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First Venture Investment Fund Based in Georgia to Invest $ 50 million in Georgian Technology and Innovation Startups

By Natalia Kochiashvili
Thursday, November 18
The Prime Minister of Georgia Irakli Gharibashvili met with Jonathan Tower, Founder and Managing Partner of the Venture Investment Fund, Catapult VC. The meeting focused on the $50 million funds, Catapult Georgia One, which will be the first venture investment fund based in Georgia. It was noted that the fund will invest in Georgian innovative startups and promote their rapid growth in the global market.

The PM stressed that the Venture Investment Fund is another important step towards establishing the country as a regional innovation hub. According to Gharibashvili, the fund will have the full support of the government, and the Innovation Agency will be one of its important partners.

Special attention was paid to the success of Georgian startups and it was noted that Georgia has made significant progress in creating startups with global potential.

“We discussed the initiative to create a new investment fund in Georgia. We are big supporters of the Georgian ecosystem,” Jonathan Tower, the founder and managing partner of the venture capital fund, Catapult VC, commented, stressing that now is an ideal time to invest in Georgia.

Director of Startup Grind Tbilisi, Co-Director of US Market Access Center, Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development of Georgia and her deputy, and the Chairman of the Innovation and Technology Agency were present at the meeting as well.

Later on, Georgia's Innovation and Technology Agency and Catapult Georgia signed a partnership agreement, according to which Catapult Georgia will invest $ 50 million in Georgian technology and innovation startups, and the Innovation and Technology Agency will contribute $ 5 million to the fund to help the country advance in global markets. The presentation of Catapult Ventures, one of the leading Silicon Valley venture funds, was held in Tbilisi.

According to Mr. Tower’s introduction of the fund's plans, it will help Georgian startups in early-stage financing, as well as attract large American investors and enter the international market. Catapult is a venture capital fund that specializes in investing in emerging technical hubs outside Silicon Valley. They have invested in 100+ companies. The fund's managing partner has invested more than $ 7 billion in returns (Exit), including early investments in (acquired by Walmart for $ 3.5 billion), Dollar Shave Club (acquired by Unilever for $ 1 billion); At Freshly (bought by Nestle for $ 1, 5 billion) at IfOnly (acquired by Mastercard), MapR Technologies (acquired by HP) and many more. His other significant investments include Madison Reed, Qumulo, InsideView,, Zenplace, Kanler, Joy, Manufactured.Net, BillFloat, and many other companies that have become market leaders. Catapult Ventures' partners in Georgia are Startup Grand Tbilisi and US Market Access Center.

The event was attended by the Minister of Economy and Sustainable Development Natia Turnava, the US Ambassador to Georgia Kelly Degnan, the President of the National Bank Koba Gvenetadze, as well as investors, representatives of business associations, and large businesses from Georgia.