Warsaw/New York-based ff Venture Capital has announced a new €60 million fund aimed at bridging Central European startups with both the US and Japanese markets. With a first close of €32 million, the Red & White fund will offer late seed to Series A investments to startups working in the digital transformation, resource optimisation, and sustainable transformation sectors.
Focusing on Germany, Austria, Poland, Czechia, Slovakia, Romania, and Hungary and Furthering this notion of building bridges east, the new fund is a joint venture between Japanese investment advisory firm JBIC IG Partners and has welcomed the participation of Japanese multinational corporations looking to connect with innovative enterprise solutions from Central Europe.
“We believe there is a unique opportunity for startups aggressively tackling pressing challenges in both regions – aging populations, changes in global trade and its impact on manufacturing economies, as well as energy dependence,” commented ffVC Partner Maciej Skarul.
Opening shop in late 2008, ffVC has close to 20 European companies in the portfolio including kennek, Salv, and Cryptiony, and has already established a healthy network looking West, i.e. the US. The joint venture now turns the firms’ focus East, and is aimed at opening up a two-way street for Central European startups and Japanese investors who can offer access to collaborative opportunities with Japan-headquartered businesses, i.e. new markets and new opportunities.
Further supporting the initiative with a move to Warsaw from Tokyo, Investment Director at JBIC IG Partners’ Masayuki Ohta commented, “JBIC IG Partners has identified Central European startups as ideal partners for Japanese multinationals, given the similarity of the economic structures they operate in, the issues they are trying to solve, and the problem-solving profile of its founders. With its presence on the ground on both sides of the Atlantic and track record of building bridges, ffVC was the standout choice of partner to build this new connection between Europe and Japan that will make optimal use of opportunities in both regions.”