A joint venture between CB ESPRI and Slovak Investment Holding is set to launch the CB ESPRI Impact One Investment Fund, which will be the first Slovak investment fund with the goal of supporting the creation and development of NGOs and SMEs whose activities are of public benefit. CB ESPRI will act as the fund manager, while Slovak Investment Holding will provide the resources from the European Social Fund's Operational Programme Human Resources. The fund intends to invest up to €10.5 million in activities with a positive social impact outside of the Bratislava region by the end of 2023.
25 April is a significant milestone date in the understanding of the DNA molecule. On this day in 1953, scientists published a study describing DNA as a double helix. It was a very important discovery that led to the development of modern molecular biology, and International DNA Day is celebrated in its honour every year on 25 April. To mark the occasion, we spoke to geneticist Michaela Šišková, founder of the biotechnology company DNA ERA. In what aspects of life do we use DNA? And how can knowledge of our own DNA help us take better care of our health?
Czech and Slovak investors have invested CZK 46 million in the Apartments Lipno development project in the first tranche, which we are now successfully closing. This money will be used by the developer - Top Building Group - for the acquisition of the plot and works related to the preparation of the project. The total investment that the company plans to raise through our investment platform will amount to over CZK 90 million.
At the beginning, Dr. Zuzana Gyárfášová started to produce its organic cosmetics only for her own use. Her oil-based products soon became very popular. In 2018, she introduced her first 5 facial oils to the world under the brand Noili. Thanks to the initial investment from CB Investment Management, the company managed to expand into the Czech market and broaden its product portfolio. One of Noili's loyal customers is top model Daniela Peštová, who was attracted by the brand's minimalism and decided to work closely with the brand. The brand is planning to grow further, which should be boosted by the investment raised in an investment campaign on the Crowdberry platform.
From our portfolio: 3 new funded investment opportunities; target sum for SmartHead hiked; Refresher signs first tranche
We are delighted to see companies raise capital through our investment platform to fulfil their potential and continue to grow. This includes a premium cycling apparel brand, a company that provides comprehensive logistics solutions for e-commerce, and a company that captures reality almost perfectly and translates it into unique digital experiences. But there are also companies that have the same ambition to change the world and are just one step away from closing their investment. Find out which ones below.
Isadore Apparel, founded by former professional cyclists Peter and Martin Velits, is a step closer to its goal of becoming a major global player after a second investment round closed in record time on the Crowdberry investment platform. Investors responded not only to the potential of the market in which the cycling apparel brand operates, but especially to the results achieved so far. Isadore ended 2021 with revenues of almost €4 million (up 36% year-on-year), increased the number of new registrations by a third, and won a prestigious Euro Effie Award for its advertising during the Tour de France.
Following initial growth capital from a fund managed by CB Investment Management, two young Slovak companies, DNA ERA and Noili, now have the opportunity to raise additional investment from private investors on Crowdberry's platform. The total value of the new capital, which will enable these startups to continue expanding into new markets and broaden their product portfolios, will reach almost €1.3 million.
2021 was a year full of opportunities. Czechs and Slovaks showed that despite all the challenges, they still want to keep developing their businesses and the world around them. To see how, look at the numbers from our platform. Last year, private investors stumped up the most investment in our history for successful Czech and Slovak companies and real estate – over €16 million (CZK 400 million). In total, Crowdberry had €60 million of capital under management and 42 companies in its portfolio by the end of 2021. In addition, Crowdberry partner Peter Bečár oversaw the creation of a qualified investor fund focused on real estate. There was even a record increase in registrations on the Crowdberry platform and in our team members.
On the back of the rising interest in investment opportunities in residential, logistics, industrial and retail real estate as well as senior housing, we have decided to expand the Crowdberry team with the addition of three experienced managers. In addition, we will continue to develop our portfolio of investment opportunities in 2022 and we have more transactions in the pipeline.
New EU Sustainability Directive will affect more than 50,000 companies; the besmarthead.com platform will help with reporting
More than 50,000 companies in the EU will soon be required to report non-financial information on the sustainability of their business. So far, reporting requirements have affected only 11,600 organizations. But from 1 January 2023, the Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive (CSRD) will affect all large companies, while small and medium-sized enterprises will be given three more years to implement it. The besmarthead.com platform is designed to help companies of all sizes comply with this directive. Besmarthead.com’s creators are now using the Crowdberry platform to seek out new investment for further development. What kind of potential does this new tool have?
Even a lot of the locals do not know about the quiet complex. At first glance, few would think that the buildings, which look more like a hotel, would be a home for senior citizens. Thanks in part to investors from the Crowdberry investment platform, however, this facility has been created with a modern concept that lets its residents grow old with dignity.
Crowdfunding is about more than capital – it also has the advantage that investors are people with specific knowledge who can offer the companies in which they invest more than just financial help. Company founders and investors summed up their experiences at the Crowdberry Forum during the panel discussion “Capital is more than just money”, which included executives from waste management company Sensoneo, boat rental and yacht charter booking platform Boataround, and Creative Pro, one of the largest digital and event agencies in Europe.
In December 2021, we strengthened our real estate investment team with the addition of another experienced manager, Jan Rovný. Jan has eight years of experience in the area of corporate finance with a focus on consulting on the sale and purchase of companies, properties and project investments. At Crowdberry, he will be involved in transactions, fundraising and project financing in the property segment, focusing primarily on the company’s real estate fund, CB Property Investors.
Demand for recreational properties has risen dramatically over the past three years. How to exploit it?
The prices of recreational properties have risen significantly since 2018. The coronavirus pandemic has certainly played a role in this, though in some locations the predominant reason is the interest of residents of neighbouring countries. For example, Lipno Reservoir is historically a very popular area among Austrian citizens.
SEC Technologies, having gained the trust of the Venture to Future Fund (VFF) and our platform investors in February 2021, launched a new research and development center in early November. It was opened in Liptovský Mikuláš by the Minister of Defense of the Slovak Republic, Jaroslav Naď. The Slovak technology company will manufacture state-of-the-art Falcon 4G laser equipment to protect against chemical and biological threats.
Crowdberry investors help celebrate opening of KLM’s distribution facility for Slovak Parcel Service
Crowdberry investors joined developer KLM Real Estate, tenant Slovak Parcel Service, general contractor HSF System SK and financing bank Tatra banka to help celebrate the opening of the Trnava Logistics Center – one of the first industrial developments to involve smaller individual investors.
Crowdberry to hold its first Czech-Slovak forum on impact of growth capital on the value of companies on 23 November
Crowdberry is in the process of organizing its first Crowdberry Forum – a virtual conference under the theme, “Capital is more than just money”, to be held on 23 November. The influence of growth capital on the value of companies will be discussed by company founders, entrepreneurs and investors. The conference will be available for viewing online.
Crowdberry receives significant investment for further development and welcomes new European regulation
Crowdberry, which manages two growth capital funds in addition to its online investment platform, received an investment of nearly €1.5 million to develop and open the market further. The objective is to further expand the possibilities of financing for Czech and Slovak companies as well as real estate, while at the same time provide investors with a wide range of opportunities to increase their capital.
In September, 40 Crowdberry investors, alongside the CB Growth ONE investment fund, invested in Slovak biotechnological company Glycanostics, providing capital worth €1 million. Glycanostics will now receive an additional €2 million from the European Council, becoming only the third Slovak company, after MultiplexDX and Sensoneo, to have received such a European Innovation Council grant.
Refresher is extending from Slovakia into the wider world. Why you should invest in this media portal.
Refresher.sk was created as a graduation project of classmates Gábor Boros and Filip Vajda. Their project didn’t make much sense to people at the beginning, but today their media portal is read by more than 3 million people every month in Slovakia and the Czech Republic. It provides young people with information on social issues and topics not normally covered by the mainstream press, and excels at putting difficult subjects into context. It also guides the creation of online content for creators and advertisers. Simply put, Refresher is the place where Generations Y and Z go for information. Now the company is looking for partners and financing for expansion – and you can be part of that as a co-owner.
The main objective of investing has always been the appreciation of capital. Still, more and more people are focusing on philanthropy as well. What if you could combine these two ideas? What if you could invest in biotechnology companies, sustainable housing or a smart city product? This is exactly what Crowdberry enables its investors to do. Take a look at seven examples of companies that have used our investment platform to obtain financing and, as a result, are changing their field, their market and sometimes even the world.
The last two years have taught us many things, among them the popularity of retail parks. Why are they so popular with customers and, therefore, with retailers and investors? Let’s take a closer look.
Senior housing: A real estate segment attracting increasing attention from investors in the Czech Republic and Slovakia
An alternative real estate segment, already well known in the West, is only now just emerging in Slovakia and the Czech Republic. Dúbravská Oáza, a facility for senior citizens and patients with Alzheimer’s disease, represents the flagship of this new type of real estate investment. Crowdberry investors now have the opportunity to be among the first in this market and to help this particular property in its expansion plans, while also showing the way forward for society as a whole.
Logistics developments like that for Slovak Parcel Service are opening up to individual investors. Trnava’s largest business zone is expanding to include a distribution hall for fast package processing. Slovak developer KLM real estate is building it for its client Slovak Parcel Service, the largest courier company in Slovakia.
The Slovak brand Isadore is embarking on its next phase. The cycling apparel and accessories maker is opening the Isadore Community Hub on the renovated premises of the historical Pradiareň 1900 building in Bratislava.
Social responsibility as a path to easier recruitment and higher profits: Slovak firm SmartHead helps companies take advantage
Whereas a few decades ago the word “ecology” was a cause for laughter and people with disabilities were confined to special schools, today no one is surprised if you bring your own cup to a café and the coffee is made by a barista with Down’s syndrome. We have made great progress as a society, but we are not done yet. Social responsibility and sustainability have become increasingly important to more and more people, as well as a way for companies to maintain their competitiveness, recruit new talent and, primarily, to make the world a better place for us and future generations. The Slovak firm SmartHead is responding to the challenges and opportunities this creates for companies.
Non-fungible tokens (NFT) are the hottest new digital phenomenon. By the end of 2020, the market for NFTs, or unique digital objects, had risen 825% from 2018. The market is still young, though, and the world is just beginning to discover all the ways that NFTs – or nifties as they are known colloquially – can be used.
Artzenal digitises the physical world for movies, games, NFT and tourism; it’s now looking for support to grow globally
Slovakia’s Artzenal is recording reality with absolute precision and taking it into the digital world. It is making otherwise inaccessible experiences available to everyone, such as looking inside a locomotive, sitting in a racing car or seeing cultural monuments down to the finest detail. But this digitisation of physical objects is also increasingly being used in marketing, tourism and the entertainment industry.
Crowdberry has its own golf ambassador! Investment manager Branislav Hóz is ready to update everyone on the newest investment opportunities straight from the greens. Our investors can now seize the opportunity to combine business with pleasure, enjoy the game, and get to know an investment campaign from the inside out.
Whereas in the past, fashion trends were set by designers at their own shows, today the opposite is true – customers themselves determine what they expect from fashion. Fast fashion is increasingly becoming the target of criticism, as people expect sustainability, quality and a perfect shopping experience across channels. If they want to survive, and better yet prosper, both major and small fashion-industry players must respond accordingly. And those brands that have long played a role in shaping current trends or are quick to adopt them represent interesting investment potential.
5 companies from Crowberry’s portfolio presented to Ursula von der Leyen as the best Slovak startups
On June 21, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen visited Slovakia to give the EU’s stamp of approval for Slovakia’s recovery plan to Prime Minister Eduard Heger. As part of her trip, President von der Leyen also met with innovative Slovak startups focusing on green solutions and biomedicine.
Following the successful launch of the FlexDog service in the Czech Republic in March, the specialised sneaker platform is coming to Slovakia. This expansion is taking place also thanks to the €4 million investment, provided to Footshop by Crowdberry investors last year.
Slovakia’s Boataround gets €1.2 million investment from Crowdberry investors and CB Investment Management fund
Slovak company Boataround, among the world's leading online boat-rental reservation portals, received growth investment worth €1.2 million from investors on the Crowdberry investment platform and a fund managed by CB Investment Management. The investment will help Boataround move into new markets and paves the way for international Series A financing, as the company looks to become the global leader in its segment.
Jakub Veselský and Jan Bouška are friends who have fashion in common. They pride themselves on selling authentic and, above all, sustainable clothing and accessories via their Freshlabels shop. Due to the covid-19 pandemic, they unfortunately had to make cuts and let some people go, but they say that in the end it resulted in the streamlining of their business. They are planning to expand to Western European countries – they started with Germany and want to conquer other markets thanks to funding they have received via the Crowdberry investment platform.
Real estate is an ideal way to diversify one’s portfolio today. Capital invested in real estate brings not only interesting opportunities for appreciation, but also protection against inflation. How did industrial real estate, retail parks, residential development and construction of housing for seniors perform last year and why is capital distribution important? Find out in this next instalment of our Investing in Real Estate series.
Freshlabels: A fresh breeze from the Czech Republic seeks to stir the waters of the fashion industry in Western Europe
Fifteen years ago, in front of one of their houses, two young entrepreneurs decided to start importing into the Czech Republic brand-name clothing they thought was lacking here.
After launching the German version of its e-shop last year, Freshlabels is planning to continue its incremental expansion into Western Europe.
Slovak company nettle.ai, which is focused on solutions in the area of conversational technologies using artificial intelligence, received a significant investment in the volume of €1 million from Crowdberry investors and the Venture to Future Fund (VFF) investment fund.
SEC Technologies, inventor of a laser-based technology that can detect, identify and quantify chemical warfare agents and toxic industrial chemicals over long distances, has successfully raised €3 million in funding from Crowdberry and Venture to Future Fund (VFF).
Footshop announced the acquisition of its competitor Queens at the beginning of 2021 – a deal made possible thanks in part to funding obtained from a Crowdberry investment campaign in 2020. Now, investors have another opportunity to invest in the athletic-footwear giant during its next growth phase.
The Isadore campaign aired during the Tour de France and financed by Crowdberry investors helped lift the brand’s sales by 250%, tripling the number of its customers. Traffic in the brand’s e-shop nearly tripled as well. Moreover, the campaign was recognized for its creative concept and successful implementation.
Read our reasoning for why isklad is such a lucrative investment opportunity in an interview for Hospodárské noviny
isklad provides investors with the opportunity to profit from the growth in the e-commerce market. isklad, as a provider of logistics infrastructure for a large number of e-shops, can profit from their collective growth as well as from the influx of new clients. These can be integrated efficiently thanks to isklad’s original and optimized software and its quality team. Thanks to its state-of-the-art technology, isklad can easily scale its product and thus serve thousands of small and large e-shops, thereby achieving a leading position in the Central European region.
The biggest potential for growth can be seen in sectors that profit from the dynamic in e-commerce. In the realm of alternative investments, there is a focus on those that bring innovations or improve the quality of customer-service as well as suppliers.
Due to the coronavirus crisis, some investors have reconsidered their investment plans and begun to focus on lower-risk investments.
Years ago, they exchanged bicycles for pumping the pedals of business
Under the leadership of Dr. Pavol Čekan, the MultiplexDX team of scientists has developed a new diagnostic test for COVID-19. The tests have undergone validation at the biomedical centre of the Slovak Academy of Sciences and is awaiting certification. The initial units should be available to the public within three weeks. Thanks to support from Crowdberry investors, Slovakia is poised to become self-sufficient in testing for the coronavirus.
Bratislava, 4 October 2019- Investment fund The National Development Fund II, a. s., which is under the administration of Slovak Investment Holding, announced the winners of the tender for the administration and implementation of financial instrument for the support of startups in the amount of €23 million. €11.6 million will be managed by experts from investment platform Crowdberry.
Malý Gazda – the transformation of a family-run mini dairy company to a premium dairy manufacturer with international ambitions
The tradition of yoghurt production has deep roots in Central Europe. After all, Czechoslovakia held global leadership in fruit yoghurt production - during the First Republic, yoghurt was produced by Radlická mlékárna in Prague and as a result of its innovativeness and excellent taste, it was exported to 14 countries in Europe.
Meet Crowdinvesting – a new, innovative way to invest, co-own and build global leaders out of Slovakia
Crowdfunding has become increasingly popular over the past decade, yet it has been with us for centuries. The Statue of Liberty in New York and the Czech National Theatre are both examples where communities funded an idea or a project. The latest innovation in crowdfunding is crowdinvesting, which allows investors to invest in and own a share in a privately held company or real estate.
Community investing responds to an ageing population – Crowdberry enables the co-ownership of the largest private facility for seniors dependent on medical care and patients with Alzheimer’s disease in Bratislava. Thus, through crowd-investing, it is available for private investors, making it a unique investment opportunity in Central Europe as a whole
Boataround.com has received funding from Crowdberry investors and Slovak Investment Holding to accelerate its international growth.