Seznam.cz Buys Into StartupYard
Seznam.cz, #1 on the Czech internet, acquires 10% share in StartupYard, a startup accelerator
21 FEBRUARY 2013, PRAGUE, CZECH REPUBLIC
SummarySeznam.cz, the biggest player on the Czech internet, announced the decision to take part in further operation of the seed accelerator StartupYard. By acquiring a 10% share, it has become a strategic partner of the project, and one of its five investors.
Seznam.cz was founded as the first Czech-language web portal by Ivo Lukacovic in 1999. It provides tens of internet services as search, e-mail, video and news to 6.3 million real users monthly. Seznam.cz reported $134 million in revenue in 2011 and has grown to more than 1,000 employees at the end of 2012.
Pavel Zima, CEO of Seznam.cz, said: “Last year, our support to StartupYard was through sharing our know-how and offering free ads in our Sklik system to individual teams. This year we decided to take on the role of the investor as well. We will monitor even more closely the work of the teams and we will engage with them more actively offering our detailed knowledge of the online business milieu of the Czech Republic.”
As a result of the investment, Seznam.cz becomes the fifth shareholder of the Czech branch of StartupYard, joining forces with Credo Ventures (Ondrej Bartos), Michal Illich, Petr Ocasek and recently also Robin Raszka. Throughout the course of the six months to come, these investors will provide mentoring and support to young entrepreneurs on their mission to come up with a viable product, which will achieve profit and attract funding for further development of their companies.
Nikola Rafaj, director of StartupYard, said: “I can say that for last year’s teams the assistance of Seznam.cz was transforming – one of the best mentors according to their ratings. The company helped the teams a lot with service design, user testing and online launch of their projects.”If successful in this year’s selection process, budding entrepreneurs will be invited to a series of meetings with key professionals working for Seznam.cz, who will share the practical experience they have in their respective areas. Each of the teams will also be given $2.500 worth of advertising to promote their product in the Sklik system of Seznam.cz.
StartupYard is a seed accelerator for technology startups. Its goal is to help companies build viable products, launch fast and successfully raise capital. It follows the philosophy, methodology, and standard of world-class accelerators such as Y Combinator or TechStars.
StartupYard’s efforts were awarded by membership in the Global Accelerator Network in June 2012, and it is a member of StartupYard Accelerator Consortium CeedTech. Since September 2011 StartupYard has accelerated 29 companies, out of which 4 were acquired, 19 are still active, and 10 have raised investments for a total of $2.5 Million. For more information, read our blog, visit our website and follow @startupyard on Twitter.