Early-stage European venture capital firm LAUNCHub Ventures has recently announced the closing of its new €44 million fund. The company, which focuses mainly on the CEE (Central Eastern) and SEE (South-Eastern Europe) regions, is aiming to eventually achieve a target size of €70 million. The final close is anticipated by the second quarter of 2021.
The European Investment Fund, various Bulgarian investors & tech founders and corporates are the principal backers for this funding stage.
The new fund is reportedly aimed at helping LAUNCHub invest in over 25 new startups over the next 4 years. The initial range of investment is between €500,000-€2 million, and covers verticals such as fintech, big data, digital health, AI, marketplaces, proptech and B2B SaaS. The fund will also facilitate active investment in the Web 3.0 / Blockchain, which the company has been carrying out since 2014.
The VC firm is focusing on the rich concentration of highly qualified developers across the CEE nations, which have nearly 1.3 developers for every 100 individuals in the workforce.
According to LAUNCHub Ventures’ founding partner Todor Breshkov, rapid economic progress in Eastern and Central Europe has caught the eye of many Western investors seeking the next unicorn. The yet untapped and abundant potential in the region, coupled with a rising number of success stories at local levels is generating promising growth prospects for the next generation of tech founders in the CEE region, he added.
While the firm faces competition from fellow investors in the region like Earlybird, they tend to veer towards later-stage investments, and typically act as co-investor with LAUNCHub. Greek funds like Marathon and Venture Friends are focused on their diaspora and core country entrepreneurs, while others such as Credo Ventures cater mainly to the CEE and the Czech Republic.
Partner and co-founder of LAUNCHub, Stephane Gantchev has reportedly stated that the firm’s strategy is to be regional, looking at all opportunities in the SEE, rather than focusing on Bulgaria specifically.