Poland’s Totalizator Sportowy launches startup fund

Poland’s Totalizator Sportowy launches startup fund

The state-owned operator has partnered with a US venture capital fund to invest in young companies.

Poland.- The state-owned gaming operator Totalizator Sportowy has partnered with the US venture capital fund ffVC to invest in gaming startups.

The ffVC Tech & Gaming Fund aims to invest in between 10 to 15 start-ups by the end of 2023, mainly in Poland and other Eastern European countries.

The fund will particularly look to fund operators that have an eye on US expansion. It will make initial investments of between PLN1m (€224,000) and PLN8m, but raise that up to PLN15m through subsequent tranches of investment.

The companies chosen will benefit from Totalizator Sportowy’s network of contacts and resources, and from ffVC’s assistance to enter the US market.

Olgierd Cieślik, president of the management board at Totalizator Sportowy, said: “Continuing the technological transformation of Totalizator Sportowy requires us not only to cooperate with the global giants of the gaming market, but also to be open to the implementation of products and services provided by young innovative companies, including Polish startups.

“We hope that will bring us all great benefits and, above all, the possibility of further growth.”

The fund will be managed by John Frankel, founder and partner of ffVC, and three ffVC partners: Adam Plotkin in the US and Mariusz Adamski and Maciej Skarul in Poland.

Frankel said: “We have created a strong international team to search for the best Polish companies that, thanks to the help of ffVC and Totalizator Sportowy, have a chance to become leaders in their industries.

“The venture capital market in Poland has been developing dynamically for years and we believe that the market is entering the phase of development, after which Polish startups will achieve a global scale of operations.”

The fund was created under the Polish Development Fund (PFR) and the National Center for Research and Development’s corporate venture capital programme. 

Przemysław Kurczewski, deputy director at the National Center for Research and Development, said: “We are introducing a new CVC fund to the Polish market, focused on industries which – as we see in our other programs and initiatives – very effectively absorb R&D investment, turning it into products with potential for international commercialisation.”

Polish gaming tax revenues fell by 10 per cent in H1 due to distruption caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.

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