Turkish startups make $ 1.4 billion in investments in 9 months


Capital continues to flow into Turkey’s startup ecosystem, as investors heat up further in the country’s venture capital scene.

Turkish startups raised a total of $ 150 million (TL 1.38 billion) through 69 investment deals in the third quarter of the year, according to data announced at the Turkish Startup Ecosystem Q3 2021 event which was held this week.

This brought the total amount of investment in the first nine months to $ 1.4 billion, raised through a total of 206 deals. Total transaction volume grew 1,770% year-over-year, while the number of transactions increased 49%.

This week’s event brought together many prominent names, including managing director of private lender IÅŸbank Hakan Aran, Sina Afra, the founder of Tiko, who secured the biggest Series A funding to date in the last quarter. , and other active fund managers and entrepreneurs.

The course that started with the coronavirus pandemic held steady over the first nine months of the year as the number of investment deals hit an all-time high, with three more months to go until the end of the year. year.

The amount of per capita investment fell to $ 1.80 in the July-August quarter, down 80% quarter-on-quarter.

One in five investments was made in gaming startups from January to September. A total of 40 gaming deals were made in the first nine months.

Overall, the ecosystem has hit its biggest numbers in both number of transactions and transaction volume.

Istanbul-based TechOne again established itself as the most active venture capital fund in the third quarter with nine investments. Alesta became the most corporate venture capital fund (CVC) with seven transactions. Keiretsu Forum was the most active angel investor network in three months with five deals.

Greatest desire

The third quarter also saw the conclusion of five transactions through Turkey’s leading crowdfunding platform, Fonbulucu.

For the first time, a startup has received an investment from the northwestern province of Bilecik via equity-based crowdfunding.

Companies and enterprise venture capital (CVC) funds joined one in three investment transactions in the first nine months.

The fact that there are fewer female founders in game companies has reduced the proportion of female entrepreneurs receiving investments to 13%, the lowest level in the past five years.

In terms of angel investment and venture capital, Turkey ranked 13th among European countries in the third quarter, while it was fifth in the Middle East and North Africa.

Bank’s commitment to commerce, communication

Addressing the event, Aran d’IÅŸbank said the bank will be present wherever there is commerce and communication, developing the vision and areas it will focus on in the coming period. .

Aran said commerce, communication and money flow through digital networks, noting that banks have opened their doors wherever business mobility turns.

“Banks need to open up to platforms where commerce turns. If you ask customers to come and use your app, you won’t necessarily have banked. Banks shouldn’t expect every merchant to use their own app. That is why wherever there is commerce and data communication, there must be banks. It must be present on all platforms. We are opening all our doors (application program interface – API) on digital platforms to be active on all platforms. We are also striving to create our own platform on the e-commerce side with Pazarama, ”noted Aran.

Support for social enterprises

The CEO of Isbank also developed his Maxis venture capital fund and the Workup startup acceleration program.

“We will be supporting agricultural technology initiatives at Workup. We are starting the Workup Agri program. Second, we support social enterprises. During the pandemic period, the income distribution of people from certain occupational groups around the world has deteriorated. That is why we are cooperating with the Koç Foundation on the social enterprise side. To this end, we cooperate with KWORKS, the Entrepreneurship Research Center of the University of Koç. We will also continue to invest in emerging social enterprises with the Maxis investment fund. In terms of female venture capital funds, we also decided to create a new investment fund with a 50% partnership with Arya, ”explained Aran.

Billion dollar projects boost morale

For his part, prominent Turkish entrepreneur Sina Afra spoke about the journey of his home-buying start-up Tiko which started in Turkey and moved to Spain.

At the end of July, Tiko had raised $ 65 million as part of a Series A investment round in Spain to expand internationally. The investment round is the largest of its kind in Turkey. He beat Dream Games’ $ 50 million Series A round.

Afra said Tiko’s Series A round went on longer than expected. “We completed the investment round in six months. I thought we would have finished it in less time. During the pandemic period, we met around 40 investors via Zoom. Sometimes maybe we haven’t adequately explained the work we are doing. And sometimes they wanted to invest after they got to know us. Yet we finished it in six months, ”he explained.

Afra went on to express his pride when they learned they had sealed the biggest Series A investment to date. He also referred to the periodic effect of their failure in Turkey.

“Investors were not warmly considering investing in Turkey in 2018. A stable environment is needed in real estate. Interest rates weren’t meant to be variable all the time. This is why we have not succeeded in Turkey, ”he noted.

The company now operates services in seven cities in Spain and Portugal, followed by France.

“The emergence of unicorn startups during the pandemic has boosted morale. Peak, Getir, and Dream Games have all given us a boost. Today, interest in the Turkish venture capital ecosystem has increased. Investors are now monitoring initiatives in Turkey more closely, ”Afra said.

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