Estonian venture capital fund to invest €55 million in consumer-focused startups

Estonian venture capital fund Trind VC raises €55 million to invest in consumer and small and medium-sized enterprise-focused startups in Europe; the fund will invest into 30-40 startups, putting more emphasis on cross-border investments in the Northern European startup ecosystem.

The Tallinn-based fund is backed by institutional investors such as the European Investment Fund, Finnish Industry Investment, LHV Pension Funds and Swedbank Investment Funds.

“We were targeting to raise €50 million, but as we already have more commitments, we will go slightly above that in the second closing,” Reima Linnanvirta, a partner at Trind VC, said in a statement.

“Estonia and Finland form one of the strongest startup ecosystems in Europe, and the region has been producing excellent startups. While the funding environment has been getting tougher, we want to offer continuity in the availability of funding by investing through the cycle as we believe that great founders should get funded in all market conditions.”

Reima Linnanvirta, Trind VC.

The fund’s strategy is to invest in companies with business-to-consumer and consumer-to-consumer business models, alongside consumerised B2B software.

Looking for startups with clear traction

“Our investment thesis is actually quite simple. We are looking for startups with clear traction from big enough market – general hype or buzzwords won’t get us excited. We are using the data for both when making our investment decisions, but, more importantly, in developing the companies. There’s a clear bottleneck for funding for consumer startups in the area compared to B2B equivalents,” Joel Aasmäe, the managing partner at Trind, noted.

The fund says it can act as a lead investor, but especially with European cross-border investments, it’s happy to co-invest, with a local venture capital fund leading the round.

It will also continue its strategy of co-investing with prominent angel syndicates to bring more expertise to the startup via board positions and advisory work, compared with just its own resources, the fund said.

Trind was founded in 2018 in Tallinn by Joel Aasmäe, Kimmo Irpola, Taavi Lepmets and Ivar Siimar. Founding partners have been working together since 1999 while investing as business angels and as co-founders of LHV bank and New Economy Ventures, the first venture capital fund in the Baltics.

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