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In 2020, Warsaw’s startup ecosystem is ‘a location to examine fastidiously’

In the event you listed the traits that bask in captured the honor of 20 Warsaw-focused investors who answered to our fresh surveys, automation/AI, mission SaaS, cleantech, health, remote work and the sharing economy would high the list. These VCs acknowledged they are searching for opportunities in the “digital twin” dwelling, proptech and expanded blockchain tokenization inside of industries.

Traders in Central and Eastern Europe are most frequently searching for the same things as VCs essentially essentially based mostly in other places: startups that bask in a diversified fee proposition, capital effectivity, motivated groups, publish-earnings and a effectively-outlined market arena of interest.

Out of the cohort we interviewed, diverse urged us that COVID-19 had no longer yet critically transformed how they attain replace. As Michał Papuga, a companion at Flashpoint VC build it, “the train since March hasn’t modified a lot, but we went from low fright to low bullishness. Neither of those is relevant and I would recommend to stay to the lengthy-term desires and no longer to be compelled.”

Talked about Pawel Lipkowski of RBL_VC, “Warsaw is at its pivotal point — judge Berlin in the ‘90s. It’s a location to examine fastidiously.”

Here’s who we interviewed for piece one:

For the conclusion, we spoke to the next investors:

Karol Szubstarski, companion, OTB Ventures

What traits are you most obsessed on investing in, most frequently?
Late shift of enterprises in direction of elevated exercise of automation and AI, that lets in dramatic improvement of effectivity, fee good purchase and transfer of mission sources from behind, repeatable and mundane duties to more thrilling, fee added opportunities.

What’s your most modern, most fun investment?
Concept to be one of many most fun opportunities is ICEYE. The firm is a pacesetter and first mover in artificial-aperture radar (SAR) technology for microsatellites. It’s constructing and dealing its hang commercial constellation of SAR microsatellites able to providing satellite tv for computer imagery without reference to the cloud quilt, climate prerequisites and time of the day and night (comparable resolution to ragged SAR satellites with 100x more cost effective tag side), which is disrupting the multibillion buck satellite tv for computer imagery market.

Are there startups that you wish you will seemingly be able to witness in the industry but don’t? What are some lost sight of opportunities stunning now?
I would prefer to witness more startups in the digital twin dwelling; technology that lets in introduction of an right digital replica/reproduction of something in physical dwelling — a product, route of and even the entire ecosystem. This roughly solution enables experiments and [the implementation of] adjustments that in some other case would be extraordinarily costly or volatile – it might per chance maybe well well provide immense fee added for potentialities.

What are you searching for on your next investment, in overall?
A firm with odd fee proposition to its potentialities, deep tech train that offers competitive edge over other gamers in the market and a founder with world imaginative and prescient and focal point on execution of that imaginative and prescient.

Which areas are both oversaturated or would be too animated to compete in at this point for a brand unusual startup? What different styles of products/products and services are you cautious or eager on?
No market/sector is too saturated and has no room for innovation. Some markets seem to be more no longer easy than others attributable to immense competitive panorama (e.g., food offer, language-discovering out apps) but level-headed will also be the topic of disruption attributable to a diversified fee proposition of a brand unusual entrant.

How necessary are you enraged by investing on your native ecosystem versus other startup hubs (or in every single place) in overall? Greater than 50%? Less?
OTB is enraged by opportunities with hyperlinks to Central Eastern European skill (without a bias in direction of any hub in the space), that methodology companies that leverage native engineering/entrepreneurial skill in divulge to design world-class products to compete globally (in most cases HQ out of doorways CEE).

Which industries on your metropolis and space seem effectively-positioned to thrive, or no longer, lengthy scamper? What are companies you are obsessed on (your portfolio or no longer), which founders?
CEE space is identified for its colossal and extremely skilled skill pool in the fields of engineering and instrument constructing. The space is effectively-positioned to design up alternate choices that leverage deep, odd tech without reference to vertical (specifically B2B). Historically, the space used to be specifically right in AI/ML, enlighten/speech/NLP technologies, cybersecurity, records analytics, etc.

How need to investors in other cities imagine the final investment native climate and opportunities on your metropolis?
CEE (including Poland and Warsaw) has repeatedly been identified as an exceptionally right space in relation to engineering/IT skill. Inherent threat aversion of entrepreneurs has driven, for a series of years, a more “copycat”/native market manner, whereas maintaining abet more formidable, deep tech opportunities. In fresh years we’re witnessing a paradigm shift with a brand unusual technology of entrepreneurs tackling complications with odd, deep tech alternate choices, inserting emphasis on world expansion, neglecting shallow native markets. As such, the high quality of deals has been step by step rising and currently reflects excessive high quality on world scale, specifically on tech stage. CEE market demonstrates also a rising series of startups (in entire), which is basically driven by an abundance of early-stage capital and success tales in the space (e.g., DataRobot, Lumber, UiPath) that are efficiently evangelizing entrepreneurship amongst corporates/engineers.

Attain you ask to witness a surge in more founders coming from geographies out of doorways major cities in the end years, with startup hubs losing of us attributable to the pandemic and lingering concerns, plus the enchantment of remote work?
I deem that native hubs will maintain their dominant location in the ecosystem. The remote/digital team will develop in numbers but proximity to capital, human sources and markets level-headed will dwell the prevalent force in shaping native startup communities.

Which industry segments that you put money into watch weaker or more uncovered to doable shifts in user and replace habits attributable to COVID-19? What are the opportunities startups might per chance maybe be ready to tap into sometime of these unheard of times?
OTB invests in overall in companies with clearly outlined technological advantage, making quantifiable and cease to-term distinction to their potentialities (in most cases in the B2B sector), which is a fee-add without reference to the market cycle. The industrial downturn works most frequently in desire of technological alternate choices enabling mission potentialities to improve effectivity, lower costs, bring optimization and replace manual labour with automation — and the massive majority of OTB portfolio fits that description. As such, the bulk of the OTB portfolio has no longer been heavily impacted by the COVID pandemic.

How has COVID-19 impacted your investment plan? What are the major worries of the founders on your portfolio? What’s your suggestion to startups on your portfolio stunning now?
The COVID pandemic has no longer impacted our investment plan whatsoever. OTB level-headed pursues odd tech opportunities that will well well provide its potentialities with rapid fee added. This roughly manner offers a somewhat excessive stage of resilience towards economic downturns (obviously, gross sales cycles are extending but in overall gross sales pipeline/potentialities/retention stays intact). Liquidity in portfolio is repeatedly the #1 field in unsure, no longer easy times. Lean manner desires to be reintroduced, companies bask in to retain cash and maintain optimizing — that’s the handiest plan to catch in the course of the disaster.

Are you seeing “green shoots” regarding earnings growth, retention or other momentum on your portfolio as they adapt to the pandemic?
A obliging instance in our portfolio is Segron, a supplier of an computerized testing platform for functions, databases and mission community infrastructure. Blueprint constructing, deployment and repairs in mission IT ecosystem requires continuous and rigorous testing protocols and as this kind of lot of manual heavy lifting with extremely skilled engineering skill being alive to (which is ready to be aged in a more productive design in other places). The COVID pandemic has kept engineers dwelling (without a skill for remote testing) whereas driving build a query to for digital products and services (and as such build a query to for a smartly-behaved IT ecosystem). The Segron computerized framework enables full automation of mission testing main to elevated effectivity, lowering working costs and giving mission potentialities peace of mind and a obliging night’s sleep regarding their IT infrastructure in the no longer easy economic ambiance.

What’s a second that has given you hope in the final month or so? This might per chance maybe well well be legitimate, deepest or a mix of the 2.
I dwell impressed by the unshakeable dedication of more than one founders and their groups to conquer all of the challenges of the unsuitable economic ecosystem.

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