Venture Capital/News/

Czech Credo Ventures raises its fourth fund of €75m and doubles down on Poland

It wants to back former big tech employees turned founders in central and eastern Europe

By Zosia Wanat

Credo Ventures team

Prague-based Credo Ventures, one of the early backers of software decacorn UiPath, has closed its fourth fund, totalling €75m, to scale up its operations in central and eastern Europe. It’s also hired three new partners, including one in Poland.

Credo is one of the most active early-stage investors in central and eastern Europe (CEE): since launching 2011, it’s invested in 76 companies, including two unicorns — software companies UiPath and Productboard — and now manages €250m of assets. 

Its new fund, which comes after other VCs like Inovo and 500 Emerging Europe have also doubled down on the region, is another sign that investors are bullish about CEE despite the economic downturn. 

Seed ‘sweet spot’

Credo invests from €100k to €5m in pre-seed to Series A tech companies built across the CEE or founded by diaspora from the region. Its sweet spot is pre-seed and seed rounds that it can lead or co-lead with $500k-$3m cheques. Apart from well-known unicorns, it’s also backed software companies like Better Stack, Deepnote and Resistant.Ai and marketplaces like Cera Care and Displate. 

The fund is industry agnostic and founder-centric. “We strive to be a go-to investor for the most ambitious founders from the region building global technology companies regardless of the market, product or business model,” says Maciej Gnutek, one of the company’s new partners, based in Poland.

This €75m fund is smaller than its previous one, which closed out at €97.5m — but Gnutek says that was a conscious decision to “stay true to our early-stage roots”.

“The current market environment has reassured us that being more sober, down to earth and disciplined makes sense and gives us a chance to provide superior returns to our investors,” he adds.

The fund is backed by new and returning individual and institutional LPs including RSJ PE, Isomer, Cendana Capital, Aternus, Atomico, Sequoia Capital and founders of startups like UiPath, Avast, Adastra, Productboard and Rohlik.

Polish expansion

The firm has also announced changes in staffing: along with Gnutek in Poland, it’s added two new partners to its Prague-based team — Guillaume Fournier, who is rejoining Credo after two years at portfolio company Pricefx, and Karolina Mrozkova from White Star Capital, a US VC firm. Previous partners Vladislav Jez and Andrej Kiska will move to the company’s board. 

Gnutek’s appointment means that the company will intensify its activity in Poland — it has already invested in over 10 Polish companies over the years, including a marketplace Displate, a daycare platform the Village Network and mental health app Mindgram.

“It sounds cliche but after years of repeating the famous mantra about Poland being ‘big enough to build a proper business but small enough to build a unicorn’ — Polish founders have finally started thinking globally and we are ready to support them in fulfilling their global ambitions,” says Gnutek. 

He’s got his eye on the senior employees of big tech companies with a presence in Poland — such as Google, Meta and Revolut — who will have learnt from the best what impressive growth and scaling looks like.

“Some of those managers and engineers will be hungry enough to build amazing companies — and we want to partner up with them as early and be as close as possible to give them a chance to succeed.”

Zosia Wanat is Sifted’s central and eastern Europe reporter, based in Warsaw. She tweets from @zosiawanat

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