Southeastern Europe continues on its journey to becoming one of Europe's most important tech hubs. Hot on the heels of Romania's UI Path, Croatia's Rimac and Infobip, as well as Serbia's 3Lateral and Nordeus, Serbia-based technology company HTEC Group looks to also leave its mark, propelled by one of the largest initial funding deals in Europe from the past year.
The formerly-bootstrapped HTEC provides consulting, technology engineering, and digital product development services across various industries for top companies globally. A rapidly growing digital service provider, HTEC has recently bolstered its offerings through a series of notable acquisitions, most recently welcoming Silicon Valley design studio Momentum Design Lab into the fold.
In a bid to accelerate the company's already impressive growth it was necessary to further scale its capacities. In order to facilitate this, HTEC sought its first external funding round since its founding in 2008, securing $140M from US-based growth equity investment firm Brighton Park Capital (BPC). Moving at record speeds, the financing round was completed within a single fiscal quarter.
An Unconventional Route
Completing the funding swiftly was a result of a concerted effort to ensure HTEC’s growth trajectory was not impeded.
“We knew from the start that fundraising can be time-consuming and requires substantial effort. With the current pace of our growth, we understood that the process might present itself as a highly challenging endeavor. The first thing we took into consideration was the impact that the process would have on our growth. It was clear that the ability to raise and deploy capital in a timely manner brings many opportunities and creates more value for our employees, customers and shareholders,” explains Miroslav Virijevic, Chief Financial Officer at HTEC Group.
In order to speed up the fundraising process and make it as agile as possible, HTEC opted to forego external advisors and manage it internally. The strategy turned out to be a success, as it enabled Miroslav's team to run a highly efficient process.
"To deliver on this commitment we chose an unconventional route, relying on our internal resources without engaging advisors or running a comprehensive process that would overwhelm us. Instead, we focused on a few investors we knew well, who were deeply involved in the technology services sector and whose integrity is indisputable. We believed that a combination of those qualities would save us time, and finally it turned out to be a good strategy as we were able to complete the entire financing round in a record time frame," says Miroslav.
Attracting BPC’s Attention
HTEC was an attractive investment opportunity due to its maturity, approach and global footprint as well as its continued growth and impressive client roster.
Additionally, HTEC not only had a clear ambition – to propel their international expansion and further accelerate organic growth through selective acquisitions – but also sought the right partner that could help navigate this next stage of growth, in step with HTEC's fast-paced style, vision and purpose.
Being armed with a clear idea of what they were seeking to get out of a partner made it possible to find one that was an ideal fit – a partner that understands the domain they operate in, the requirements of a company at different stages of growth, and how exactly they add value along the way.
“Asking the right questions that concern challenging areas of a business and hearing the investors’ thoughts were crucial in assessing partnership potential,” recalls Miroslav. “In a fast-growing environment, companies need a partner that can bring more than just money.”
Miroslav has four additional, hands-on bits of advice for those seeking to replicate HTEC’s success in acquiring funding:
- Don’t rush your decisions. If you don’t feel comfortable – don’t do it, no matter how pressing the deadline.
- No sugarcoating. A trust-based relationship from day one is key. Every business faces challenges – so share yours, be as transparent as possible, and look for the people that will help you solve them.
- Leverage collective wisdom. Share your thoughts with your key people and get as many perspectives as possible.
- Don't let rumors derail you. Rumors about who is investing and why you're seeking it will spread – it's all but inevitable. What you can do is – act by keeping integrity.
Of course, having access to Southeast Europe's world-class software engineers and other tech talents helps, as does having an experienced team that could handle the pressures of managing a fundraising round.