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Goldfish Fund builds and invests in the next wave of great companies.

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About

OUR MISSION

We are willing to share our tons of experience, gained through working and networking globally for more than 25 years.

Gold Fish Fund is venture capital firm which focuses on opportunities in Frontier Markets. We invest in early stage start-ups with great products and teams striding to build world-class companies.

Gold Fish Fund is a network of successful European and African entrepreneurs who acquired and proved their competence by setting up and implementing own companies and did successful exits. The team of professionals with leading global practices shares 25 years of experience in various business sectors in more than 18 countries globally. Priority of Gold Fish Fund is disruptive e-commerce and mobile first projects.

To discover Frontier Markets and its potential – this is the vision we stand for. We see it as modern, dynamic and growing continent, where the scale of well-being will certainly rise rapidly. We want and will contribute to this by being a part of this.

WHERE WE INVEST

We look for disruptive ideas, strong leaders and their teams with passion, commitment and deep understanding of Frontier Markets problems and people needs which can be addressed through mobile and internet technology.

EXPERIENCE

Since 2011 Gold Fish Fund related projects and businesses demolish the walls between continents, countries and regions.

17 projects implemented and still under the vast development in Europe. Part of those were successfully sold.

8 business areas are among the projects, maintained via Gold Fish Fund and partners. Most of them are related to E-commerce. The key to success is the proficiency gathered developing prosperous projects in the areas of security, retail, food, restaurants chains, beauty, entertainment, marketplaces and e-commerce.

20 countries Gold Fish Fund had developed projects in. Among those – Iran, Saudi Arabia, RSA, Nigeria, Ghana, Kenya, Zimbabwe, Tanzania, Uganda in Africa, also Spain, Germany, Belgium, Holland, Ukraine, Finland, Romania, Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia in Europe.

Around 1.893.000.000 potential customers live in the markets Gold Fish Fund is active.

Team

WE WORK SIDE-BY-SIDE WITH FOUNDERS AND SHARE OUR NETWORK, EXPERIENCE AND INSIGHTS TO INCREASE UPSIDE AND REDUCE RISK.

TOMAS MARTUNAS Managing Partner

Responsible for operational management of Gold Fish Fund. Tomas Martūnas has 15 years of experience in mobile as well as information and communication technologies, developing mobile value-added services and apps projects in Western and Eastern Europe.

During 13 years career in banking, Tomas Martūnas implemented various mobile banking, internet banking, sales efficiency, customer centricity and other change management projects with outstanding results in developing banking sector in Eastern Europe. He managed 9 billion EUR lending portfolio through the cycle.

15 years in ICT under his supervision more than 150 apps, mobile web, interactive TV, SMS subscription projects were implemented in 12 different countries. Mobile solutions company App Camp became leading App development company and won The Best Entrepreneurship Spirit Initiative in Europe Award and a lot of other prestigious awards.

Today Tomas Martūnas, alongside with his duties at Golden Fish Fund, is a partner in e-commerce and foodtech fund LTk Capital, as well as co-founder and Board member of leading mobile social marketplace in Africa and India.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/tomasmartunas

TADAS KAROSAS Partner

During his 25 year career as serial entrepreneur, every project Tadas Karosas developed was making changes both in business and social life in more than a dozen different countries.

When creating a new business or developing established companies, Tadas Karosas always pushes them to become leaders in the field and create new trends by bringing unseen, innovative things or solutions.

In 2012 Tadas Karosas discovered South Africa for himself. He aspires to bring and share the experience gathered during the successful business years in Europe, providing the benefits of modern technology in e-commerce and solar energy sectors for African citizens.

Highlights of Tadas Karosas

1991

The culture for savour of alcohol beverages is being created. Company Mineraliniai Vandenys, established in 1991, brought top alcohol brands to Lithuanian market. It provided opportunity to Lithuanians enjoy the premium brands which were not available during Soviet occupation and “Iron curtain” policy, which resulted in decades of shortage in the country.

1992

Time for changes in cosmetics market. Cosmetics retail chain Sarma was established in all three Baltic countries bringing fresh trends in consumer habits. Sarma gave an opportunity for medium class customers to relish and enjoy top cosmetics brands that previously were treated as luxury products for privileged class. Self–service cosmetics retail chain created new model for shopping in Baltics that didn’t change since. In 2004 Sarma was acquired by the Europe’s largest perfume and cosmetics retail chain Douglas.

1997

New eating habits arise – Northern European citizens are accustomed to relish Italian pizza. Later other exotic cuisines enter the food culture as well. Čili Pica pizzeria and other four top restaurant brands, owned by Čili Holding, is the largest restaurant chain in Baltics. Compared to Čili Pica, McDonalds and other popular restaurant brands were left far behind in the region.

2002

Security standards have been changed. Security company Gelvora developed new services for business and private individuals that met international standards and requirements. Few years later Gelvora was acquired by the largest security company in the world G4S. Separate Gelvora branch, specializing in debt administration, was acquired by Swedish Inkaso AB Marginalen.

2007

E-commerce era arises: the myths about Internet shopping were demolished. People get acquainted with e-commerce, making it a habit that is an essential part of shopping routine nowadays. E-shop Pigu.lt was established and the yearly growth reached more that 1000 percent. Soon Pigu.lt expanded to all Baltic countries, becoming “Eastern European Amazon.com”. Pigu.lt was acquired by the largest investment fund MCI Management in Europe. Further expanse in Europe is planned, with the yearly income of more than 300 million Euros in upcoming years.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/tadaskarosas

JONAS KAROSAS Partner

Jonas Karosas has +10 years of experience in venture capital, e-commerce, apps, e-marketing and startups.
Managing Partner at Blockchain Open Fund, which exclusively concentrates on incubating, founding or funding ICOs.
Investment Commitee member at Open Circle Fund.
Previously co-founded Foodout Group (foodoutgroup.com) and is now spearheading growth hacking and lean marketing at Goldfish Fund portfolio companies as the companies leaps towards its hyper growth journeys and builds the next big things.

https://linkedin.com/in/jonaskarosas

ABASIAMA IDARESIT Advisor

Abasiama Idaresit is an technology expert and founder of Wild Fusion, one of Africa’s foremost digital marketing agencies. A Google certified Advertising and Analytics professional, Abasiama is a subject matter expert with Digital Marketing Institute of Ireland his core focus is Digital Marketing Strategy, Search and Mobile.
Listed by Choiseul Institute, Paris as one of Africa Economic Leaders for Tomorrow, Mr. Idaresit is a graduate of Information Systems from London School of Economics and MBA from Manchester Business School. Voted most inspiring Tech CEO in Nigeria for 2013, Mr. Idaresit serves on the Board of several African ventures among other technology interests. With over 10 years experience in technology space, Mr. Idaresit has been instrumental in driving marketing technology adoption and penetration across Africa.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/abasiama-idaresit-95785b5

VYTAUTAS PAUKSTYS Advisor

Vytautas Paukstys is co-founder and CEO of Eskimi, a mobile-first social network that grew from zero to 10 million registered customers in less than 24 months. Eskimi has become one of the biggest social media products in Nigeria, having more than 9 million customers in Nigeria alone. The product is also strong in other West African countries. Eskimi currently offers unique marketing solutions for brands and products in Nigeria.
Vytautas has more than 13 years experience in the fields of telecommunications, mobile payments, payment aggregation, mobile marketing and social media. For the last 8 years he has been heading ActiveSec, the company that developed Eskimi.
Previously, Vytautas founded 5 mobile payment and direct sales companies and held senior positions at mobile operators, working with customer marketing & acquisition.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/vytas

ILJA LAURS Advisor

Ilja Laurs is one of the most successful entrepreneurs and venture investors in Europe. After selling GetJar, the largest independent app store, he founded Nextury Ventures and now invests into the most promising tech companies in the region across different spaces, from 3D printing to mind-reading and beyond.
“European Manager of the Year 2011” by European Business Press Association, “25 European Tech Leaders” by Wall Street Journal, “Top 40 most influential people in mobile communications” by Informa Telecoms and Media, “10 Start-ups That Will Change Your Life” by TIME magazine and “Technology Pioneer 2011” by World Economic Forum are only a few of his numerous industry achievements. As a recognized thought leader, Ilja speaks on all major telecommunication conferences and is regularly quoted in Wall Street Journal, Forbes, CNN, CNBC, BBC, Bloomberg and many other news sources.
Ilja’s book on business, entrepreneurship and investments “Business in a New Way” has broken multiple book publishing records.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/laurs

EMILIAN POPA Advisor

Emilian has 16 years’ experience in web entrepreneurship and management consulting. Over the past 5 years, Emilian has been focused on building and accelerating winning e-commerce companies in Africa.

Most recently, Emilian has been CEO at Groupon South Africa, one of South Africa’s leading ecommerce platforms. Prior to Groupon South Africa, he has been involved in building some of the fastest growing ecommerce companies in the world: lamoda.ru (Russia), wimdu.com (Germany & China), zando.co.za (South Africa), jumia.com (Nigeria) and jabong.com (India).

Highlights of his career have been: launching Jumia Nigeria in 3 weeks after arriving in Lagos, launching Zando in 6 weeks after arriving in Cape Town, successfully building a ‘group buying’ venture in South Africa, which exited to Groupon, and building and managing an incubator team based in Cape Town with 3 ecommerce ventures covering fashion (style36), home (5rooms) and baby (kinderelo), funded by Naspers.

Emilian has extensive experience working in Angola, Gabon, Cameroun, Kenya, Equatorial Guinea, Morocco and Algeria. Emilian has a track record of building fast and sustainable businesses, with success stories showing customer satisfaction scores increasing 10x in a year, through best in class customer service, operations and last mile logistics.

https://www.linkedin.com/in/emilianpopa

ALEKSANDRAS MILEVICIUS Advisor to Partners & Business development

Aleksandras has over 10 year’s sales and business development manager experience in Europe, Russia and Asia – Pacific. During his 5 years career in one of the biggest aviation company’s in Europe he was responsible for, providing tailor-made solutions for commercial aircraft maintenance and repair in Asia Pacific region.

Contributing his deep understanding how to locate and propose potential business deals by contacting potential partners, discover and explore new opportunities Aleksandras takes the responsibility of being Advisor to Partners as well as business development manager for upcoming projects.

https://lt.linkedin.com/in/aleksandras-milevicius-74498144

New Opportunities

THERE ARE NO SECRETS TO SUCCESS. IT IS THE RESULT OF PREPARATION, HARD WORK, AND LEARNING FROM FAILURE.

Empower your ideas

We look for disruptive ideas, strong leaders and their teams and with passion, commitment and deep understanding of problems and people needs which can be addressed through mobile and internet technology.

Your startup has to meet criteria below to be considered. Deals that don’t fit them, get “No” straight away.

  • Stage: We only invest at pre-seed or seed stages (unless we’re following-on in prior investments).
  • Geography & Ambition: Where do we concentrate? No little markets. Only teams that dream big and want to conquer big markets. Only teams that want to be #1.
  • Founders: We expect full-time founders who are deeply, deeply committed. A team of 2 co-founders working part-time is a No Go.
  • Mobile/Internet Companies: Our focus is on internet startups. If you’re manufacturing hardware or building a restaurant, we wish you the best, but it’s not in our wheelhouse. Same goes for others.
  • Revenue: We want founders who have a plan to generate revenue in the next 6-12 months, otherwise we don’t invest. This means pure content/social media startups that require millions of active users to generate initial revenue aren’t a good match.
  • Minimum Viable Product: We expect founders to be able to build something light that tests their idea and generates feedback from a small base of initial customers. Don’t come to us yet if you only have a sketch on a napkin.
  • Differentiation. Do not come with ideas/products that have differentiation vs competitors.

To be considered for funding, please contact tomas@goldfishfund.com

Join our success

Our startups are growing and we are constantly looking for new talented, competitive team members, who will contribute to implementing new projects. We believe in sharing culture and do not forget with best people to share success.

Job seekers, interested in positions with our portfolio companies should email tomas@goldfishfund.com

Invest with us

We invite business associates, angel investors to be a part of new challenges and outstanding projects. Let’s step ahead together, create additional value to the region and colleagues. Contact us at jonas@goldfishfund.com

Blog

http://goldfishfund.com/posts/

Pointed in the PriceOn case. First cyber thieves convicted in Lithuania

JANUARY 3, 2018 BY JONASKAROSAS9

Vilnius County Court defended UAB LTK Capital, which invested nearly a million euros in the launch of PriceOn. Former damage manager and IT manager will have to pay solid compensation to the company for damage.

PriceOn, which started its operations a few years ago, has made it possible to compare prices in various stores and find the cheapest product. At the end of its popularity, at the end of 2014, former director Yuri Laneckij decided to seize the new business from the investors: he disconnected the priceon.lt website and applications, blocked access to the technology code and employee email boxes. Following these malicious actions, Mr Laneckij demanded that his shares be redeemed at an inadequate price, threatening that if LTK Capital would not pay the required amount, PriceOn would go bankrupt. LTK Capital treated this as a racket and, instead of fulfilling this obscene requirement, sought help from law enforcement.

The court ordered the return of unlawfully misappropriated domainon.com domain owners. Also Agro Energy, Yuri Lanecky and Andrei Poznansky will have to pay LTK Capital EUR 807 097.8, 6 percent. EUR 7102 in legal costs.

According to TK Karos, Chairman of the Board of UAB LTK Capital, the investment in PriceOn was expected to conquer international markets.

“It was the first cyber theft of this type and scale in Lithuania. Everything was fine until the former director stole the company, taking over the priceon.lt domain. Simply put, he disconnected the website and the application and our customers no longer had access to the basic service – to compare prices in different stores. What’s more, he blocked employee email accounts, changed passwords. As a result, our activities and the ability to communicate with our customers were stopped instantly. It was a very insane and malicious cyber racket solution, hoping to get the required money. It was in principle unacceptable for us to negotiate with criminal offenders. Therefore, finally, the criminal idea collapsed while taking on a bankrupt company.

In addition, a campaign of defamation began, during which the investment fund suffered enormous damage. I have no doubt that this has had a negative impact not only on us, but also on all the entrepreneurs who invest in startups, ”says LTK Capital CEO.

Karos hopes that a court decision protecting the rights of an investment fund will become a positive precedent for protecting both investors and start-up developers in the future.

“Immediately after the theft, we turned to law enforcement. However, the responsible officials did not understand the basic things: neither the online platform, nor the logins, nor the fact that they disconnect not only the web page, but the whole business is stopped.

In bankruptcy, people lost their jobs. And at that time, law enforcement for more than three years did not deal with the facts as they tried to understand the domain, the application, the legal domain registration differs from the actual management and so on. Court practice around the world long ago knew that malicious blocking or interception of a website’s address was simply a theft of business, but not in Lithuania. Worst of all, law enforcement practitioners first believed in the stories of absurd stealers, and undercut the standard phrase “in the absence of a crime” and stopped the criminal investigation and started the civil process.

I very much hope that after a long process that we have experienced, law enforcement will now react in such cases and make decisions faster. Because only the prompt work of the legal institutions would allow us to save business from collapse when faced with similar malicious activity. We hope that this court decision will ultimately lead to criminal prosecution of the perpetrators, ”says Karos.

The entrepreneur believes that this experience was a cold shower, which led to the decision to stop investment activity in Lithuania. Despite this bad experience, the willingness to invest in start-ups has continued – he continues to invest heavily in new businesses and good ideas, but abroad. He also intends to award compensation to the court for investments in this area.

For several years, Tadas Karosas has been engaged in business angel activities and is actively investing in start-ups seeking breakthroughs in e-commerce and applications.

SNAPnSAVE gets R14m investment from Kalon Venture Partners, Smollan

AUGUST 18, 2017 BY JONASKAROSAS9

SA venture capital company Kalon Venture Partners (formerly Grotech) and retail solutions company the Smollan Group SA have together invested R14-million for a minority stake in SA shopping community SnapnSave.

Kalon Venture Partners chief executive Clive Butkow said the deal, which was concluded late last week, will see Kalon and Smollan each invest R7-million in the Cape Town based startup, in return for a 20% stake each.

SnapnSave’s app facilitates discounts for shoppers on their favourite products, wherever they shop, just by snapping a photo of their till slip.

SnapnSave CEO Mark Bradshaw said in just over 18 months, SnapnSave has given SA shoppers over R3.5-million cash back into their bank accounts and is about to reach 200 000 app installs.

Bradshaw, who has taken a few days off from work following the conclusion of the deal, said the funding would help to fund a 12-month plan to grow the app’s downloads to 500 000 in South Africa.

The funding injection will also help the two-year old startup to enter three Asian and African regional markets, which Bradshaw.

Based in their existing use of coupons and on mobile phone penetration, the startup has identified these as Singapore, Malaysia and Vietnam, as well as Nigeria, Kenya and a North African country.

The idea is to grow the app on the back of Smollan’s network which is present in more than 50 countries and provide services to over 500 000 retailers.

“Our till slip technology means shoppers can get cashback wherever they shop simply by taking a till slip selfie. The tech is all enabled without any till point integration that as a result means the product can easily scale into markets without any barriers,” said Bradshaw.

The current funding deal follows an initial angel investment injection the startup received when it launched in July 2015. However Bradshaw did not want to disclose the figure when asked by Ventureburn.

Butkow said over one billion people globally are expected to use digital coupons by 2019.

Bradshaw added that in South Africa over 15% of SA smartphone owners have already used a digital coupon. “Consumers love saving money and with the state of the economy they are looking at ways to put real cash back into their own pockets,” he said.

Kalon Venture Partners is a VC fund set up under the Section 12J VC tax incentive where investors receive a 100% deduction of their investment from their taxable income.

Baltic‘s food delivery leader FOODOUT merges with EDA.UA and expands to Ukraine & Belarus

JUNE 27, 2017 BY JONASKAROSAS9

FOODOUT Group (foodoutgroup.com) – leading mobile and internet food delivery and takeaway startup in Baltics, merges with the largest Ukrainian food delivery startup „EDA.UA“, and joined company is opening operations in Belarus very soon.

To execute this transaction Goldfish Fund joined forces with CIG. “We believe that Food delivery and takeaway business is moving to consolidation phase. We think that M&A in the markets where there is clear No.1 player is the smartest way of development in terms of securing investors’ ROI. At the same time, we are not closing doors and planning expansion to other countries where we see path to become No.1 player in 2-3 years”, says Tomas Martunas, Chairman of FOODOUT Group Board.

After this merger, FOODOUT Group will be present in 6 countries with 140 million population being No.1 player in 3 Countries and clear strategy of getting No.1 in another 3 during 2017-2018. Needless to say, in these countries Internet activity is growing at a fast pace, fueled by mobile.

Neither party has revealed the terms of the deal, but it‘s known that such deals are measured in tens of millions euros. To fuel ambitious plan of geographical expansion, CIG additionally invested EUR 1 mln into consolidated FOODOUT Group.

Eevgenyi Kazantcev, Founder and CEO of EDA.UA: “We have worked very hard during last years, developing strategic alliances, great relations with the main restaurants and building trust among our customers. Customer service perfection culture, best user experience and our passion helped us to become the leader of online food delivery in Ukraine. By merging delivery experience, marketing and technology teams of both partners, we are very excited a to take the next big step in order to provide a world class service to Ukrainian consumers.”

“This merger puts ground for other CEE/CIS players for further consolidation. We strongly believe in CEE/CIS markets and assume double digit growth rates for our group companies for the next 5 years. Taking that into account, we already in talks with other player in 5 more countries in CEE/CIS regarding potential merger. We clearly see how to build the biggest regional player in the next 2-3 years”, says CIG managing partner and FOODOUT Group Board member Volodymyr Kryvko.

“We expect to continue further consolidation and mergers with the help of separate investment round which is planned at the end of this year. We will not leave a single hungry person in the region, will continue improve customer experience and fast delivery benchmarks in every market we operate“, said Tomas Martunas, Chairman of the FOODOUT Group Board.

FOODOUT Group Operates in 6 countries (Ukraine, Belarus, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Iran) with the total population of 140 million people. The food delivery regional leader already made more then 1,7 million deliveries in 6 countries more than 30 cities from ~4000 restaurants.

Goldfish Fund is venture capital firm which focuses on opportunities in Frontier Markets. Fund invests in early stage start-ups with great products and teams striding to build world-class companies.

5 questions

OCTOBER 25, 2016 BY ALEKSANDAS

What do successful people do? We think that to achieve more (when competence and experience is in place) 3 things matter: 1. have a vision what you want to achieve. Dream BIG! 2. believe in what you doing and be positive. 3. never stop challenging yourself as only one thing in this life is stable ….

Journey of fundraising

OCTOBER 19, 2016 BY ALEKSANDAS

For this week, lets talk about fundraising. Things that are good to do from the start and things that you could be doing wrong. Read an article

Resume:

  1. Never forget about your product differentiation factors and what makes it stand from the crowd + a customer to remember you positively.
  2. Investors who invest in Series A, Series B want to see motivated team. Now there is no chance you can do anything BIG alone. TEAM can! And leaders have to be good.

Journey of fundraising

OCTOBER 19, 2016 BY ALEKSANDAS

For this week, lets talk about fundraising. Things that are good to do from the start and things that you could be doing wrong. Read an article Resume: 1. Never forget about your product differentiation factors and what makes it stand from the crowd + a customer to remember you positively. 2. Investors who invest in ….

Art of Persuasion

OCTOBER 10, 2016 BY ALEKSANDAS

Every day we are trying to improve. Let’s continue the learning about the art of persuasion. Effective persuasion involves 4 distinct and essential steps: 1 Effective persuaders establish credibility. It comes from expertise and relationships 2 They frame their goals in a way that identifies common ground with those they intend to persuade. 3 They reinforce ….

Learning

OCTOBER 5, 2016 BY ALEKSANDAS

Sharing an article about Apple’s innovations and a man behind them – Jonathan Ive. With the release of new Iphone 7 and the change in the design, it’s about time to read about the Apple chief design officer – how he thinks and breaks the boundaries with every single product. What Designers Can learn From Apple’s Design Guru Jonathan ….

Pricing

SEPTEMBER 26, 2016 BY ALEKSANDAS

This week we’re sharing an article about pricing. Without further adieu presenting the article: Read here

Food delivery sector

SEPTEMBER 21, 2016 BY ALEKSANDAS

Sharing another great article about food, restaurants, future opportunities, industry evolvement and possibilities.

The Billion Dollar Food Delivery Wars

Science of happiness

SEPTEMBER 12, 2016 BY ALEKSANDAS

Happiness is that feeling that comes over you when you know life is good and you can’t help but smile. No one ever complained about feeling too much happiness. What can we do to be happier? We’re sharing 10 simple thing you can do today that will make you happier, backed by science! Read here ….

Africa Africa….

2016-09-05 BY ALEKSANDAS

This time we would like to talk about investment. Particularly in Africa. Africa gets more and more attention from UK and USA VC, but why? The answer is simple, there are 3 reasons: Competitive edge, vital labour, BIG markets.

For more, please click on the image below:

Africa’s the new China — here’s why investors should care

Digital strategy

2016-08-29 BY ALEKSANDAS

We’re sharing another great article, this time about digital strategy. “Sephora Beauty Board, community members can upload photos of their favourite “looks” with the makeup products that made it possible. Click on a photo and you can see someone’s profile or posts. Click on a product and you can make a purchase.” As Sephora, we ….

Persuading

2016-08-23 BY ALEKSANDAS

What comes to your mind when you think about influencing and persuading people? Something negative, right? Although some people might try to persuade and influence by being abrasive or aggressive, nothing can be achieved without effectively communicating with, influencing, and persuading employers, employees, clients, suppliers, and customers. True persuasion and influence means that you are able ….

Coaching

2016-08-15 BY ALEKSANDAS

This week we would like to talk about coaching and introduce another great article about it: Read an article Resume on a manager – coach agenda: – enjoys seeing the development of people and puts it as priority. – stays forever curious (use 5 why? More often) – establishes connections (in todays business it is ….

Emotional Intelligence

2016-08-08 BY ALEKSANDAS

Today’s blog post is all about Emotional Intelligence, article about that: Read an article Resume: 1. There is link between empathetic leaders and financial performance. Why? It’s simple -> it is much more pleasure to go to workplace with great/supporting working environment filled with positive energy then just go to work for money. 2. Important

A Story from Google

2016-08-01 BY ALEKSANDAS

Today’s story about strategy comes from Google: Read an article Resume: leaders who succeed strategically without formal authority do five things well: 1. They develop a broad and varied network of relationships 2. They identify “strategy gaps” 3. They link their work to existing priorities 4. They work with an eye towards scale 5. They …..

Goldfish Fund Basic Investment Rules

2016-07-27 BY JONASKAROSAS9

We are getting a lot of investment queries that don’t fit our investment strategy, so to save our and your time we decided to openly share our basic rules. Deals that don’t fit them, get “No” straight away.

  1. Stage: We only invest at pre-seed or seed stages (unless we’re following-on in prior investments).
  2. Geography & Ambition: Where do we concentrate? No little markets. Only teams that dream big and want to conquer big markets. Only teams that want to be #1.
  3. Founders: We expect full-time founders who are deeply, deeply committed. A team of 2 co-founders working part-time is a No Go.
  4. Mobile/Internet Companies: Our focus is on internet startups. If you’re manufacturing hardware or building a restaurant, we wish you the best, but it’s not in our wheelhouse. Same goes for others.
  5. Revenue: We want founders who have a plan to generate revenue in the next 6-12 months, otherwise we don’t invest. This means pure content/social media startups that require millions of active users to generate initial revenue aren’t a good match.
  6. Minimum Viable Product: We expect founders to be able to build something light that tests their idea and generates feedback from a small base of initial customers. Don’t come to us yet if you only have a sketch on a napkin.
  7. Differentiation. Do not come with ideas/products that have differentiation vs competitors.

Brands

2016-07-26 BY ALEKSANDAS

While thinking about fundraising for e-commerce startups eye caught this article: Read an article Resume as follows: While moving forward we need to focus on: 1. Perfecting service for clients 2. Ensure we are measuring loyalty 3. Do not underestimate the brand power (each company must stride to be No1 on its own area and …….

Investment Tips

2016-04-15 BY JONASKAROSAS9

How do you get to tell the GOLD from the DIRT especially when running your investment?
Let’s face it, there are so many investment opportunities that look good at first sight but actually they are potholes that need to be avoided. To help you make the right decision when it comes to investing, We will be sharing some tips we garnered in our ten years working with startups. So here are the five questions you need to ask before making your move.

1) Would you start start a company with them?
Asking yourself this question before delving into any investment forces you to evaluate the fiber of the founders of the startups. Some other questions we do ask when we find ourselves in the midst of startup founders include “How smart are their strategy?”, “Will we attain our financial goals with them?” At such moments, I no longer see myself as an investor but more of an employee. I try digging deeper to fully understand the morale, ability and commitment of these future business leaders.
One mistake experienced investors make over and over again is seeking to be a cofounder of the company or being in a leadership position. We must understand that as investors, our actual business is giving necessary support to a startup not trying to lead it.

2) What they do, do I love it?
Investment isn’t just putting your money where you will have the highest ROI. Do I really have an interest in what these guys are trying to do, or are we taking on this deal because it is so competitive? Your care for a startup gives you the drive even when it seems the new business is sinking. When your love is strong enough, you find yourself trying to source best talents for the business, and even promoting the products of the startup whenever you get a chance. With your network, you do all you can to build up the startup.

3) What value can I be to this new business?
Gone are the days when you just put in money and then go to bed expecting millions of dollars in return for your investment. Now, you need to bring in relevant knowledge, contacts and talents to make the startup a success. Startup founders have smartened up these days. They only let value adding investors into their businesses to prevent their startup from losing direction. Your contribution at the early days of a new company determines what you will get out of it. This means you must bring to the table everything that is needed to scale up the business without being at the fore front of leading the company.

4) To what extent can the startup make an impact
In my years of investing in companies, We solidly agree that most newly founded companies will pass the first three litmus tests. The fourth puts them in a box. We have seen people with million dollar ideas and strategy that can make huge impact globally; only to discover they never actually left beyond the state the business was started.
As true as this may be, it is also relative, in the first place how do you define “major impact”? Though definitions will vary greatly, they all seem to tend to a central point.

Here are they:

Size of the market
When you think of Uber and Airbnb, you will most definitely agree that these new companies truly disrupted massive markets. In some situations, newly founded businesses create a whole new market altogether. Same goes for the startup you plan investing in. Their market reach is a serious issue to be considered.

Size of improvement
To what level can the business solutions offered by this new startup, make a difference in the lives of consumers? Most times, business pitches We receive make just very little improvements to the already existing solutions in the market. However, We have discovered great companies don’t just slightly improve upon what is already existent, they make major impact. When business founders are less concerned about the impact they are capable of making, We immediately sense that their sole drive is making money and without hesitation, We back off. We believe making a difference is more important than making money.

5) Is the time right for the launch of this business
Though the last to be considered here, but it is very important to set the time right for a business. Timing is very important for a business to succeed. This is because technologies are always changing, consumer preferences are always shifting. You need to evaluate how fast these changes are happening else, you would have been overtaken in the race even before the launch of the startup you’re investing in. If the changes are being too rapid, it is better to wait and know what direction the market is headed. Understanding the times requires deep knowledge of history and a curious mind that desires to know the world. You will agree that factors that can alter a business are pretty much. Scaling up a business successfully implies having a plan that spans 5 to 10 years for the company. Proper alignment with the founders of the company is also important. For us, We try to know how they plan to offset major changes in the market that can affect their company.

Arriving at a decision
Now you have all questions that need to be answered before investing in a business, how many yes do you need? For us as at Goldfish, We must get a yes to all five questions, or else we move on to the next deal.

Predictions

DECEMBER 8, 2015 BY JONASKAROSAS9

  • “I think there is a world market for maybe five computers.” — Thomas Watson (1874-1956), Chairman of IBM, 1943
  • “Who the hell wants to hear actors talk?” — H. M. Warner (1881-1958), founder of Warner Brothers, in 1927
  • “Everything that can be invented has been invented.” — Charles H. Duell, Commissioner, U.S. Office of Patents, 1899
  • “There is no reason anyone would want a computer in their home.” — Ken Olson, president, chairman and founder of Digital Equipment Corp., 1977
  • “This ‘telephone’ has too many shortcomings to be seriously considered as a means of communication. The device is inherently of no value to us.” — Western Union internal memo, 1876.
  • “The wireless music box has no imaginable commercial value. Who would pay for a message sent to nobody in particular?” — David Sarnoff’s associates in response to his urgings for investment in the radio in the 1920s.
  • “I confess that in 1901, I said to my brother Orville that man would not fly for fifty years . . . Ever since, I have distrusted myself and avoided all predictions.” — Wilbur Wright, 1908
  • Television won’t be able to hold on to any market it captures after the first six months. People will soon get tired of staring at a plywood box every night.” — Darryl Zanuck, 20th Century Fox.
  • “There’s no chance that the iPhone is going to get any significant market share.” — Steve Ballmer, Microsoft CEO.
  • “There’s just not that many videos I want to watch.” — Steve Chen, CTO and co-founder of YouTube expressing concern about his company’s long term viability.
  • “Cellular phones will absolutely not replace local wire systems.” — Marty Cooper, inventor.
  • “Remote shopping, while entirely feasible, will flop.” — Time Magazine.

The Perfect Pitch

DECEMBER 7, 2015 BY JONASKAROSAS9

What format should you use for the first presentation? This is the template that we developed over several years, and recommend whenever an entrepreneur asks what format to use.

The objective of your first meeting is to get to a second meeting. You will start to drill down on one or two points of the company for that meeting. Then you will move on to other points for later meetings. But, for the first meeting, you want to give a fly-over, and leave plenty of time for discussion. Focus on the Product – your demo. It will be the shining point everything else is built on.

So, here’s the Presentation Outline. Stray from this sequence at your own peril.

  1. Problem
  2. Solution
  3. PRODUCT DEMO OR SCREEN SHOTS OF PRODUCT
  4. Business Model
  5. Underlying magic/ technology
  6. Market
  7. Competition
  8. Milestones/Timeline
  9. Financials/Forecasts
  10. Summary slide

The Three P’s of Venture Capital

DECEMBER 7, 2015 BY JONASKAROSAS9

1) People. I have to like you. I have to think we can work together. That you’re smart. Opinionated. Informed. That you listen, ask questions, ask for help. That you have a vision and you’re passionate about what you’re doing and that you can execute.

2) Product. I have to love it. Not like it, not see how others might like it after a few beers, but love it. I have want to touch the product, marvel at the design, think about using the product again. It has to be unique.

3) Potential. We’re doing this to impact millions of people. Why settle for less? In some cases though, great margins on high priced products with smaller markets are good too.

Portfolio

Blockchain Open Fund

Spin out of Goldfish Fund, an investment vehicle which specializes in investing into ICOs and blockchain startups.
In 6 months since starting invested into +10 successful ICOS which have raised +100M USD from crypto investors.
www.blockchainopen.fund

Welltrado

Welltrado.io is a global Blockchain-Backed Loans Marketplace ICO.
Welltrado is an already operating scalable blockchain based platform that seeks to enable investors to buy and sell loans from thousands of different loan providers globally, invest into peer-to-peer lending funds (P2P) and manage investment portfolios.

Monetha

Monetha.io is a decentralised payment and trust solution on the Ethereum blockchain. Through the use of smart contract technology payments are secured over a revolutionary trust system that analyzes the reputation of all parties, assigning an algorithmic trust rating to each party. By leveraging Ethereum blockchain technology, “Monetha” empowers merchants with a single step transaction that’s 5x cheaper and up to 10,000x faster than traditional alternatives.

The Monetha ICO was one of the top 10 most successful ICOs in the world raising $37m in less than 18 minutes.

Dancerbus

Dancerbus(dancerbus.com) is a first ultra-light electric city bus in the world. It is a visionary approach to automotive industry, which seeks to integrate original bus design concept, new technological materials and wind power usage in public transport sphere. Dancer’s driving intention is to make public transport an integral part of the city and kindly acceptable for the society. Generally, it is a project, where technology, art, industry and society meet and unite in order to improve urban environment.

Pawame

Pawame(pawame.com) provides cheap, clean, accessible energy to people living in rural Africa who don’t have reliable access to electricity by distributing and financing pay-as-you-go solar power systems and accessories such as lights, radio, and TV and spread the cost to the consumer through an affordable monthly subscription plan, paid via existing mobile money platforms. Pawame also develops software and hardware for its platform’s mobile payment integration, content provision and data collection and analytics to enhance the use of mobile money payment technology to distribute solar energy services and related hardware to the clear majority of rural households that do not have access to clean, affordable, and reliable energy.

PIGU Group

Pigu Group is the leading e-commerce retailer in the Central Europe.
Named as the fastest growing technology company in Central Europe by Deloitte in 2015. “An achievement of the company Pigu can be described as impressive ‒ in a growing, but highly competitive e-commerce market a large company managed to grow much faster than a majority of competitors. This success proves that even large companies are able to adapt in a flexible way to the market changes and growing needs by gathering a strong management team when implementing a stated strategy and meeting its objectives”, commented Mr Stalenis, Director of the Business Advisory department of Deloitte.

“We are proud that we are the very first Lithuanian company, which was evaluated in Big 5 category for the fastest growth in the region” – says CEO Dainius Liulys from Pigu.lt. “This award proves that our strategy to convert offline buyers to online and to become first destination for e-customers is working and bringing excellent results” – he adds.

SNAPnSAVE

SNAPnSAVE is the free shopping app that gives you cash back on your everyday purchases just for snapping your till slip. No paper coupons, plastic cards or loyalty points. Just real cash back on items you buy everyday, leaving you with more to spend on the things you want.

Foodout Group

Foodout Group (foodoutgroup.com) is food delivery leader in CES and CIS region.
Foodout is more than just a simple restaurant directory; this is an easy one-stop shop, bridging the gap between hungry customers and their favourite food. Users can enter their adress to browse high-quality local takeaways, search and discover new cuisine types, read reviews, order and even pay for food online, without ever leaving the sofa.

Cili Holdings

Cili Holdings operates a largest restaurant chain in Baltics, with ±100 restaurants.
It operates restaurants “Cili Pica”, “SOYA”, food manufacturing unit “Maisto Namai” and food delivery system 1822.

Chilivery

Chilivery is Iranian food-tech startup connecting fresh and popular restaurants, passionate couriers and food-loving customers through an application and website.

Taxi Pocket

Taxi Pocket is an automated location based smartphone booking and dispatch platform for the taxi industry. Taxi Pocket aims to revamp these local taxi markets by introducing simple, cost effective mobile-based technology to both the supply (dispatch companies) and demand (passenger) sides of the distribution chain. With this technology, Taxi Pocket hopes to optimize the matching process between taxi fleets and passengers. Our vision is to revamp the taxi industry, making it a safer and more efficient means of transport we can all be proud of.

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