On 25 March 2021, the Croatian Private Equity and Venture Capital Association (CVCA) held the General Assembly Meeting of its members, followed by the Management Board meeting.
Four new members joined CVCA: Fil Rouge Capital, Invera Equity Partners, South Central Ventures and Maverick. CVCA brings together almost all private equity and venture capital funds that actively invest in Croatian companies with headquarters or representative offices in Zagreb. In addition to new members, existing regular members of the association are Blue Sea Capital, CEE Private Equity, Enterprise Investors, Inspire Investors, Prosperus Invest, Provectus Capital Partners, Quaestus Private Equity Partners and VentureXchange.
The members gathered at the General Assembly elected new members of the Management Board, representatives of the new members, namely Julien Coustaury (Fil Rouge Capital), Slaven Kordic (Invera Equity Partners), and Jure Mikuz (South Central Ventures). The Management Board now consists of a total of 11 members. In addition to the newly elected members, members of the Management Board include: Ivan Zec (Blue Sea Capital), Igor Hrzic (CEE Private Equity), Tomislav Tomljenovic (Enterprise Investors), Kresimir Kukec (Inspire Investments), Tomislav Ticic (Prosperus Invest), Igor Cicak (Provectus Capital Partners), Vjenceslav Terzic (Quaestus Private Equity Partners), and President, Mirna Marovic (VentureXchange).
The Croatian private equity and venture capital market flourished despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Croatia recorded the highest amount of private equity and venture capital investment in 2020, the year of the pandemic. Infobip became the first official Croatian unicorn with a market value exceeding one billion dollars, raising 200 million dollars in Series A round from One Equity Partners (US). Besides investment activity, fundraising and exits in 2020 also did not show signs of crisis. On the contrary, three new private equity funds completed the first closing under the fund management companies Invera Equity Partners, Provectus Capital Partners and Prosperus Invest. Besides, three additional private equity funds are expected to complete the fundraising in H1 2021: Feels Good Capital, Mezzanine Croatia and Maverick.
The General Assembly of members adopted the plan of activities and financial plan for 2021. Planned activities include the organization of the international conference BestInvest.hr and the award ceremony for the best private equity and venture capital investments scheduled for 15 June 2021. The conference aims to present Croatian success stories of private equity and venture capital investments and draw attention to the general and professional public on the importance of this form of investment.
Members gathered at the General Assembly agreed that currently the general public does not perceive the importance of private equity and venture capital investment. However, the Croatian private equity and venture capital market is important and provides a tailwind to the Croatian economy. Numerous Croatian companies attracted investments from foreign and local private equity and venture capital funds. The fourth generation of Croatia-based funds, which have been operating in Croatia since 1997, is starting in Croatia. Private equity and venture capital fund are the key to ensuring long-term competitiveness, resilient economy and rapid recovery from COVID-19, especially if some other sources of financing, such as banking, are more difficult to access.
In addition to the BestInvest.hr conference and the publication “Croatian Success Stories”, CVCA will launch a series of video podcasts in 2021 in which entrepreneurs and fund managers will be guest speakers. Furthermore, CVCA plans to organize workshop and conference on sustainable finance. Sustainable finance became a new investment paradigm both in regulatory changes and in the business strategy of many management companies.
Following the General Assembly Meeting, the Management Board met to discuss concrete next steps in the CVCA’s activities, operational matters, as well as some other topics. One of them was the importance of concluding partnerships with professional associations on the market and representatives of the academic community. Members also exchanged views and experiences related to fundraising from investors, investing, and realizing exits from the companies in their portfolios.