I would like to wish a happy 2013 for all the Guests of CEE-startups.com. We will continue our work started in 2012 by showcasing the actors of the CEE entrepreneurial ecosystem.

vc_investment_boost

Let’s get back to 2012 a bit. I have been asked by Whiteboard Magazine about the VC industry and startup funding in Hungary as a result of the impressive statistics published by EVCA.

How come Hungary is doing so well in terms of VC funding? It’s in the top five by GDP – together with Sweden, Finland, UK, Denmark. 

Hungary has been one of the most active country regarding the Venture Capital investment volume not just in Central Eastern Europe but in Europe in the recent years thanks to the VC development program of the EU.

The JEREMIE (Joint European Resources for Micro to Medium Enterprises) program is an initiative of the European Commission that is using the EU Structural Funds to finance small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) by means of equity, loans or guarantees, through a revolving Holding Fund acting as an umbrella fund and involving private capital. 8 venture capital funds are taking part of the JEREMIE program have started the investments in 2010 Q2. They had altogether around 128 million EUR to invest in innovative startups and SMEs. The companies should not be older than 5 years old and they have geographical restrictions as well (registered in Hungary)

As a result of the program Hungary has been among the top 5 countries in Europe according to the Venture Capital investments scaled by GDP. Only countries like Sweden, Denmark, UK and Finland have better ratio.  So far the 8 „JEREMIE” funds managed to realize 61 investments worth around 53 million EUR until September 2012.

Was 2011 a special year in some sense – meaning: is this a sustainable level of VC funding for Hungarian startups?

 

After the launch of the EU supported „JEREMIE” funds 2011 was the first full year of the investment period of the 8 above mentioned  funds. These funds should invest the remaining 75 million EUR until the end of 2013 in order to close the JEREMIE I. program. In the meantime the Hungarian Development Agency announced the 10 new Venture Capital and Seed investment funds that will be able to allocate around 145 million EUR to new seed and growth stage startups starting in 2013 and finishing in 2015 as part of the JEREMIE II. program.

Who are some stars in the Hungarian startup scene (name a few companies that got funding, that have a lot of traction, also their investors)? 

Hungary has success stories like Prezi.com, LogMeIn, Ustream from the recent years that have global recognition by reaching well known investors like Accel Partners (Prezi) or having IPO at NASDAQ(LogMeIn). The success stories are continuing, Seedcamp invested in Antavo in 2012 and three Hungarian companies were among the top 10 companies selected for the Startup Sauna Slush (MailMill, Mcule.com, Soometa.com) having the opportunity to pitch in front prestigious international investors in November 2012 resulting in fruitful follow up discussions.

Who are the movers and shakers in the VC and angel community?


The most active VCs are PortfoLion (recently closed the exit of Cryo Management Ltd. Worth 5 to 9 Million EUR) Euroventures, DBH Venture Capital , Central Invest, Finext and Biggeorge’s in the Hungarian VC market.

Are there entrepreneurs in Hungary who have done big exits already? If so: explain a bit who they are. 

 

Hungary has successful serial entrepreneurs and business angels. One of the most successful entrepreneurs is Marton Szőke the Founder and owner of Indextools, a software company specializing in enterprise on-demand web analytics software. In April 2008 Indextools got acquired by Yahoo! Inc. At the time of the acquisition Indextools was recognized as one of the top five web analytics vendors world-wide by Forrester / Jupiter Research. I would also highligh Ernő Duda who is a serial entrepreneur having started 16 companies in the past 20 years, all in different industries. Erno currently runs Solvo Biotechnology, the largest independent biotechnological company in Hungary and also a global leader in providing drug transporter technology.

Is there something like a Hungarian specialty when it comes to tech and innovation? Something that Hungary is famous for? 


Hungary is famous of the engineer talent and human capital, not the mention the official shot of visionary talks on innovation that is called Palinka.

Where are the places to be – are there different hubs in Hungary, or is the action mainly around Budapest? 

 

There are some promising startups coming from different towns (Antavo from Szeged), but the technological and startup life is still Budapest centered.

You can read the original guest post on Whiteboardmag.com

Please follow and like:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.