The technology industry in South-Eastern Europe (SEE) has reached new heights, with €2.25 billion raised by regional companies in 210 deals over the last 12 months. Betting big on the potential of the region, Bulgarian venture capital firm Eleven Ventures has announced the final closing of ‘Eleven Fund III’ at €60 million.
Investing between an initial €250000 to €1 million and up to €2.5 million per company including the follow-ons, the VC firm focuses on fintech, healthtech, future of work, future of food and e-commerce early stage startups. The company has backed Payhawk, which recently raised a $112 million at a $570 million valuation in November 2021; Gtmhub, which raised a $120 million Series C in December 2021; and SMSbump, which was acquired by US e-commerce marketing platform Yotpo in 2020.
The latest announcement comes just three months after the fund’s first closing, and only three years since the launch of its €6 million predecessors. The closing of its third fund at €60 million is 10x the size of its previous fund in 2018. The new fund is backed by 80% repeat investors, including European Investment Fund (EIF) and over 60 individuals with deep global networks.
It has already made seven investments from the new fund, including the Romanian Frisbo (Ecomtech), ProductLead (Ecomtech) and SuperOkay (Future of Work), the Greek Biopix (Healthcare) and the Bulgarian PlanDelta (Future of Work), Metasim (Future of Work) and BeMe (Healthcare).
Established in 2012 by Daniel Tomov and Ivaylo Simov, Eleven Ventures was one of the first accelerators in the region. Vassil Terziev, Bulgarian tech entrepreneur and co-founder of Telerik, which was acquired by Progress Software in one of the biggest exits of a software company in the region, also joined the VC later.
Talking about how successful the company has been in helping companies from SEE conquer global markets, Ivalyo Simov, founding partner, Eleven Ventures, said: “It is incredible to see that the once early-stage founders, currently running mature businesses, are becoming investors in our fund and now supporting the next generation of up-and-coming entrepreneurs to help them become even more successful. The hope is that, by doing so, every subsequent success will be a bit bigger than the one before. Eventually, it will be a factory for successful growth.”
Alain Godard, Chief Executive, EIF said: “Fostering innovation is a priority for the European Union in order to improve wellbeing and drive prosperity.”
A number of Bulgarian VC firms have come up in the recent past to facilitate the startup ecosystem in the region.