BlackPeak Capital plans to invest up to €40 million to support the development of fast-growing SMEs in Croatia
The announcement was made public during an event held on November 29th, 2023, at the WESPA Business & Lounge in Zagreb. Attended by leading Croatian companies, banks, VC/PE funds, M&A advisors, law firms, investors, and other members of the ecosystem, the event was an exciting opportunity to share BlackPeak's vision for the future.
At the event, BlackPeak introduced Mateo Žokalj, Senior Investment Associate, based in Zagreb, who will oversee BlackPeak's investment activities in Croatia. Žokalj is a professional with versatile experience in different aspects of Investment, Finance, and Academia. Prior to joining BlackPeak Capital, he was with InterCapital Securities, where he was responsible for deal execution, financial modelling, as well as financial and sector analysis.
The event proceeded to a panel discussion moderated by Mirna Marović, Founder and CEO of the Croatian Private Equity and Venture Capital Association. Among the panelists were founders from two of BlackPeak's portfolio companies - Luka Komazec, Founder and CEO of Resalta, the leading Central and Eastern European energy efficiency and C&I renewables company, and Matej Javorek, owner of Pick & Pack, a leading e-commerce fulfillment provider in Croatia and a part of euShipments, the leading SEE integrator of logistical services.
During the event, in an online poll, organized by Mirna Marovic, Founder & CEO of Croatian Private Equity and Venture Capital Association, respondents provided the following insights on the state of the SEE private equity market:
Asked what is the most significant way private equity investments accelerate company growth in their view:
- 54% believe expanding business connections and market reach is the most significant way private equity investments accelerate company growth.
- 31% emphasize the importance of leveraging the knowledge and strategic expertise of private equity firms.
Perception of the current trends in private equity:
- 34% believe Cautious market adjustments: The market is becoming more cautious with adjusted deal structures, and valuations.
- At the same time 34% see regional growth potential and notable growth opportunities in SouthEastern Europe.
Key expectations for the private equity market in 2024:
- 52% see a potential shift in sector focus: Predicting a shift in investment focus toward sectors less sensitive to economic downturns or geopolitical issues.
- 32% expect resilience and steady investment levels: Expecting the private equity market to demonstrate resilience and maintain investment levels, supported by the significant dry powder in private equity funds.
Last year, BlackPeak Capital successfully completed the final closing of its €126 million Southeast Europe Growth Equity Fund. The fund, based in Luxembourg, is backed by the European Investment Fund, the EBRD, the IFC, and other European private institutional investors with a strong foundation in place, BlackPeak is well-positioned to make a significant impact in Croatia and the region.
BlackPeak's investment plans in Croatia align with the firm's commitment to supporting innovative and successful companies that are making a positive economic, social, and environmental impact in the region. Among BlackPeak’s investments are two of the FT1000 fastest growing European companies – the Slovenian biotech leader GenePlanet, and euShipments. In addition, BlackPeak has invested in Telelink Infra Services, a leading provider of infrastructure and digitalization solutions for the UK and German markets, and Verdino Green Foods, a Romanian plant-based meat and fish alternatives company, whose products generate 90% less CO2 emissions compared to the traditional meat industry.
‘We are very excited to be able to invest on the Croatian market as we meet outstanding entrepreneurs, who are not afraid to compete against their global peers’ said Rossen Ivanov, Managing Partner at BlackPeak Capital. ‘We are already in discussion with a number of potential investees and hope to be able to complete our first deal in Croatia in 2024.’ – Ivanov added.
Žokalj highlighted BlackPeak’s belief that there are many prospective companies in Croatia across fast-growing sectors that have the potential to become regional and European leaders in their industries. He also added ‘By teaming up with ambitious founders, we are confident in providing value to companies by leveraging on our know-how, experience, network, and past successes. BlackPeak’s regional presence enables us to support our investees in a faster regional and global scale up, both organically and through acquisitions.’