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Monday, June 27, 2022

Backing Ambitious Baltic Founders: Change Ventures Announces Second Baltic-focused Seed Fund

Change Ventures is the first pre-seed & seed venture capital fund with boots on the ground in all three Baltic states. They back ambitious founders based in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania as well as Baltic diaspora entrepreneurs building their businesses elsewhere in the world. Initial investments range from €100k to €750k, with follow-on capital available for later rounds. Portfolio companies from their first fund include startups such as Nordigen, MeetFrank, Interactio, Timbeter and Giraffe360.

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Since their first investment in November 2016, Change Ventures has attempted to bring change to the Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian seed and pre-seed investment environment. Their recipe is simple:

  • They  only back Baltic founders with big, bold, global ambitions;
  • They invest using a no-nonsense, founder-friendly process;
  • They help with getting to product-market fit, raising additional funds and growing the business;
  • They deliver an unparalleled network of follow-on investors and partners.

Now Change Ventures have announced that investors have committed over €30M of capital in Fund II, €21M of which was included in the first close. The anchor investor is the European Investment Fund (capital from Baltic Innovation Fund I and Innovfin), joined by publicly listed Draper Esprit, one of Europe’s largest venture capital funds, as well as a Baltic pension fund manager, among others.

Andris K. Berzins, Managing Partner explained the opportunity for this second fund as follows: “We believe that the next five years will see a further step up in the quality and quantity of Baltic startups, almost all of whom are aiming to go global from day one. The flywheel of experience, network and capital is spinning ever faster in the region and we are seeing more and more new teams spin out from the region’s successfully scaling unicorn startups”.

“Our investments in Estonian startups Transferwise and RealEyes indicated something special about the Baltic States. This small region with a population of just 6m people has produced a disproportionately large number of global success stories, including 4 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,” commented Jonathan Sibilia, Head of Secondaries and Fund of Funds at Draper Esprit.

The new fund sees the addition of a new venture partner to strengthen its presence in the region. Janis Krums, a serial entrepreneur, angel investor and a Latvian based in the USA, will help the firm scout investment opportunities among the Baltic diaspora and support our portfolio with advice. Their venture partner in Lithuania, Vytautas Kubilius, Head of Baltics at Google, will also continue to support the search for aspiring startup teams.

The first investment in this second fund was also just announced: Change Ventures led the pre-seed round of Qoorio, a community for humans to share life learnings & knowledge supporting their successful pilot launch in Vilnius this summer. As a next step, the Qoorio team is preparing to launch in a major European capital soon.

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Gabriella Somos
Gabriella Somoshttps://www.linkedin.com/in/gabriellasomos/
Gabriella is a marketing and communications professional with several years of media industry experience under her belt. Content, copy, articles, interviews – now covering the Nordic ecosystem.

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