The Slovak technology company nettle.ai received a million investment

Nettle develops conversational interfaces and tool for the extraction of unstructured text powered by AI and machine learning.

Your Partner for Future Growth

“We invest in innovation-driven Slovak companies with the potential to become leaders in their segment and succeed on a global scale.”

Investment strategy

We like hi-tech industries; however, our focus is not limited to them. Our approach is more comprehensive and what counts the most is the innovation level, the overall uniqueness of the presented solution, and, of course, a skilled team with excellent execution power.
Innovation
and teamwork
We look for SMEs in their growth phase (Series A and later rounds)) with at least a partially functioning and viable product that has been proved on the market and has first paying customers or signed contracts for the upcoming months.
Series A, B
and following
The minimum amount of our investment share is €0,5 million, average participation ranges from €1.5 – 2 million. The final amount of funds and its structuring are project-specific and evaluated exclusively on a case-by-case basis.
Investment amount of
€0.5 – 4.8 million
We always invest alongside independent private co-investors based on the pari passu principle, in respect of contractual price (50:50 ratio) and sharing the same risks and rewards.
Co-investor
Primary choice of preference are Slovak-incorporated SMEs or European companies (EU) with some capital links to Slovakia.
Slovakia and Europe
Starting in June 2020, we have 4 years left to find and fund your ambition’s plans. The life span of the fund is set at 10 years, during which time we will endeavour to bring the company to a successful exit.
Investment period
3-7 years

We are unable to fund your project if…

  • The required capital is meant to serve a different purpose other than growth and expansion of your company (e.g. M&A, partial acquisition of part of the business or acquisition of patent rights).
  • The funds are solely dedicated to build and develop prototypes (lower phases of the project life cycle that require a seed or angel investor).
  • Your company fails to meet size and/or turnover specifications set out in European Commission Recommendation 2003/361/EC, which defines small and medium-sized enterprises. In practice, this means that your company, including its partner and affiliated enterprises, must not have more than 250 employees and its annual turnover must not exceed €50 million and/or its annual balance sheet must not exceed €43 million.
  • Your company pursues activities in the field of production and trading in tobacco products and alcoholic beverages, manufacturing and trading in arms, gambling, genetic research and cloning, or IT services aimed at supporting these industries.

 

What we need to evaluate your project

  • A pitch deck or executive summary containing the description of your product, the problem it solves, positioning and value proposition compared to the competition, your go-to-market strategy as well as an introduction of key team members you intend to achieve it with and the required capital.
  • A demonstration of the product, its functions and viability, ideally on pilot projects with existing clients.
  • A comprehensive business plan that should further elaborate on all the information described in the pitch deck, and a proper financial plan with an explanation of key inputs.
  • A financial model and indicative valuation of your company; during our assessment, we normally apply the method of discounted cash flow in combination with alternative methods (e.g. EBITDA/Revenue multiples and similar).
  • Existing customers and pipeline for projected years.
  • If you have already entered into negotiations with a potential co-investor, a few words about them and, if possible, a draft of the proposed term sheet will be useful. 

 

The course of the investment process

  • Our preliminary approval is subject to agreement by all parties of the term sheet (with you and co-investor as well) and of your business´s valuation.
  • What follows next is the due diligence process. We usually conduct legal, accounting, financial, transactional audits, an audit of intellectual property and, if necessary, a production and technological audit.
  • Should we not encounter any fundamental discrepancies and/or material risks during the due diligence process that would disqualify the transaction, and should the investment be approved by the VFF investment advisory committee, we proceed to contract negotiations and final signing.

Portfolio

Nettle AI
Nettle AI develops sophisticated tools powered by artificial intelligence that comprise comprehensive conversational platforms in the form of a virtual assistant. Thanks to artificial intelligence and machine-learning tools for structured data extraction and automated language processing (NLP), their solutions can autonomously resolve a broad range of challenging problems. Nettle AI's conversational artificial intelligence ranks among the best in the world and is used to communicate with customers by major technology companies and financial institutions including Eset, Samsung, ČSOB and 365 banka, among others. 
SEC Technologies
The Slovak-based company SEC Technologies develops and manufactures high end stand-off detectors of airborne chemical and biological agents. Based on over 30 years of research and development, its Falcon 4G detector is the only device in the world operating on the principle of active detection. Thanks to its own unique laser technology, the device is able to detect, identify and quantify chemical concentrations with up to 30 times higher sensitivity than passive detectors, up to a distance of 6 km.
AgeVolt
Slovak startup AgeVolt focuses on the development of intelligent EV charging systems and crypto-based shared platform. Thanks to the existing electrical connection of the building can be used for installing EV chargers without the fear of network overload, increasing the circuit breaker value or the reserved capacity. It holds the Seal of Excellence certificate, which was awarded by the European Commission to the most promising European innovative projects in 2020.
Simplicity
Simplicity is a resident-centric app simplifying the life of the residents in cities across Europe heading to the U.S market. Users can expect the most critical notifications from city, police, fire departments, and other government entities within the platform. Sophisticated AI systems deliver personalized notifications based on the interests of every citizen. Residents have up-to-date information about interesting events in their city as well. All announcements and news are delivered purely from trusted and official city institutions. Simplicity raised $8.5M in the fight against misinformation and hoaxes in support of local government.
Nettle AI

Nettle AI

Nettle AI develops sophisticated tools powered by artificial intelligence that comprise comprehensive conversational platforms in the form of a virtual assistant. Thanks to artificial intelligence and machine-learning tools for structured data extraction and automated language processing (NLP), their solutions can autonomously resolve a broad range of challenging problems. Nettle AI's conversational artificial intelligence ranks among the best in the world and is used to communicate with customers by major technology companies and financial institutions including Eset, Samsung, ČSOB and 365 banka, among others. 

News

About us

Investors

Investors

“The combined participation of the Fund and its co-investors will facilitate the emergence of a next generation of business champions in Slovakia.”
Lilyana Pavlova, Vice-President of European Investment Bank (EIB)

Venture to Future Fund is a joint initiative of EIB, the Ministry of Finance of the Slovak Republic, and the Slovak Investment Holding. It is the first venture capital fund of its kind in the CEE region that has lured EIB´s capital. 

Team

Team

Matej
Říha

Investment Manager
Chairman of the Board

Matej has 15+ years’ experience in managing positions in M&A, transaction advisory, and investment and corporate banking (Patria Finance/KBC Group, VUB/Intesa Sanpaolo Group, and OTP Group). Before joining Venture to Future Fund, he served as executive manager for the JEREMIE holding fund in Slovakia. Matej graduated from the University of Economics in Bratislava, majoring in finance, banking and investing.

Martin
Banský

Investment Manager
Vice-Chairman of the Board

Martin has 15+ years’ experience in the field of transaction advisory, M&A, and investment banking (e.g. WOOD & Co., Patria finance) as well as in the banking sector (Tatra banka, VUB bank). High on the list of his managerial accomplishments is the sale of a part of Slovak Telekom; he has also led a number of M&A transactions within the mining, pharmaceutical and aviation industries. He graduated from Matej Bel University in Banska Bystrica, majoring in finance, banking and investing. 

Miriama
Kováčová

Investment Manager
Board Member

Mirka has spent more than 8 years working in the field of M&A, transaction advisory, investment banking, and financial planning (AZC Group, CSOB Advisory, Corpia Group). She was in charge of several acquisition projects within the agriculture, biofuels and food industries, and also in the post and telecommunications sectors. She graduated from the University of Žilina, majoring in economics and management; she also studied at the University of Jyväskylä, Finland. 

Martin
Páleník

Senior Analyst

Martin has over 8 years’ experience in the field of auditing, banking, M&A, and transaction advisory. He worked for the Mazars Company, holding senior positions in the departments of audit and financial advisory in Slovakia and in South Africa. Before joining Venture to Future Fund, he worked as an internal auditor with ING Bank where he was responsible for the EMEA region. Martin majored in economic policy and international finance and is the proud holder of the ACCA certificate.

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Contact

Venture to Future Fund, a.s.
Grösslingová 44
811 09 Bratislava
Tel.: +421 2 5737 3235

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