The Openfund began 5 years ago, around the same time as Seedcamp which might well make it the second oldest ‘new style’ tech seed fund in Europe. You could say that it was not only pretty early, but also in a tough place – Greece does not have a large or long history in tech startups and Openfund was, and remains, the only real institutional tech investor in town. And they only had €500,000 to play with. That said, OpenFund, like their ancient Greek soldier ancestors, set their faces against the wind and kept going. The fund has now announced a new team of partners and a second fund totaling €10 million under management. Openfund II has drawn its LPs from the European Investment Fund, which serves as the Openfund’s major investor under the Jeremie program, and the participation of 11 private investors. At the same time it’s announced two major fundings – a €100,000 investment in Incrediblue (a kind of Airbnb for private leisure boats) and €600,000 in WorkableHR, a platform for simplifying the recruitment process.
The fund will work with entrepreneurs in two stages: a) pre-seed, starting from an investment size of €50,000 for up to 10% equity to turn an idea into a product (and another €50,000 for another 5% later on) and b) Seed, with an investment of up to €500,000, to focus on turning an existing product into a working business. The partners are George Tziralis, Georgios Kasselakism Nikkos Frangos, Constantine Pateras and Aristos Doxiadis – who combine a mix of product, investors and private equity experience.
The intention is to partner with up to 25 pre-seed and 10 seed stage companies within the next 3 years and the call for pre-seed companies is now open until the end of January. The fund is pulling in around 50 mentors to join the fund to assist entrepreneurs.
Back in 2008, OpenFund raised €500,000 from seven individuals and made investments of €20-50k for a 15% equity stake. After getting 300 proposals (remember, this was 2008) they selected 8 teams (a head count 55), but eventually realised this was “suboptimal” shall we say, and there were issues around the lack of follow-on capital. They’ve grown up since it would seem.
Founded July 2012 by Nikos Moraitakis (CEO) and Spyros Magiatis (CTO), WorkableHR sets out to help companies improve the quality and efficiency of their hiring by simplifying the most time-consuming tasks: candidate screening and hiring team collaboration. It’s taken €100,000 in pre-seed from a larger Greek tech business, Upstream and now the €600,000seed round led by the Openfund. It has numerous competitors – The Resumator, JobVite and SmartRecruiters, not to mention traditional enterprise players like Taleo, Peoplesoft and ICIMS – but what’s different about Workable is that it is replacing the CV PDF car crash with online profiles which have metadata and are easier to sift and search.
incrediblue is a marketplace connecting boat owners and crews with travelers, globally. Consider it an airbnb for boats. Founded in March 2012 by Antonios Fiorakis (CEO), George Gatos (COO) and Theodoros Orfanidis (CTO), incrediblue standardizes the marine tourism industry and allows you to make buying decisions based on price, photos, location, availability and user reviews. Users list their boat and allow people to book the boat as they would an apartment. It also offers skippers jobs to run the boats.
Openfund’s biggest hit so far however, has been Taxibeat, which launched in Paris at Le Web and has created a unique marketplace for taxi cabs which, in our opinion, is one of the best on the market.