Estonia-based accelerator program Startup Wise Guys has welcomed its third batch of young tech start-ups. Eight teams from seven countries will enter a grueling three-month program that includes more than 80 local and international mentors and will end with coveted demo days in Tallinn and London.
The new arrivals are in good company. Founded in 2012 by Jon Bradford, Herty Tammo and Mike Reiner, SWG has already built a portfolio of successful alumni. With new investments and partnerships announced in the past month, its former teams have raised well over €1M at latest count.
From the accelerator’s first batch, Dutch video-discovery app WappZapp has recently raised €650,000 following a recent investment from SanomaVentures. Altogether, six of the eight teams from the accelerator’s first batch now have follow-on funding.
From the second batch, one team has raised $100,000, another an undisclosed round and 70% of the companies are already generating revenue. With two more teams in late-stage investment talks, new announcements are on the way.
“Our alumni teams do an amasing job and we’re thrilled by the growing international interest in our program,” said Mike Reiner, co-founder and head of Startup Wise Guys. “In the current batch, we have teams from as far as Costa Rica and India, with many nationalities within the teams. The start-up ecosystem in Estonia is thriving and it’s great to see the country build on its homegrown successes to become a magnet for talented entrepreneurs worldwide.”
From the very beginning, Estonian Development Fund has played a crucial role in Startup Wise Guys. On top of EDF’s initial investment in setting up the accelerator, the Fund’s investment arm, SmartCap, has committed €1M to Wise Guys alumni.
“We’re helping terraform the Estonian entrepreneurial and investment climate,” said Andrus Oks, Investment Manager at SmartCap. “We’ve already come a long way from a mostly inward-looking focus on nurturing only local start-ups to seeing the country as a platform for entrepreneurs from all over. A rich, open exchange of ideas, contacts, and talent has enormous benefits for Estonia and its people.”
Rounding up what is essentially Estonia’s first angel fund, 15 angel investors have matched SmartCap’s investment and help select start-ups for the accelerator program.
“Out of 15 previous start-ups, ten have either secured follow-on funding or will do so soon,” said Riivo Anton, a Startup Wise Guys investor. “From an investor’s point of view, nothing trumps a successful exit and from what I’m seeing, we seem to be on the right path. With our portfolio now at 23 companies, I think we’ll witness the first successful exits in a few years.”
Startup Wise Guys takes an 8 percent stake in every startup that joins its program. The accelerator invests €5,000 per founder, capping its initial investment at €15,000.
New teams now joining the Startup Wise Guys accelerator program:
TrainedOn (Hungary, Estonia)
Multi-sided platform with online tools and a marketplace for offline training management.
Leaf (Costa Rica)
Free music-streaming service with a direct channel for artists to grow and monetise their fan bases.
Social platform for organising creative contests for brands and individuals.
Online news monitoring, analysing and categorisation platform offering highly relevant and targeted information for SMEs.
Mobile voice and instant messaging encryption service allows you to control your communication privacy.
One place where young people can find and take remote internships with all the benefits of international work and online learning.
Smashes the expensive paywalls that hide great research. We are the iTunes for research articles.
Actual Reports (Estonia)
Cloud-based document creation platform that helps software providers save time and money spent on creating and managing user-specific output.
Read more about Startup Wise Guys here.
Photo: Tallinn by VisitEstonia