Bulgarian venture capital is experiencing something of a renaissance. Last year LAUNCHub Ventures raised a €70 million find aimed at Southeastern Europe, while Vitosha Venture Partners raised a €26 million ($30 million) fund for startups out of Bulgaria.
Now Eleven Ventures, another Bulgarian VC focused on pre-seed and seed investing in Southeastern Europe (SEE) has closed its Eleven Fund III at €60 million ($67.6 million). This is 10x the size of its previous fund in 2018.
SEE is reportedly doing well, with some €2.25 billion estimated to have been raised by regional companies in 210 deals over the last 12 months.
Eleven has a growing track record. It was the first institutional investor in Payhawk (which raised a $112 million at a $570 million valuation in November 2021); it was also early into Gtmhub (which raised a $120 million Series C last year); and it is the only VC backing SMSbump (acquired by U.S. e-commerce marketing platform Yotpo in 2020).
New instruments out of this new fund include Romanian Frisbo (Ecomtech), ProductLead (Ecomtech) and SuperOkay (Future of Work), the Greek Biopix (Healthcare) and the Bulgarian PlanDelta (Future of Work), Metasim (Future of Work) and BeMe (Healthcare).
The majority of LPs in the new fund are repeat investors, including the European Investment Fund, as well as 60 individual investors from the tech industry. Eleven did an IPO in March 2020 on the Bulgarian Stock Exchange, with 20 portfolio companies under the Eleven Capital public entity.
Ivaylo Simov, founding partner at Eleven Ventures said: “Our job is to seek out the local heroes in Southeast Europe and give everything we have to support their growth and global outreach. We’re trying to inspire the local entrepreneurial community to look beyond the region’s ecosystem and have more daring aspirations. It is incredible to see that the once early-stage founders, currently running mature businesses, are becoming investors in our fund and now supporting the next generation of up-and-coming entrepreneurs to help them become even more successful.”
Alain Godard, chief executive at EIF (the European Investment Fund) commented: “Fostering innovation is a priority for the European Union in order to improve well-being and drive prosperity. We are pleased to continue our partnership with Eleven Ventures and proud to back their third fund which invests in the next generation of technology innovators and entrepreneurs of South Eastern Europe.”
Eleven Ventures was established in 2012 by Daniel Tomov and Ivaylo Simov, initially as an accelerator in the region. Tomov and Simov were later joined by Vassil Terziev, a successful Bulgarian tech entrepreneur. Terziev is a co-founder of Telerik, which was acquired by Progress Software in one of the biggest exits of a software company in the region. In 2018 Eleven raised its second Fund, one of the first entirely private VC funds in Eastern Europe, and has since been focused on pre-seed and seed investments.
Eleven Ventures’ portfolio includes the unmanned cargo drone manufacturer and operator Dronamics, the leading Kanban platform Kanbanize, the online resume builder Enhancv, the telehealth platform Healee, and the aforementioned Payhawk, SMSbump and Gtmhub. Also Nitropack, eBag, Econic and Ondo.