Top deals seen in Central and Eastern Europe in March

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Here is my list of some interesting deals from Central and Eastern Europe (CEE), seen in March. Often overlooked by big US and Western European investors, the region offers many good deals, at much cheaper valuations compared to the US market.

Russian billionaire and Chelsea FC owner Roman Abramovich continues to invest in Israeli start-ups: through Millhouse Capital, his investment company, he has led a $2.25 million investment in equity crowdfunding platform iAngels, a company started by entrepreneurs Mor Assia and Shelly Hod-Moyal. They founded iAngels in early 2014, and developed a model for investment of small amounts in startups, based on experienced investors. The company raised several hundred thousand dollars in the past, with the new investment making a total of $2.6 million raised by the company to date.

Deutsche Telekom invested €80k  (via its incubator hub raum) in Polish KoalaMetrics that helps Telecoms and mCommerce platforms better understand clients by identifying users’ psychographic profiles based on their smartphone usage. By combining thousands of data points about cross app usage, KoalaMetrics reaches 93.7% accuracy rate in predicting users interests, behaviour and intents. These outcomes give marketers extensive and thorough understanding of consumers, resulting in a new way to customize the offer and improve customer experience.

MVP Academy, a satellite-program of How To Web tech conference from Bucharest, Romania, selected 13 cool projects for its 7 weeks acceleration programme. Most of the finalists this year have founded other companies before (either failed startups or service companies), or have in their teams tech professionals with long track record.

Leading CEE investors shared their view on what will be hot in 2015. It is a good read.  The Slovak Neulogy Ventures says: “In the past two or three years, the number of accelerators and seed funds sprang up in the region. As a result, many more startups received seed funding and thus we will see many more Series A funding rounds in this region, but also many more spectacular failures and quiet deaths” …I agree, I see high demand from startups. However, there is not so many regional later stage funds…

The leading Czech business accelerator StartupYard launched its 2015 Accelerator round – 7 companies, 6 of them from The Czech Republic, have completed nearly a month of intensive mentoring, and are ready to  go… Check them out!

Moscow-based venture funds Leta Capital and Simile Venture Partners have invested $3.2 milllion in fintech big data startup Double Data. So far the company had bootstrapped. Founded in 2012, Double Data targets banks and other financial institutions who need to improve their performance for a variety of processes – from customer acquisition and assessment to debt collection. The Double Data software combines big data analysis tools, computer-aided learning methods and data mining. The company claims to have implemented more than 100 projects over the past two years, involving banks – including Home Credit Bank, Alfa Bank and Tinkoff Bank, – international financial institutions as well as credit history and debt collection agencies. Double Data is a resident company of Skolkovo, the international tech hub under completion on the outskirts of Moscow.

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