Credo Ventures Closes New €34 Million Fund Targeting Central Europe

Credo Ventures, the Prague-based VC targeting the CEE region, has closed its second fund, Credo 2, which, at €34 million, is more than twice that of the firm’s original €18 million fund launched in 2010.

As a reminder, Credo 1 has made a total of 16 investments in Central Europe, two of which — Brainient and TVbeat — are actually headquartered in London (Disclaimer: as was Beepl, another startup Credo backed, of which I was co-founder and CEO).

The VC tends to co-invest with other funds, and these have thus far included Seedcamp, TechStars, Index, Arts Alliance, hub:raum, Atlas, Flybridge, Baseline amongst others.

It’s also noteworthy that, in contrast to the majority of local VCs in the region who in part invest public, largely EU, money, Credo Ventures’ LPs are entirely private.

To date the firm has seen 4 exits but, arguably, only one exit of note, Cognitve Security, which was acquired by Cisco for an undisclosed amount. The other exits are Klick2Contact, Intellitix and Beepl.

However, Credo partner and co-founder Ondrej Bartos remains bullish about the VC firm’s future prospects and the region as a whole.

“I have been a part of the startup scene in Central Europe for the past 16 years, pretty much ever since I started First Tuesday in the Czech Republic. And what I’ve seen in the last 5 years has been a very rapid development of the startup scene in the region,” he says.

Specifically, Bartos cites the rise of numerous acceleration programs, better access to information, more exposure to areas with developed startup ecosystems, like London and Silicon Valley, and better access to funding as proof of how far the region has come in a relatively short time.

And clearly Credo’s investors agree, with the majority of the new fund made up of existing LPs.

“When we started Credo Ventures in 2010, we were one of the few VCs here, with the appetite for real startup investing. That has all changed. And I am grateful for that change, and have no doubts we will see more unicorns in the coming decade,” he says, citing the likes of Avast, AVG, and LogMeIn as some of CEE’s standout tech companies.

Meanwhile, it’s my understanding Credo 2 has two investments already lined up, which will be announced before the summer. In total, it expects to make 4-5 new investments by the end of 2015. And whilst it currently sits at €34 million, Credo 2 is actually aiming to raise €40 million.

“Our second fund will focus on early stage investments in startups from Central Europe, we will write cheques starting as low as 50k and at the same time being able to invest up to 6 million euro,” says Bartos.

“We believe in backing great founders early, and continue with them in the follow on rounds in which we aim to bring new value-adding investors to the table.

“We will look at anything in tech, however we will slightly incline towards B2B and we like best areas in tech where we have some previous experience, like security, AI, developer tools or anything around video.”