Earlybird has made the first three investments from its new fund aimed at Turkey and Central and Eastern Europe (CEE) – Flipps, Tjobs and Metrekare.com. In a release, the Berlin-based VC said the three companies had been selected from more than 2,000 potential investments for the Digital East Fund, which saw an initial close of $110 million (then €81.3m) in January out of an eventual fund size of $130m.
Flipps is a direct-to-TV streaming platform based in San Francisco, whose technology works with over 250 million connected TVs across the world and which is compatible with over 5,000 manufacturer models. With the Flipps mobile app not requiring hardware such as a set top box to stream to a TV, Earlybird believes “its global reach and ability to scale quickly represent a significant opportunity to disrupt this rapidly growing market.”
The startup will use the new funds to build up its customer base and expand its library of premium content.
Tjobs, meanwhile, is a Romanian company whose online recruitment platform is aimed at Europe’s growing number of temporary workers, now in the millions, as the European Union continues to liberalise labour laws. The platform is designed to help employers from across the EU to recruit from more than two million candidates to fill the positions which otherwise would remain empty.
The funding will be used to support Tjobs’ pan-European expansion.
Thirdly, Turkish real estate listings platform Metrekare.com – dubbed the ‘Zillow of Turkey’ – is looking to tap into the country’s vast property market, where transactions total $100 billion a year. In its first year, Metrekare.com reached more than 2,500 estate agents with 100,000 listings and a million monthly visitors, and it will use the Earlybird money to accelerate its growth.
“The volume of quality ideas and talent coming out of the Turkey and Central and Eastern European markets have largely been ignored by the rest of the world,” said Earlybird partner Dan Lupu. “Our focus and investments in the region are about to change all that.”