Tech Wrap Sept. 5: Israel-based food tech startup The Winest Raises $800K


🍷 Israel-based Food Tech Startup The Winest Raises $800K 

The Winest, a foodtech company launched this year by founders with Russian origins, secured $800,000 in funding to develop a digital sommelier from investors like Alexander Fridman, co-founder of Logistor; Andrey Vinograd, founder of Possible Group and Daniil Ostrovsky, executive creative director at Instinct. Users fill out a questionnaire that dives deep into preferences, from wine types to aromatic nuances. Leveraging this data, The Winest assigns each user a personalized taste profile and recommends wines that align with individual preferences.The Winest aims to create various taste profiles based on parameters such as color, acidity and flavor. [Source: CTech]


Blockchain Startup Stroom Raises $3.5 Million

A Kyiv-based blockchain startup Stroom, which enables Bitcoin holders to receive transaction fees, has raised $3.5 million during a seed round of investment led by the Berlin-based cryptocurrency investment fund, Greenfield. The startup plans to use the funding to expand its team, launch its own token, and increase earnings by routing payments through its partnership with Binance. [Source: InVenture]


📡 A New Defense Tech Center for Security Startups Opened  in Kazakhstan

The Ministry of Defense of Kazakhstan launched a new Defense Tech Center in Astana, aiming to focus on research, development, and implementation of advanced defense and security technologies. The goal of the center is to strengthen the country’s technological potential and defense power. [Source:]


💻 Estonia’s Ida-Virumaa County Reaches Turnover of €1,33M

A total of 20 startups in Estonian Ida-Virumaa reached a turnover of €1,33M in the first six months of 2023. The highest turnover of €390K was reported by a gaming platform Friedgggames, while another startup RhomTrip providing airport transfers and chauffeur services had a turnover of €385K. The total turnover in the Ida-Virumaa Countru was 16% higher compared to the same period of the previous year. [Source: BalticVC]

📚 Delfi Meedia Acquires

Estonian online platform, which helps to make salary, tax, credit, and car fuel calculations, was acquired by Delfi Meedia in an undisclosed deal. Delfi Meedia hopes to diversify its digital media portfolio while strengthening its group’s position in the Estonian media market. So far, the company’s portfolio includes Estonian news portal, Eesti Ekspess, Maaleht, and others. [Source: BalticVC]

💰 Siena Secondary Fund To Hold First Close of New Fund 

Estonian-based Siena Secondary Fund, first launched in 2021, prepares for the first close of its new fund, aiming to secure €30M-€50M in late 2023 or early 2024. This venture capital firm focuses on post-series A startups with robust growth and annual revenue exceeding €10M, extending its investments beyond the New Nordic region to include startups from the CEE.

[Source: BalticVC]

✈️ Visioncraft Laid off Most Employees Tallinn-based Visioncraft, a company offering project management solutions, software development, web design, digital marketing, and customer support services, laid off most of its employees. Another project, a digital platform for managing and selling tourism services Travelguide might not be implemented due to unfavorable financial circumstances.

[Souce: BalticVC]

🛰️ KappaZeta Raised €480K from Starship Technologies and Ambient Sound Investments. Tartu-based space technology KappaZeta, offering services for analyzing radar satellite data, raised €480K funding from a diverse group of investors, including the co-founder of Starship Technologies, Toomas Kams of HD Forest, and others. The investment will support the development of agricultural and defense products and the creation of a forest carbon stock assessment service. Additionally, KappaZeta aims to enhance Sentinel-1 satellite data for global and updated forest biomass and carbon stock information. [Source: BalticVC]


🗺️ GEEK Ventures Raises $23 Million To Invest in American Immigrants

GEEK Ventures, a tech venture fund investing in immigrant entrepreneurs founded in 2021 by Belarus Igar Makhanyok, raises $23 million in venture funds from the CEO of Applovin Adam Forougi, founders of PandaDoc Mikita Mikado and Segey Borisyuk, and Decile Capital venture and capital fund. The startup, which announced four new investments in startups founded by Ukrainian entrepreneurs, plans to invest this capital into one to two startups founded by immigrants monthly. The investment will range from $50 thousand to $1 million. [Source: InVenture]


🇵🇱 Growing Funding Gap in the Polish VC Ecosystem  Poland’s early-stage startup ecosystem is currently experiencing a year-long delay in receiving €426 million in EU funding earmarked for local early-stage venture capital firms by the state-owned fund of funds, PFR Ventures. This delay, coupled with challenging market conditions, the lack of private capital, and a corruption scandal involving a public investor, has left Polish pre-seed and seed-stage VC firms struggling to close their funds. Additionally, these delays have created challenges for VCs relying on PFR Ventures’ support to raise their initial funds. [Source:]


📃 Y Combinator Announces O1 Visa Program for Entrepreneurs California-based Y Combinator, a start-up accelerator, announces the O1 visa program for entrepreneurs. The Y Combinator will not issue visas but will provide a framework, and resources while teaming up with immigration firms to help get one. [Source: X]


🔬 Russian Early Stage Syndicate Makes Three Investments Coion, a Novosibirsk-based seed and pre-seed syndicate venture fund for deeptech early-stage startups, has been busy: It allocated funding to three startps in the med-tech and edtech space. The first company eSense, which developed a device for detecting and warning a patient ahead of an epileptic episode, was launched in 2023 and raised 3 million rubles ($31,000). The second one, GeSys, which was also launched this year, developed a “smart vision” device that allows you to use a computer using your hands only. The value of the transaction is not disclosed. Lastly, the syndicate invested 500,000 rubles ($5,000) in edtech startup Octopus, which is developing an app that offers users “quests” and rewards them upon completion. [Source: RusVen Telegram]

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