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The Poland-based SpeedUp Group has announced that it is creating a new, 29-million zloty (roughly 7 million euro) fund for the purpose of investing in companies looking for early stage capital to take their product to market.
I had a chance to speak with Monika Synoradzka, the fund’s PR and marketing coordinator, and she told me that, whereas the fund was previously only able to invest up to 1 million zloty (240,000 euro) in a particular startup, this new project will allow them to invest up to 1,5 million euro per company. Focusing upon web and mobile startups, SaaS for B2B, life science, and renewable energy, this particular funds is not interested in startups still developing a product or identifying a business model, but in investing in companies which merely need capital to expand their reach. Synoradzka says that when it comes to identifying promising candidates, the fund will seek out companies which have a knowledgeable and experienced team, which will have a distinct advantage over existing and potential competitors, which will be well-scalable, and which are currently growing at a healthy rate. Potential investees must be interested in expanding in a market which can support a large and valuable business.
According to Synoradzka, Polish entrepreneurs have traditionally been less ambitious than their counterparts from other countries and that SpeedUp’s team can provide them with the funding and expertise they might need in becoming truly international companies. Finally, when it comes to identifying areas with more exciting potential for growth, Synoradzka told me that e-commerce and mobile (and preferably a combination of the two) are probably the biggest fields out there.
SpeedUp Group was established in 2009 by a team of 4 investors and is currently comprised of 4 funds: SpeedUplQbator, SpeedUp Investments, LMS Invest, and SpeedUp Innovation. In recent months, we’ve covered a couple of companies in SpeedUp Group’s portfolio in Legimi and Lookmash. I asked Synoradzka about other projects the SpeedUp Group has invested in and she highlighted Lubimy Czytac, which has becoming a leading portal for book enthusiasts in Poland with 1.5 million monthly visitors, leading facial-recognition software company iTraff Technology, and Okazjum, a major Polish site with listings from offline-retailers. Last year, SpeedUp Group sold its shares in Lubimy Czytac to Wydawnictwo Znak. However, Synoradzka joked that picking top companies among SpeedUp Group’s portfolio is akin to picking a favorite child, you really just can’t do it.
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