The emphasis on enterprise solutions stems from the intricate nature of the current global challenges confronting businesses. These challenges necessitate startups to push the boundaries of innovation further, particularly in areas such as supply chain management, addressing energy shortages, controlling inflation, and reducing carbon emissions to meet climate crisis objectives.
Especially, Central European startups possess a distinctive advantage, leveraging their expertise and skill set essential for excelling in these technologies. However, they often encounter obstacles in terms of securing capital and gaining international visibility, lagging behind their global counterparts.
CEE-focused ffVC fund
To address this disparity and offer financial support to ambitious entrepreneurs aiming for global success, ff Venture Capital (ffVC), a New York- and Warsaw-based international VC firm, has launched ff Red & White, a new €60 million fund to support startups in Central Europe. The fund will focus on Series A and late seed investments in startups tackling the most pressing challenges facing enterprises and society, and help them leverage their expertise in supply chain management, energy shortages, inflation control, and reducing carbon emissions.
Founded in New York in 2008, ff Venture Capital invests in cybersecurity, AI, machine learning, drones, and cloud software. It has a global portfolio of more than 90 companies, and had over 30 exits, including Indiegogo, Plated, Authorea, etc. fVC launched its first CEE-focused in 2020 and has a portfolio of nearly 20 European companies. This new fund will focus on startups from Germany, Austria, Poland, Czechia, Slovakia, Romania and Hungary.
Partnership with Japanese investment firm
ff Red & White is a global joint venture with JBIC IG Partners. In partnership with the Japanese investment advisory firm, the fund has already secured the majority of its targeted capital from investors, including several Japanese multinational corporations and the Japan Bank for International Cooperation (JBIC), Japan‘s policy-based financial institution. The appointment of two new Japanese partners, Masayuki Ohta and Taro Hizume, both from JBIC IG Partners, will relocate to Warsaw and reinforce ffVC’s new Japanese bridge.
ffVC’s latest fund is creating a bridge between Central European startups and the major global markets. In addition to its US networks, the new fund’s corporate Japanese investors provide access to collaborative opportunities with Japan-headquartered global corporations, allowing them to commercialise their industrial enterprise solutions anywhere in the world.
Already, ffVC has established a framework for European startups to commercialise in the US, and it will extend to this initiative, ensuring that both the startup and corporate sides achieve favourable outcomes.
Maciej Skarul, partner at ffVC stated: “This fund will open up a previously unexplored market for Central European startups, and grants Japanese corporations access to cutting-edge European frontier enterprise technologies. We believe there is a unique opportunity for startups aggressively tackling pressing challenges in both regions – ageing populations, changes in global trade and its impact on manufacturing economies, as well as energy dependence.”
Mariusz Adamski, partner at ffVC added: “With Japan, our strategic presence now extends to the world’s three largest economies, barring China. That reach means we can source better deals, our portfolio companies can grow faster and we are able to create more exit options. This setup allows us to provide Central European pre-Series B startups with unparalleled global opportunities.”
Masayuki Ohta, partner at ffVC commented: “JBIC IG Partners has identified Central European startups as ideal partners for Japanese multinationals, given the similarity of the economic structures they operate in, the issues they are trying to solve, and the problem-solving profile of its founders. With its presence on the ground on both sides of the Atlantic and track record of building bridges, ffVC was the standout choice of partner to build this new connection between Europe and Japan that will make optimal use of opportunities in both regions.”