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Czech Presto Ventures and Czechoslovak Group Launch €150M Investment Fund Focused on Security and Defence Tech

Presto Ventures and Czechoslovak Group (personal archive)
Image credit: Presto Ventures and Czechoslovak Group (personal archive)

In a Nutshell

  • Venture capital firm Presto Ventures and Michal Strnad’s industrial and technology group Czechoslovak Group (CSG) announced the launch of an investment fund Presto Tech Horizons.
  • The target size is €150M.


Get the Details


Presto Tech Horizons is primarily interested in companies, across NATO countries and allied nations, developing dual-use solutions that can serve both civilian and security purposes.

Investments will focus on enhancing the safety and privacy of individuals, as well as the security of businesses, institutions, and states.

The investment scope is focused on sectors such as AI, cybersecurity, automation, robotics, logistics, defence, aerospace, mobility, energy, healthcare, advanced computing, and systems that involve critical infrastructure management and protection.


The Bigger Picture


Defence Industry Report encapsulates a period of dynamic change and technological advancement within global defence circles.

Historically, VCs were hesitant to invest in defence technology, but this trend is now shifting. VC funds show interest in the sector, eyeing that startups will drive innovations in both Europe and the US. For example, the US defence tech market is expected to expand at a compound annual growth rate of about 16%, according to a recent PitchBook report.

Europe’s defence startups have witnessed a rise of fundraising rounds, securing $614M in deals in 2023, up from $408M in 2022, according to Dealroom. 

In 2022, NATO launched a $1B startup fund and a tech accelerator, marking the first time the military alliance has supported emerging technologies, showcasing the growing interest of backing early stage startups in the sector. 


Their Background Story


Presto, a venture capital firm established in 2016, invests in tech companies, backing their global market expansion. According to their data, the firm’s funds achieve an average Internal Rate of Return (IRR) of nearly 30%.

CSG is an international industrial and technology group specializing in Aerospace & Defence, comprising over 100 companies across 8 countries. Key segments include ground equipment, transportation systems and vehicles, as well as radars, military security and recording systems, and aviation systems.

Read more:  PropTech1 Ventures, investing in real estate megatrends, closes a €50M fund

Together, they are planning to invest in innovative companies in the security and defence tech space.


In Their Own Words


“For young, technologically advanced companies, finding the right investor is often a challenge. By joining forces, Presto and CSG have created a unique partnership that is unmatched in Europe. Our fund brings together the best of tech investing, know-how in building global firms, and industrial-technological expertise,” explained Premysl Rubes, founder and managing partner of Presto Ventures.

Michal Strnad, Chairman of the Board and owner of the CSG Group, shared: “At CSG, we’ve long been creating solutions and products that future generations can build on. We seek out the best minds and technologies. Together with Presto, we’ll identify opportunities and develop portfolio companies to deliver solutions with maximum added value and positive societal impact. 

“We understand firsthand how challenging it is to transform research and development into industrial products able to succeed in the defence, security, and law enforcement segments, where they target not only private enterprises but also governments and their organizations,” he added.


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Teodora Atanasova is a News Editor at The Recursive. She covers everything around funding rounds, exits, startups expanding to international markets, big tech opening R&D in CEE, meaningful for the ecosystem partnerships.