In a week of big fundraising news for our alumni, StartupYard has some news of our own. We can now reveal that StartupYard has closed a €1 million round that will power two cohorts of up to 20 startups, as well as a new follow-on fund, to allow StartupYard to make seed investments in our best performing startups.
This is not only the largest round of funding StartupYard has ever secured, but it is also the largest such crowdfunding-based investment in Central Europe to date. We partnered with Fundlift.cz, to offer a private placement to qualified investors. Our Fundlift campaign contributed the majority of funds, and private investors pledged the rest. Fundlift, backed by Roklen as a licensed securities broker, previously assisted StartupYard in raising a smaller investment in 2016.
The fund, which was ultimately supported by nearly 100 private investors on the Fundlift platform, will be dispersed to up to 20 startups in two rounds of acceleration in 2017/2018. The amount raised will also allow StartupYard to invest further into selected companies from the current StartupYard portfolio.
The news comes as StartupYard has celebrated a number of high profile fundraises among its portfolio startups, most recently €600,000 invested in the machine learning startup Neuron Soundware by J&T Ventures, and a seed round investment in another AI startup, Rossum.ai, from Miton, on StartupYard Batch 7’s DemoDay in February this year.
“4 Years ago, StartupYard set about putting high tech Central European startups on the world map, and we are very proud of what we have accomplished in that time,” said StartupYard’s Cedric Maloux, who has served as CEO since 2013, “the growing confidence and enthusiasm among Czech investors is a testament to the hard work of our alumni and to the intelligence and forward thinking nature of the tech community in Central Europe.” Under Maloux, StartupYard has increased the pace and scope of its activities in Central Europe, recruiting startups from 16 countries, and has increasingly focused its efforts on high-tech startups, in the fields of AI, Machine Learning, AR/VR, IoT, Big Data, Cryptology and most recently Blockchain technology.
Fundlift’s Biggest Campaign to Date
“After two successful fundraising rounds with StartupYard, we are delighted by the enthusiasm of trend-setting investors on our platform. Approximately 100 investors were invited to participate in the round and many more expressed their strong interest,” remarked Radek Musil, CEO at Fundlift. “They have shown us definitively that the Czech investor community has a strong appetite for cutting-edge technologies, and faith in StartupYard’s track record of smart choices among startups,” he added.
Applications for StartupYard’s nearest acceleration round, Batch 8, are almost due, on June 30th. Now those startups that apply will have the additional opportunity of seeking follow-on funding beyond StartupYard traditional seed investment.
Introducing the StartupYard Follow-On Fund
“It’s important that we are able to offer early-stage startups financial resources when they need them most,” Maloux explained, “we’re looking for companies working on technologies and products that are unique, and difficult to replicate, so access to capital is key for these founders to be able to develop their operations and reach the right customers as soon as possible.”
StartupYard’s next two rounds, dubbed Batch 8 and Batch 9, will take place over the course of 2017/2018, with Batch 8 applications closing June 30th, and the program set to kick off in September 2017.
You can now apply for StartupYard Batch #8.
- Artificial Intelligence