Led by Mammad Karim, a prominent figure in the startup ecosystem, Caucasus Ventures has quickly emerged as a successful player in Azerbaijan's business landscape. With a capital of 11.3 million manats, the fund attracted investments from various entities. The Innovation and Digital Development Agency invested 5 million manats, "PASHA Holding" Group of Companies contributed 5 million manats, and individual entrepreneurs added 1.3 million manats to the fund's capital. The primary objective of Caucasus Ventures is to invest in startups both locally and within the wider region.
Following its public launch, Caucasus Ventures announced that it would commence investing in startups from February 2023. True to their word, the fund has already begun investing, with three startups successfully securing investments. The fund's main focus is on startups in the Caucasus, Turkey, Eastern Europe, and Central Asia. In particular, they are keen to invest in Software as a Service (SaaS), Fintech, and other startups operating within these regions.
Caucasus Ventures adopts a two-stage investment approach. In the first stage, startups can receive investments of up to $50,000, while in the second stage, the investment cap is set at $200,000. The fund's initial investments have been made in three startups: Turan APP, Tested Web, and Magic Port.
Turan APP offers a commission-free money transfer service between countries within the Turkic world. Founded in Istanbul, the startup expanded its operations outside of Turkey for the first time by launching in Azerbaijan. Özgür Bayraktar is the founder of this innovative startup.
Tested Web, founded by Azerbaijani entrepreneur Yagub Rahimov based in the United States, is an online review platform that utilizes artificial intelligence to detect and eliminate fake reviews, ensuring credibility and reliability.
Magic Port, led by Ali Gara, another Azerbaijani entrepreneur, provides a range of collaborative tools for ship owners, managers, and personnel, with a primary focus on the Singapore market.
The selection criteria for investments made by Caucasus Ventures prioritize startups founded by Azerbaijanis or those that bring substantial benefits to Azerbaijan. This approach aims to support local entrepreneurship and drive economic growth.
Caucasus Ventures has engaged with over 70 startup founders from Azerbaijan, Turkey, Kazakhstan, and Uzbekistan. While only three startups have secured investments thus far, ongoing meetings suggest that more investment opportunities are on the horizon. With the current capital, the fund anticipates having investment opportunities for the next 5-7 years.
Startups interested in receiving investment from Caucasus Ventures can apply online through the fund's official website, caucasus.vc. The application process is straightforward, allowing startups to directly submit their investment proposals and showcase their potential to the fund.