ai ($1.1 million).

SMOK Ventures (Poland)


In September, SMOK Ventures participated in a $15-million round raised by solar roof-tile and energy startup SunRoof.


SMOK Ventures focuses on early-stage startups in mobile gaming, SaaS, AI, sustainable tech, AR, VR, marketing tech, and fintech. It usually invests from $100,000 to $1 million.


Latest investments by SMOK Ventures in CEE startups:

  • Polish skill-testing platform for marketing jobs Heroify, June 2022.

  • Estonian healthtech startup MX Labs, January 2022.

​Deal count in 2022: 5 startups.

The number of investments: 25.

Most recent investment: September 2022; participation in a round raised by SunRoof (€15 million).

Underline Ventures (Romania)


Underline Ventures is a relatively new fund: Entrepreneur Bogdan Iordache launched it in July 2022. The fund plans to invest about €20 million in startups from Eastern Europe at the pre-Seed and Seed stages. Its announced average ticket size is €500,000.


On its website, the fund doesn’t specify its industry expertise and mention any deals.




The story is based on information from public sources. Most of the figures and dates were taken from the Crunchbase, websites and LinkedIn pages of the aforementioned startups.



Cover photo by Alex Azabache on Unsplash

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