On February 19, 2020, CEE Legal Matters reported that Cobalt had advised Change Ventures on its EUR 500,000 investment in Estonian educational startup 99math. We spoke with Yrjo Ojasaar, Investment Partner at Change Ventures, to learn more.
CEELM: What is Change Ventures?
Yrjo: Change Ventures is a venture capital firm focusing on ambitious Baltic (Estonian, Latvian and Lithuanian) founders in the pre-eeed and seed stages of financing. Its portfolio now includes 14 startups. The CV Fund I was a US venture capital fund with 100% high-net-worth US investors. Fund II is a venture capital fund based in Tallinn, Estonia.
Our investors Include E.I.F. from Luxembour, DraperEsprit from the UK, Citadele from Latvia, Multiple Capital from Germany, EVLI Growth Partners from Finland, and Sella Bank from Italy, among others.
CEELM: What was the business case behind this particular investment?
Yrjo: 99Math is building an online math games competition platform for 1-6 graders. Featuring competitions, leagues, and tournaments, 99Math is an exciting way to engage students and motivate math learning and practice. Competitive tournaments and league events encourage repetition and consistent practice — vital for mastering skills in math. Teachers can launch a challenge/tournament with other schools/classrooms with just one click. Currently, the platform is available on a freemium model, but as new features and tools (especially for parents) are developed, 99Math will pursue a business-to-customer monetization strategy.
The 99Math team has been working with teachers and schools during the COVID crisis to encourage practicing math online.
CEELM: What does 99math intend to do with the EUR 500,000 investment.
Yrjo: 99Math received a lot of attention and engagement with its launch of the proof of concept online math league as 14,000 students from 14 nations competed against each other in math tests. Proceeds of this round will be used to launch a fully functional online competition platform and to substantially grow the teacher and student user base.
CEELM: What was Cobalt’s role in this particular deal? Where they involved in negotiations or primarily on documentation?
Yrjo: Cobalt performed the due diligence for 99Math and drafted the deal documentation. They were not involved in business negotiations.
CEELM: Why did you choose to use the firm in particular on this deal?
Yrjo: We have had a very good experience with past deals with Cobalt in all three Baltic states — an excellent response time and outstanding domain expertise.