• Presto Ventures, a VC fund investing in early-stage B2B startups from Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), announced closing its €30 million Fund II.
• Presto has more than €100 million under management and has so far invested in more than 40 companies.
• The new fund targets up to 40 B2B pre-seed and seed companies in the region that are looking to scale.
Presto Ventures was launched in 2016 by Přemysl Rubeš, an entrepreneur with scientific and engineering degrees from the Nuclear Sciences Faculty at CTU Prague and ENSTA ParisTech, and backed by Tomáš Krsek, a Czech billionaire and philanthropist.
The fund aims to tap into the potential of the emerging startup ecosystem in CEE by addressing some of its historical challenges. These include slow decision-making when it comes to investing compared to the US or UK, and an overall lower availability of funds. Even if VC investment has topped a record of €5.4 billion in 2021, it is still low as a share of the €102.8B total for Europe.
“We know there is fantastic startup potential in the CEE region; however, the most ambitious founders still need to fight too many friction points – including a lack of access to global capital and expertise. Our goal is to increase access to the guidance and resources needed to fast-track the next generation of company builders, rolling up our sleeves and providing hands-on support to help them succeed,” announced Přemysl Rubeš, Founder and Managing Partner at Presto Ventures.
A team of investors with technical and entrepreneurial backgrounds
To bring fast and smart early-stage money to the market, Presto Ventures relies on a team of former successful entrepreneurs and exited founders who want to plow capital back into the ecosystem, creating a virtuous cycle. Having deep technical expertise and experience in building and scaling B2B tech companies in the CEE region helps the team understand the technical founder perspective, make fast investment decisions, and speed up founders’ success as they move through market stages.
The Partner team includes Roman Nováček, a CFA charterholder, former private equity analyst, and Forbes 30 Under 30 appointee; Vojta Roček, exited founder of business intelligence startup Stories.bi (acquired by Workday), and Eduard Kučera, who created and managed the Business Intelligence department of cybersecurity giant Avast.
Previously, Presto Ventures has invested in more than 20 companies, including Cloudtalk, a call centre automation solution provider, said to become Slovakia’s first unicorn. Its portfolio also includes Czech startups Yieldigo, an AI pricing platform, and IP Fabric, building the next generation IP network infrastructure management solutions.
The fund is backed entirely by private investors, including entrepreneurs and family offices. So far, their investments have been joined by investors such as Y Combinator, Taavet+Sten, Point Nine Capital, Credo Ventures, and Startup Wise Guys.