- Prague-based AI Startup Incubator (AISI) announces the opening of Look AI Ventures, the first investment fund in the Czech Republic dedicated exclusively to AI startups.
- The fund aims to raise €20 million to invest in early-stage companies addressing major markets with AI-driven solutions at their core.
- Look AI Ventures incorporates all AISI know-how, a network of contacts, and partners into its structure, along with an existing portfolio of nine startups.
Look AI Ventures fund (LAIV) SICAV focuses on AI startups in pre-seed and seed stages from Europe, particularly the CEE region. The team aims to build the fund’s portfolio of at least 35 startups over the next three years. The targeted investment ticket in one startup is €250K, with the possibility of reinvesting up to €1 million.
“Startup founders need more than just funding to succeed. Look AI Ventures brings not only capital but also business expertise, connection, and a network of AI Experts to help navigate the complexities of AI. Joining our AI-specialized fund means gaining a strategic technology partner for the founders and their current and future investors. We can help save time and optimize product development, understanding the unique challenges and opportunities that AI brings,” Angelo Burgarello, Business Director and Partner at AI Startup Incubator and a member of the Look AI Ventures Investment Committee, tells The Recursive.
Boosting AI investment opportunities in CEE with Look AI Ventures
A study by PwC suggests that AI could add as much as $15.7 trillion to the global economy by 2030. Given the increasing number of investment opportunities in AI, AISI partners have established a fund of qualified investors to highlight the promising AI projects in the European market.
“Artificial intelligence is in a unique situation. On the one hand, it is a proven megatrend, but at the same time, it is far from reaching its full potential. Regarding the economic situation, we view the timing of the market as extremely favorable, given there are high-quality projects under much better conditions than in recent years,” says Martin Dostál, Chief Science Officer and Partner at AI Startup Incubator and a member of the Look AI Ventures Investment Committee.
LAIV was established by an experienced team of managers, entrepreneurs, and technology and artificial intelligence experts. The founders are major Czech investors with over 20 years of experience: Daniel Kunz, Pavel Rosendorf, and Alexander Brányik. The team also consists of AISI partners, seasoned manager Martin Havlík, R&D scientist in AI and ML Martin Dostál, and entrepreneur and investor Angelo Burgarello. They are members of the LAIV Investment Committee and manage the scouting and evaluation processes of investments.
Look AI Ventures investments
In addition to the investment, LAIV offers startups within its portfolio mentorship – business and technical support in the artificial intelligence field. The fund focuses on startups with high potential for growth and application of AI technology in key sectors, and its portfolio includes successful projects like Austrian Trackbar and Swiss Visense.
Trackbar supports fitness equipment manufacturers in digitizing outdated equipment and improving the generation of new ones. With its technology, workouts become structured, effective, and safe. Trackbar is not just another fitness app, it is a technology provider for fitness equipment manufacturers, creating a new data-driven gym environment. Trackbar raised a €450K seed round in 2021.
Another invested startup, Visense, developed an error exploration system for a wide range of industrial machinery that visually monitors their work and looks for issues. Visense uses advanced technology to ensure high process quality and machine uptime, making it a pioneering solution in the automation field. In 2022, the startups closed a pre-seed round of over €750K.
“Fund focused on AI is good news for startups that develop deep tech and are looking for investors who understand them from a technology perspective. Such a strategic partner can better understand the potential and value of the startup. At the same time, they can bring not only finance but also industry know-how to the growth of startups,” says Ivo Denemark, Director of the Startups and Innovative SMEs Division at CzechInvest, a key business and investment development agency in the Czech Republic.