NJORD Estonia: Start-ups, give yourself up!

Estonian Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (EstVCA) announced on March 1st, that Trind Ventures – Estonian organization that operates in fund management, concluded the first closing of its new fund at 21 million euros.

The fund will mainly invest in early-stage digital companies that are operating in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Finland, and the rest of Central and Northern Europe. The fund’s three largest investors are the European Investment Fund (EIF), to whom the European Commission has allocated funds through the so-called Juncker plan, LHV pension funds and the Trind Ventures team itself.

The fund supports new technology companies by investing, helps solve the growing demand for seed capital amongst companies that still operate in the early stages and creates possibilities for regional investment syndicates. The fund offers the companies seed capital from 100 000 euros and makes continuing investments of up to 3 million euros per company. The fund can make investments alone but is also prepared to cooperate with other local business angels and early-stage funds. The fund plans to invest in up to 10 new portfolio companies in every year of operation.

Trind Ventures connects the communities of business angels and institutional investors. The founders of the company are Joel Aasmäe, Ivar Siimar, Kimmo Irpola and Taavi Lepmets. According to Ivar Siimar, the founder of Estonian Business Angels Network (EstBAN) and one of the TOP40 most influential European business angels, their team is already in the process of negotiating with several ambitious start-ups and they are encouraging other awesome teams to make themselves and their businesses known.

Similarly, on March 2<sup>nd</sup>, entrepreneurs and investors Rain Rannu, Veljo Otsason and Marek Kiisa, who are well known in the Estonian start-up community, announced that their newly founded investment fund Superangel helps build up early-stage technology companies. The investments are made to several early-stage companies around the world, giving preference to companies related to Estonia that have the ambition to succeed globally. Necessary capital is also offered to technology companies of e-residents. An incubation program will also take off alongside the fund.

Superangel plans to invest 20 million euros over 4 years into 40 early-stage start-ups. Investments per a company will be between 50 000 euros and 1,5 million euros. The investments will be made in the early stages of the companies, but they will be supported later through continuing investments. At the moment, 12 million euros have been involved in the fund and one of the largest investors, with 4 million euros, is LHV pension funds. Other investors include Smartcap, the founders of Taxify – Markus and Martin Villig, former Skype CEO and the founder of Teleport Sten Tamkivi, founder and CEO of Mobi Lab Veiko Raime and several other successful entrepreneurs in the field of technology.

The final closing of the investors’ circle will take place in 2018 or on completion of the fund’s maximum capacity in the sum of 20 million euros, but Superangel will start making first investments this week.

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