Investing €50-€150K tickets in early-stage startups in CEE.
Standard convertible note. No strings attached.
Run and backed by helpful founders and operators
The syndicate is ran and backed mostly by founders and operators, who’ve gone through top accelerators like Y-Combinator and 500Startups, built startups from inception to exit, including unicorns and centaurs, and others who’ve scaled from $0 to $50M+ ARR.
We go beyond writing the check
We know, every investor and VC says they will be helpful. Our approach is two-fold: (1) be transparent up front about what kind of help we can deliver, and (2) rethink how we create structure and incentivize our member founders & operators to invest their time in your startup not just for a virtual coffee, but on consistent and regular basis.
It's so much harder for investors to support companies when they haven't had the lived experience as an operator.
-Alexis Ohanian, @ Reddit
Get to product/market fit faster
We know how fun and hard startup life is. Our main focus is helping you think through your product, positioning, go-to-market strategy, distribution channels, pricing and product-led-growth, among other things, as you are progressing toward your next financial milestone, likely Series A.
How it works:
- We match you with the most fitting advisor based on where you are and what issues you’re dealing with,
- run a structured workshop to kick things off and create a roadmap, and
- facilitate a three-month bi-weekly advisory program to guide you through the execution
As soon as we invest, we supercharge your fundraising through:
- finetuning your pitch, storyline & fundraising strategy,
- helping you build a target investor list,
- making intros,
- advising on outreach automation, and
- helping you navigate the process,
so you’re able to construct a round of the right angels and funds. When you're ready to raise your next round, we can help with that, too.
Our focus and investment thesis
We invest in pre-seed and seed stage startups. We love early stage, and are not shy to be the first money in the round. That said, you should at least have an MVP with initial market traction. Sometimes we also invest between rounds, post-seed and pre-Series A. If you're about to raise a Series A soon, we might be able to connect you with the right investors for.
Typically, it is €50K-€150K at first. But we do like to invest 5-10X the amount in the follow on rounds.
We are industry-agnostic but prefer B2B SaaS and marketplaces, as that’s where our member founders and operators specialize. With other sectors it just might take a bit longer for us to evaluate - so you are welcome to apply anyway.
We’re rooting for the Baltic/CEE startup scene so prefer teams that are from this region but have global aspirations, such as conquering the US.
We’re startup builders by day, and angel investors by night
See a few of our 150+ members featured below. You can see their experience → here.
Our process is no frills
Forget about the "get-to-know-you" meetings or casual coffee chats before you're ready to raise funds. Just reach out when you're actually planning to raise money! We're all about quick decisions - in some cases, we can make an initial decision in just one meeting during the same week. You won't find layers of bureaucracy or endless partner meetings here.
FAQ for founders
One line-item on your cap table, with lots of fans and collective brainpower behind it.
There is no cost to pitch. If our syndicate invests in your company, we charge a one-off €1.5K-€3K fee to:
- onboard you to our founder & operator community,
- match you with the most right advisor(s) to help fill the current round, as well as streamline the fundraising process,
- do investor intros,
- or run a go-to-market & product focused structured one-month advisory program to help you unlock the most important growth bottleneck.
If you aren’t ready to fundraise >$250K but we like what you’re working on, we’d be happy to spend 3–6 months helping you prepare for your first round. This typically covers everything from finessing the storyline, your competitive edge, pricing, distribution channels, fundraising timeline and strategy, investor lists, approach to outreach, tech stack and more.
We review your application and respond to in 1-2 days time. If we like what we see, we then schedule a short call to get to know you a bit more. If that goes well, shortly after we set up a deep dive-discussion with you and our founder-led investment committee - in these calls we not only evaluate your startup, team and potential, but also commit to providing advice and feedback. After this call, we collect interest from our syndicate members regarding investment, and come back to you with a decision. The final step before signing and wiring the funds is doing a quick due diligence to check if there are any red flags. All in all it usually takes 3-4 weeks from the first conversation.
At an early stage the founder should come up with the paperwork, and we are flexible about the format, as long as it is standard. We prefer SAFE, convertible notes, and in some occasions we have done equity investments.
Regardless of the investment agreement format, we do require information rights and pro-rata rights. Here is one resource for standard docs.
It typically takes 3-4 weeks from our first conversation. Occasionally, there might be some red flags we spot in the due diligence process, which we try to iron out upfront - this might add a week or two to the process.
We set up a mailing list where we include the syndicate members who have invested in your company, and ask you to send them investor updates. Many of our investors want to be helpful in the area they can, so make sure to include your ask in every monthly investor update.
We invest in companies registered anywhere in the EU and Delaware, US. No problem if your entity is registered elsewhere - we will happily offer advice as to the most attractive jurisdictions in the eyes of VCs and angel investors. That said we prioritize supporting founders with CEE roots.
A warm introduction is not required, but it can be beneficial, particularly when it's genuinely warm. It provides social proof and gives us added confidence in your startup. However, a mediocre warm intro is worse than an awesome cold email. So, if you don't have a strong warm intro, feel free to just fill out the application, which if you like you can supplement reaching out directly with a well-crafted cold email. Ultimately, it's the quality of your startup and your communication that matters most to us.
We are based in Baltics, our members are all over the world, but we live on the internet.
We evaluate startups based on these 4 pillars:
- Team - what’s the secret sauce behind your dream team, how big is it and how many FTE team members do you have; what is your strategy for capital use
- Market - who are your customers, what problem you’re trying to solve and what solution you offer; what is your pricing strategy and who you’re competing against
- Product/traction - when was your product launched, what growth have you seen since then and what your retention is like
- Distribution - how do you acquire your customers, eg, content, SEO, partnerships, direct sales, affiliate, community strategy
No problem, reach out to me firstname.lastname@example.org