What do you focus on when evaluating start-ups?
Presto Ventures is a Prague based investment company empowering talented CEE start-up founders. As our name suggests, speed is key to our mission. We act quickly to help you progress quickly – supporting you in fast learning, fast business development, and ultimately, fast growth.
We are Presto Ventures, a VC fund based in Prague. We invest in promising technology start-ups, supporting them via the provision of invaluable resources and guidance, enabling them to achieve local and global success.
Presto (Formerly BVC) was founded in 2016 by Přemysl Rubeš, a mathematician and entrepreneur. It is backed by family offices, successful entrepreneurs, and exited startup founders. With our base in the centre of Europe, the Presto team is constantly on the move discovering and meeting the most inspiring entrepreneurs that Europe has to offer.
We often enter our startups in the Seed stage (round size up to €3M) and continue in the follow-up rounds. Occasionally we invest also in the pre-seed/angel rounds.
We invest in entrepreneurs from the entire CEE region, as well as the Baltics, Balkans and Ukraine.
We focus on B2B startups that are built on a solid technology and have the potential to succeed on global market.
We love co-investing with smart VCs. We are open to joining rounds led by other VC funds or leading ourselves - we very regularly do both.
We are tech guys that love sales. We help tech founders to love it as well… In addition, we aid their recruitment and follow-up fundraising in Western Europe and the US.
Founder and Managing Partner
Premysl is a former mathematician holding scientific and engineering degrees from the Nuclear Sciences Faculty at CTU Prague and ENSTA ParisTech. He started his career in Paris as a Revenue Management Quantitative Analyst, using rapid programming techniques to develop applications for flight managers at Air France and Amadeus. He soon realised that starting his own business would be a greater challenge than the corporate world, and founded his own technology business. After exiting his first company, Premysl discovered the world of investments & start-ups and, with his experience at Rockaway Capital, founded his own VC fund in 2016 with the backing of Tomas Krsek. During 2016 he also formed the team of an AI pricing company which later became Yieldigo, and investment number one of the newly established fund.
At Presto, Premysl leads investments, sits on the board of the portfolio companies and, together with his team, actively works with start-up founders.
Aside from his investment and portfolio support activities, Premysl is also involved in helping talented young people across multiple fields, including: giving lectures at STEM universities, mentoring start-ups in Europe and the United States; at Alchemist Accelerator for example, and helping promising young musicians to fulfil their potential. He plays double-bass (nearly choosing to study music instead of maths) and remains an active musician. The name Presto is a combination of a musical term for speed and Premysl’s hyperactivity.LinkedIn
Vojta is a founder of Stories.bi, turning his long-standing expertise in business intelligence, data analytics, and applied AI into a B2B Enterprise SaaS company, which Gartner recognized as one of the most innovative players in augmented analytics space. In just two years after its inception, Stories.bi was acquired by Workday and successfully integrated into Workday’s core Human Capital Management product.
As a Presto partner, Vojta guides founders to focus on what is really important and helps them to accelerate B2B sales and partnerships development, and to devise and execute exit strategies, leveraging his own founder know-how and 10 years of startup mentoring experience.
Vojta‘s mission is to help founders to build new meaningful projects and solve the hardest questions. His guiding philosophy is “Focus on the right things” and “Do it better or STFU.”LinkedIn
Eda built and managed the Business Intelligence department in Avast - having a major role in the company's hyper-growth, M&A activities, and IPO. Before that Eda founded and exited several internet projects. He can assess the architecture of the application in just 3 seconds merely by looking at its frontend.
As a Presto partner, Eda helps mostly deeptech and AI/ML-based startups to build products that will stand the test of the market. Being an IT veteran, Eda helps founders to establish strong IT cornerstones. His direct approach, professional network, and hands-on attitude make him invaluable when a portfolio company needs development support or advice on technology, DevOps, BI or cybersecurity.
Father of three, he loves good food and snowy mountains. Fun fact: As a teen, he managed to run several fan sites like Need for Speed 3, free games, and VoIP telephony, which generated thousands of dollars in monthly revenue.LinkedIn
Roman is our introverted genius, able to process information quicker than any other team member - making him the “brain” of Presto. Roman is a CFA charterholder with degrees in Finance from Masaryk University, Brno and Juniata College, US. After finishing his studies, Roman worked at Private Equity firm GT Entrepreneurs in Pittsburgh before moving back to Prague.
At Presto, Roman leads investments, sits on the board of the portfolio companies and actively works with start-up founders. Roman’s main focus is around analytics and everything finance and planning related, but his brilliant mind makes him a versatile team member.
Through non-profits and activities, Roman is involved in helping underprivileged people from diverse backgrounds get up to par with their more fortunate peers. His activities outside VC still revolve around finance and math including cryptocurrencies and trading of various instruments. When not connected to the internet, Roman likes running, reading, poker and drinking beer.LinkedIn
Deep Tech Partner
Dennis is Investment Manager at Berlin based venture capital fund GMPVC, Europe’s leading independent media for equity VC funds. GMPVC invests in fast growing consumer start-ups, such as unicorn fashion shop ABOUT YOU and digital car insurance agency FRIDAY. Dennis holds an M.Sc. in Strategic Entrepreneurship from the Rotterdam School of Management and a Master of Finance from ESADE, Barcelona. As a co-founder of tech-conferences; Angel Island and PHX, he regularly brings together global start-ups and ecosystem innovators on a private island in Amsterdam.
As Venture Partner Germany at Presto, Dennis brings his extensive network from the German and European start-up ecosystem to help expand Presto’s portfolio in Western Europe.LinkedIn
Tomas is a university lecturer and Managing Partner at Mavericks - a boutique law firm based in Prague, focusing on emerging markets, new technology and M&A transactions. Tomas holds law degrees from universities in both the Czech Republic and the USA (San Francisco). As a leading expert in venture capital transactions in the Czech Republic, Tomas has advised on 50+ startup deals over the past few years. He has worked with Premysl from the very beginning of Presto, forming an integral part of all of our successful deals.
Tomas has been elected Innovative Lawyer of 2019 for his achievements in the field of law and innovation. Tomas is also a passionate surfer and dog-lover.LinkedIn
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Leading price optimisation tool based on advanced mathematics and AI. Helping brick-and-mortar retailers to price consumer goods based on a customer’s willingness to pay, and thus increase their profits.www.yieldigo.com
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Presto is always here to help. Cloudtalk is on its way to becoming the very first unicorn from Slovakia which makes us very attractive to investors and partners. Now almost everybody wants to have a part in our success but Presto was here for us long before, when things didn’t look so well. They have supported us founders through thick and thin, actively trying to help us to solve every obstacle we have found on the path. From my experience, it is very hard to find a partner who has a genuine interest in both your work and well-being. Presto is one of them.
Martin Malych & Viktor Vanek / Founders at Cloudtalk
In 2020 only a handful of people talked about the metaverse and even fewer of them understood cross-game avatars platforms like our Ready Player Me. Kudos to Presto for believing in our vision and participating in the seed investment to help us launch it. They saw the underlying trend early, believed in Web3 and NFTs before it was cool.
Timmu Tõke / Co-founder & CEO at Wolf3D
With Presto, you are not talking to bankers, you are meeting fellow tech founders. We didn’t expect to find a VC who has not only insight but hands-on experience with image processing, machine learning, advanced mathematics, and other technologies we use at Oddin. Presto quickly understood our product and learned the very specific market we target. But more importantly, they know what it takes to be a founder, how hard it is to build a successful company and get it global.
Vlastimil Venclík / Founder & CEO at Oddin.gg
We were looking for a fifth crew member, who would understand the specifics of our business. People from Presto Ventures showed us an empathy and ability of fast onboarding. And a similar sense of humour also played an important role.
Josef Šachta / CEO & Co-founder at Sharry Europe
There are two reasons why Presto Ventures is for us the ideal investor. Firstly, out of all the investors we spoke to they were the only ones to take the time to fully understand our tech and know-how. They weren’t satisfied with just skimming the surface of the matter and therefore, were able to offer valuable insights. Secondly, they supported us when the times were rough and did not take advantage of our situation even when they had the opportunity. Thanks to these experiences I would gladly recommend Presto Ventures as an investor to anyone, even my best friend.
Alex Janusek / CEO & Co-founder at Domotron
What do you focus on when evaluating start-ups?
How long does the investment process take and what are the key milestones?
How do you support portfolio start-ups?
From our experience, we believe that, as a rule, highly skilled people in the right market are able to build a great product - valuable, scalable and with growth potential.
For this reason, from the three key pillars; Market-Product-Team, the Team is our primary focus. International profiles, fast learning and a courageous outlook is something we want to see in our portfolio start-ups as well as in their founders. The Market is also of great importance to us. We invest in teams that share a similar vision of the given market’s future. When our visions of the market’s future align, success is possible.
We are Presto, and Presto means ‘fast'! We have structured ourselves to make decisions quickly and act fast. Assuming the counterparty’s legal team possesses start-up knowledge, we are able to complete the investment process in one month, money transfer included. The investment is set out in a standardised process, like that of any other traditional top-rate VC fund.
The 1st milestone is a meeting held with our partner, the 2nd milestone; a signed term-sheet and the 3rd milestone being a closed deal with the money in the start-up’s bank account.
At the beginning of each investment process we begin by talking with the founders, gathering all the routine information about the project; deck, historic numbers, business plan and product demo. We also request the market specifics and product details. This is then followed by an arrangement of the deal’s terms and term-sheet signing. Finally, we start the process of due diligence and draw up the documentation for transaction sign-off.
We believe a start-up’s key to success is hiring the right people for the job. For this reason, we have top professionals onboard, with long track-records in the recruitment / headhunting business, to assist our start-ups with finding new talent. With our reputation and broad network, we also have the ability to attract highly experienced professionals who would not usually consider the start-up world, but are able to bring great value into it.
At the same time, we are also firm believers in the traditional partner x founder setup, where founders are entrepreneurs that don’t need to be directed. As such, we search for fast-learning autonomous founders, able to build and grow a strong team. We, as a partner, can help with the velocity of the business (Presto!), inspire and help the founders with seeing the wider picture, and, of course, help make those game-changing deals. We are the support in the background, not an external sales department, business development team, CFO or COO.
We also know our numbers - helping start-ups to understand which numbers to track, how to measure them, helping them avoid being caught up in endless reporting. This enables them to create a clear roadmap, with the key numbers under their control, helping them to make future decisions about the business.
Last but not least, we continuously broaden our network of VC funds across Europe and help our founders to find the best partners for the follow-up financing rounds, mainly in Western Europe.
Some specific examples of how we have helped our portfolio companies.
How do you support the start-up community?
Where and when can I meet the Presto Team?
How can I join the Presto Team?
We provide support through a number of key channels including: education & mentoring, online content and conferences & events.
We believe that entrepreneurship should be encouraged and developed early on, and, for this reason, we spend a great deal of time holding start-up lectures at multiple universities. On top of lecturing, we are proud to be a co-organiser of the Singularity University Czech Summit, as well as being active across the Singularity University world network.
Though our financial support and investments are focused on start-ups, we also invest in accelerators and incubators, some of which we also provide mentoring to, like, for example, Alchemist Accelerator in San Francisco.
Further, being a keen musician; Premysl, often provides sponsorship to young musical talents, while Tomas Krsek awards scholarships for many prestigious universities across the globe.
Lastly, we also encourage talented individuals to join our team giving them our full support to learn and develop their skill set, either as ongoing team members or through one of our portfolio companies.
We spend a large part of our time attending conferences and start-up events, meaning that there are plenty of opportunities to meet some of our team members. We also encourage you to subscribe to our newsletter and check our website to see our latest schedule.
If you would like to speak to one of our analysts, feel free to contact them via email and we’ll schedule a call.
It's simple. Send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org, telling us about yourself. We have opportunities both in our core team and portfolio start-ups; from VC Business Analyst entry roles to CxO positions in one of our portfolio companies.