Having an innovative idea for a startup is amazing. But do you know what’s game changing? That’s right, raising some capital.
Some would argue that receiving startup funding in Bulgaria is difficult, and they’re right. It used to be about a decade ago when the local startup ecosystem here was pretty much non-existent. Today, this statement is highly debatable. In fact, Sofia ranks 3rd in Europe when it comes to cost-effectiveness and foreign direct investments strategy, according to the fDi European Cities and Regions of the Future 2020-21 report.
There are more than 10 venture capital funds in Bulgaria alone at the moment, not taking into account the acceleration programs and foreign VC funds that support Bulgarian startups.
Here’s a list of the top local venture capital funds, divided by the stages and rounds of funding they invest in.
Early and Growth Stage VC Funds in Bulgaria
Innovation Capital is a venture capital fund, aimed at providing access to equity and quasi-equity funding to Bulgarian startup companies. The fund offers an acceleration program to companies at idea stage or recently founded ones with revenue below EUR 10,000, as well as pre-seed and seed investments for startups at a later stage of development.
- Capital under management – €21.1M
- Ticket size – between €25-50K for acceleration and pre-seed companies, and €50K-1M for seed companies
- Target verticals – FinTech, Healthcare tech, E-commerce, Entertainment and others
- Stages – from pre-revenue and early state companies to growth stage
- Key investments – Econic One, TokWise, RPA Consulting, FoodObox, Foody.to
LAUNCHub Ventures is a Central and Southeastern Europe-focused venture capital fund, supporting tech companies at Seed and Series A funding stages.
- Capital under management – €74M
- Ticket size – between €300K and €2M as an initial investment, and leading investment rounds up to €4M
- Target verticals – SaaS, Fintech, Proptech, AI, Digital Health, Blockchain, IoT, Marketplaces, Big Data
- Stages – Seed and Series A companies from SEE and CEE
- Key investments – Gtmhub, FITE, FintechOS, FindMeCure, OfficeRnD, Taylor & Hart, Ucha.se
Vitosha Venture Partners
Vitosha Venture Partners is an early-stage and growth stage VC fund, investing in innovative businesses in Bulgaria.
- Capital under management – €26M, as of 2022
- Ticket size – between €25K and €1M
- Target verticals – sector agnostic, but founders need to be related to Bulgaria
- Stages – from early-stage to growth companies that are based in Bulgaria.
- Key investments – Quendoo, Econic One, Hobo, Dexycon, Agrovar
Eleven is an early-stage venture capital fund investing in technology companies in Southeast Europe. The VC supports tech companies in four priority verticals – Fintech, Healthcare, Future of Work and Future of Food.
- Capital under management – €60M, as of 2022
- Ticket size – between €250K and €1M for the initial investment and an opportunity for up to €2.5 follow up investments
- Target verticals – Fintech, B2B, SaaS, Healthtech, Future of Food, Future of Work, Stages – pre-seed and seed companies
- Key investments – Dronamics, Payhawk, SMSBump, NitroPack, Ebag, Gtmhub
Morningside Hill is a privately owned investment firm, focused on providing growth capital to startup companies in Bulgaria.
- Capital under management – €38.5M, as of 2022
- Ticket size – average ticket size between €175K and €3.5M
- Target verticals – sector agnostic, but companies must either generate at least 50% of their revenue in Bulgaria, at least 50% of the company’s staff is based in Bulgaria; or at least 50% of the company’s assets are held in a Bulgarian subsidiary
- Stages – early-stage, post-seed, have a validated POC
- Key investments – Nasekomo, Gastronom.bg, Bizportal
BrightCap Ventures is an early-stage VC which is looking for global projects, leveraging local talent.
- Capital under management – €25M (as of 2018), current amount undisclosed
- Ticket size – between €50K and €200K for early-stage startups and up to €3M for growth companies
- Target verticals – tech companies with defensible technology and significant global growth potential
- Key investments – FITE, Vedamo, Cloudpipes, Pliant, Scaleflex, KardiAI
New Vision 3 (NV3)
NV3 is a Bulgarian VC fund, focused on investing in local companies that add value to the local economy.
- Capital under management – undisclosed
- Ticket size – up to €1M
- Target verticals – FinTech, AI, Blockchain Technologies, Shared Economy, IoT & Big Data, and others
- Stages – early-stage startups with validated value proposition
- Key investments – Nasekomo, FantasticStay, Boleron
Sofia Angels Ventures
Sofia Angels Ventures is a co-investment venture capital fund, looking for scalable startups at pre-seed and seed stage, mainly from Bulgaria, SEE & CEE countries. It’s important for these companies to have a vision of operating in Europe and even more globally.
- Capital under management – €13M as of 2022, aims to co-invest with angel investors
- Ticket size – between €200K and €500K
- Target verticals – sector agnostic, but the startups need to develop scalable tech solutions
- Stages – pre-seed and seed-stage startups
- Key investments – Addit Tech, ONDO, Retorio
Neo Ventures are one of the first open-ended early-stage investors in Eastern Europe. They focus on a small number of investments, targeting specific industry verticals, followed by a disciplined investment process.
- Capital under management – undisclosed
- Ticket size – a maximum of €3M
- Target verticals – Space, Security, Biotech
- Stages – early-stage startups with no geographical limitations
- Key investments – Bulpros, Biodit, EnduroSat
NEO Gravity is a consumer-focused investment company. The rapid digitalization of the global economy, convergence of EM economies to Western standards, and a spread of the pandemic have changed the purchasing behaviour of the connected consumer.
- Capital under management – Neo Gravity is ever-green fund. It raises and deploys capital based on the companies needs and stage of development.
- Ticket size – from €50K t0 €1M target investment size; Possibility for investment in follow-on rounds in case of promising opportunities.
- Target verticals – Consumer Goods (Premium consumer brands that improve well-being) and Mobility (Solving the problems of the 21sttransportation).
- Stages/Companies in focus – High-growth direct-to-consumer seed-to-expansion stage businesses with bold branding and profitability expectation within three years of company’s founding; Global expansion plans; Product validation needed. No HQ location restrictions.
- Key investments – Cheese The Queen, Sofia Electric Brewing, Share-a-Scoot, DoggoColar
Urban Impact Ventures
Urban Impact Ventures is an impact VC supporting entrepreneurs that contribute to the sustainable transformation of the urban environment. It has two core investment themes: decarbonisation and circularity.
- Capital under management – target of €50M (as of 2022)
- Ticket size – from €0,5 to 2.5M
- Target verticals – Decarbonization, Circularity
- Stages – late seed/ (pre) Series A
- Key investments – Ibis Power, Biyu, Modeshift, Futr
Growth Stage and beyond VC Funds in Bulgaria
Blackpeak Capital is a private equity co-investment fund, focused on the Southeast European region and is looking for small and medium enterprises.
- Capital under management – €126M (as of 2022)
- Ticket size – between €5M and €15M
- Target verticals – industry agnostic with a focus on startups from Romania, Bulgaria Slovenia, Croatia, and Serbia
- Stages – growth companies with an established business model and recurring revenue
- Key investments – SoftwareGroup, Bulpros, Pulso, Walltopia
Silverline Capital is the first Bulgarian mezzanine fund, and it provides financing to mid-market businesses in the country.
- Capital under management – €42M (as of 2022)
- Ticket size – between €2.5M and €7M in mezzanine debt, convertible loans and equity investments
- Target verticals – Healthcare, Transportation, Logistics, Manufacturing, Consumer, Retail, Services, Industrials
- Stages – established companies with revenue more than €3M which are based in Bulgaria
*This list is non-exhaustive. If you think we have missed an important event, you can drop us a line at [email protected].