The first corporate venture capital fund in this part of Europe, the recently founded fund of Telekom Srbija, TS Ventures, will bring a minimum of EUR 25 million to the startup scene of Serbia in the next five years. Interested startups can already send short descriptions of their ideas in the form of an application on the fund’s official website, the director of TS Ventures, Davor Sakac, reveals for eKapija, and adds that the expectations are for the first funds to be provided by the end of the autumn.
– We will definitely facilitate access to investments for the local startup scene, which they need in order to develop ideas. Funds of this kind are a proven practice of all serious companies in the world, and Telekom Srbija, as one of the largest companies in this part of Europe, has therefore recognized this as a potential for the upgrade of its business portfolio through the investments in the independent fund which will invest the money in technological innovations of the future – our interviewee points out.
Startups with a real, commercial and global market potential, which come from the sphere of digital and information technologies, can expect support.
– All the categories of startups which have been the most represented in the world scene recently, primarily AI startups, e-commerce, Ed and FinTech, Health Care, IoT, Blockchain, SaaS, Mobile apps, are definitely serious candidates for our investments. I have to emphasize that startups will not find it easy at all to convince our jury members, foreign experts who have proven themselves in this field, that their idea is the one that will achieve real success and change the world. Only the best ideas will have our support – Sakac says.
Interested startups can already send short descriptions of their ideas in an application form on the fund’s official website at www.tsv.fund
– I note that this will be a continuous process and that it will last as long as the fund lasts. The next step will be to invite teams that have qualified for the next round to present us their ideas personally. The plan is to organize special events, where we will give the opportunity to all the startups to present themselves in the best possible light in a single place. Our wish and realistic expectation is to allocate the first funds by the end of the autumn, but this largely depends on what the market offers – he says.What the selection process will look like
The process of the selection of teams will take place in several rounds – following the first selection of the applications sent, the most interesting ones will be invited to present their ideas to the expert commission personally.
– In the next step, the selected startup enters the phase of business analysis, business potential estimate, which is done by our analysts and partners from abroad with a long-term experience in this field. The next phase are negotiations about the partnerships and models of business cooperation, and, if everything goes right, the realization of what’s agreed is to follow. It is important to note that the value of the investment is not set in advance and that it depends on the phase the startup is in at the moment, as well as the estimate of the value and the potentials for further growth, which is done by a team of local and foreign experts.
The first five years, according to our interviewee, will be investments years, after which a period for exit strategies is expected, when the startups will seek their opportunities for further growth and development in international markets.
– This sum of EUR 25 million is only the beginning of the investments and does not exclude the possibility of them being far larger in this period, considering that we will certainly encourage other investors to invest their money in this form of business through our fund – our interviewee concludes.I. Milovanovic