Press release: Day One Capital launches new Fund to back the best entrepreneurs in Central and Eastern Europe

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  • On December 21, 2018
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Day One Capital, based in Budapest, is a leading independent venture capital firm and technology investor. They have been active in the Central Eastern European region since 2011 and they proudly manage exclusively private funds. In 2018 Day One has completed the second closing of its new fund, the Day One CEE Fund, at €22 million. The new fund is a continuation of Day One’s strategy successfully implemented in its two existing funds. The Day One CEE Fund is supported by the InnovFin Equity Facility for Early Stage with the financial backing of Horizon 2020, the EU research and innovation programme.

Since inception, Day One’s team has been obsessed with searching for the most promising Central Eastern European technology companies. Raising a fund of this size is a testament to the growing confidence in the Central Eastern European region – which they have pioneered from the start – and their unique strategy of partnering with extraordinary founders to help them build successful global companies.

Day One Capital has made a total of 15 investments in Hungary, Slovenia and Croatia, several of which — Oradian, Commsignia, AImotive and OptoForce — are the best performers of their regions. Day One Capital aspires to co-invest with other funds: so far, they have closed deals with Inventure, Index Ventures, B Capital, Techstars, Axel Springer — and Cisco among others.

Day One partners, Csaba Kakosy, Gyorgy Simo, Elek Straub, and Aurel Pasztor are well-known and recognized within the local and regional technology and startup community. They were awarded as the best investor in Hungary in 2015, 2016 and 2018 by the Central European Startup Awards.

Day One partners are highly optimistic about the fund’s outlook as the region is producing ever stronger tech talent.

“Central and Eastern Europe is one of the emerging strongholds of the international technology markets. World-class technology talent pool, strengthening startup ecosystems and positive entrepreneurial attitude to conquer global markets are the basis of our business” – says Csaba Kakosy, Managing Partner of Day One

The Fund’s investors and limited partners include the European Investment Fund, which committed 50% of the planned 40-million-euro fund size.

In contrast to most regional VCs in CEE, who manage largely public funds, Day One Capital’s LPs* all come from the private sector.

“We are especially proud to have a very strong investor community supporting our Fund. Besides EIF and other committed institutional players, we have a distinguished, proven and experienced group of entrepreneurs backing our Fund, representing a wide variety of different industries and best practices” says György Simó, Managing Partner of Day One.

Zsolt Weiszbart, a respected angel investor will join the Fund as a Venture Partner in 2019. Zsolt has been an active angel investor in tech startups since 2010. His portfolio included Distinction Ltd, which became one of the most notable startup success stories in Hungary, when Skyscanner acquired the team in 2014. As cofounder of White Summers Cofounder Program and A3 Ventures, an advisory firm, Zsolt’s experience will be valuable in supporting Day One’s portfolio member companies.

Since the first closing of the Fund in February 2018, they have made investments into three companies (Tresorit, Talk-a-bot and Gamee), with some more lined up for 2019. Overall, the Fund expects to make 25 new investments in the coming few years. And while the current fund size is €22 million, Day One is aiming to raise the CEE Fund to €40 million in 2019.

About Day One Capital

Day One Capital is a leading early-stage venture capital firm based in Budapest, managing 3 early-stage funds focusing on technology startups with exceptional founders who strive for global ambitions. Founded in 2011, over its 8-year operation it has built a portfolio across Central Eastern Europe in the autonomous driving, SaaS, medical technology and robotics verticals among others.

About the European Investment Fund

The European Investment Fund (EIF) is part of the European Investment Bank Group. Its central mission is to support Europe’s micro, small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) by helping them access financing. EIF designs and develops venture and growth capital, guarantees and microfinance instruments which specifically target this market segment. In this role, EIF fosters EU objectives supporting innovation, research and development, entrepreneurship, growth, and employment.

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