Sparking Capital obtains alternative investment fund authorization from the Romanian Financial Supervisory Authority to strengthen its operating framework in the local capital market.
Sparking Capital’s application for registration as an AIFA alternative investment fund manager as well as registration in the ASF public register and approval as an AIF alternative investment fund was granted.
This makes Sparking Capital the first venture capital fund to invest in technology companies registered by ASF in Romania under the new applicable legislation.
Vlad Panait, Managing Partner & Founder of Sparking Capital – “We are pleased to have successfully completed the ASF admissions process and to be the first venture capital fund registered in Romania investing in technology companies. Our goal is to continue our investment plans locally and continuously contribute to the development of the local start-up ecosystem. By mid-2023, our main goal is to make 4-5 new investments and invest an additional amount of 3.5 million euros.”
Since its inception, the company has invested around EUR 3 million in local technology start-ups, with an additional EUR 6 million invested by the co-investors.
Cristian Negruțiu, founding partner of Sparking Capital – “The approval received from ASF Romania represents a step forward for our company and is further proof that we want to contribute to the development of the Romanian business environment in the most sustainable way. We expect a simplification of the registration process and legislation, so that more and more venture capital funds will choose to register in Romania. Last but not least, we would like to thank the ASF team for their openness and understanding, and our partners at Boanță, Gîdei and Associates for their legal support in the permitting process.”
Sparking Capital’s mission is to contribute to the development of the local entrepreneurial ecosystem, through constant investments, transfer of know-how and skills, coaching and mentoring for the founding teams, carried out directly or through partners, in order to realize their full potential. At the same time, the company aims to provide investors with gross returns in excess of other asset classes.
Vlad Sarca, Partner Sparking Capital – “We intend to invest in teams of entrepreneurs who have developed truly innovative products and who actively support the international expansion of software products developed in Romania. Most of the companies we have invested in to date provide software solutions to clients in Europe, America, Asia, Africa and even Australia and the investments they have received have contributed to their accelerated growth and the creation of over 130 job opportunities .”
Sparking Capital’s portfolio currently includes 12 local startups from various industries such as travel tech, consumer tech, marketing tech, fin tech, prop tech, smart automation, fitness tech, AI speech recognition technology, circular economy, and other verticals. These include Questo, Evertoys, ProductLead, Symphopay, Bright Spaces, EcoTree, Instant Spaces, Bankata, Vatis Tech, Sypher, KFactory and Hyperhuman.
In addition to investments, Sparking Capital continuously analyzes and evaluates the potential of the local startup ecosystem. According to Sparking Capital specialists, the most promising categories for local startups to innovate and grow in the coming period include cybersecurity, robotic process automation (RPA), gaming and fin-tech.
“In Romania we have qualified personnel in RPA, Cybersecurity, Gaming, Crypto, Fin-Tech and more. The technical skills of the programmers are aligned with European standards, but at a significantly lower cost than in Western Europe. All of these aspects coincide with the global trends that have been observed for some time. Automating repetitive processes with limited human assistance (RPA) is an acute need for companies looking to increase productivity, cyber threats that are accentuated even more by the conflict at Romania’s borders and require additional protection measures, children are from the beginning to digital natives, which offers new opportunities. The prospects for the gaming industry, as well as higher banking costs, fees and underserved populations and businesses create the right environment for the development of new fintech solutions.” added Vlad Panait, Managing Partner and Founder of Sparking Capital.