OTB Ventures, the early-stage VC firm with a focus on tech and R&D startups from the CEE region that have the potential to scale globally, announced a new $60M growth fund to support the companies from its portfolio with follow-up investments. The OTB Growth Fund I is supported by the European Scale-up Action for Risk Capital (ESCALAR) programme. This is a €300M pilot project of the European Commission and the European Investment Fund (EIF) that aims to back funds that want to boost the growth of their portfolio companies with follow-up investments.
OTB Ventures is the largest regional VC fund that focuses on post-product and revenue-generating tech startups. The first fund of the VC firm was launched in February 2020 with a total of $100M capital under management. Upon announcing the closing of their previous fund, the three founders of OTB Ventures Adam Niewinski, Marcin Hejka, and Grzegorz Jankilewicz, stated that their goal was to invest in 16 CEE companies by the end of 2022, deploying up to $15M for a stake of 10-15%.
OTB Venture’s investment criteria
Having a main focus on early-stage and early-growth companies that are tech-enabled and have distinctive IP, OTB ventures targets specifically startups from 6 verticals: big data and AI, IoT and Robotics, cybersecurity, enterprise software, and automation, cloud and SaaS, and fintech. The ticket size varies between $1M and $15M and the investment is usually divided into a couple of rounds in order to match the commitment of the partners with the performance of the companies over time. The target companies must show a potential for international scalable growth and should be either based in the CEE or have a meaningful regional footprint.
So far, OTB Ventures has backed 10 startups including Cosmose, SpaceKnow, Silent Eight, Minit, and ICEYE, and has exited one company, BabbleLabs, which was acquired by Cisco in 2020. The Romanian FintechOS is the only SEE company in the portfolio of OTB Ventures and the last one in which the fund invested by participating in its $60M Series B in April this year.
What comes next for OTB Ventures
The OTB Growth Fund I will continue to follow the same investment criteria for the allocation of capital among its portfolio companies. Marcin Hejka has commented that for the team of OTB Ventures the closing of the new fund is significant because it takes them one step closer to their mission of empowering the CEE ecosystem to achieve its international potential.