Porto, 6 January 2022 – Despite all the restrictions and uncertainty brought about by the pandemic, in 2021 Portugal Ventures, a venture capital firm that is part of Portuguese promotional bank Grupo Banco Português de Fomento, remained steadfast in its focus, achieving the following results:
- new investments exceeded those made in 2020, with a total of €8.3m invested in 48 new companies;
- 22 follow-on investments in the amount of €4.5m to increase the share capital of its portfolio companies;
- a total investment of €12.8m in 70 companies;
- 6 co-investments, in the total amount of €13m, together with its capital partners, most notably the Series A rounds of Jscrambler and Peekmed;
- the exit of 18 portfolio companies, including the divestment of Zaask to Worten and of Mercadão to Glovo.
In addition to these results, and despite a challenging 2021, one thing is certain: the entrepreneurial ecosystem is alive and well. The proof lies in the number of applications submitted to Portugal Ventures during the year: 297 investment applications totalling €74.9m in investment sought.
To address the demand of the ecosystem and the need to capitalise businesses, in 2021 six initiatives were launched to attract deal flow: 4th Edition of Call Tourism and the 3rd Edition of Call FIT – Fostering Innovation in Tourism – in partnership with Turismo de Portugal and Nest – Tourism Innovation Centre, two calls under Call Deep Tech, together with Imprensa Nacional Casa da Moeda, the 1st Edition of Call Açores and 11 Open Days.
Portugal Ventures’ Board of Directors points out that “in year in which uncertainty was the only certainty, Portugal Ventures remained steadfast in its focus: to capitalise Portuguese companies that need financial vitality to develop new international business opportunities. In 2022, we will continue to work alongside our portfolio companies, their teams, and our partners to boost the Portuguese economy.”
- New Investments:
Portugal Ventures invested a total of €8.3 million in 48 companies:
- Engineering & Manufacturing
Watgrid, Reckonai, Cleanwatts, About Aqua Food, Beeyard, Bioworld, Eptune Engineering, Go Clever, Scemai, ihCare, Sky Powerlines, Klugit, Landratech, Corium Biotech, Core Protein, Sciven, Swatter, Neural Solar, UZME, Wakaru, Wysensing, Partner in Cream, S&DG, Flowco, Ablute, Aqva More, We Can Charge
- Life Sciences
- Follow-on investments:
Follow-ons help increase the financial capacity of companies to enable them to leverage their business. Portugal Ventures made additional investments in 22 of its portfolio companies, in the amount of €4.5 million.
Of note are the Series A round of Jscrambler, totalling €15m in co-investment with Ace Capital Partners and with Sonae IM, and the Series A round of Peekmed, in the amount of €3m, in co-investment with Grosvenor, a Portugal Ventures capital partner.
In 2021, Portugal Ventures successfully completed 18 exits, most notably the sale of Zaask to Worten, an electronics retail company that is part of the SONAE Group, and of Mercadão to Glovo, a personalised multi-category Q-commerce delivery platform.
The last exit of the year was the sale, with capital gains, of Nata Pura, which was acquired by the founder after 5 years as a Portugal Ventures portfolio company and working together with our team.
- Partner Networks:
The partner networks that support Portugal Ventures in boosting the entrepreneurial ecosystem also grew in 2021: we added another 8 Ignition Partners to the Ignition Partners Network, to assist in the scouting for and preparation of venture capital investment projects, another 3 Capital Partners, for co-investment and additional investments in new funding rounds, and another 6 Corporate Partners, leading national and international companies that encourage the creation of synergies with our portfolio companies to develop new products and technologies.
- Deal flow/Submissions:
Of the 297 applications submitted to the initiatives launched during the year, 76% focused on Digital and Tourism, most of which submitted by male entrepreneurs between the ages of 31 and 40. There are, however, signs that the ecosystem is changing, with a growing number of entrepreneurs aged between 41 and 50.
Given that Portugal Ventures invests in projects ranging from the pre-seed to Series A stages, the businesses that submitted their investment projects comprise teams with less than 6 people and have been operating for less than 3 years, with no sales or less than €50,000 in sales. There has, however, been a notable increase in applications from companies in more advanced growth stages, with sales of between €500,000 and €2m, who seek venture capital to leverage their business.