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Startup Wise Guys Raises €25M to Make Direct Investments in B2B SaaS Startups from CEE and Africa

Startup Wise Guys
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  • Startup Wise Guys, the European accelerator for early-stage startups in B2B SaaS, Fintech, cybersecurity, XR, and sustainability, raised a €25M capital pool of diversified funds that will be used for direct investments in more than 200 startups.
  • This is the first closing of the €45 million target of Startup Wise Guys and will allow the accelerator to support startups in regions underserved by capital investments such as CEE, Italy, Spain, and Africa. 
  • To better reflect its new global strategy, the accelerator rebranded. 

 

“In recent years, Startup Wise Guys has evolved into a truly international organization, with an investment presence in countries ranging from Ukraine and Spain to South Africa. We are now deploying our experience at scale to help passionate founders thrive globally, in spite of uncertain economic conditions. We are the early-stage investor ready to help digital entrepreneurs with brave ideas, especially in times of crisis. We proved that during Covid, and we were active after the Ukraine war started. We are determined to help entrepreneurs turn crisis into new opportunities, and we have a strong track record helping purpose-driven founders become global entrepreneurs,” Cristobal Alonso, Global CEO at Startup Wise Guys, highlights. 

After investing in 120 startups in 2022, managing 12 full-time programs, and introducing its first B2B digital SaaS program exclusively for African startups, Startup Wise Guys plans to invest in 200 startups until the end of 2024. The geographical focus will expand to Europe and Africa. 

“As we have expanded far beyond Estonia’s borders, we felt it was time to update our brand to reflect our international presence and global vision for the future. The new logo has a lot to unpack. It better reflects our personality, which is human and approachable, while still maintaining recognition of our name. We are bringing the focus back to the human founders by transitioning to a funky, welcoming, smiley face. We want founders from all over to feel identified with our mission of supporting passionate founders.” Zane Bojāre, Head of Brand at Startup Wise Guys, shares. 

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The current and future footprint of Startup Wise Guys in CEE

Last year, Startup Wise Guys launched a new accelerator in Romania together with the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and TaiwanBusiness, the Technical Cooperation Fund of EBRD. The program is fintech-focused and supports fintech startups with €90K pre-seed investments with the opportunity for a follow-on. In Romania, Startup Wise Guys is also partnering with Rubik Hub to help the organization launch its Rubik Garage equity-free accelerator for CEE startups. Additionally, the European accelerator opened offices in Italy and Spain to reach more founders in Southern and Western Europe, Latin America, and North Africa. 

To date, Startup Wise Guys has backed the following CEE-born companies: 

 

  • Agritrack (Greece) – The agriculture process automation platform tracking quality from farm to fork, aiming to reduce food loss and food fraud. 
  • Avrio (Poland) – AI-powered facility operating system to enable enterprises to decarbonize their portfolio of small and medium-sized buildings. 
  • CallPage (Poland) – CallPage is an ICT SaaS company that increases sales leads by 75%, facilitating call conversations between companies and their website visitors. This is one of the exit success stories in the portfolio of Startup Wise Guys. 
  • ExplodedView (Poland) –  A communication platform that helps content creators tell their stories from the Metaverse.
  • Trusted Twin (Poland) – A data-sharing cloud. 
  • Sagenso (Poland) – Implementation and maintenance of an effective data security management process. To provide peace of mind to medium and large businesses.
  • INKsearch (Poland) – SaaS-enabled marketplace with AI for the tattoo industry. We simply speed up the connection between the artists and clients.
  • Culturate (Slovenia) – A platform that helps hybrid and remote teams boost engagement, enhance culture and improve communication.
  • iERP (Slovakia) – Develops simple-to-use software helping companies to increase revenue and decrease cost by using AI algorithms. 
  • iFactor (Romania) – Embedded Semantic SME Lending Turning underbanked SMEs into lenders’ performant portfolios. 
  • Data Against Data (Romania) – Gives people the power to find and delete their personal data. Create tools for companies to handle data requests from their customers.
  • Licenseware (Romania) – The licensing management app ecosystem. 
  • Savables (Romania) – Savables helps the food industry not lose money anymore due to food waste by allowing them to sell it at lower prices on their platform.
  • SeeYouThere (Czech Republic) – A 1-on-1 speed networking tool for virtual networking events. 
  • Trisbee ((Czech Republic) – Trisbee is a licensed payment solution that provides cashless payments. 
  • Vochi (Cyprus) – A tool for creative video editing.
  • SessionStack (Bulgaria) – Digital Experience Insights platform that uncovers opportunities for product growth.
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Elena is an Innovation Reporter at The Recursive, an online media dedicated to the emerging tech and startup ecosystems in Southeast Europe. She is keen on sharing the innovation stories that shape the regional ecosystem and has a great interest in fintech, IoT, and biotech startups. Elena is currently finishing her Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration and Political Science at the American University in Bulgaria.