We are the first to champion ambitious founders from overlooked markets. We believe in those who are committed to building sustainable excellence in their international companies.
Startup Wise Guys as an early stage investor
Headquartered in Tallinn, Estonia we have invested in over 350+ startups since 2012. We are one of the top 5 accelerators according to European top tier VCs (as ranked by Sifted in December 2022) and a leading early-stage investor that focuses on underserved markets. We discover and invest in the strongest technical B2B founders early on and fast track their growth through our acceleration program, that we have been running since 2012. We make additional follow-on investments in winning teams from the accelerator to double down on the performers. We are diversifying the investment portfolio across hundreds of companies throughout underserved markets in Europe, Africa and rest of the world, with allocations ranging across many different verticals – SaaS, Fintech, Cybersecurity, Cleantech, Industry 4.0 and Extended Reality.
Wise Guys portfolio past return for batches 1-7
Total portfolio return of all funds (incl new where most investments still valued at cost)
Follow on (external funds) rate
External follow on funding
Deal sourcing approach
We know excellent talent is waiting in overlooked markets, hindered by economic and political challenges. Most of these people are highly motivated and hungry for success! For many, building a company from the ground up is the only way to shake their “status quo”. As one of the oldest and most experienced European accelerators, we have a talented network and innovative brand recognition that enables us to identify “diamonds in the rough” in overlooked markets.
Wise girl power
At Startup Wise Guys we walk the talk. We take pride in the fact that women represent over 50% of our general/ ventures partners across all registered funds. In addition, our portfolio includes 84 invested startups with women co-founders and that figure keeps rising fast.
What makes us different?
We are the first believers
SWG was built to help founders become entrepreneurs and we are true to this mission! We are usually the first fund manager to invest in our portfolio teams right after the so-called family, friends and fools group. Therefore, we invest much earlier compared to other VCs, who normally take part in follow-on investments.
Focus on overlooked markets
We are the only major player in business acceleration that focuses on talented startup founders from underserved, overlooked markets. Our founders are typically techno wizzes and daring dreamers who are driven by a strong motivation to succeed internationally with their startup.
International investor base
We take pride to have gained the trust of ≅ 300 limited partners from 35+ countries, mostly among HNWI, VCs, family offices and fund of funds. Many of our portfolio founders have decided to invest in our funds after completing their successful exits.
Mitigation of early stage risk
Through our five-month long acceleration program we get involved early in setting the selected teams for international business growth. Meaning we significantly mitigate the default risk typical to early stage startups. In addition, via strong portfolio diversification, we invest in hundreds of companies per fund across several industry verticals and countries and our investment portfolio benefits from an additional layer of risk mitigation.
Proprietary world-class acceleration program
Since 2012 when we launched, we had the opportunity to test, fine-tune and continuously improve our accelerator program, which is now one of the best globally. This program enables us to get differentiated deal flow access and further prepare our portfolio startups for growth.
Startup Wise Guys network connects 750+ alumni founders, 500+ mentors and 60+ international team members. Thanks to our super connected network we have access to attractive and hard to find investment opportunities in our target markets/ segments. Our network members support each other with international expansion, cross-selling opportunities and co-investments.