We really enjoyed filming this week’s FUNDstar Vod/Podcast, with the extremely affable, amusing and insightful Adam Niewinski, from leading Series B+ investor, OTB Ventures, in Warsaw.
Adam takes his time to provide context and background on how he decided venture capital was for him as it was an evolution:
# Of his early life of travels
# His career in finance
# Life as a B2C Fintech & Banking founder around the time of the first Bubble
# Focus on “Vorpals” and “Clicks and Mortar”
… Combined with a love of angel investing.
Thus he created OTB Ventures in early 90’s Poland, to focus on the massive changes emergent technology opportunities in Central and Eastern Europe.
This has stood them well over the years and they hit the headlines recently, by leading one of the most successful Series B rounds in the UK, in 2021, with their investment in Fintech O/S.
When outlining the fund and how they operate – these are some of the key pearls of wisdom:
# The nature of VC investing and how this spreads the risk
# He gives the best ever analogy of how the relationship between a VC and Founder should be… like a long road trip over Europe
# How Investors should be fundamentally hands off
# The funds focus on CEE, The Baltics and Finland
# They aren’t looking at the business, but the founders from these countries
# The OTB investments are usually businesses where the founders can be based in the UK/US with R&D in CEE, but scaling globally
# They rely on strong relationships with the Seed Funds in these countries, as well as their analyst’s research to find unique companies
# Scaling globally from day one is important, a model that is tried and tested in Israel – one founder that is always on a plane to the US / UK and the other founder is managing the R&D
# Ukrainian and Estonian founders are doing this model en masse currently
# Series B in CEE is madly competitive
& its the best time ever to set up a Tech company in the CEE region..