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Earlybird's Digital East Fund Bolsters Portfolio With Three Disruptive Tech Investments In Prospering, Underserved Regions
- Regional businesses with ability to disrupt entertainment, staffing and real estate sectors
- Fund attracts significant deal flow from underserved Turkey and Central and Eastern Europe (CEE)
Earlybird Venture Capital announces its first three investments in early-stage companies Flipps, Tjobs and Metrekare.com, just three months after the first $110 million close towards a $130 million fund size of its Digital East Fund, which focuses on the underserved and attractive Turkey and Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) markets. The aggregate capital commitments of $110 million to the new fund contribute to over $900 million raised by Earlybird since its founding in 1997. Each company in the new portfolio features exceptional founders with the potential to disrupt large, rapidly growing regional or global sectors.
Having reviewed over 2,000 investment opportunities during the last two years, the choice of Flipps, Tjobs and Metrekare.com demonstrates Earlybird's highly selective approach. The team proactively sees and screens over 80% of the technology start-up investment opportunities in Turkey and CEE, and collaborates actively with top angel investors and seed funds in the regions. Furthermore, passive deal flow to the fund increased more than four times in the last twelve months. The Turkey and CEE regions continue to demonstrate significant opportunity and growth for technology ventures, boasting nearly $4 billion in value created by recent exits.
Earlybird will help even more exceptional companies reach their full potential, either through a global IPO or by becoming regional champions.
"With a breadth of diversity across geographies, industries and company life-cycles, our portfolio companies commonly share massive market opportunities, capital-efficient business models and a sustainable competitive advantage," states Cem Sertoglu, Earlybird Partner.
Earlybird's Investments in Flipps, Tjobs and Metrekare.com
Flipps (http://www.flipps.com), the direct-to-TV streaming platform now based in San Francisco, is using its investment from Earlybird to build on its rapidly growing customer base of 10 million users and expand its library of premium content. Flipps' patented technology immediately works with over 250 million connected TVs worldwide and is compatible with over 5,000 manufacturer models. PwC estimates the global streaming TV market will expand to $17.4 billion by 2017, a growth rate of 27% annually from today. And because the Flipps mobile app requires no hardware or set top box to stream to a nearby, connected TV, its global reach and ability to scale quickly represent a significant opportunity to disrupt this rapidly growing market.
Earlybird's funding in Tjobs (http://www.tjobsrecruit.com) supports the Romanian start-up's continued pan European expansion serving a growing temporary worker population of millions as the EU liberalizes its labor mobility laws. Tjobs combines the reach and scalability of an online recruitment portal with the fulfillment ability of over 700 small and mid-sized independent recruitment agencies. The company enables employers across the European Union to seamlessly recruit from a talent-pool of well over two million qualified temporary or permanent candidates to fill jobs that are not being filled otherwise.
Metrekare.com (http://www.metrekare.com), a real estate listings platform, is using its investment from Earlybird to accelerate its rapid growth. Considered the Zillow of Turkey, the early stage company has shown significant traction in its first year, reaching more than 2,500 realtors, 100,000 listings and one million monthly visitors. The vast Turkish real estate market, with over one million transactions annually totaling more than $100 billion in volume, provides ample growth room for the very ambitious start-up.
"The volume of quality ideas and talent coming out of the Turkey and Central and Eastern European markets have largely been ignored by the rest of the world," according to Earlybird Partner Dan Lupu. "Our focus and investments in the region are about to change all that."
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