Focusing on early-stage ventures in Turkey and Eastern Europe, 500 Istanbul established the second venture capital investment fund. With the new fund with a volume of €30 million, it is anticipated that up to €500 thousand will be provided for the early-stage technology companies in the first investment.
Enis Hulli, the Founding Partner of 500 Istanbul, says that they aim to enable companies to export technology in the international arena, just like the first fund, and adds: “In this way, small companies grow, create new employment areas and make great contributions to the economies of countries, especially in these difficult times.”
500 Istanbul is a venture capital investment fund established in 2016 by Enis Hulli and Rina Onur Sirinoglu in partnership with 500 Startups, a US-based investment fund. While 500 Istanbul has invested in 40 small-scale technology companies in Turkey and Eastern Europe in the last 4 years, these companies received an additional investment of more than $430 million in total. Thus, while creating new employment areas for 2 thousand 100 people, the annual turnover of the portfolio reached $130 million, and 94% of this turnover was realized as technology exports in foreign currency.
“500 Istanbul takes startups to the international arena”
Following the value and impact created in the first Fund, it launched its new fund, 500 Istanbul II, for promising early-stage initiatives in Romania, Ukraine, Greece, and Bulgaria with 500 Istanbul Turkey. With the fund with a budget of €30 million, which is also supported by the Ministry of Treasury and Finance of the Republic of Turkey, it is aimed to support initiatives that set out with the goal of exporting technology to Turkey. Enis Hulli, Co-Founder of 500 Istanbul, emphasizes the importance of the initiatives in Turkey and explains their new funds as follows:
“500 Istanbul is a venture capital investment fund established with the aim of investing in companies with sustainable technology in the region. By investing in early-stage technology startups targeting large markets, we support their transformation into global technology exporters. In summary, 500 Istanbul aims to be the first investor of these startups and to support 500 Startups’ business development, team building, and international growth by using their global connections. I think we have achieved these goals in our first fund. With our newly established fund, we will continue to support promising technology companies, especially in Turkey. In the continuation of our initial investments up to €500 thousand, we are planning to make an additional investment of up to €2 million in enterprises.”
“Turkey has the fastest-growing engineering environment”
Rina Onur Sirinoglu, the other founding partner of 500 Istanbul, states that Turkey is the country with the fastest-growing engineering pool in the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region with an annual rate of 16.5%. Stating that there are very successful entrepreneurs from Turkey especially in the field of technology, Rina said, “Turkey has the fastest growing engineering pool in EMEA. Unfortunately, the amount of investment made in startups barely exceeds $1 per person, and it remained at an average of $100 million per year between 2010 and 2020. Despite this, our country, which has launched more successful startups than the countries in the region, is among the leading countries in Europe and Asia in this field, with a total output volume of $3.3 billion since 2018. The point that gives more hope is that the companies that make purchases in Turkey come to our country from both East and West for different reasons such as product, market, team. For every $1 investment made in 500 Istanbul, it managed to attract an additional $65 from abroad. Turkey is one of the most profitable markets in the world for investors, given the engineering potential in our country, the growing interest of foreign investors, and the acquisitions.”
Source: Egirisim / Translated by Irem Yildiz