Great expectations for a lot of fresh capital, promising starts of acceleration programs and associations and important for the whole ecosystem deals marked the last year. To be honest, if we quantify the significant events of 2018, the figures won’t be as impressive, as one wishes them to be. The year, however, brought to the ecosystem maturity and qualitative results.
Important on the long run
If we count them, there have been less than 15 investments of venture capital in Bulgaria in the past 12 months. Excitel, Lucidlink, Noble, Colibra, Software Group, to name a few. The global fintech wave has not bypassed Bulgaria and local VCs and founders are an evidence enough. Eleven Ventures, one of the local funds has even managed to establish an acceleration program together with VISA, which is a breakthrough itself and will allow local fintech entrepreneurs to scale faster.
Out of all €150M direct funding that was expected to flow into the startup ecosystem in 2018, funds with approximate size of around €25M have been closed and were operational in the last year. Another one – Neveq Management, has just signed another over €20M that will be deployed in the next five years starting 2019. The results of programs such as Innovation and Competitiveness that claimed to have €60M for startups and new innovative ventures in the pocket are still not public. But as tomorrow is the mystical space where all hopes, dreams and resolutions live, we expect 2019 to be a year to remember.
Apart from the capital, here are some important milestones the local ecosystem hit in the last year and that will impact its development for the years ahead.
Of course, as we’d rather ask the ecosystem itself, instead of theorizing, we went to the CoChristmas party, where the startup and tech community was celebrating the past year, to ask, what was there to celebrate. Some of the answers were surprising even to us.