bValue venture capital fund will invest up to 3 million PLN in SEEDiA, the producer of solar benches and innovativesmart city devices. It is the fund’s first investment as part of a new edition of the Bridge Alfa program, conducted jointly with Poland’s National Centre of Research and Development.
SEEDiA is a startup company stemming from Krakow, founded by a young engineer from AGH University of Science and Technology, Piotr Hołubowicz, which was soon joined by Artur Racicki, who previously created Social WiFi. SEEDiA designs and manufactures smart devices for municipal infrastructure, such as benches, stands, stops and furnitures powered by solar panels. All solutions are eco-friendly and equipped with modules allowing to charge mobile devices and provide Wi-Fi access, as well as attach smog sensors, interactive screens or speakers. Their aesthetics and functionality perfectly match the idea of smart cities, and they are already used to improve the quality of citizen’s lives in several Polish cities. During the next 12 months the company plans to install around 300 devices in Poland. The investment by bValue will allow the company to develop new products, increase its existing production productive capacity and support its sales activities.
bValue.vc venture capital fund began its operations in 2016, and represents a unique approach to supporting Polish startups, by offering the best of them access to capital as well as a wide array of experts, entrepreneurs, investors and business angels from Poland and abroad. Through participation in the fund they can take an active part in building the value of the companies from the fund’s portfolio. The goal of the funt is develop Polish technological champions, who will achieve success both within and outside the country’s borders.
“Our solutions are a great fit for both municipal spaces and other sectors of our clients, such as modern offices, shopping centers, airports and stadiums. Strategically we develop more and more in the direction of smart cities and renewable energy, as well as expanding to new markets. Achieving these goals requires vibrant development of our products, as well as logistical and productive capacity. Today we offer 5 design lines targeted to segmented groups of clients. We are currently working on developing our cloud-based services, due to the fact that proper management and data processing are crucial to improving the quality of life of cities’ inhabitants. We want conventional furniture to be pushed out and substituted with smart solutions that make people’s lives better”, says Piotr Hołubowicz.
“We decided to bootstrap our startup from the beginning, so essentially to develop it using our own financial means and operating income. It took a year – during that time, we managed to show our MVP on the market, as well as sell around 30 units of two first models of our benches. Now we would like to invest in R&D and scale our business, and we invited bValue, whom we found the best synergy with, to collaborate with us during this stage. It’s not just about financial means, but about the whole ecosystem and knowledge, that the investor brings with him”, adds Artur Racicki.
“Over the last 10 years the costs of key electronic components dropped to less than a half. This dynamic also applies to solar panels. Those factors, among others, caused a significant push for the Internet of Things (IoT) industry and the increase in number of devices connected by the internet, also in the public space. Startups operating in the smart city sector largely make life easier for inhabitants, as well as provide a valuable source of data for municipal administration and infrastructure managers”, says Maciej Balsewicz, CEO of bValue.vc.
“This project clearly fits into our investment profile and our experience with smart city products. SEEDiA offers solutions that are available to anyone, and make life easier for every one of us. Their products show not only functionality, but also great design and respect for the environment. We believe in projects that solve real problems, because those are the ones that, with proper support, have chances for commercial success”, said Maciej Balsewicz.