Catering to the rise of the startup ecosystem in the Baltics, Estonia’s angel investors community Fund Fellow Founders (FFF) has been launched to source, challenge and invest smart in founders from the Nordics and the Baltics. Bringing a new scout and angel community model into the Nordic and Baltic region, FFF will invest in startups at seed stage along with promising Series A rounds. The typical size of the investment is expected to be between €300K-500K.
Founded by entrepreneur and investor Akim Arhipov and supported by Estonian Founders Society and Stockholm-Tallinn based startup studio VNTRS, it will look at adapting a scout and angel community model in these markets.
As its maiden investment, FFF participated in a €250,000 seed round funding for Tallinn’s Votemo. There are other deals in the pipeline, with one insuretech financing expected to close in two weeks.
Talking about the new model and its emergence in the Nordic market, Arhipov said: “The aim is to unite people to discover promising companies earlier and invest together in those founders you cannot invest on your own. The competition for funding is getting stronger and it’s almost impossible to access high-quality investment opportunities without cooperation. Founders get hundreds of smart technology professionals as an extended advisory board and place themselves in a stronger position than only receiving money from VC funds. This trend is becoming popular in the U.S. but has not yet arrived in the Baltics and Nordics.”
So, all members become scouts. They can bring investment opportunities and get incentivised. “We have realised it is an excellent way to discover new companies that we otherwise wouldn't notice. At the same time, we are not a fund and hence, we don’t charge the standard fees,” he added.
FFF's first investment – led by Akim Arhipov, Jaak Ennuste and Sven Illing – is a seed round funding for Votemo, an online event custom-made engagement tool that raised €250,000. The new funding will be used for product development and advance marketing and sales activities. Maarit Mäeveer, the founder of Votemo, said: “We see a great long-term partner and mentor in FFF and VNTRS. Before starting the investor-startup collaboration, we had workshops together. As the due diligence was made by a lead investor, the process gave more security to other angels joining the round.”