A SeedCapital, empresa de investimento recentemente criada, investiu no primeiro semestre deste ano em três startups portuguesas que actuam na área das novas tecnologias.
“A melhor altura para investir é em altura de crise. É nesses momentos que existem mais oportunidades e menos concorrência. A SeedCapital foi criada com o objectivo de investir nos projectos das pessoas que têm a coragem de se auto-desempregar.”, refere Mário Valente, fundador da empresa de gestão de investimentos Maverick e da empresa de investimento SeedCapital.
Criada por um grupo de business angels portugueses, a SeedCapital vem resolver dois problemas dos empreendedores portugueses: a falta de capital semente que apoie projectos embrionários e a falta de conhecimentos na condução e gestão desses projectos.
A SeedCapital investe nas indústrias de Tecnologia, Media e Telecomunicações, principalmente em projectos de âmbito tecnológico baseados na web.
Os três primeiros investimentos foram feitos em três empresas portuguesas: a Tarpipe, a Sysactum e a Quirkafleeg.
A Tarpipe desenvolveu um sistema e um serviço que ajuda as pessoas e as empresas a garantir a sua presença nas múltiplas redes sociais e a monitorizar nessas mesmas redes as referências ao seu nome, à sua empresa ou à sua marca.
A Sysactum desenvolveu uma aplicação para clínicas veterinárias que permite a gestão das mesmas de forma simples e em formato web, permitindo o acesso à aplicação a partir de qualquer ponto onde haja um computador ou um telemóvel.
A Quirkafleeg licenciou a propriedade intelectual do jogo Deus Ex Machina, uma referência nos jogos do ZX Spectrum, e pretende criar uma nova versão dirigida às consolas PS3 e XBox.
De acordo com Mário Valente, estes foram apenas os três primeiros investimentos. “A SeedCapital pretende investir em 2 ou 3 empresas por semestre durante os próximos 3 anos, totalizando um investimento de cerca de 1 milhão de euros em cerca de 20 empresas. Já no inicio de Julho realiza-se o próximo workshop Kickstart, onde serão selecionados os próximos investimentos”.
Para mais informações:
Mário Valente, Maverick/SeedCapital
Note: this article was written for a Techcrunch guest post back in August but was never published. Maybe we’re not news worth printing…
Who wouldn’t like to get their startup going in a city by the sea, with great climate, surrounded by hills, and get around the city on trams or get to the beach through a beautiful suspended bridge? And you can also add to that great food and great wine…
No, I am not talking about San Francisco, California. I’m talking about Lisboa, Portugal. Although we do have a beach called California close by: the Californian coast was first explored by a Portuguese sailor at the service of the Spanish crown, who was a native of Sesimbra, a fishing town 30 km south of Lisbon where there is a place called California Beach.
It must be said that Lisbon probably isn’t on the radar as a preferred location for startups; or that it is a hotbed of entrepreneurial action. But it could be; it can be; it should be. We are, after all, the West Coast of Europe. The business environment has been getting friendlier after years of slowing bureaucracy and there are some local startups that should warrant a closer look.
As for the business environment: you can now incorporate in Portugal for €360 in less than one hour and, in some cases, you can even do it online; corporate tax rate is an average 25% but a capital gain on the sale of shares held for more than one year is tax exempt; foreign direct investment has a lot of tax incentives and so does investment in high tech companies; 100Mbps fiber-to-the-home connections are available since January and 1Gbps connections will be available in September.
Regarding the startup environment there are a lot of changes going on. A lot of talent is available since there are three major universities in and around Lisbon where stuff like transparent and paper transistors is being invented. Some students now prefer to get their own startup going, instead of working for some major company; some are even leaving those companies and their secured jobs to go it alone.
Some local startups that deserve special mention:
- Adegga.com a social network for wine lovers
- Tarpipe a tool to automate content workflow, publication and sharing
- GoPlan an online project management and collaboration tool
- GuestCentric a booking engine and a reservation platform for small hotels
- Survs a tool for the creation of online surveys
- PostCrossing a worldwide postcard exchange
- MyTVShows an online service for managing your TV show watched/to-watch lists
- Maverick a small YC-clone seed investor (disclosure: I am one of the founders)
Recently Microsoft has acquired a Portuguese company (Mobicomp) specialized in mobile phone software for an undisclosed amount. If Microsoft is in on it, maybe others should take notice of other Portuguese projects.
I believe that Lisbon should be the preferred location for startups that are intent on going worldwide. If you are an American company, we are the closest European country; we can be the perfect point of entry in Europe. If you are an European company, we are the EU country which is closest to the US. In both cases this would save you a lot of time on flights :-). Aditionally we have close bonds with Brazil, one of the BRIC emerging markets that also speaks Portuguese (one the most spoken languages worldwide) and close bonds with nearby Spain (its connection with other South American countries is also a potential advantage). If you add to that nearby Africa, you can understand that our geographic position was an advantage for Portuguese seafaring explorers (the first venture backed startups) who discovered new worlds and created globalization. Maybe these characteristics could also be an advantage for startups.
According to Paul Graham’s wisdom, Lisbon is all about style, hipness and quality of life. The message that Lisbon sends out is the same as Berkeley’s or San Francisco’s: you should live better.
I’d say that the next best thing to the West Coast of the US would be the West Coast of the EU. Maybe we should be on your startup’s radar after all…
If you are interested in presenting your project for investment evaluation and further discussion, you can do so using this form.
The questions and fields to be filled are pretty simple:
- your name and email
- the project name, if you have one
- the problem at hand; who is the customer (companies or individuals)?; what problem does the project solve?; what problem does the customer have and why do they need the solution?; does the solution make the customer save money/time/hassles or does it make the customer get more money/time/awesome?
- the solution proposed; how does it solve the problem?
- what is the business model of the proposed solution?; how does it make money?; who pays?; models based on Google AdWords dont count.
- what is the magic ingredient?; do you have a patent?; is Steve Jobs a member of the team?; are you using some technology or combination of technologies that solves the problem 10x faster and 10x cheaper that the competition?; yes, there is competition.
- what is the market?; companies?; people?; professionals? mums?; kids?; teenagers?; banjo players?; how many of them?; where?; how much do they spend?;
- who are the known competitors?; yes, there are competitors; is the product an adaptation or version of an existing solution but for a different market?
- who is the team?; how many?; are you just techies?; what is your individual expertise?
Dont sweat over the perfection of each field. You shouldnt spend more than a paragraph or two. If you need more, its much too complicated. Review your project until it fits. If you dont know, dont have the info or dont want to reveal the information for a specific field, leave it empty. But dont forget to fill your email…
After a bit more than a year of planning and working, we are finally able to announce the successful raising of 500.000€ for our seed & startup investment fund.
The amount is split between equity and debt and represents an investment solely from private investors.
The funds raised will be used to invest small amounts (15/25K) in seed & startup companies and projects (pre-business plan, pre-prototype, pre-money). We are looking to invest in 10 to 15 projects in the Technology, Media and Telecommunications industry over the next 3 years. The selection and management of projects will be done by Maverick ( http://maverick.pt/ ), namely by Mario Valente who will be our “entrepreneur in residence”.
Soon we will provide further information on how to present ideas and how to be present at our upcoming Kickstart event.