Silicon Gardens, new regional fund invested in 5 startups in 5 monthsBY Zoja Kukic ON October 9
Silicon Gardens Fund is announcing its first set of 5 investments, that became part of their portfolio since May, when this regional fund based in Slovenia was launched. This means that they invested in one startup per month, which could be considered very active for a fund that is focused on SEE region.
Although believing in the potential of the region, the amount of quality investment opportunities caught the general manager of this fund, Peter Ribaric also by surprise:
It’s amazing to be able to find 5 high potential companies in the first four months of fund’s existence. We were certainly hoping that this could happen, but now we have empirical proof that there is enough talent and innovation for private investors to back at an early stage.
The first additions to Silicon Gardens’ portfolio are:
Sqwiz – New way for small businesses active on Facebook to build and maintain their website. Taking part in Wayra London incubator.
Povio – Re-envisioning photo sharing. Was the first exYu startup in Y Combinator.
Flaviar – App for discovering, tasting and buying fine spirits.
Getta.pro – Mobile app for booking and billing for fitness professionals.
Sphericam – Building affordable 360 degree cameras enabling content creation for Oculus Rift.
So far, all 5 startups are from Slovenia, but the team will soon start promotiong and searching for interesting investments in the entire SEE region.
Besides funding, Silicon Gardens provides expertise and mentorship, which is according to Luka Pecavar, founder of Sqwiz very important:
Our relationship with this fund is like having an older brother that tells you about all the stupid things he has already done, so you don’t repeat them and at the same time getting you a date with his schoolmate’s sister.
Silicon Gardens was founded by Jugoslav Petkovic (Founder of Mimovrste and Flavia and Povio who are now in this funds portfolio), and following partners are also successful slovenian entrepreneurs Gregor Rebolj (Klika/Sportradar), Borut Rismal (Pasadena) and Boštjan Špetič (Zemanta). As partners they have also quite good crew from US – Fred Wilson, Brad Feld, Jerry Colonna and Paul Vidich.
In the initial phase, the fund will invest 20-40 thousand euro for 5-15% of equity. The interesting thing is that every startup gets its own mentor who will take care of knowledge transfer and utilise the investors social network.