Venture INC is now Unfold.vc!
We are debuting under a new name – as Unfold.vc, and the reason behind this development is related to recent changes within our fund. Our objective? We want to strengthen our position as “top choice” in the region. As you might already know, Venture INC was established 15 years ago by Jakub Sitarz, Mariusz Ciepły and Maciej Jarzębowski (co-founders of LiveChat Software). Initially, as an incubator, we would invest an average of tens of thousands of zlotys on any given project. In 2010, the fund was listed on NewConnect, only to move to the main trading floor after only 7 years. Today, our portfolio includes companies such as: Brand24, Infermedica, Timecamp, Intelliseq, Sundose, Poley.me, and GibLib. How did we finish out 2021? With a profit of nearly PLN 46 million, which means a six-fold y/y increase!
After some restructuring of our portfolio and with the addition of enhanced managerial skills, we are ready to undergo rebranding: we will be changing our name to Unfold.vc (the new name will be formally put to the vote at our next shareholder meeting), refreshing our strategy, and doubling down on our investment activities. We will also be expanding our field of interest into more diverse projects, and giving a greater number of emerging entrepreneurs the chance to support the domestic startup ecosystem more actively. We also have ambitious International plans.
– We will be focusing on continuous development. Our rebranding strategy is the result of carefully planned changes that we have been implementing consistently, from organizational changes to portfolio restructuring and team expansion. We now have new tools and a much larger network, both Internationally and locally, which allows us to evaluate a greater number of projects. In order to further expand our portfolio, and diversify the competencies and scope of the companies that we work with, we decided to present ourselves in a new light within the technology industry and remind investors of who we are. Unfold.vc was created in the spirit of new priorities, but also as a result of observed market trends, in order to redouble our investment activities – says Jakub Sitarz, president of the management board at Unfold.vc.
We also grew the team with a new managing partner. Magdalena Surowiec, former president of Lemon Sky and also previously associated with the VC Leonarto fund, among others.
– The current economic and geopolitical situation brings with it great uncertainty. Despite these difficult times, we have chosen to announce our rebranding now. This is because we, as a team, are convinced that this is actually the best time to make an even greater commitment and support those leaders with smart business ideas who will soon be facing new challenges. With a fresh investment thesis, we are beginning a new chapter – both for us and for the leaders of the companies that we work with. We have a lot to offer, and we want to help develop and commercialize these businesses. The Unfold.vc team has proven its value more than once by multiplying the invested capital in companies such as Infermedica, Intelliseq, TimeCamp and Exit Plan – comments from Magdalena Surowiec.
Software? Not only
So far, we have focused on supporting IT projects, especially in the SaaS model. The new Unfold.vc strategy aims to extend and broaden our investment categories. This can be seen with our recent investment in Poley.me, a Wrocław-based company which is developing technology in the RaaS model (Robot as a Service): the so-called bar of the future. At the same time, we also plan to invest in projects without a specific time horizon and at various stages of development: pre-seed and seed, and at later stages too, investing in the buyout of shares.
– We are expanding our investment goals. Until now, we have focused on software companies and companies selling services in the subscription model but, as Unfold.vc, we will be opening up to new areas. If we observe great potential in a project, we will not rule out making larger investments. We are happy to support startups through a few financing rounds. Our commitment to a company typically amounts to PLN 4.5 million. What makes us stand out? We do not have a specific investment horizon; we could be with a given company for a decade or even longer. We are looking for leaders who build long-term value for their clients, and we know that this takes time. We review several hundred potential investments annually, though we usually invest in just a select number of projects at once, so that we can devote enough attention to all the leaders in our portfolio – emphasizes Rafał Sobczak, managing partner at Unfold.vc.
Quality over quantity
The last 4 years have been an intense, portfolio-building period for us, during which we have actively supported many companies in the development of their businesses. We currently have nearly 20 technology companies under our wings, including some Internationally-recognized projects with high development and growth potential. These are innovations from the medtech, biotech, martech, and food tech sectors, but they also include gaming companies. Some companies that have received our support and guidance include: Timecamp, Brand24, Sundose, Infermedica, Primetric, PixelRace, Exit Plan Games, and Giblib.
– We strongly believe in the leaders of the companies in which we have invested. The measure of our effectiveness is in their success. Our “leadership-centric” strategy has paid off – we’ve achieved high efficiency and an increase in value expressed in above-average profits. With this in mind, during the last few months, we have invested in 7 more projects – 3 new investments and 4 continuation rounds – says the president of Unfold.vc.
This includes investments in: Wrocław’s Boostsite – a startup offering proprietary software for the automatic SEO analysis of websites; PixelRace, which has created a studio with virtual production technology for video production; and Wrocław’s Poley.me, with its proprietary “bar of the future”.
We have also completed successive multi-million investment rounds for Exit Plan Games, Primetric, Giblib, and Intelliseq, clearly demonstrating an unwavering aspect of our fund’s strategy: we believe in providing continuous support to our portfolio companies, even through several subsequent rounds of financing.
We ended last year with a profit of nearly PLN 46 million, which means a six-fold y/y increase.
– We estimate that 5-7 new companies will appear in our portfolio this year. The foreign round, or debut on NewConnect, has already been taken into account with Intelliseq, a company in which we have been investing since 2018 – emphasizes Jakub Sitarz
A dedicated fund
For us, development is about more than just seeing a consistent increase in the value of our assets. It also speaks to a real contribution to the startup and VC community while building International relations – so as to support portfolio companies in areas that are key to building their value.
– Our support goes far beyond capital investments. We are constantly expanding our network of contacts to offer companies real added value. I just got back from a few months in the United States where I established some promising relationships. The effect of International networking is also about building a network of investment contacts in countries such as, for example, Germany. We believe that developing these relationships really helps to strengthen the companies that we have focused on – says Rafał Sobczak.
By participating in educational programs that support aspiring young leaders, we also share our managerial and investment know-how, including lessons learned from our own extensive experience, on a regular basis.
– We cooperate with universities in Wrocław that have launched their own startup programs for students. We also conduct classes in an acceleration program for women planning to start their own businesses: Shesnovation, says Magdalena Surowiec. – Due to the current geopolitical situation, we have decided to take things to the next level and, in line with our strategy of social involvement – from now on, we will systematically make a donation to a selected charity. This year’s donation will be transferred to a program that offers support to people coming to our country from the Ukraine – sums up our manager.
About Unfold.vc: a Wroclaw venture capital fund listed on the Warsaw Stock Exchange, focused on financial support for technological projects with high growth potential. Unfold.vc invests without a specific time horizon and at various stages of development: pre-seed and seed, and at a later stage, buying shares or stocks. The fund’s portfolio includes projects from the medtech, biotech, martech, foodtech and gaming sectors. Unfold.vc supports, among others: Timecamp, Brand24, Sundose, Infermedica, Primetric, PixelRace, Exit Plan Games, Giblib and neurocare group.