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Trind Ventures’ new fund for early-stage digital companies reaches first closing at EUR 21 million with support from EU

    Date: 01 March 2018

EIF supported, Trind Ventures has concluded the first closing of its new fund at EUR 21 million. The three largest investors in the fund are European Investment Fund (EIF) under the Juncker Plan, LHV pension funds (LHV) and Trind Ventures’ team itself.

The fund will invest into early stage ICT companies in Estonia, Finland, Latvia, Lithuania and the rest of Central and Northern Europe. It will help to address the increasing demand for seed capital by early stage teams and improve the capacity of regional syndication for early stage funding.

The fund will provide seed capital starting from EUR 100,000 and do follow-on investments of up to EUR 3 million per company. The fund can invest alone, but is keen to co-invest alongside local business angels and/or other early stage funds. The fund plans to invest in up to 10 new portfolio companies per year.

Ivar Siimar, Partner with Trind Ventures said, “We are happy to have our new fund closed. It can now start investing and our team is already talking to many aspiring entrepreneurs in the region. The quality of investment targets is getting better every year thanks to the positive feedback loop created by the regional success stories. It is also great to have a bit more capital available in the early stage – a development which will increase the success rate of the local companies and provide longer runways for entrepreneurs. We will now be able to syndicate larger financing rounds locally.”

Taavi Lepmets, Partner of Trind Ventures noted, “While our fund will no doubt increase the economic activity and innovation in the target markets, we also aim to provide a great long-term return to our committed investors like EIF and LHV. Our team has previously achieved a net return of 8 times money invested. So, the bar is set high, but we hope that our investment horizon of over 10 years will help us reach it.”

Trind Ventures is supported by InnovFin Equity, with the financial backing of the European Union under Horizon 2020 Financial Instruments and the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) set up under the Investment Plan for Europe. The purpose of EFSI is to help companies across Europe gain access to financing and attract private investors to support innovative and strategic projects by providing a guarantee to the EIB Group.

EIF Chief Executive, Pier Luigi Gilibert said: “EIF is pleased to be contributing to the establishment of a new team in the Baltics' venture capital ecosystem, to reduce the financing gap that limits the growth potential of start-up companies in the region. Trind Ventures will help to establish a direct funding link between the business angel and institutional investor community creating a more targeting funding approach for companies in the Baltics.”

European Commission Vice-President Andrus Ansip, responsible for the Digital Single Market, added: "Improving access to finance for Europe's vibrant digital startup sector is at the top of the EU's agenda. The European tech industry creates jobs faster than any other industries, so it's vital we do what we can to give early-stage companies a helping hand. I am very proud that the EU is supporting Trind Ventures in its quest to provide seed capital to digital businesses across central and Northern Europe".

According to LHV Fund Manager Kristo Oidermaa, with the given investments, LHV’s pension funds will continue to develop the local investment market. ‘We are investing in a fund that supports the emergence of new information technology companies. The ICT sector has been one of the most stable and strongest contributors to the growth of the Estonian economy, which is why we believe that our clients will also value the benefit and potential of the investment. We wish to continue being good partners to specialised funds when it comes to realising bigger investments and projects,’ said Kristo Oidermaa.

“This is a seminal step for early-stage investing in Europe and we are delighted to have supported Trind Ventures from the beginning within the framework of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI) set up under the Investment Plan for Europe,” said Candace Johnson, President of EBAN, the European Trade Association for Business Angels, Seed Funds and Early Stage Market Players.  “Trind Ventures represents the symbiotic relationship between Business Angels and Venture Capital at its best.  Several our network members across Europe and the world look forward to doing co-investments with Trind Ventures in their target markets,” concluded Johnson.

Background information

About EIF

The European Investment Fund (EIF) is part of the European Investment Bank group. Its central mission is to support Europe's micro, small and medium-sized businesses by helping them to access finance. EIF designs and develops both venture and growth capital, guarantees and microfinance instruments which specifically target this market segment. In this role, EIF fosters EU objectives in support of innovation, research and development, entrepreneurship, growth and employment.

About Trind Ventures:

Trind Ventures is an early stage tech investor established by Joel Aasmäe, Ivar Siimar, Kimmo Irpola and Taavi Lepmets. The team has invested in Norther and Central Europe since 1999 and made over 30 investments. As of 2018 it has returned over 80% of invested capital with an 8x net return for investors and is currently investing out of a EUR 21 million fund. The lead investors in the current fund are the European Investment Fund, LHV pension funds and the team itself. Trind Ventures is domiciled in Tallinn, Estonia. 

About the Juncker Plan

The Investment Plan for Europe, or Juncker Plan, focuses on breaking down barriers to investment, providing visibility and technical assistance to investment projects and making smart use of new and existing financial resources. More information on EIF's work under EFSI is available here. The projects and agreements approved for financing under EFSI so far are expected to mobilise more than EUR 264 billion in total investments across 28 Member States and to support around 589 000 SMEs. More information on the Juncker Plan website.

Press contacts

For further questions, please contact;

EIF: David Yormesor, tel: +352 42 66 88 346, e-mail: d.yormesor@eif.org 

Trind Ventures: Ivar Siimar, tel: +372 5029 029, e-mail:  ivar@trind.vc

LHV: Kristo Oidermaa, e-mail:  kristo.oidermaa@lhv.ee 

EBAN: Candace Johnson, e-mail: president@eban.org


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