- Shiptimize and Advertio deliver tech-based solutions for eCommerce and Advertising;
- Logical Safety has designed an IoT platform for Health and Safety at Work;
- Syndication with co-investors, Portugal Ventures’ preferred investment strategy
Porto, 5 February 2019 – Portugal Ventures has announced investment in 3 new startups as a result of the 1st Edition of its Call for MVP. The startups, which operate in the IoT, eCommerce and Advertising sectors, have their sights set on becoming leading companies in the global market and are the first three to be backed this year. New investments are expected to be made until the end of Q1 2019.
The Call for MVP was created to address a gap Portugal Ventures identified in investment in early stage startups with prototypes, but very little market traction. The Call for MVP invites entrepreneurs to submit science and tech-based projects with the minimum features required to enter a market.
More than 240 projects were registered on the applications platform for the 1st edition of the Call for MVP. Ninety-seven projects were submitted and assessed by the Portugal Ventures team, some of which are still in the final assessment stage, a process that is being carried out in strict collaboration with Portugal Ventures’ Ignition Capital Network, thus favouring a syndication strategy.
Shiptimize was created when the company’s CEO Mark Bastiaanssen sold sports fishing equipment worldwide and the number of orders increased, which also led to an increase in shipping costs. With little time to focus on the business, he quickly realised that a program was needed to help small and medium-sized online businesses find the best logistics solution for each delivery, thereby optimising the time spent on the task. By integrating the shipping software with the retailer’s eCommerce platform, Shiptimize negotiates with carriers to get the best rates and streamlines returns management processes and customer care.
With 400 active customers in Portugal, Spain and The Netherlands, Portugal Ventures’ 500-thousand-euro investment will help Shiptimize expand its internationalisation and export capacity, entering emerging markets such as Brazil, which is top on the list.
Portugal Ventures’ investment in Shiptimize was made with Portuguese and international co-investors. Shiptimize will be transferring its registered office from The Netherlands, the founding team’s country of origin, to Portugal and will begin a recruitment process in the Portuguese market.
Logical Safety offers a technology combined with IoT solutions for health and safety that enable companies to improve the safety of their teams on site. Logical Safety software was designed so that large companies and SMEs operating in heavy industries, such as the cement, mining and oil & gas industries, can be more proactive in safety processes and risk management, instead of reacting to risks after the fact.
The IoT solution offered by Logical Safety lets the Safety Departments of these companies centralise the profile of their workers, equipment management, document management, safety inspections and work routines on a single platform that provides real-time information on the suitability and skills of each resource for a specific situation or task. The software replaces Excel databases, paving the way for the digitalisation of processes and the industry.
With a pilot project running at a Canadian materials manufacturer, Portugal Ventures’ investment of EUR 500 thousand will help introduce new features to the platform, using machine learning and artificial intelligence, and add reinforcements to the sales team, which will focus on attracting large companies operating in sectors where EHS risk management is very demanding, such as in the oil & gas, mining and cement industries. The Logical Safety team is led by CEO Henrique Mateus, a seasoned entrepreneur with more than 25 years’ experience in the cement industry.
Advertio automates the digital advertising process by creating, personalising and distributing campaigns automatically, based on information collected for their customer’s website. Advertio’s algorithm optimises return on investment in digital advertising by distributing ads on multiple platforms, such as social media, search engines and blog networks. All this is possible because Advertio’s algorithm focuses exclusively on its customer’s target audience, placing relevant ads on the platforms they use. Advertio’s service is free; customers only pay for media spend.
With customers like StartUp Portugal and Probe.ly and more than 650 active users, Portugal Ventures’ investment of EUR 500 thousand will be used to help João de Sousa Aroso’s company get the resources it needs to boost its presence in the Portuguese market and advance its internationalisation.
This investment in Advertio is the first closing of the second round of investment in the company and was made with Portuguese co-investors Rising Ventures and Olissipo Way, who increased their stake in the round which saw Portugal Ventures acquire shares in the company.
For Rita Marques, CEO of Portugal Ventures, “The Call for MVP was the first sign Portugal Ventures gave the market that it is alive and kicking. This re-engagement has us assessing more than 90 projects, submitted in the 1st edition alone, a result we are very pleased with because it reflects the enthusiasm and energy with which entrepreneurs and our Ignition Partners have embraced this challenge. Our expectations are high for the 2nd edition of the Call for MVP, which opened in the last quarter of 2018 and in which we are already assessing projects for investment that will boost the economic value of the Portuguese business sector. We are working on opening new Calls to address major market gaps and to discover innovative solutions for mobility, the circular economy, ocean economy and energy efficiency.”
The investment in Advertio, Logical Safety and Shiptimize were made through the venture capital fund managed by Portugal Ventures, co-financed by the European Union through the Equity and Quasi Equity Fund managed by IFD (Instituição Financeira de Desenvolvimento, S.A.), through funding from the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), via Portugal2020 and COMPETE 2020.
About Portugal Ventures:
Portugal Ventures is a state-owned venture capital firm that invests in startups with global ambition. We invest in Portuguese startups and in startups with registered offices or business in Portugal, in the seed or early stages, operating in the Digital, Engineering & Manufacturing, Life Sciences and Tourism sectors.
We have invested EUR 120 million in more than 100 new companies since 2012, and we currently manage an investment portfolio of EUR 200 million.
Shiptimize is a Digital Delivery Management Solution that automates the shipping process of online stores so that shop owners and their teams can have more time to grow their businesses. The software is easy to integrate with major eCommerce platforms, using apps and plugins, and centralises all shipping information on a single online platform, in addition to offering shipping options with multiple carriers. The solution also automates the label printing process, sends tracking e-mails, provides customer care and contacts carriers on behalf of the store when needed, keeping shop owners updated on the process.
Advertio is a startup that has designed a simple platform that creates and manages advertising campaigns for small advertisers. Operating for just two years, it already manages thousands of Portuguese and international ad campaigns and has partnered with Google and Microsoft to enhance their tools. It was founded in 2017 by João de Sousa Aroso and Pedro Rodrigues, with an investment from Bright Pixel.