Istanbul-based VC firm 500 Emerging Europe has launched €70 million for early-stage startups in Turkey, Central Emerging Europe (CEE) and the Baltics (Emerging Europe). The company’s second fund has already raised more than €50 million for the €70 million fund.
The fund will invest in pre-seed and seed rounds in Emerging Europe, with first tickets as high as €2 million and high reserves for follow-on rounds. It has made 14 investments over the last year and its first investment in Poland.
The VC, previously known as 500 Istanbul, had been set up to invest in globally-focused founders from Turkey and Eastern Europe. Going forward, 500 Emerging Europe plans to be active across Emerging Europe, holding in-person ecosystem building events in Bucharest, Tallinn, Budapest, Warsaw, Athens and Sofia in 2022.
500 Emerging Europe general partner Enis Hulli said: “The thesis for 500 Istanbul revolved around investing in companies that leverage local tech talent but have global ambitions from the start. This thesis has resulted in three unicorns in our portfolio, as we tested out different markets in Emerging Europe. Startups from this region are global from the outset, uniquely positioning the region to potentially lead growth on the continent and create dozens of global unicorns every year.”
500 Emerging Europe general partner Arın Özkula added: “500 Emerging Europe is determined to fuel ecosystem-building activities and bridge the region to more developed markets. With this hyper-local and boots-on-the-ground approach, supported by our global network, 500 Emerging Europe aims to become the natural first stop for early-stage teams in the region with a vision for a global product supported by our global network.”