Startup builders from Estonia's unicorns Pipedrive, Bolt, Veriff, Wise have joined BADideas.fund
Founders and startup builders led BADideas.fund started operations just five months ago, but the Riga based syndicate already has invested in five startups in Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania and Ukraine, investing a total €500k.
What started as a couple of dozen startup builders coming together to invest in the most promising Baltic and CEE startups has grown into a community of more than 100 members from 14 countries.
The idea of naming the fund BADideas comes from Paul Graham's – the founder of the world's top startup accelerator Y Combinator – quote: "All unicorns seemed like bad ideas initially”.
The founder of BADideas.fund, Raimonds Kulbergs, believes that founders should not give up on their idea too early. “Most people will tell founders that their idea sucks. We know how it feels. We've been there. That’s why we created this angel investing syndicate - so we can invest in ideas that might seem bad to others, but we know could become the next unicorn. We are the kind of investors we wanted when we were fundraising.” Raimonds Kulbergs, the founder of BADideas.fund.
Having built three ventures and made one exit, Raimonds wanted to start angel investing, but it can be a lonely and expensive hobby. When speaking to other startup builders, he realized that many had a similar urge – to back other most promising founders. So they teamed up together to form BADideas.fund to be able to evaluate and help startups together and become better at angel investing by learning from each other.
BADideas.fund is led by experienced entrepreneurs who have walked the startup building path, have raised funds from investors and can help founders navigate around obstacles they encounter along the way. Among BADideas.fund members are founders and operators, who’ve been building such companies as Vimeo ($450M funding), Printify ($54M), Pandadoc ($51M), Pipedrive ($90M), Bolt ($1.3B funding), Apollo.io ($151M), Bird ($783M funding), Shopify ($122M), Whimsical ($30M), Lokalise ($56M), Deel ($679M), Printful ($130M), Twilio ($614M), Veriff ($192.3M), Wise ($1.3B funding).
In order to find the most promising startups to invest in, they reviewed over 200 applications from Baltics and CEE countries. Some interesting statistics about the applicants:
- Stage of their business: 3% were idea stage, 25% prototype stage, 52% early revenue stage;
- Business model: 50% B2B, 20% B2C, 15% marketplace;
- Countries: applications came from 27 countries, including Latvia (17%), Estonia (28%), Lithuania (7%), USA (6%) and UK (5%).
They are together ready to invest 3 million euro per year, but in one startup - 50k to 100k euros. BADideas.fund investment focus is pre-seed and seed stage startups, while expecting that they have a functioning prototype and some market traction. During the first year of operation the team aims to invest in ten startups. Later - two to three startups per month.
Unlike the typical angel syndicates and angel groups that evaluate startup applicants on a monthly basis, BADideas.fund evaluates applying startup teams on a rolling basis, giving the first response in a day or two.