Tallinn-based Change Ventures has announced a second fund of over €30 million, which will funnel into the Baltic startup ecosystem. The firm also announced a leading pre-seed investment in Qoorio, a new venture by Justas Janauska, the Lithuanian co-founder and former CEO of Vinted.
The fund’s anchor investor is European Investment Fund, joined by Draper Esprit and a Baltic pension fund manager, among others. The firm aims for ambitious founders, early on, in an effort to help develop the Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian seed and pre-seed investment landscapes. The first fund help build portfolio companies such as Nordigen, MeetFrank, Interactio, Timbeter and Giraffe360.
Jonathan Sibilia of Draper Esprit explains the venture opportunity in Baltics: “Our investments in Estonian startups Transferwise and RealEyes indicated something special about the Baltic States. This small region with a population of just six million people has produced a disproportionately large number of global success stories, including four unicorns from Estonia alone. We selected Change Ventures as the leading seed fund in the region to invest in the next crop of new teams coming to the market so that we can offer them growth financing when the time comes.”
One of those next-crop companies is Qoorio, formerly HumansApp, which is an app “for humans to share life learnings and knowledge,” facilitating in-person meetings among strangers. Janauska conceived the app as a way of increasing connection, combating loneliness, and reversing technology’s tendency to reduce face-to-face interaction.
Change Ventures led the startup’s €540,000 pre-seed round this past summer, with participation from venture partner Vytautas Kubilius (Country Manager, Baltics, Google), a group of angel investors including Mantas Mikuckas and Thomas Plantenga, and Lithuania-based accelerator fund 70Ventures.
After a successful pilot in Vilnius, Qoorio is planning to launch in another European capital soon.