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, with the backing of Tomáš Krsek, the Czech billionaire and philanthropist. 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 meet with entrepreneurs from the entire CEE region, as well as the Baltics, Balkans and Ukraine.
We focus on technology innovation in all forms; from regional consumer businesses to global enterprise software challengers.
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.
Start-ups need the best people onboard - we help founders find them quickly by leveraging our network. In addition, we aid their business development 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
Jan Černý started his academic and professional career in the USA and UK. He holds Master in Financial Economics degree from University of Oxford. After his return to the Czech Republic, he focused on the industrial sector and played a key role in the international expansion and sale of Skoda Transportation group – leading European producer of rolling stock vehicles. He is experienced in M&A transactions as well as management of large international companies.LinkedIn
Viktor is the allrounder of the team with long-term experience from multiple industries and countries. Growing up in Austria, Germany and Czechia has given him the key linguistic and cultural fundamentals to succeed in the European market. Viktor studied at the Faculty of Law and IT Management, Masaryk University, Brno. During his studies, Viktor co-founded the GrowJOB Institute. As a consultant, he played an integral role in helping dozens of European companies with boosting their international sales, talent development, headhunting and product management. After 10 years he entered the world of HR, establishing the HR 2.0 department at Rockaway Capital, using technology, data analytics and building communities to connect the Rockaway group’s whole portfolio together. After 4 years leading corporate HR, Viktor moved to Presto to help their portfolio company Feedyou to further develop their Chatbot Product, bringing his HR experience to the tech world. Viktor loves high performance environments like that of the world of professional sport, and for this reason, he supports young sporting talents. In his free time he helps with the personal development of the Czech Basketball League’s players, and also works as Assistant Coach of the Czech National Ballhockey Team.LinkedIn
Roman is our introverted genius, able to process information quicker than any other team member - making him the “brain” of Presto. He holds a degree in Finance and Accounting from Masaryk University, Brno and a degree in Financial Management from Juniata College, USA. Roman has also successfully passed all 3 levels of the CFA exam. After finishing his studies, Roman worked at Private Equity firm GT Entrepreneurs in Pittsburgh, US, before moving back to Prague and utilising his experience helping talented people realise their dreams at Presto Ventures.
As Associate at Presto, Roman’s main focus is on running complex analytical tasks, but his brilliant mind makes him a versatile team member. Consequently, he is also able to lead meetings with start-ups, prepare deals for sign-off, along with all the accompanying documentation, as well as help start-ups with reporting processes and much more.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
Barbora plays her role as a frontline warrior at Presto - her battlefield; start-up conferences and meetups, her mission; to find the next unicorn. Barbora usually starts the initial conversations with the start-ups, being their first point of contact at Presto. She is also ready, night and day, to provide help and support.
Barbora carried out her studies at UCT Prague, with the vision of changing the food industry. Interested in ecology she attended a course in International Environmental Management at Mines ParisTech. After graduation Barbora entered the cosmetics industry as an R&D engineer. Discovering her desire to help others, she joined Presto Ventures in order to help shape the future of like minded Czech scientists. When she can find the time, Barbora volunteers in The Military University Hospital (ÚVN) Prague, relishing the opportunity to hear stories from elderly people and to get a different perspective on today’s world.LinkedIn
Jan is our youngest personal asset, but his experience enables him to excel above his peers. He carried out his studies at three economics universities in Prague and the US. Keen to jump straight into the start-up world, Jan cut his studies short, instead founding multiple businesses including; Dáme Zkoušku, Mealbox, and Posli (Silicon Valley-based startup). He has been CEO of Ordr.cz, Head of Growth at the London-based startup iHateIroning.com as well as working at Havel & Partners, one of Prague’s largest law firms. Jan joined Presto Ventures in order to gain first hand VC experience, while being part of a thriving team.
As Analyst at Presto, Jan’s main area of focus is on eSports, Gaming and EdTech start-ups.
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
An AI based device, which transforms any flat or house into the perfect intelligent home, thanks to thousands of smart functions and personalised automation scenarios. Without any programming or configuration needed.www.domotron.com
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
SaaS cloud-based virtual phone system and PBX for sales and customer service teams. Currently the global sector leader for SME customers.www.cloudtalk.io
A globally recognised provider of a unified passenger information platform used at airports, railways, marine ports and within public transportation networks. Additionally, Simpleway pioneers the sector of Secured Decentralised Audio, developing a new generation of industrial audio devices.www.simpleway.global
A smart system designed to allow office buildings the ability to provide 21st century access and parking experience to their tenants and guests.www.sharryeurope.com
Most technologically advanced online trip builder for instantly creating custom fully planned trips based on individual preferences.www.gorealtravel.com
Evangelist of crickets as a clean and sustainable source of protein. Building the most advanced cricket farm in Thailand in order to produce a variety of cricket-flour based products.www.sensbar.com
GoRamp helps small companies to track shipments easier by fully centralizing transportation management process and automating the exchange of information about shipments between SME manufacturing companies and their partners in real time updating software.www.goramp.eu
Intiaro builds software solution for configuration, customization and visualization of furnishing products in Augmented Reality which helps high-end furniture & furnishing brands gain additional distribution channels and increase sales.www.intiaro.com
Digitisation of the heating installation process - from lead generation, through sales and installation, to after-sales support.www.topite.cz
A tool for mid-sized e-shops to help personalise their customer experience (search and recommendation) using advanced mathematical and machine learning techniques.www.persoo.cz
Online travel platform connecting exciting trips and attractions from around the world into bundles.www.bonferi.com
Mobile platform for targeted and personalised vouchers, sampling coupons and competitions for consumer brands.www.coolticket.co
Online personal styling service for men, with personalised shopping experience and clothes delivery.www.genster.cz
Enterprise conversational chatbot ecosystem to deploy, manage and scale advanced conversational interfaces from one place.www.feedyou.ai
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
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
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 email@example.com, 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.