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Livespace development strategy implementation

Team reinforcement and product development on the company’s agenda

Livespace, a new portfolio company of ARIA New Technology Fund, will focus on product development coupled with intensified marketing and sales activities with one objective in mind – fivefold growth over two years, largely through foreign expansion.

Only last week did ARIA Fund management sign an investment contract with Livespace (company offering new generation CRM software) and team immediately reached for strategy implementation.

People are essential to Livespace, hence the company has currently several ongoing recruitment processes for specialised positions in sales and marketing. Among the candidates sought are: developers, testers, business developers, inbound and growth marketers.

“We’re hiring a dream team. By the end of the year we hope to recruit the best marketing, sales and tech specialists the market has to offer, and thus prepare for global expansion,” says Michał Skurkowski, CEO of Livespace. “We’re also about to introduce major changes to the product itself. These changes will allow our customers to improve control over company’s managing and sales optimisation processes,” explains Skurkowski.

The complete team will continue working on system functionalities for reporting, integration, as well as machine learning and artificial intelligence. Machine learning is a field of computer science that gives computers the ability to learn without being explicitly programmed – self improvement due to automated processes of data acquisition and analysis. These innovations simplify and enhance both team management and sales processes, excluding arduous and repetitive activities.

Later this year, Livespace plans to expand its sales to English and Russian-speaking markets. Dynamic growth of the company is expected to take place in the first quarter of 2018.

“Livespace authors have a realistic vision for development,” says Dariusz Lewandowski, ARIA Fund S.A. President. “Livespace already stands out in the market for automation of sales processes, contact management, machine learning and user interface friendliness. The capital raised as well as the support offered by our experts guarantees dynamic growth. It’s a sound investment, from our perspective,” concludes Lewandowski.

 

ARIA Fund at WebSummit 2017

Marta Walendzewicz, Kacper Bujalski & Dariusz Lewandowski at WebSummit 2017, Lisbon, Portugal.

 

60k specialists, 20k companies and 3k journalists from over 170 countries, including our team members – that’s WebSummit in numbers. The largest and most important event combining the world of new technologies with that of business and finance has just come to and end in Lisbon, Portugal. Survicate, one of our portfolio projects, proved a great attraction among the attendees.

There is a sound reason why WebSummit attracts the biggest business sharks, hosting companies such as Amazon, Adobe and Tinder. Over the years, the event has helped to identify some of the most recognisable entrepreneurial gems in the world; one of them being Uber. “This small company” from San Francisco, after WebSummit 2011, has raised $37 million in record funding and become the industry behemoth it is today, operating in over 600 cities all over the world.

This year’s exhibitors included our portfolio brand, Survicate. The company developed an all-in-one customer feedback tool focused on SMB, which offers 5 solutions: targeted website surveys, user-initiated feedback widgets, one-click email surveys, NPS email surveys and questionnaires. Survicate founders showcased an improved version of their SDK survey system. Over 300 people signed up for the SDK test; long before the conference began.

“Survicate enjoyed a great deal of interest,” reports Dariusz Lewandowski, President of ARIA Fund S.A. “It only proves we did well by investing in the company. They offer a product for which there is a high demand and a clearly defined development strategy.”

ARIA’s team, including Dariusz Lewandowski (CEO), Kacper Bujalski (Venture Partner) and Marta Walendzewicz (Investment Analyst), took part in WebSummit’s Office and Mentor Hours, a series of short prescheduled meetings that facilitate interaction between investors and startups. They were also selected to participate in an exclusive meeting held by the Prime Minister of Portugal, on an old naval ship. The team took the opportunity to talk about potential cooperation with funds representing Silicon Valley (USA).

Will ARIA Fund’s visit to WebSummit 2017 result in new investments? We’ll be answering the question soon.

ARIA New Technology Fund invests in Livespace

Livespace plans to expand globally, quintuple business growth over 2 years’ span, and use artificial intelligence in the sales process.

A special purpose vehicle of ARIA New Technology Non-Public Assets Closed-End Fund (CEF) signed an investment agreement with Livespace yesterday. The company has developed a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software that automates sales process and tells managers what steps to take to improve the results, and thus speeds up their workflow up to ten times.

The capital will allow Livespace to fund further development of their sales automation technology, focusing on advanced reporting and integration systems, as well as machine learning and artificial intelligence. The latter undeniably is the future of the IT industry – alongside the Internet of things, virtual and augmented reality. According to Gartner, by 2020, the global artificial intelligence market will reach $ 5 billion.

“We’ve been following market trends closely and hence took interest in Livespace,” says Dariusz Lewandowski, ARIA Fund president. “Livespace offers software solution which not only improves communication with customers, but also analyses sales processes and suggests what actions to take in order to achieve best results. The vision of AI based product development is a bull’s eye,” Lewandowski adds.

“Funding aside, Livespace will also receive full support from our experts in law, finance and marketing. Together with Livespace team they will continue to grow the buisness on all a/b levels,” says Lewandowski.

“We want every company to achieve predictable and scalable revenue. That’s why we’ve created a CRM software that enables our sales teams to streamline and automate sales process, and with artificial intelligence they will achieve much better results,” says Michał Skurowski, CEO of Livespace. “Funding provided by ARIA New Technology Fund will enable us to create world’s best B2B sales management tool for small and medium-sized businesses. This, in turn, will strengthen our position as the leader in the CRM market in Poland and accelerate foreign expansion,” emphasises Skurowski.

 

ARIA Fund is a Polish, independent and original fund management company. The company manages ARIA New Technology Non-Public Assets CEF, which invests in tech companies past their early development stage. Among the portfolio companies are Survicate, Yestersen and Livespace. (ARIA Fund S.A. manages ARIA New Technology Non-Public Assets CEF as commissioned by Saturn Investment Fund Association).

Livespace is the next generation of CRM software, improving the productivity of B2B sales teams. It helps companies grow faster by streamlining and automating the sales process. Livespace is used by numerous companies both in Poland and abroad, ranging from finance, automotive and advertising businesses, to media and IT.

3E System at MEC and BEX Asia – video

We are about to sign a contract with 3E Poland to build the first house in 3E block in New Zealand.

I think that the System is wonderful and its disruptive technology will bring value to the construction industry.

In September ARIA presented for the second time this year the 3E System at the construction fair. After “World of Concrete” in Las Vegas, it was time fot BEX (Build Eco Expo) and MCE (Mostra Convegno Expocomfort) Asia in Singapore. Industry experts from the Eastern Hemisphere discovered the secrets of the 3E System, appreciating its technology, declaring their willingness to cooperate and sign contracts. Go to the video.

ARIA in Berlin

Source: leADSportsAccelerator.com

“It was fruitful two days, during which we met with interesting companies looking for an investor like ARIA. We talked with LeAD about the way the German startup scene works and the future cooperation. We are back inspired yet convinced that there is a lot going on in Poland ” – Dariusz Lewandowski, CEO of ARIA.

 

The leAD accelerator (Legacy of Adi Dassler) entered the final stage. 16 companies selected in July arrived in Berlin and started an intensive training program. Only the best ones, which we will be revealed in December, will receive a grant.

“As a part of a partnership with LeAD, we have participated in an expert-investor round to advise and mentor the companies. We have encountered several innovative projects, three of which we think have tremendous potential. In addition, we have had the opportunity to visit Future of Food conference, where we have met many interesting businessmen and got know the latest trends “- Kacper Bujalski, ARIA Venture Partner.

“It was fruitful two days during which we met with interesting companies looking for an investor like ARIA. We talked with LeAD about the way the German startup scene works and the future cooperation. We are back inspired yet convinced that there is a lot going on in Poland. ” – concluded Dariusz Lewandowski.

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