Catalyst Romania Fund II has been established with support from the European Investment Fund (EIF), as the cornerstone investor with capital from JEREMIE Romania Reflows and the EU’s InnovFin Program, as well as LP contributions from many other investors. It is the first second generation venture fund in Romania’s history, which is a unique achievement driven by the results and experience of the team.
Catalyst Romania Fund II follows Fund I, which was advised by 3TS and financed through the JEREMIE Romania initiative. With a total capitalization of EUR 15 million, Catalyst Romania Fund I invested in 10 well-known Romanian tech companies in recent years, including Elefant.ro, Vola.ro, Vector Watch (acquired by FitBit), SmartBill (acquired by Visma), and GreenHorse Games (acquired by Tencent). Catalyst Romania Fund II will continue focusing on breakthrough technology companies that have launched products into their target markets and that are run by experienced entrepreneurial management teams.
The Fund will provide investments of EUR 1-3 million to high-potential technology SME’s from Romania and South Eastern Europe to support their growth objectives and international expansion plans. Catalyst Romania Fund II has already invested in two companies and three more are in the due diligence phase. The first investment, Seedblink, is a next generation crowd-investing platform and the second investment, Code of Talent, is a leading micro-learning solution dedicated to employee training. The Fund has already built a strong pipeline and the team believes in the continued availability of excellent investment opportunities from the growing start-up ecosystem in Romania and in the region.
Catalyst Romania brings indispensable company scaling know-how, resources, business partners and co-investors from across Europe, North America and Asia. Catalyst Romania II is a regional fund, focused on Romanian early-stage technology companies, but will also pursue investment opportunities in the other South East European countries.
„We are excited about the fact that in the final closing we have reached the maximum fund size at EUR 50 million, which is a testimony to our excellent results with the first fund and a confirmation of our proven investment strategy. With the support from our cornerstone investor EIF, we will continue to invest in Romania and in the region to bring strategic value and help early-stage tech companies on their journey to success. We will focus in particular in the Technology sector, where our country has significant competitive advantages and great potential”, stated Marius Ghenea, Manager of Catalyst II GP S.à.r.l.
EUR 22.5million has been committed to Catalyst Romania Fund II from JEREMIE Reflows and EIF’s InnovFin Equity Programme. The rest of the fund’s capital commitment was secured through the participation of other investors, as well as of the Catalyst team.
JEREMIE Romania is a set of financial instruments initially supported from Romania’s structural funds during the programming period 2007-2013. Following the end of the programming period, EIF continues to act for and on behalf of the Government of Romania to manage the resources returned from the initial implementation under a new agreement signed in September 2020.
Commenting on the final closing of the Catalyst II Fund, Camelia Drăgoi, Equity Mandate manager at EIF, stated: “We are happy to put to work the JEREMIE reflows, which will increase even further the multiplication factor achieved during the initial investment period, through investments into Romanian technology companies which will support Europe’s digital transition”.
Catalyst Romania has a proven track record of investing and growing technology businesses. The infusion of growth capital, business expansion best-practices, strategic guidance and access to global networks provided by the Catalyst team has helped drive an average compounded annual revenue growth rate of 40% across current portfolio companies.
The first Fund has carried out three exits through transactions with strategic acquirers, while other companies are currently in exit processes. It plans to completely divest its portfolio through transactions with strategic or financial investors, or through listings on stock exchanges in the region including the Bucharest Stock Exchange.
“Catalyst Romania team, congratulations for the past, best wishes for the future! Long term relationships and attractive returns are cherished by everyone, fortunately both expectations have been fulfilled by this dynamic and professionally involved team. After our prior successful investment in Catalyst Fund I, the present new journey is a natural step forward.” Aurel Bernat CEO BT Asset Management SAI