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.
The selection process through the EVO system was announced by the Public Procurement Office last October, and nine applicants participated. In addition to investing in nascent small- and medium-sized enterprises, the selection took into account successful investments and proven practices in mobilizing private equity. In the case of Crowdberry, almost €14 million has been invested by private investors into 11 successful international companies since 2016, including Ecocapsule, Sensoneo, Boataround, and MultiplexDX.
Entrepreneurs and young companies from all regions of Slovakia with international potential and less than three years of business history can apply for investment capital from this new fund. Candidates will be able to contact CB Investment Management, a new subsidiary of the Crowdberry platform set up to manage the fund and exclusively support young Slovak companies and startups. Companies applying for funding will go through a professional and transparent selection process. The fund manager's specialized team reviews, evaluates, and prepares the selected candidates for the investment process from basic strategy to the business model itself. In addition, successful firms will be able to apply for private equity through the Crowdberry platform, thereby gaining enough capital to compete in international markets. Investments will be in a returnable form based on commercial conditions with the aim of multiple appreciation of the funds spent.
"Our task is to allocate and appreciate the capital entrusted to us in a responsible and transparent manner, which should serve the people of this country and thus help innovative companies with their establishment and growth," explains Daniel Gašpar, managing partner of Crowdberry. "These companies will become a strong part of our economy and will help to diversify it in times of economic downturn and protect it against the potential uncertainty brought about by automation. Along with growth capital, young companies and entrepreneurs will also gain professional know-how from abroad as they prepare for investment, and they will especially receive our full support in building the value of their companies after investment. Crowdberry has a developed network of international contacts and investment and business professionals and an entire ecosystem of companies, partners, and investors who help with their experience and resources. We will also be able to utilize the network to appreciate the fund's capital. We are available in Bratislava and Košice."
The growth of the platform and the success of Crowdberry in the NDF II selection process also require personnel changes. Current partners Daniel Gašpar and Michal Nešpor will take over the management of the new subsidiary, CB Investment Management. However, the investment platform will receive a new partner, Michal Ondrišek, a professional with many years of experience in the banking sector and private equity. "Of course, Crowdberry will continue to look for and match businesses with private capital and support their growth," explains Ondrišek. "In Slovakia, the company will focus on established small- and medium-sized enterprises and real estate projects with a lower level of risk and regular dividends. However, investors will not lose the opportunity to participate in the success of startups, both in the Czech Republic and Slovakia, where selected successful startups will appear on the platform and private investors will have the opportunity to join the investment fund under the same conditions."