The Sofia-based early-stage venture capital fund Vitosha Venture Partners completes a €1.6M round of financing, supporting eight Bulgarian startups. This comes after in June 2021, the fund made its second batch of investments by backing 13 local startups with a total of €2.7M.
After the latest round, Vitosha Venture Partners now has a total of 25 startups in its portfolio, expecting to invest in around 75 more startups by the end of 2023.
With an investment capacity of €26M, the VC firm is supported by the governmental Fund of Funds and its ticket size range between €25K and €1M. Тhis round of investments consists of companies serving different industries at various development stages.
“Being industry-agnostic gives us the opportunity to be broad and inclusive in our assessment of high-potential deal flow. This set of investments represents a very broad number of sectors and industries, but the common denominators are founders’ expertise, sizable market size, and high growth potential. We see that the majority of founders we select aren’t first-timers, and it is likely a result of the impressive maturing that our Sofia ecosystem has undergone in the past decade,” Max Gurvits, Managing Partner at Vitosha Venture Partners, shares for The Recursive.
Find out in more detail which are the companies in Vitosha Venture’s latest round of investments and what are their growth plans.
Platforms, B2B, Personalization, and Low-cost alternatives
Elca.bg is an electricity price comparison platform that allows customers to compare prices, choose a supplier, and save money. Elca.bg works with publicly available information and uses analytical technologies and algorithms to compare the offers of electricity trading companies. The company aims to enable its users to make an objective and data-based decision for the choice of electrical supplier. Elca.bg is founded by a small team with more than 15 years of individual experience in the energy markets, digital services, and marketing. To support their development, Vitosha Venture Partners invested €200K in elca.bg.
„As we aim to position elca.bg as a trusted brand by the energy consumers, we will use the investment to further develop and promote the platform and expand the team. Our mission is to empower the customers to make the best decisions about their energy contracts and to strengthen the relationship between consumers and energy suppliers by building the most reliable, independent, and objective price comparison and switching platform,” Kremena Stoyanova, founder of elca.bg, tells The Recursive.
Dexycon is an end-to-end solution for template-based development of mobile applications that helps SMEs digitize their processes, solving the three main obstacles: no money, no time, and no know-how. The company, which is founded by Silyana Bojilova, CEO, and Tzani Sabev, CTO, provides easy-to-use low-cost modular solutions, such as event applications, B2C/B2B order applications, or customer portals. The team, which was also part of Endeavor Bulgaria’s Dare to Scale program, was supported by Vitosha Venture Partners with €200K.
“Our goal is to bring businesses closer to their clients by simplifying the process of going digital. The customer activation process, which goes hand in hand with the modular out-of-the-box system, allows us to empower them to make use of the solution to its full potential. We will use this investment round to expand our sales in Bulgaria and test the European market with some pilot projects in Austria and France,” Silyana Bojilova says.
Noviotic is a boutique company for personalized medicine that manufactures and sells probiotic starter cultures and probiotic dietary supplements targeting the Indonesian market. The team behind Novitotic has developed a collection of probiotic strains of natural, NON-GMO healthy bacteria. Vitosha Venture Partners invests €550K in the biotech company.
Agrovar is an agri-tech startup focused on providing digital tools and practical knowledge for farmers who have started or want to begin their transition from conventional to regenerative farming. Vitosha Venture partners invested €200K in the SaaS platform that combines agricultural know-how and AI.
“In line with the EU’s Green Deal, sustainability in agriculture and soil health are becoming increasingly important as more and more related industries want to be able to track and limit their impact on the environment. The company has begun to work with a significant number of farmers in Bulgaria helping them to increase their soil health and to be able to adapt their farms to adverse climate conditions in a more sustainable way. Agrovar will introduce its digital services platform in Q3 of 2022 and will look into expanding in other Eastern and Central European countries soon after,” shares Konstantin Haralampiev, part of Agrovar’s co-founding team.
Myvi.io is a content subscription and social engagement app for health, beauty, and personal development coaches and their followers. The app allows coaches to monetize their keenest followers through selling exclusive content. Through various features such as video content streaming, creators market their content to their fanbase and collect revenues from every viewing. Myvi.io was backed with €100K.
“Our team will use the funding from this round to build the initial infrastructure and reach version 1. Part of the funding will be used for research and marketing activities before releasing the stable version to the end-user,” Ivaylo Panayotov, founder of Myvi.io, says.
Opto Smart Solutions
Optoexpert is a mobile app that helps eye specialists to digitize their daily routines. The app facilitates glass measurements and has the ability to perform different eye exams for its customers. The team received a €120K investment from Vitosha Venture Partners.
“The investment we got is crucial for our business. Now we have the opportunity to improve the quality of our product and then we can expand easier. The first 3-4 months we invest into getting our product on another level of quality and user experience. The work process goes smoothly and we are at the finish line of this milestone. After that, we plan to distribute our product in multiple countries starting from our region – Eastern Europe. Hopefully, we will be able to prove our product as a must-have on every optician in our region,” Dobri Kostadinov, co-founder and CTO, says.
Softmedline, in which Vitosha Venture Partners invested €90K, is a research-based content platform that connects healthcare specialists with patients.
Black Sea film
Black Sea film is a media production of home entertainment and TV series, founded by the Bulgarian producer and actress, Dessy Tenekedjieva. The company’s focus is on a low-budget film production that still generates sufficient gross margins to supply the increasing demand for home entertainment, and TV series to ensure sustainability by generating recurring revenue. Black Sea Film now has 6 projects already set in the pipeline. Its first international film will start being filmed in July 2022.
“Our ambition is to increase the company valuation and in 2024-2026 to provide our investors with high ROI exit opportunities by implementing either a buyback exit model or onboard next bridging capital or Series-A Investor to further scale and grow. The funds will be used for content and product research, development and production, marketing, and social media advertising,” Dessy Tenekedjieva shares.