Istanbul-based Revo Capital Management, founded in 2013, has invested Turkish lira (TRY) 14mn (€2mn) in 3D augmented reality startup CY Vision, according to local media reports.
CY Vision is part of Turkey’s “native and national” programme to deliver the country’s first domestically designed and produced car. It is taking responsibility for the project’s hologram technology mission, Cenk Bayrakdar of Revo told business daily Dunya.
Turkey’s “native and national” car project is one of the most crackbrained ways of allocating Turkish public resources ever devised but it has provided income guarantees—given, please note, prior to the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak—for companies without certain ethical constraints.
A better project would be reinventing the wheel in Anatolia before embarking on the road to a “native and national” automobile, but at the end of the day, whatever the project’s contours, there are serious question marks at the moment as to whether President Recep Tayyip Erdogan will have the economic wherewithal to allocate public funds to meet the fantasies of his cultured middle-class.
For added comedy value, let’s not forget how a prototype was imported from Italy last December in order to make possible a sensational promotional ceremony to announce the “fully electric” automotive ambitions.
The talk was that the “native and national” car was to hit the highway prior to the next presidential election, but given the corona conundrum and Turkey’s economic mayhem, there’s no guessing when that will be. Don’t rule out next week, or a generation from now should the country go “full regime”.
No engine, Italian body
“Inshallah, we’ll solve the engine issue too in a few years,” Erdogan said at the ceremony.
We just couldn't run that picture big enough.
So, although the “native and national” car lacks an engine, it has an Italian body, the will, all being well, of Allah behind it, and, not long from now, a “holographic assistant” feature, if media reports that imply CY Vision is set to develop it or import it, prove free of error.
Vestel (owned by a prominent devotee of Erdogan, Ahmet Nazif Zorlu), Koc Holding’s Inventram and US-based Intel Capital also have stakes in CY. Everybody has joined the gang. An Erdogan businessman, an early Turkish Republic bourgeois, a multinational and the harbingers of hefty public finance. The only thing missing—can we stress this enough?—is an engine as Intel could provide the hologram.
In March, Revo Capital Fund II achieved a first closing with over €41mn in capital commitments, and CY was its first investment. The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), EIF, Enerjisa, Finberg, QNB Finansbank and Yildiz Ventures are among the participants in Revo’s second fund.
Revo has investments in 22 ventures, including e-invoicer Foriba (sold to US-based Sovos), Skyatlas (a cloud infrastructure provider sold to Istanbul-based Kartaca) and delivery service application Getir. Revo Capital Fund I took in $66mn.
Ah, good, now we are fairly motoring away from the “native and national” car (registered with the European Union's Intellectual Property Office, or EUIPO, donchaknow).
Last month, Getir was awarded a contract to defy the coronavirus with the delivery of 300,000 Istanbul Governorship food support packages to 50,000 senior citizens. No tender, as per usual, was held and no price information was disclosed, but local media reported that Getir would finance 10,000 packages worth TRY1.5mn from its own resources.
Investments in Turkish startups remained flat at $19.8mn in the first quarter compared to $19.6mn in Q1 2019, but that was before Turkey joined the world as a fully paid-up member of the coronavirus fiasco, according to data from local startup portal Startups.Watch.
As if it needed saying, a dramatic fall is expected in the second quarter, although Turkish statisticians do tend to come up with some very curious official statistics.
A total of 27 startups attracted investments in Q1 versus 13 a year ago, while 78% of investments were below $1mn versus 82% in Q1 2019.
In Q1 this year, $4mn was invested in seed-funding-stage start-ups while $11mn went to early-stage and $5mn to late-stage.
Seven software companies attracted a total of $10.4mn, two fintechs got $5.2mn, three proptechs (property technology enterprises) raised $5.1mn, five artificial intelligence companies landed $4.7mn and three deep-techs brought in $4.2mn.
In February, Amazon acquired San Francisco-based data processing firm DataRow from Istanbul-based parent TeamSQL for an undisclosed sum.
The top 10 fundraisers—accounting for 91% of a total $19.8mn that went to Turkish startups in the first quarter—were Apsiyon (launched in 2009, it provides an online platform for property managers and it was 240th on the Deloitte Fast 500 EMEA 2018 ranking), Thundra (launched in 2017, it offers application observability and a security platform), App Samurai (mobile advertising platform), Vispera (launched in 2014, visual intelligence for retail), Biolive, PriSync, Mutlubiev, Temizlikyolda, Jib Games and Otsimo.
Three new angel and venture capital funds, namely Revo Capital II, ScaleX Ventures and Teknoloji Yatirim (TTGV1 Co-investment Fund) were established in Turkey in Q1.
|Jan-20||SODA, ANACM, TRKCM, DENCM||-||-||Sisecam||Merger|
|Jan-20||McDonald's Turkey||100%||TRY281mn||Birlesik Holding||Anadolu Group|
|Jan-20||Sanovel||30%||$200mn||Yamma Investments||Toksoz Group|
|Jan-20||Total, M Oil||100%||$360mn||Oyak||Demiroren|
|Jan-20||JCR Eurasia||85.05%||-||Consortium||Japan Credit Rating Agency|
|Jan-20||Intourist||100%||-||Anex Tour||Thomas Cook|
|Jan-20||Halkbank||1.5mn||TRY6.76- 6.81||@Borsa Istanbul||Halkbank|
|Jan-20||Gunes Sigorta||27mn||TRY2.28-2.45||@Borsa Istanbul||Vakifbank|
|Jan-20||Goulette Shipping Cruise||100%||-||GPH - MSC||-|
|Jan-20||Neckermann||100%||-||Anex Tour||Thomas Cook|
|Dec-19||Istanbul Gida||100%||TRY77mn||Yasar Serdengecti||Ulker Biskuvi|
|Dec-19||Is Invest||0.226mn||TRY4.49-4.55||@Borsa Istanbul||Isbank|
|Dec-19||Is Invest||0.162mn||TRY4.29-4.36||@Borsa Istanbul||Isbank|
|Dec-19||Adana, Aslan, Bolu, Mardin, Unye||OYAK||Merger|
|Dec-19||SOCAR Polymer||10%||-||Tekfen Holding||Socar-Pasha Holding|
|Dec-19||Gunes S., Halk S., Ziraat S., Halk H., Ziraat H., Vakif E.||TVF||Ziraat Bank, Halkbank, Vakifbank|
|Dec-19||Vakifbank||51.85%||TRY2.83bn||Treasury||Directorate of Foundations|
|Nov-19||Yapi Kredi||9.02%||TRY1.41bn||Koc Holding||UniCredit|
|Nov-19||Bucher Reisen & Oger Tours||100%||-||Anex Tour||Thomas Cook|
|Nov-19||Istanbul Tower||100%||$594mn||ICBC Turkey||Yesil REIT|
|Sep-19||Air Manas||49%||€98,000||Avia Trade||Pegasus|
|Aug-19||Temsa Machinery||41%||-||Marubeni||Sabanci Holding|
|Jun-19||TSKB REIT||0.142 mn||TSKB||@Borsa Istanbul|
|Jun-19||Coca Cola Icecek||0.16mn/0.07%||TRY30.3||@Borsa Istanbul||Ozgorkey Holding|
|May-19||Temsa Bus Light Truck||100%||TRY375mn||True Value Capital||Sabanci Holding|
|May-19||Parasut||-||-||Turkven, Early Bird||Revo, Ribbit|
|May-19||Ictas Surdurulebilir||-||$100mn||EBRD||IC Energy Holding|