SmartCap and KredEx chose the winner of the accelerator procurement

July 27, 2017

Seven teams took part in the accelerator procurement, with four teams meeting the qualification requirements. A final tender was submitted by three teams. The joint tender submitted by Mobi Solutions OÜ and Astrec Baltic OÜ was chosen as the winner.

The aim of the accelerator procurement announced in October 2016 was to invest the financial resources of the state venture capital fund managed by SmartCap in up to two venture capital funds providing accelerator services (accelerator funds) for up to 4.2 million euros per fund. A charge of up to 1.4 million euros per fund for accelerator services will be added to that amount and financed from the resources of a Structural Fund of the European Union. Pursuant to the terms and conditions of the procurement, the winning tenderer must invest at least 360,000 euros of equity in the fund and involve at least 30% private financing as compared to the total volume of the fund.

Just one tender submitted by Mobi Solutions OÜ and Astrec Baltic OÜ met the terms and conditions of the procurement. SmartCap will therefore invest in one accelerator fund. The winning team now has six months to involve the required private financing and create the fund. According to initial plans, the fund will be established at the beginning of 2018. Within the framework of the transaction, SmartCap will invest 4.2 million euros in the accelerator fund and enter into a contract for accelerator services in a volume of approximately 1.4 million euros. The provision of accelerator services and investment activities can thereafter begin.

According to Sille Pettai, Member of the Management Board of SmartCap, interest from the participants was very high. “We were reassured that it is possible in Estonia to bring together several capable teams that have the prerequisites for establishing a venture capital fund and that are able to apply a systematic approach to investment management. We are also glad to see that clearly distinct investment strategies were offered and different visions with regard to accelerator services were provided. The procurement process was long and comprehensive, but we were able to stick to the schedule we had earlier agreed on. Regardless of several teams of great promise participating in the procurement, we are currently only able to announce one winning tenderer. We are going to carefully monitor the situation on the local market and review our own terms and conditions and requirements. We will then decide whether and in what manner to invest in a second venture capital fund,” said Pettai.

The winner of the procurement boasts a high level of experience in the field and an excellent international network. The team of Mobi Solutions OÜ and Astrec Baltic OÜ has been able to prove its capacity to involve capital from international investors and to invest in companies with international potential. The winning team includes three entrepreneurs in the field of technology – Veljo Otsason, Rain Rannu and Marek Kiisa – who have all gained valuable experience in establishing and building start-ups and managing venture capital investments.

Veljo Otsason and Rain Rannu are co-founders of Fortumo, a company providing international mobile payment solutions, who are experienced in both involving venture capital investments and entering the global market. They are both experienced angel investors holding shares in more than 15 startups, which also include Pipedrive and Taxify. Marek Kiisa is a noteworthy angel investor who was elected angel investor of the year in 2014 by EstBAN, the Estonian Business Angels Network. He was also one of the first investors in GrabCAD. In 2014, GrabCAD was sold to Stratasys, a major manufacturer of 3D printers. This was one of the biggest venture capital transactions in Estonia.

The accelerator procurement marks the beginning of a new stage in developing the investment strategy of SmartCap, as a result of which the venture capital fund Early Fund II managed by SmartCap will continue as a fund of funds and hereinafter invest in other investment funds with private investors who in turn invest in start-ups with private financing.

For further information please contact:

Sille Pettai
Member of the Management Board of SmartCap
+372 523 1675
Sille.Pettai@smartcap.ee