On April 28, 2021, CEE Legal Matters reported that ACT Legal Romania had advised Founders Bridge on a EUR 600,000 financing round led by Sparking Capital. CEE In-House Matters spoke with Liviu Munteanu, Partner at Founders Bridge, to learn more about the deal.
CEEIHM: What is the story of the Founders Bridge?
Liviu: It all began in a co-working space in Cluj-Napoca during the fall of 2019 when Adrian Trif (one of my partners in Founders Bridge) and I were talking about our previous investments as business angels, and he mentioned wanting to start a VC fund. That is when I realized we have the same intentions, so I was immediately on board with his idea. We were both so enthusiastic, that it took us exactly one meeting to convince our other three partners from Sweden to join in, and, soon enough, Founders Bridge was born.
Thus, one could say that Founders Bridge was formed in a co-working space, exactly as some of the startups we then invested in.
Over the next year, we studied scores of startups, held dozens of meetings, and managed to build up a budding investment portfolio, despite the business downturn caused by the COVID-19 crisis. We have recently made our first post-pandemic investment and are currently busy processing our deal pipeline to close the next investments.
CEEIHM: Your fund recently participated in an investment round into ProductLead. What made this target particularly attractive?
Liviu: Our value proposition for most of the startups we invest in is to build up their presence in Sweden and use the Nordic market as a stepping stone toward global expansion. That is why we are always looking for startups that have already validated their product on a local market and are ready to scale internationally.
ProductLead is the perfect fit for this vision because their business is ready to grow exponentially by taking advantage of our knowledge and of our connections in the Scandinavian region.
Moreover, the timing of the round (seed stage but close to Series A – our investment “sweet spot”) and the ticket size matched our strategy, hence it was a fairly easy decision to make.
CEEIHM: What are your plans for ProductLead, following the investment?
Liviu: It goes without saying that we see ProductLead as a potential global player in its market, so our plans for its development are long-term.
They have a sound business plan to reach this potential and the right team to implement it. We are putting all our expertise and network behind it so that the implementation timeline will be as short as possible.
For the time being, we are helping out with lead generation in the markets they are currently targeting. Then, we plan to leverage our Swedish roots to establish ProductLead’s presence there. Finally, we will actively engage in attracting investors for a future Series A round that will help build their business worldwide.
CEEIHM: What were some of the legal complexities of this deal and how were they handled?
Liviu: I must say we were glad to find out that ProductLead was built on a solid legal foundation. A lot of it was in place since the pre-seed financing round thanks to Sparking Capital. However, as with most investments, a lot of work still had to be done about the newly created intellectual property, individual employment contracts, and confidentiality agreements.
Because three venture capital funds were involved in the round, the most intricate part was probably the new shareholder agreement, that needed to accurately represent the interests of all parties. That is where the expertise of ACT Legal came in very handy – they deserve accolades for the work they have done assisting Founders Bridge in this transaction.
CEEIHM: Why did you choose ACT Legal as your advisor?
Liviu: The decision to choose ACT Legal as our legal partner was primarily based on their impeccable track record in high-profile transactions and on the experience that I have had with them during previous deals. They proved to be agile, innovative, and result-oriented – all these qualities were essential for negotiating the terms of the ProductLead investment. For that, our full appreciation goes to the excellent team that included Managing Partner Stefan Botezatu and Managing Associate Andrei Hancu.
Originally reported by CEE In-House Matters.