bValue raises €72 million of its €100 million growth equity fund

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  • bValue is launching its inaugural growth equity fund, with the aim of investing in profitable, growing companies from the CEE.
  • The team has already raised EUR 72 million, with the target capitalisation of EUR 100 million.
  • bValue Growth aims to invest in 8-12 companies, with a single ticket of EUR 5-15 million for a significant minority stake.
  • bValue Growth follows the success of two early-stage funds with a combined value of EUR 20 million, 36 investments, and 12 exits.

 

Warsaw, 22nd November 2022 – bValue has announced bValue Growth, its third fund with target capitalisation of EUR 100 million. The team has already raised EUR 72 million, from institutions, family offices and private individuals. bValue Growth aims to invest in 8-12 profitable, growing companies from the CEE.

The new fund fills the gap between traditional venture capital and private equity offerings. bValue Growth will invest EUR 5-15 million in a single ticket, for an equity stake of 20-40%. It is focused on growing companies with scalable business models. A target company is EBITDA-positive and has a turnover of no more than EUR 25 million.

bValue Growth is managed by Maciej Balsewicz and Michał Bartosz. Maciej Balsewicz founded bValue 6 years ago and has been managing it since then, previously working for the leading Polish  logistics services provider  InPost, global asset manager PineBridge Investments and EY. Michał Bartosz, who joined bValue in January 2022, has vast experience both as an industry investor, as well as a private equity professional and an advisor. He has worked in Avenga, Grupa Wirtualna Polska, Enterprise Investors and Deloitte. Both partners combine unique operational and investment experience, working for top private equity houses, as well as for rapidly scaling companies backed by PE funds.

Central and Eastern Europe, itself fragmented and consisting of relatively small markets, has seen a rise of mid-size tech companies that are selling their products and services globally. Majority of them will never reach a unicorn status, and therefore don’t appeal to VCs looking for so-called fund makers. However, they have potential to reach size and profitability that will make them attractive to larger PE funds or strategic investors. This is a huge market niche, where we see a lot of investment opportunities that can generate considerable returns”, says Maciej Balsewicz, Founding Partner at bValue.

Private equity in Poland and the CEE seems to be dominated by buyout funds, which grew on full exits of the first-generation entrepreneurs. But the market has changed and different needs, requiring different approaches, have emerged. We see vast investment opportunities in SMEs, whose founders don’t seek a complete takeover, but want to further grow their companies to reach higher profitability and valuation within 4 to 5 years. Those are exactly the founders we are looking for. Ambitious entrepreneurs aware of the  growth potential of their business and aware of the need for outside capital and guidance to achieve it, says Michał Bartosz, Partner at bValue. 

bValue Growth follows the success of two early-stage funds managed by bValue for the last 6 years, with a combined value of EUR 20 million. They have already made 36 investments and exited from 12 companies. The first fund, in its exit stage, has already seen a return of 3x MoIC and expects to reach 10x MoIC in the next 2-4 years. The second seed fund is still in the value creation stage, but plans its first exits in the upcoming months.

Active portfolio of bValue Seed includes, among others: Tidio – live chat, chatbot and mailing solutions for micro-businesses (raised €25m Series B in 2022), More Growth – a creator of online brands in the areas of parenthood, personal finance and wellness (raised €5m in a pre-seed round in 2022), Spin.ai – a US-based all-in-one platform that delivers last line of cyber defence for SaaS data (raised €16m in Series B in 2022), Aggero – marketing platform for brands to manage and engage video gaming influencers (raised €4m in seed funding), and Your KAYA –  a D2C brand of feminine care products made with safe, organic ingredients.

bValue has already exited from 12 of its seed investments, including Senuto (acquired by WhitePress/RTB House), Wannabuy (acquired by BenefitSystems), PushPushGo (acquired by Vercom), Callpage (acquired by SaaS Labs), Purella Superfoods (acquired by Bakalland), and Shoplo (acquired by SumUp).

“We see a growing number of companies that don’t follow the path leading to a billion-dollar valuation but attract strategic investors who acquire them at a price that generates appealing returns for the shareholders. It’s a clear mark that our tech ecosystem is maturing and there are multiple ways to develop and grow a new business. We build bValue Growth on our expertise in both early-stage and private equity investments, to unlock the new path for growing and maturing tech enterprises”, says Maciej Balsewicz.

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