ITOCHU Corporation invests in Tera Ventures Fund II

July 30, 2020

Tallinn, ESTONIA – Estonian technology sector investment company, Tera Ventures, raised 2 million euros for its Fund II from a leading Japanese trading company, ITOCHU Corporation.

ITOCHU Corporation is one of Japan’s leading trading companies. Its extensive activities include the import and export of various products as well as domestic and foreign trade. The company has invested in major venture capital firms in Japan, the US, Israel, and China.

“The investment made into the Tera Ventures fund contributes to the next generation of business and to the transforming digital development of the entire world. Through Tera Ventures Fund II we aim to work with promising start-ups in the Baltic and Nordic countries in order to launch new services in Japan and around the world,” said Akito Nozawa, Head of ICT and Financial Business Group at ITOCHU Europe.

Andrus Oks, the founder and partner of Tera Ventures, noted that cooperation with ITOCHU opens doors to Asian markets for local start-ups: the markets that so far mostly were not the goal for the companies in the early stages of development or where access for such businesses has been very difficult. “The investment made by ITOCHU helps to increase the volume of Tera Ventures Fund II, add new start-ups with high potential to our portfolio, and make direct investments in such companies. For portfolio companies, the partnership with ITOCHU creates a real opportunity to expand into completely new markets, giving local technology start-ups a great advantage on a global scale,” noted Oks.

All start-ups with high potential based in Estonia and neighbouring countries that meet the investment criteria of Tera Ventures Fund II can apply for investments to expand their business. Today, the fund’s portfolio includes such success stories of the Estonian start-up scene as GrabCAD, Cleveron, Monese, Jobbatical, Realeyes, Brainbase, Snackable AI, Transformative AI, and several others.

“We are looking for digital start-ups that focus on network effects, machine learning, and other technologies, in which we see great potential to take leading positions in the future. We provide start-ups in our portfolio with access to the expertise and practical assistance needed to grow from a seed phase to a mature company and to raise capital from international investors. We also help them establish networks in the markets where our portfolio companies want to expand – such as the US, the UK, and Asian countries. We offer our investors a fund investment opportunity and help them in transactions with portfolio companies. The fund is still open for investments,” added Oks.

Tera Ventures Fund II is Tera Ventures’ second fund for investment in technology companies. Established in 2016 by Andrus Oks, Stanislav Ivanov and James McDougall, Tera Ventures is one of Estonia’s largest venture capital companies in the technology sector, that manages investments in start-ups with global development potential. The fund with offices in Tallinn, Helsinki, and Los Angeles, focuses on investing in exceptional early-stage technology companies from Estonia, Scandinavia, as well as in Central and Eastern Europe disrupting digital space globally. Tera builds presence and networks in the markets where its portfolio companies want to expand to – the UK, the US, and Asia. Tera Ventures is supported by a global advisory network and provides portfolio companies with access to expertise and hands-on support necessary to grow from seed stage to successful exit.

Named the most advanced digital society in the world by many, Estonia has built an efficient, secure, and transparent ecosystem where start-ups find a solid ground to grow, mainly thanks to the sophisticated e-solutions available there. In addition, Estonia has created an environment that is one of the best in the world for entrepreneurship, various new companies have sprung up, and as represented by Skype, Transferwise or Bolt, some companies have also grown into global billion-dollar companies.

99% of Estonias’ government services are online, but in emergency situations such as the COVID-19 outbreak, Estonians experienced first-hand how digital society is a true necessity. On the same day when the state of emergency was declared, a public-private cooperated e-hackathon in Estonia was held to hack the crises. Hack the Crisis movement lead to a global initiative The Global Hack where over 12 000 participants from more than 100 countries worked on 500 life-changing projects. Many useful solutions came out of the hackathons that are already live or in the process of being deployed.

The EstFund is an initiative created by cooperation between the Republic of Estonia and the European Investment Fund and financed under European Structural and Investment Funds.