The Estonian venture capital (VC) Karma Ventures announced the closing of its second fund that aims at investing €100 million in early-stage European deeptech startups in Seed and Series A rounds. Led by the powerful trio Tommi Uhari, Margus Uudam, and Kristjan Laanemaa, the VC accompanies entrepreneurs in figuring out the path to growth in all aspects – commercial, strategic and technical.
“We are very grateful for the extremely strong vote of confidence from our existing and new investors. Closing Karma II marks another significant milestone in our mission to partner with deep-tech start-ups in Europe solving significant global challenges. Having a strong background in deep-tech and being confident with the technological risks involved, we aim to help founders build companies with positive global impact,” comments co-founder Margus Uudam.
The Nordic-Baltic region has the highest density of unicorns per capita in Europe, according to the VC’s founding partner Kristjan Laanema. Therefore the Baltics, including Lithuania, are the main focus of the Karma II Foundation. The startups backed up by the Tallinn-based VC can get an investment of up to €5 million. Some of the deeptech startups that have been supported by the Karma VC Foundation in the past 10 years are appGyver, Treatwell, Modesat, SpectX, and MyHeritage.
Meanwhile in London, another VC, Frontline Ventures, also announced their plan of focusing on more European deeptech investments and female founders. With the newest partner, Zoë Chambers, stepping in, the VC will lay an eye on the innovative technology using her experience in the deeptech field. This is the future, seems like, and, in fact, many deeptech entrepreneurs often enter the field from an academic or research background.
What exactly is a “DeepTech startup”?
Until here, “deeptech” has been mentioned 7 times in this article (including the tile). But what does it actually mean and why does it attract the attention of investors worldwide?
According to the CIE International Institute of Information technology (CIE IITH), “deeptech startups are startups that are using emerging technologies to build their solutions with deep technical skills and systems thinking. Sometimes these startups may work with research groups to pick the latest technology from the on-going research.”
Some types of DeepTech innovation is sourced through:
- Solutions built using latest and still-emerging technologies that are non-trivial to work with.
- Products built using very sophisticated frameworks and tools, that are complex in capabilities it enables.
- Products or platforms that are very complex in their design and engineering, needing a very strong development team to build.
- Research-based solutions, where the knowledge and experiences from recent research are central to the solution.