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Photo: Change Ventures team
EstVCA member Change Ventures has announced the closing of a €49M fund today. The fund also announced two new team members – Kärt Siilats as Investment Partner and Kärt Rääbis as Associate and Community Manager. Additionally, the fund launched an update on their Baltic Startup Funding Report.
Baltic startups raised more than €1.5bn in 2021 — triple the amount raised in 2020 — according to the Baltic Startup Funding Report, released by Change Ventures today. And the pace appears to be increasing: €1bn of the fundraising came in the second half of 2021, and 2022 got off to an even faster start.
In January 2022 alone Estonian identity verification startup Veriff raised $100m to become the latest unicorn from the region, mobility startup Bolt raised €628m and fintech startup Tuum raised €15m, barely two years after being founded.
To date, Change Ventures has backed an impressive roster of Baltic startups, including Veriff, Planet42, Nordigen, Printify, Interactio and Fyma. Through its latest fund, which has already been making investments, it will continue to back young Baltic startups, aided by a roster of limited partners that include C-suite luminaries from some of the key startups in the region, among them Vinted, Printify, KiloHealth, Lightyear and Oberlo.
The VC fund has also brought on board a new partner, Kärt Siilats. “She was running Mojo.capital, a late-stage fund in Western Europe that happens to have invested in a bunch of other Estonian teams, and she’s moving back from London to work with us here in this region,” says Andris Berzins, partner at Change Ventures.
There is now a push to back more diverse teams. Change Ventures claims that 43% of the startups that have already received money from the new fund are mixed-gender teams — and it expects this to reach 50% shortly — compared to Europe-wide figures of around 9%.
Berzins says that the latest fund is committed to only investing in companies that come out of the three Baltic states, as each continues to grow as a key startup hub. “It’s become clear to us that we are not interested in spending time outside this region because there are so many opportunities in this region,” he says. “It’s perfectly big enough to support a sizeable seed fund like ours.”
**Photo credit: Change Ventures; Sifted; https://unsplash.com/@vorosbenisop