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The Warsaw Voice » Business » April 23, 2008
Business
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New Venture Capital Fund
April 23, 2008 By A.R.    
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Phenomind Ventures, a new Polish venture capital fund set up by Sebastian Kulczyk, son of tycoon Jan Kulczyk, plans to invest heavily in new-technology companies in Poland. By the end of this year the fund will invest at least zl.20 million in a number of such projects across the country.

Phenomind Ventures, controlled by Kulczyk Holding company, plans to invest in rapidly expanding companies in sectors such as the internet, e-commerce, mobile technology, modern media, entertainment, IT, and communications. Phenomind Ventures says it will primarily target high-growth and early-stage businesses, but may also invest in innovative start-ups. Phenomind Ventures' involvement in these businesses will last from three to five years.

"We are convinced there are many good ideas on the market and interesting companies seeking suitable partners with whom they could develop," said Sebastian Kulczyk, chairman of Phenomind Ventures. "We want to create a second 'Silicon Valley' for dynamic companies from Poland and other Central and Eastern European countries, companies that are looking for the best possible conditions for development."

Phenomind Ventures aims to provide "value beyond capital." This means not only funding, but also comprehensive business support. "We are aware of just how important capital is for developing companies, but it provides a solid foundation for growth only if combined with professional business support," said Piotr Pajewski, managing director at Phenomind Ventures. "This is why we will actively support our portfolio companies in their expansion and in building their value."

Before Phenomind Ventures officially launched its operations, Kulczyk and his associates had evaluated more than 200 projects and eventually picked two to begin with. The first one is Destineo.pl, formerly known as Grupa BlizejSlonca.pl. It is one of the main players on the Polish e-tourism market and a leader in using innovative technology in this sector. The fund's stake in the company is 34.5 percent. The other Phenomind Ventures investment is Stanusch Technologies, a company that offers innovative products in areas such as language processing and speech and image recognition. Kulczyk's fund will hold a 40-percent stake in this company.
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