No one expected the majority of 2021 to be impacted by COVID, but here we are. It seems everyone has adapted to new ways to thrive at work and in life. As in-person events are returning, we held a successful Tech Lounge in Helsinki. It is impressive and humbling to see how our portfolio companies’ management teams continue to release new products, add new clients, and grow. As the planning cycle for 2022 is in full swing, we included a few tools we found helpful in driving growth. Lastly, let’s meet at one of the upcoming summits listed below. Read on.
The 3TS Team
|TECH LOUNGE IN HELSINKI
In early October, 3TS and Nexit jointly organized a Tech Lounge in Helsinki with the title “Positive Impact – Growth Capital for Global Challengers”.
The Tech Lounge is an informal VC and PE industry networking event for exchanging experiences and ideas about future technology trends and investment opportunities. As this was the first face-to-face meeting after pandemic restrictions for many of us, there were very lively discussions going among the participants. In addition, there were three presentations:
Pekka Mäki from 3TS and Artturi Tarjanne from Nexit Ventures presented the 3TS-Nexit co-operation with a focus on “Engineering Europe” with 200 million population, strong innovative talent, and high demand for expansion capital.
Kaija Sellman (CEO Tosibox ) presented the first joint investment by Nexit and 3TS. Tosibox is the leader in secure OT networking with more than 100,000 networks and 100 million sensors, devices, and users connected with the TOSIBOX® platform. In her presentation Kaija underlined the hands-on value add from investors in reshaping the business model and supporting the global expansion, especially in the US market where both 3TS and Nexit have own offices.
Juha Lehtola from Tesi presented some interesting statistics and investment insights by Tesi’s VC team regarding technology growth investments above €10 million level. Tesi (officially Finnish Industry Investment Ltd) is a state-owned investment company investing in venture capital and private equity funds. The statistic presented by Juha clearly shows the need for more expansion capital in the region.
|3TS PORTFOLIO NEWS
Piano Announces New Digital Analytics Solution
Bold move by our portfolio company Piano, bringing to market a modern analytics solution that is geared to power personalized commerce and maximize digital revenue.
HITIO/MUDO Gym + Perfect Gym
Adding HITIO, the largest fitness chain in Norway, as a major client is proof that PerfectGym is executing on its vision of being the premier health club management platform. HITIO found that PerfectGym is the right solution to enable faster EU expansion and adding existing digital fitness experiences.
HVCA Fall Event Brings Budapest’s Venture Community Together
3TS has been the lead investor in Tresorit, which has successfully exited in July 2021 and now featured in the HVCA’s annual event. The panel covered many highlights in our journey with Tresorit including a superb management team, an expanding market for privacy-first solutions, successful international expansion, tripling the revenue run-rate, and finally taking advantage of favorable exit environment.
|GOOD READS & GREAT IDEAS
Get Busy Growing or Get Busy Dying: How to Evaluate Growth Levers for 2022, by SBI
With annual planning for 2022 in full swing, this SBI article is a great resource for all B2B sales & marketing growth tactics that matter.
Annual Planning is Killing Your Growth – Try This Plan Instead, by FirstRound Review
While this might seem like a provocative approach, the trailing 12-month plan and treating every quarter like year-end actually adds agility and the ability to make changes at the speed of growth.
How behavioral science can boost your conversion rates, by Irrational Labs
Whether you’re selling to consumers, SMBs, or to the enterprise, there are four tried-and-true behavioral tactics that work to accelerate buying cycles. Since most of buying is on-line, it’s worth making sure you use these in your applications, sales play-books and marketing programs.
MEET THE CEO – CARMEN SEBE, SeedBlink
Carmen Sebe is a well-known name due to her vast experience in managing roles growing Romanian startups to global FinTech companies, mentioned often in the tops of the strongest women in Romania. As a graduate from Polytechnic University (Bucharest) and an Alumni from London Business School and from Harvard Business School Executive Education Program, she had been at the top in all companies she was part of.
Firstly, as the CEO of Cvantage (June 2003 – December 2005) and after that, the CEO of GECAD ePayment (January 2006 – September 2010) where she grew revenue by 100% in two years through organic growth and secured 90% market share in the home country. The company was acquired by the MIH Group in 2010. Then, as the CEO of Avangate (January 2006 – March 2011) where she led the company to become one of the major international players in online payments for the software industry. Between April 2011 – July 2014, Carmen gained the title of Avangate’s COO and coordinated management activities, restructured management, systems, and business operations from Silicon Valley, California and from January 2017 to January 2020 she became Partner at Gecad Ventures. Going back to the present, Carmen continues to accumulate C-titles in her résumé and in September were appointed as the CEO of SeedBlink, after joining the platform as a partner on January 1st, 2020. SeedBlink is the Bucharest-based fastest-growing crowd investment platform specialized in sourcing, vetting, funding, and scaling European tech startups.
Carmen is truly passionate about the work she’s doing and the company she’s leading: “My focus is to develop an agile & solid team setting all engines running in the same direction – to enter the European market at full speed by bringing more European tech startups, and therefore more international investors. In other words, our mission is to shape Europe’s tech future and reviving its innovation.”
SeedBlink has remarkable results in almost two years of activity building a community of +7,000 specialized tech investors from 29 countries, 56 launched campaigns, with companies headquartered in 11 different countries. This way, SeedBlink helped to date 54 tech start-ups to raise investments exceeding €34m from every day and institutional investors, with 40% of the amount via crowd investing.
What we can learn from Carmen is that the willingness to take calculated risks along with strong-communication skills and a results-driven approach are the key ingredients to achieve effective leadership.