Witelo Fund, first announced at Impact’16 in Krakow, has recently signed an agreement with Atomico, Evolution Equity Partners, and DN Capital, one of the best VC funds. Witelo has been set up by PZU bank under the auspices of the Ministry of Education and the Ministry of Development to invest in promising VCs and to make it possible PZU bank has invested approximately 100 million PLN.
The announcement took place on March 1 at PZU bank HQ in the presence of Michał Krupiński, PZU CEO, Jarosław Gowin, Deputy PM and the Minister of Education, and Maciej Chorowski, the director of The National Centre for Research and Development (NCBR). Witelo Fund is going to work with the VCs to make their future investments easier and the development of the innovative startup scene in Poland quicker and it’s going to use NCBR guidance in creating special financial incentives.
“It’s a breakthrough in Witelo’s functioning. It’s drawing in the best global investors, which will enable building venture capital ecosystem in Poland. Advanced technological businesses from all over the world will use it. it’s an enormous opportunity for Poland not only for promotion of national business but also a chance to bring innovative know-how to the Vistula river bank,” says Jarosław Gowin, Deputy PM and the Minister of Education.
The three VCs are definitely sound choices to make it all possible. They’re important names and they’re well known all over the world. Atomico is one of the best European VCs and you may know its creator Niklas Zennström as the founder of Skype and Kazaa. DN Capital’s founders, Nenad Marovac and Steven Schlenker have over fifty years of experience in investing, and the company has 370 million EUR in four funds. Evolution Equity Partners (EEP) was set up by Richard Seewald and Dennis Smith along with the heads of AVG Technologies. The choice of the latter shows PZU’s interest in the cyber security sector.
“We believe that cyber security is going to play the key role in the nearest future, so PZU and NCBR want to be the part of it. The investment in EEP will allow us to use Polish resources,” says Maciej Chorowski, NCBR Director.
As you can see that’s plenty done for such a young company. Witelo Fund was set up just in September 2016. It’s off to a great start but it doesn’t stop just here. In the next few years, Witelo is planning the investment of at least 500 million PLN in VCs. Besides providing the money necessary, they’re also hoping to give the advice and guidance they can in order to succeed.
“We’ll be actively working with VC funds to enable them to have similar success stories they can pride in all over the world. Giving them the funds we’re sure we’re going to succeed in helping innovative projects in our country. It’s vital in making PZU the most innovative capital group in Central Eastern Europe,” says Michał Krupiński, PZU CEO.