Credo Ventures Closes 4th Fund at €75M

“I believe that CEE founders are more real in what they create.“ – Ondrej Bartos, Partner at Credo Ventures

If you were at this year’s Podim, you must remember Credo Ventures and one of its founding partners, Jan Habermann. They just announced great news, and we’re here to pass that information on to you, dear startups.

Prague-based Credo Ventures is closing its fourth flagship fund, CS4, at €75 million. The fund will continue supporting early-stage startups and founders in creating new success stories in our lovely CEE region, focusing on pre-seed to series A. Since its first close earlier this year, CS4 has already made 9 investments.

Jan Habermann from Credo Ventures (bottom right) as part of the jury at Podim 2022

We are a bit curious as to how the story of Credo began and how it got to where it is today, aren’t you? Let’s take a quick look at their starting point.

Ondrej Bartos and Jan Habermann began the talks to launch Credo Ventures in 2009. Having done some angel investing, working with a couple of founders, and growing success stories, such as Avast in the Czech Republic and Bitdefender in Romania, were moments of realization and affirmation that something new and exciting was needed in the region.

“We had this feeling that the region is super interesting, starting to bubble with potential, and we deeply believed in the talent of people in CEE.” – Ondrej Bartos

The bold decision and next steps were made in 2009, and in 2010, they went to the market with a small VC fund that would invest in technology startups in the region. And the rest is history.

Fast forward to today, and their fourth fund with which they are sticking to their strategy and what they know. The fund size is intentionally small because they “want to continue investing in early-stage startups.” They can invest anything from €100,000 to €5M, but typically, their check would be for €1–2.5M.

“To me, the best part of investing is seeing the progress, seeing how a bunch of smart people come up with an idea or a plan, and then actually create a product and bring it to market. The most rewarding feeling is to watch them grow, even as they make their first mistakes and learn from them. I try learning from these mistakes, too.” – Ondrej Bartos

Ondrej says that people are an essential part of assessing a potential target. Why, you ask? In the beginning, people are all that a startup is comprised of. However, reading an investor deck about the product, the market, the competition, and how they plan to disrupt the industry is the first thing they start with—trying to see the big picture and the opportunity.

“We only invest in startups with big ambitions and that we believe address a big opportunity, either to disrupt an existing market or to create a new market. We like bold ideas and ambitious people and want to back the best of them.” – Ondrej Bartos

Kristina Shershun (right) during a 1:1 meeting in the Deal Room at Podim 2022

The good news doesn’t end there—Credo Ventures is welcoming three new General Partners to the team; Maciek Gnutek, Guillaume Fournier and Karolina Mrozkova. Another relatively new endeavor is a partner-talent function to work on hiring expertise. Kristina Shershun, their Talent Partner, is helping their portfolio companies hire the right talent and set up HR processes.

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