In 2017 Change Ventures started investing in the Baltic states, establishing the first truly pan-Baltic seed/pre-seed fund. Since then they have backed over 33 startups, which keeps demonstrating an ability to generate outsize startup success stories relative to population and size of the regional economy. The “next startup nations” is a clear analogy to the world’s pre-eminent startup economy success to date — Israel — as they believe that Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania can repeat that level of success in this region over the next 10–20 years. Their third fund continues Change's focus on founders from the Baltic states or Baltic diaspora.
With their €20M target size Fund III, they are doubling down on pre-seed investing. Almost half of their total initial investments to date have been at the pre-seed stage. It is where they are most excited to join a startup’s journey, the stage when almost everything depends on the founding team’s ability to navigate the circuitous path to achieve product-market fit and then to scale a business. Change's team looked at their anti-portfolio of investment misses and it is clear that in those cases we over-analyzed product and market and undervalued a great team.
Therefore, Change Ventures' Fund III strategy is to focus on founder-driven pre-seed investing based on their deep network in the region. They will continue to back a diversified portfolio of startups by sector, as before, investing in software and hardware, e-commerce, AI, B2B software, SaaS and consumer businesses and many more. Their initial investments will be between €100-500k with about half the fund reserved for follow-on investments. While in the past Change Ventures was almost always the lead investor, they will now take a more flexible approach, often co-investing alongside pre-seed funds and angel investors, occasionally taking the lead role.
Andris and Rait are partners in Fund III. Yrjö will continue to work with them on Funds I and II. Their amazing Finance Manager, Aveli Nurk, who joined Change Ventures two years ago and has become the backbone of their fund administration, compliance and finance efforts, is now Chief Financial Officer & Compliance Officer.
In February this year Zane Kampa, their Analyst, came on board, having worked in Silicon Valley for Plug & Play Tech Center before, visiting there on a Baltic-American Freedom Foundation scholarship. Based in Latvia, Zane focuses on Latvian and Lithuanian investments with Andris. They have a new Associate joining shortly to complete the team.
Their first Fund III investment was a warehoused investment in Trace.Space, a Latvian team that spun off from Lokalise to re-invent product requirements document management software. They have three more investments in process and no shortage of exciting Baltic teams to talk to.
Baltic founders, and would-be founders, please come find Change Ventures this week at Latitude59 or other events or drop them an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. No conversation is too early for them. They want to get to know the next Veriff, Printify, Giraffe360 and Aerones founders as early as possible!