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Dan Mihaescu, GapMinder VC, on the generation of Vikings founders conquering new territories

Image credit: Dan Mihaescu, founding partner of GapMinder VC
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“The ecosystem is growing very fast these days,” Dan Mihaescu shares with The Recursive. We meet the founding partner of GapMinder, a Romanian VC with a $45M fund, at the end of a busy month. 

GapMinder has just sold their stake in to eMAG Ventures and they have invested in Estonian AI-based deep tech startup Alpha AR. Some of the startups in their portfolio are FintechOS, TypingDNA, Deepstash, DRUID, and Planable. The VC was launched in 2017 and it invests in IT software and services startups in Romania and Central Eastern Europe. 

In the video interview with Dan Mihaescu, we get to discover what are the team’s plans for 2022, how the Romanian startup ecosystem is evolving, and what type of investor he is.

Dan Mihaescu has a background in science and private equity and has previously held positions of high management and consulting, while also co-founding the INSEAD Alumni Romania Startup and Investment Club back in 2013. 

He was an Angel Investor before turning full-time towards the VC world and his goal is to build relationships with startup founders as early as possible. With over two decades of experience collaborating with different companies, he knows what it is like at the very beginning, but also how to set up a company for global success.

Dan shares that he isn’t an impulsive investor and that he prefers teams with more founders that complement each other, and one that acts as a leader. What he values most in entrepreneurs is having knowledge, self-confidence, and humbleness, but also a big dream vision. He calls the new generation of entrepreneurs Viking founders because they are bold and brave in conquering new territories.

“In the last three years and a half we have seen in the range of 1300 startups and we invested into 14 series A and B companies, and around 35-38 smaller tickets,” the founding partner of GapMinder VC shares. 

Their investment vision sits on three pillars: innovation, people, and impact, and in 2022 they are looking for a variety of B2B solutions that you can learn more about in the video interview. 

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Elena is an Innovation Reporter at The Recursive with 10+ years of experience as a freelance writer based in Bucharest, Romania. Her mission is to report internationally on the amazing progress of the local startup ecosystem while bringing into focus topics such as diversity in business cultures and women in tech; mental health, work-life balance, and the future. Of what? Everything! As a former solopreneur and a full-time mom, she strives to learn something new every day to share with the world. #nevernotlearning