Sunday, 6 October 2019

VC Fund Fil Rouge Capital to Invest into 300 Croatian Companies

The Croatian startup scene has been given a new opportunity since Fil Rouge Capital entered the market.

Marko Repecki writes for about the new venture capital fund which has found its way to the Croatian market this summer, as he spoke to Stevica Kuharski, one of the partners in the fund. Stevica is a well-known fixture on the Croatian startup scene, having been a serial entrepreneur on his own (Locodels is probably his most successful project thus far), and he's made his way to "the other side", now helping find and distribute the funds provided to the Croatian companies.

Mr Kuharski explains that the Fil Rouge Capital fund is mostly supported by the European structural and investment funds (ESIF) with over 32 million euro, while the total value of the fund is 45 million euro. It took less than a year between the public tender for the management of the fund and when it started working in earnest. They cover all of the phases of the development of a startup, from the early stages of an idea, all the way to those who already have a product or a service ready. Within the next four years, they plan to invest into 250 to 300 companies. 9 million euro will go to the companies that are early-stage startups, while the rest of it will go to more developed ideas.

Early-stage startups will be able to get 10 thousand euro, and you can apply at any time. If the fund decides to invest in such companies, they get 10 per cent of the ownership.

The teams that claim they have a "minimum viable product" can receive an investment in the amount of 25 to 50 thousand euro through the acceleration program for which they must apply. The first group was selected in early September, and they've been awarded 50,000 euros each. Next round will happen in March, and if you want to apply, you should do it before the end of the year. For bigger investments, the ownership given to the fund will be in the 6 to 8 percent range. 

Fil Rouge Capital fund is not specialised, they are willing to consider any Croatian startups, but they really need to be Croatian - meaning they need to be registered in Croatia and most their employees need to be local. Founders can be (and are!) from all over the world, but they need to recognize that Croatia is an excellent market to try an idea or a product out to see if they work. In addition to funds, the VC fund provides full support through mentorship, contacts, networking, helping open new markets, whatever it takes. The people in the fund have good contacts with over 50 institutional investors and numerous private investors, all of which might help the startups to secure the investments in the following investment rounds.

Stevica Kuharski also highlights that nobody should be afraid of any type of control the fund might exert over them, explaining that they simply don't have enough people to do that. He also adds that they are willing to invest 10 thousand euro into an idea, a single piece of paper, to get 10 per cent of the ownership - which means that they've valued the idea itself at one hundred thousand euro!

Tuesday, 28 May 2019

Huge European Investment Coming to Bjelovar-Bilogora County

A huge European investment for Bjelovar-Bilogora County has been achieved, and usage permits are expected in just a few weeks time.

All too often we're bombarded with depressing tales of failed investments, lost money, shattered dreams and the infamous red tape of the Croatian state which seems to want nothing more than to stop potential investors with cash in their pockets from putting their money where their mouth is in Croatia for the benefit of everyone.

When confronted with such headlines and stories on a daily basis, it can often be difficult to believe, let alone imagine, that not everything is always quite so bleak here in Croatia. While many would-be investors try and fail at the first (or first several) needless hurdles put in place by Croatia's blank-faced uhljebs (rough translation: pointless state employees/oxygen thieves), there are many who do persevere, and succeed. But, we'd all much rather be depressed and have something to complain about over a four hour coffee while we ourselves could be working, right? Right.

The fact of the matter is, Croatia is slowly but surely improving when it comes to investment, and while the country has an awfully long way to go before it could ever be considered even remotely investor friendly or truly safe, progress is being made at a snail's pace - the Croatian way.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 28th of May, 2019, one of the largest European investments is set to come to no less than Bjelovar-Bilogora County in continental Croatia, in the form of a Technology Park in Garešnica. The park was planned and then built in the Kapelica Entrepreneurial Zone, and the value of the investment is an enormous 21.5 million kuna. Most of the money, as much as 92 percent of the total amount, was invested by the European Regional Development Fund, according to a report from Tocka na i.

Bjelovar-Bilogora's new Technology Park stretches to nearly 1,800 square metres, boasts an impressive eighteen business premises, a conference and education hall, as well as a meeting room. The issuance of a usage permit is expected in early July, followed by the final conclusion of the contracts with entrepreneurs.

Josip Bilandžija, Mayor of Garešnica, is convinced that Bjelovar-Bilogora's brand new Technology Park will definitely reach completion. There will be places for eleven new and three already existing companies, and assistance in development projects will be readily provided by the Entrepreneurial Incubator from Osijek, as well as the Entrepreneurial Centre in Garešnica.

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Monday, 22 April 2019

Zagreb Searching for Investors for Project Worth 750 Million Kuna

The Croatian capital city unfortunately has many worn facades and buildings, and the bid for Zagreb's Blok Badel will be opened in just one month and will run until May the 15th, and the selected investor should be known early on in June.

As Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 22nd of April, 2019, the City of Zagreb issued a public call for potential investors in the realisation and development of the Blok Badel project. This is a space located near the very centre of the city, about 30,000 square metres bordered by Vlaška, Šubićeva, Martićeva and Derenčinova. The expected value of this investment is about 750 million kuna, according to Tocka na i.

Potential investors are required to have a total value of their realised projects of at least 1 billion euros, have adequate experience in the reconstruction and conversion of historical or protected facilities over the last ten years, and also have experience in the realisation of public-private partnership projects of a minimum value of 75 million kuna.

Bids which do not provide evidence on the development of similar projects over the last ten years and proof of their completed projects for the development of residential, office, hotel and multifunctional facilities will not be considered.

"The location has some great potential with regard to its position, it's very well connected with public transport, it's close to a car park (garage), the city centre, city squares and historical and cultural sights. The realisation of this project will involve the restoration, construction and redoing of the entire block as the only block in this part of the city that hasn't been completed and has no clearly defined urban structure and purpose.


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