Cogito Capital completes First Closing of its late- and growth-stage Cogito Fund I at €55 million and closes its first investment in MarketInvoice
Warsaw and New York – based Cogito Capital has reached the first closing of its Cogito Fund I with €55 million in commitments. The Fund is focused on late- and growth-stage B2B software, fintech and mobility companies. Cogito will predominantly invest in Series B and C tech companies operating in Central Europe that have the potential to expand or are already growing in other European markets and the USA.
With the team based in Europe and the USA, Cogito Fund has a unique capability to support portfolio companies in their international expansion.
In recent years Central European countries have increasingly originated global success stories such as UIPath, TransferWise, Taxify (Bolt), CD Project, Skype or AVG, and Cogito intends to capitalize on this growing pipeline of attractive investment opportunities.
The new fund has attracted the European Investment Fund as the cornerstone investor, alongside the PFR KOFFI Fund and the PFR NCBR CVC Fund managed by the Polish Development Fund (PFR), as well as other professional investors.
Cogito Capital was founded in 2018 by Sylwester Janik and Martin Jasinski, venture capital and corporate executives with 25 years of experience in the international tech and VC industry.
Prior to Cogito, Sylwester was a Senior Partner at MCI Capital, leading its growth technology practice in Central and Western Europe, with investments such as Azimo, Invia, Answear and iZettle (acquired by PayPal for $2.2bn).
Martin was the Founding Partner of New Europe Ventures, a NYC-based venture fund focused on technology investments originating from Central Europe, such as Medicalgorithmics, OncoArendi, AirHelp or Waltz (recently acquired by WeWork) and previously, was a senior executive with Tata Communications Growth Ventures Group and Verizon.
„We are delighted to be launching our first fund with such strong institutional support from the EIF as the anchor investor and the PFR as the local investor, making Cogito the first such case for CEE-focused growth-stage fund” said Cogito’s General Partner, Sylwester Janik.
“We are happy to accompany Cogito Fund I in its search for innovative companies in Poland and Central Europe, a region with strong potential in innovation and creativity”, said EIF Chief Executive, Pier Luigi Gilibert. “As the leading provider of venture capital in Europe, the EIF is convinced that supporting start-ups as they seek to establish themselves and grow is key to ensuring that their work can have a material impact on the economy. We are also happy to team up with the Polish Development Fund in financing the future protagonists of the Polish economy”
The EIF’s commitment benefits from the support of the European Fund for Strategic Investments (EFSI), the heart of the European Union’s Investment Plan for Europe, or Juncker Plan. The Juncker Plan focuses on boosting investment to generate jobs and growth by making smarter use of new and existing financial resources and removing obstacles to investment.
The European Commission’s Vice-President, Valdis Dombrovskis, responsible for the Euro and Social Dialogue, also in charge of Financial Stability, Financial Services and Capital Markets Union, said: “The Juncker Plan’s European Fund for Strategic Investments is playing an important role in assisting start-ups across Europe gain access to finance to innovate, grow and expand. This agreement will see even more high-potential European technology companies gain the support they need to take their next steps.”
“We are happy to invest in Cogito side by side with the EIF. The combined commitment goes to a team with significant experience in global investments and understanding of Polish market and the CEE region” said President of PFR Ventures, Maciej Ćwikiewicz.
“We deeply appreciate cooperation with our international and Polish partners. Our joint commitment creates new, great opportunities for innovative entrepreneurs in CEE region” said Włodzimierz Kuc, Director at the Department for R&D Investments NCBR.
The PFR’s commitment comes from two funds of funds managed by PFR Ventures (PFR KOFFI Fund and PFR NCBR CVC Fund), that benefit from the suport of the Smart Growth Operational Programme for Poland 2014-2020.
Cogito also announced its first investment in MarketInvoice, Europe’s largest online invoice finance platform, based in London, UK.
The fund joined Series B funding (€30m) completed earlier this year and led by Barclays and fintech fund Santander InnoVentures, with participation from existing investors, including Northzone.
Technology credit fund Viola Credit, which also participated in the equity round, provided a debt facility of up to £30m to help scale the MarketInvoice business loans solution which is part of its core invoice finance offering.
The Cogito team will support the company in the launch of a “cross-border fintech-bank partnerships” program and expansion into new markets in Europe, including Poland.
„MarketInvoice is example of a company we like to work with – i.e. a market leader seeking international expansion, operating in sector and markets where we can add value. It uses technology to redefine invoice finance and SME loan sector ” said Cogito’s General Partner, Martin Jasinski.
The series B round takes Marketinvoice’s total equity funding to date to more than £50m. The company has provided over £2 billion in invoice financing and business loans to small and medium businesses in the UK over the last three years.
About Cogito Capital
Cogito Capital is a late- and growth-stage venture capital firm focused on investments in technology companies operating in Central Europe, with global (US and pan-European) market potential. Based in Warsaw, Poland and New York, USA, the firm manages Luxembourg domiciled Cogito Fund I SICAV SCSp RAIF investing primarily at Series-B and C and partnering with entrepreneurs seeking investors with regional presence and global reach. Cogito investments are focused on three key B2B technology sectors: enterprise software, fintech and insurtech, and mobility (medtech diagnostics, telemedicine, IoT). http://cogitocap.com/
The European Investment Fund (EIF) is part of the European Investment Bank Group. Its central mission is to support Europe’s micro, small and medium-sized businesses (SMEs) by helping them access finance. EIF designs and develops venture and growth capital, guarantees and microfinance instruments which specifically target this market segment. In this role, EIF fosters EU objectives in support of innovation, research and development, entrepreneurship, growth, and employment. https://www.eif.org/
About PFR Ventures
PFR Ventures is the largest fund of funds manager in Central and Eastern Europe , investing in venture capital funds. It’s objective is to deliver almost €1,0 billion (PLN 4,0billion) financing through VC funds and groups of business angels for innovative SMEs at various stages of development: from the pre-seed stage to the growth and expansion phase. Over €0,6 billion (PLN 2.7 billion) available to the FoFs managed by PFR Ventures comes from the Smart Growth Operational Programme for Poland 2014-2020. https://pfrventures.pl/en/
About the National Centre for Research and Development (NCBR)
NCBR is an executive agency of the Minister of Science and Higher Education. For more than a decade, NCBR has brought together researchers and businesses by creating conditions conducive to research and development. NCBR co-finances R&D to support local companies and mitigate the business risk of implementation of ground-breaking research projects. The mission of NCBR is to work towards social and economic development of Poland and resolve specific civilisational problems faced its inhabitants. NCBR is the Intermediate Institution in the operational programmes: Smart Growth and Knowledge – Education – Development. NCBR implements a range of national and international projects, as well as national security and defence projects. With an annual R&D budget of €1.0 bn, NCBR is the biggest research and business support centre in Poland and CEE. For more information, visit www.ncbr.gov.pl