BValue - a VC fund that decided to cooperate with students

The VC market in Poland is constantly developing. The PFR Ventures report shows that 269 transactions were carried out in 2019, in which 85 funds were involved. The value of investments increased as much as eight times compared to 2018, and the sum of all investments exceeded PLN 1.2 billion. This is the total amount of capital that Polish and foreign funds invested in Polish start-ups. Such a good result was strongly influenced by high rounds, which were collected by DocPlanner (PLN 344 million), Brainly (PLN 120 million) and Booksy (PLN 115 million). In 2019, all funds financed under these PFR programs closed 43 investments. Funds operating under the Bridge Alfa program were also very active and closed 182 investments.

How does bValue work?

The bValue fund invests in companies at an early stage of development. As part of the cooperation, companies receive access to partners, investment team and experts. In addition, they can count on HR support and partnership programs with technology suppliers - Amazon, Google, Microsoft or Similarweb. Fund managers try to invest not necessarily in startups, but in people - entrepreneurs who want to solve a specific problem through technology.

The bValue Group includes several funds. The investment tickets range from PLN 1 million to PLN 4 million. The first private investments started in 2016, followed by public funds used by bValue - a small KFK fund, later Bridge Alfa and now PFR Starter. The fund also has a pool of private funds not related to any program, which gives about 100 million PLN of capital under management.

The fund was established by well-known Polish businessmen: Rafał Brzoska (InPost), Marian Owerka (Bakalland) and Tomasz Misiak (Work Service). Due to investors representing various industries, bValue has a large know-how base and is able to support a company from any industry.

The fund invests in B2B companies that provide technological solutions for companies (CallPage, WannaBuy). The fund is also interested in start-ups that create services and products related to a healthy lifestyle (Purella). More and more often projects are considered, where there are real products and sales channels or production is related to technology (RevolMatic). Many traditional industries such as trade, transport or production, which in various areas affect the Internet but are not digitised, also have a chance to gain funding from the fund.

Best known investments

The bValue portfolio already includes several companies. One of them is the Warsaw-based start-up WannaBuy. Its creators decided to solve the problem of not using the benefits that employees receive from employers. According to their research, as much as 70% of the benefits are unused. Therefore, the company wants to enable employees to choose the appropriate benefits. It already offers over 2 000 products in 16 categories. Nationale Nederlanden, Mokate and Aegon already use the company's services. Not only customers, but also the bValue investment fund, donating PLN 1 million to the creators, believed in the idea. For the funds obtained, the founders intend to further develop their product.

One of the most famous investments is the Kraków-based start-up CallPage, which received 4 million PLN from bValue. The system offered by the start-up works as follows: If a website visitor is interested in the offer and has additional questions, they leave their contact details and the company calls them back. The contact with a potential customer is to be completed in 28 seconds. The time is to attract the attention of the potential user of the website. CallPage additionally offers a CRM system for contact management. This improves the conversion of website visitors into customers.

In early 2020, bValue decided to support the first student VC fund in Central and Eastern Europe. This will give the fund better contact with academic circles all over Poland. If you would like to obtain funding for your innovative idea, visit today.