Venture Capital/News/ Former McKinsey boss joins a VC to raise one of CEE’s largest growth funds Orbit Capital raises over €200m to back 12-14 scaleups from central and eastern Europe By Zosia Wanat 27 February 2023 Wiktor Namysł, general partner at Orbit Capital Wiktor Namysł, general partner at Orbit Capital \Startup Life Techstars unexpectedly pulls out of Sweden mid-programme By Mimi Billing 23 March 2023 Venture Capital/News/ Former McKinsey boss joins a VC to raise one of CEE’s largest growth funds Orbit Capital raises over €200m to back 12-14 scaleups from central and eastern Europe By Zosia Wanat 27 February 2023 The former head of McKinsey in Poland, Wiktor Namysł, is joining Czech VC Orbit Capital as a general partner, as the firm aims to fundraise one of central and eastern Europe’s largest VC funds ever. The VC has already done a €42m “club close” of their fund, aiming to close it at over €200m, the company confirmed to Sifted. They’ll use the fund to invest in tech scaleups from CEE. In 2022, CEE saw a flurry of new VC funds, but most of them focus on startups up to Series A, and they rarely exceed €100m. Orbit wants to target the region’s scaleups, which up until now have had to look for later stage investment in western Europe or in the US. “Based on our analysis of 150 growth rounds in CEE over the last four years, there is a clear lack of local growth equity funding,” says Radovan Nesrsta, general partner at Orbit. “It is very hard to detect a growth fund with a deep understanding of our region and its ecosystem, one that would have appreciation for the regional success and could truly help in scaling, international expansion, acquisitions.” International investors have retreated to their home markets during the downturn, he says; they also have limited interest in startups which have a strong presence in the region but don’t immediately scale up globally. “Here we step in — for us, a regional winner is a great investment,” he says. Radovan Nesrsta and Wiktor Namysł, general partners at Orbit Capital The new fund plans to invest in 12-14 scaleups from CEE, with initial tickets between €6m-15m. It’s already invested in some of the region’s most successful startups such as Ukrainian edtech Preply, Czech hotel management system Mews, Polish booking platform Booksy and Czech grocery delivery scaleup Rohlik. The company also has a venture debt division, founded in 2019. Nesrsta hopes the fund will become “a ‘future unicorn club’ which the most ambitious companies from CEE should aspire to join”. “Our current investments set the bar for new joiners, but we have no doubt there is a growing number of founders and companies with similar potential and traction.” Before joining Orbit, Namysł worked in McKinsey consultancy for 24 years, eventually becoming managing partner in Poland. During that time, he’s also become one of the most active angel investors in the country, backing Poland’s only unicorn medtech DocPlanner, booking platfrom Booksy, ecommerce logistic tool Omnipack, and other startups. Nesrsta says Namysł has been taking part in the discussions about the fund “from the very beginning” but joined officially as of January. Zosia Wanat is Sifted’s central and eastern Europe reporter, based in Warsaw. She tweets from @zosiawanat Related Articles Germany’s first VC fund for female founders launches By Amy Lewin Click here to read more Dispatches from a London VC: The Gen Z VCs fight for a pay rise By Rosie Wood Click here to read more Technology is stagnating and the venture capital industry is to blame By Alex Basu and Per Anell Click here to read more Stop pretending we need more data on diversity: step up and make some damn change! By Erika Brodnock and Johannes Lenhard Click here to read more Most Read 1 \Startup Life UK government to reform ‘equity for visas’ residency application system 2 \Fintech Is Revolut really worth $33bn right now? 3 \Startup Life Techstars unexpectedly pulls out of Sweden mid-programme 4 \Deeptech The other funding gap: it’s not just unicorns that are leaving Europe 5 \Deeptech ‘There’s going to be a bloodbath’ — is generative AI a bubble?