Read all about recent events

News

Media presence and investment projects

Think bold

THINK BOLD by Michał Wincewicz

In this edited conversation Dariusz Lewandowski, CEO of ARIA Fund S.A., explores Private Equity sector in Poland. 

Let us first explain what Private Equity is.

Private Equity is medium or long-term financing of private companies that are not yet traded on a stock exchange. Such funding can be used to either start a new business or expand its operation; to partially or wholly buy out an existing business, or to revitalize it.

How can one benefit from Private Equity Fund beside the subsidy itself?

The support we offer far exceeds a simple capital investment. We are actively involved in building the success of companies we invest in. Our hands-on approach often means personally appearing on a construction site of a new factory, for instance. Our team consists of experts in various field – law, finance, marketing, strategy or communication, hence we are able to provide support and experience in many areas. It is exactly those experts, who make it possible to understand the potential of a company, trying to find a fix for a long-term success, and, at the same time, minimize the associated risk. One should bare in mind that we often deal with complex stories that cannot be directly read from financial statements. Our priority is to learn and understand both the history and the people behind it.

How does a Private Equity Fund operate?

First of all, it must be said that Private Equity is not shifting money from one pocket to another, as is often the case of funds selling products to one another. The money invested by our company goes directly to companies and funds their development. We are active investors, not leaving the company’s future to fate.

The profit from such investments does not come straight away.

Both in life and in business a good effect takes time. Private Equity investments and returns from such investments are associated with a 3-5-year exit. This makes their valuations more resilient to short-term fluctuations and more often reflect the intrinsic value of the company. Stock exchange investments are much more prone to economic booms and busts.

You mentioned a long-term exit strategy. Is it worth waiting up to 5 or 10 years for a profit?

It is how long it takes for the capital invested to work and translate into value creation, and thus to multiply. The investment horizon is longer than with shares and bonds, but it is rewarded with a higher return on the future resale.

What role in a professional investor’s portfolio can a Private Equity investment make?

First of all, globally, Private Equity is no longer an alternative way of investing money. We forecast that this will soon become reality in Poland too, as such investments are nowadays a mandatory rather than an alternative element in the portfolio of any professional investor. Moreover, such an investment proves also a diversification of risk. Returns from Private Equity are not strongly correlated with stocks and bonds, so when stock prices fall, it is very likely that we will continue to record good results.

Yet, Private Equity market in Poland remains largely unexplored.

We are perfectly aware of this fact and we see an opportunity in this, because we strive to change the perception of this market and give it a completely new quality as a management entity. ARIA is all about absolute transparency – the principles of our work are clear and always openly communicated to our investors.

What type of companies are you interested in?

ARIA selects companies with a strong competitive advantage that are not yet listed in the public market; have high growth potential, clear and credible development strategies, but are in need for a capital surge to assure dynamic growth. We are interested in data, communication, electronics, fintech, e-commerce, as well as construction, biotechnology and pharmaceutical technologies. ARIA follows an “opportunity project” approach, that is to say, we take advantage of opportunities resulting from existing market conditions.

Can unconventional approach guarantee outstanding results?

In my opinion, only by moving beyond the frames can one offer more than others. Unique projects we decide to invest money in, often have a huge competitive advantage, and most importantly, can compete with large players internationally. I also have to add that ARIA does not invest in companies that are just starting out and their success is uncertain. We choose companies that are already thriving in the market, have a stable structure but need support – not only financial one, but often strategic, legal or marketing.

What is your recipe for success in business?

Our philosophy puts relationships first. I firmly believe that without mutual understanding we are unable to build the very much needed trust. We are not simply interested in signing the contract and leaving the rest to fate. We want to know every story, people and their motivations. We try to keep close relationships with our investors, business owners as well as employees, because it gives us the ability to respond to problems and obstacles in a quick, and most importantly, accurate fashion.

Such an approach is very rare on the market.

ARIA generally demonstrates an unconventional approach to business. We focus on clear rules, try to avoid incomprehensible financial jargon, and know all the ins and outs of our investments. We want to show that fund management can be transparent and plain for the participant to grasp.

Still, nothing in business is a given.

Of course there are no guarantees when it comes to investment market, and good intentions are just not enough. Yet, thanks to a rigorous selection process, we are able to single out projects that exhibit the greatest potential for success and thus minimize risk through various types of collateral. Besides, in business, you need courage, which should never be confused with bravado. This is an excellent testimony to the keynote that guides us – “You think. Think bold. “

First effects of ARIA and Survicate collaboration

“Survicate meets its objectives. This is reflected primarily in the results.” – Seweryn Zolyniak, ARIA Financial Analyst.

Two months after ARIA started the collaboration with  Survicate, the internet survey company is experiencing growth. The key performance indicator for Software as a Service (SaaS)  – the Monthly Recurring Revenue (MRR) – has  increased by 15% since the investment contract had been signed off.

It is also worth mentioning that Survicate was classified 11th in the ranking of the most user friendly surveying programs.

This is an optimistic result. Survicate has ambitions to become a global player, and the easy-to-use, intuitive tool that it offers, makes it highly competitive”, comments Kacper Bujalski, Venture Partner at ARIA.

In addition, I am pleased to announce, that we have successfully recruited an International Sales Director. This position will greatly contribute to the global expansion“, he adds.

Survicate exists on the market since 2013. The application allows you to quickly conduct research and gather feedback from customers about the websites.

Revolution in sports is coming – Fitto

Instead of wondering what supplement I need, when to take it and when to find the time to shop, I  just use Fitto.

 

 

In July, LeADSportAccelerator, endorsed by ARIA, chose the best start-ups, which entered the finals of the program. Hence, we start presenting the projects that impressed us the most.

Fitto is an IoT (Internet of Things) start-up established by Ari Friedrich and Yaniva Levi. The creators themselves refer to it as “connected nutrition”.

To use Fitto, all you jneed is to set your profile in the app, buy the capsules and drink them according to Smart Bottle Recommendation. The bottle informs the user when and  what nutrients to take and keeps track of the level of hydration and consumption. Capsules with nutrients and supplements are selected for individual training plans during the carried out by the app. In addition, the application synchronises the user activity data from other sports applications and the takes the input from the smart bottle

The founders of Fitto, despite their young age, are well-known in the industry and have worked, among others for Intel and Anobit, the latter being a semiconductor start-up, bought by Apple for about $ 500,000,000.

Visit Fitto website

3E SYSTEM AT BEX/MCE ASIA 2017 IN SINGAPORE

Minister Lawrence Wong at the opening ceremony of BEX and MCE Asia 2016.  Source: straproperty.my

This September, 3E System will take part in the largest green building market fair in Asia. MCE/BEX Asia 2017 in Singapore will be an opportunity to showcase among international exhibitors of innovative and energy efficient building solutions.

“3E System attracts more and more attention. Our participation is a response to the growing number of inquiries coming from this part of the world,” says Dariusz Lewandowski, managing director of ARIA Fund. “We are planning a series of business meetings with potential investors, contractors and architects from that region,” adds Łukasz Czapliński, director of development of the 3E System.

Both gentlemen will also meet with local media.

We will be covering BEX/MCE event for you so stay tuned!

ARIA @ LeAD Sports Accelerator in Berlin

Opportunity to meet 40 disruptive entrepreneurs and challenge them to make their ideas even better feels just great – said Michał Gocłowski ARIA’s Marketing Director.

On the 6th and 7th of July ARIA, represented by Michal Goclowski, was invited to mentor during Selection Days of the leAD accelerator program.

First edition of leAD attracted 480 applicants and 41 came to pitch in front of the experts, surpassing all expectations.

The uniqueness of the leAD comes from it’s precise targeting. It is all about sports start-ups and innovation within sports industry which is easy to understand, as the Adidas founder’s Adi Dassler’s grandsons are among the accelerators backers.

Furthermore the attention to detail, such as the choice of Funkhouse venue or yoga energy breaks make the event stand out even more.

 

It was very intense yet rewarding time. Opportunity to meet 40 disruptive entrepreneurs and challenge them to make their ideas even better feels just great – said Michał Gocłowski ARIA’s Marketing Director.

Poland was represented by a very interesting startup – Ronzo.pl – a producer of super food nutrition for athletes using proteins from crickets.

After two days packed with 20 min. speed dates the jury consisting of the founders and backers revealed the list of the finalists which will move to Berlin in mid September to work on their projects with experts and mentors thus becoming part of leAD accelerator.

The finalists are:

 

  1. Skinners – sports gear, new kind of footwear
  2. Unit 1 – sport gear, sports headphones
  3. Winmill– IoT, a training tool for hockey
  4. fitto nutrition – IoT consumer healt, nutrition solution from Israel
  5. reachbird – sports management, marketing tool for social media
  6. accuwear – IoT, innovative position tracking system
  7. bstoked – market place, platform for sports bookings
  8. Bioboards LandSurf – sports gear skate/surfboard hybrid with innovative sensors
  9. Venuzle –sports management, sports venu management software
  10. 2020 armor – connected devices, sensor packed body armor for combat fights
  11. Evolve Basketball – sports app, virtual training app
  12. Sentier Adventure Gear – sports gear, traveling bag made for bikers
  13. Valtik Foods – sports nutrition, hydration drink from Columbia
  14. starting11 – sports app, daily fantasy soccer app with real time substitutions
  15. The Movement Athlete, sports app – exercise app for bodyweight movement disciplines
  16. Wingfield, IoT – app and tracking system for golfers
  17. ForwardGame AR – augmented reality running game
  18. WhoKnowsWins, sports betting – social betting platform
  19. Horse Analytics , IoT – horse monitoring system

For more go to leadsportsaccelerator.com

ARIA in the media

Last week the special purpose vehicle of ARIA New Technologies signed an agreement with Survicate.

W ubiegłym tygodniu spółka celowa funduszu ARIA Nowych Technologii FIZ AN, podpisała umowę inwestycyjną ze spółką rozwijającą projekt Survicate. This is the second project financed these past two months – the first one was an online marketplace – yestersen. The investment attracted the interest of both Polish and foreign media. Information about both the transaction and Survicate appeared, among others, in Rzeczpospolita and on mamstartup.pl

We invite you to watch an interview with Kamil Rejent, CEO of Survicate, on Rzeczpospolita TV as well as to read some interesting articles in English:

150sec.com
eu-startups.com
whogotfunded.com

 

the special purpose vehicle of ARIA New Technologies signs an agreement with Survicate.

We are confident that thanks to the capital provided by the fund, Survicate will become one of the top 5 global players. We are calm about its future and stable development – Dariusz Lewandowski, CEO of ARIA.

On June 29, 2017, a group of investors, including the special purpose vehicle of ARIA New Technology FIZ AN, signed an investment agreement with the company developing the Survicate project. The Company will issue new shares that will be paid by the investors, and amounting to PLN 3.6m. The leading investor of this round of funding was the special purpose vehicle of the ARIA New Technology FIZ AN fund, investing PLN 2.6 million, while the contribution of the remaining group amounted to PLN 1 million. Thus the Fund will also become Survicate’s biggest investor.

Survicate is a tool for collecting customer feedback. Its basic functionality is non-invasive surveys displayed to web users. Opinions are also collected through questionnaires and surveys posted in e-mails.
Currently it is the only comprehensive tool for collecting customer feedback for small and medium-sized businesses. Competition mostly offers single functions or focuses on corporations, providing products that are very complicated and expensive.

Company’s clients are located in more than 70 countries, including markets such as Peru, New Zealand and Colombia. Survicate users include PZU, Castorama, Oberlo, District of Columbia Public Schools and Booksy.
Survicate works in the SaaS model (Software as a Service). This means that the application runs in the cloud – it is hosted on the company’s servers and made available to users over the Internet, eliminating the need for software installation on the client’s computer. It is also a modern way to generate revenue, as customers pay a software subscription fee, giving the company a steady stream of revenue.

A year ago, the Survicate team focused primarily on product development. Today the application is already refined and proven, and the number of customers and revenue is growing at a very fast pace. The invested capital will be devoted to further product development and intensive marketing and sales activities.

– We are convinced that thanks to the capital brought by the Fund, the company will become one of the top 5 global players. We are calm about its future and stable development – said Dariusz Lewandowski, the CEO ARIA Fund.

In the previous round the company collected roughly € 115 000. Innovation Nest, Huge Thing and Alpha Capital fund were among its investors.

Between 11:20 and 12.00 on the 5th of July Kamil Rejent, Survicate CEO will be the guest of Rzeczpospolita TV.

Survicate’s media coverage:

https://retailnet.pl/2016/10/21/112834-survicate-analityka-wskazuje-problem-a-ankieta-przyczyne/
https://www.supermonitoring.pl/blogpl/wejrzyj-mysli-twojego-klienta-survicate/
http://mamstartup.pl/inside/10334/osiagamy-miesieczny-przychod-w-wysokosci-12-tys-dolarow-podsumowanie-roku-survicate
https://www.g2crowd.com/categories/survey/top/small-business/products

ARIA CEO, Dariusz Lewandowski interviewed by newseria.pl

We are confident that Yestersen can become a leading player in the European market.

In an interview with news agency Newseria, ARIA CEO, Dariusz Lewandowski analyzes the situation of startups looking for financing and shares the vision of the development of ARIA’s yestersen.pl – online vintage furniture sales platform. Video below.

Original news in Polish

State of the Art 3E System components factory completion phase

The construction of a modern 3E System factory is coming to an end in Radomsko, central Poland. Aerial photographs made by drones depict silos structures, production halls, storage sheds and perlite expansion furnaces. The factory’s  capacity shall meet the global demand in the first few years.

The factory does not emit harmful substances , fully automates the production and uses the heat generated during processing of the perlite to provide optimum thermal conditions in the maturing warehouse. This makes it eco-friendly, economical and energy-efficient, just like 3E System. The start of production is planned for the last quarters of this year.

BMW Golf Business League 2017 reaches its midpoint

Source: http://biznes-liga.pl/

BMW Golf Business League 2017 reaches its midpoint in Sobienie Krolewskie, this week.

So far the series took place in Wrocław and  Olsztyn and there are still 3 competitions to be held; Tricity (Gdansk, Sopot, Gdynia), Czestochowa and Wroclaw.

Apart from being the league’s partner, ARIA provides prizes for the best in the “closest to the pin”contest. The object is to be the golfer that hits the ball closest to the hole for the day. The prize in Sobienie Krolewskie went to Mr.Andrzej Macygon, who scored 2.24 m at the hole no. 12. Congratulations! For more news related to the BMW Golf Business League 2017 click here.