Croatia

Croatia has a developing business angles scene, with many changes and new business angels entering the market. Due to the lack of activity of national business angels associations (BANs), there is no actual statistics on the count of the business angels. The last estimate provided by an inactive BAN, CRANE, is 60 business angles in 2021.  

According to recent estimates, the number of business angels seems to have almost doubled since 2019, counting approximately 100 business angels. From that count, approximately 20 business angels are serial entrepreneurs, with a track record of scaling, and, in the same cases, their businesses. That new generation of current and former founders is a driving force in developing the Croatian business angel investing and startup ecosystem. Besides current and former founders, many successful businessmen and women, including high-net-worth individuals, have entered the business of angel investing since 2021.  

Nevertheless, the approximate number of business angels investments in Croatia is 40 – 50 made by a single business angel investment. Only 20 – 30 business angels have invested in the portfolio of companies with approximately 10 or so investments. 

Signs of Market Maturation: The Croatian business angles investment is evolving. The most encouraging development is the entry of the former and current successful founders and serial entrepreneurs who have already, or are about to, realise great exits in the market. Those founders and serial entrepreneurs ensure that talent and capital flywheels contribute to further growth and development of the market.

Existing BA Networks - BAN and recent initiatives

CRANE has been active since 2008 andhas been heavily promoting the business angles investing in Croatia for approximately a decade. Wednesday monthly startup pitches were well-known and established by the industry. Over the course of years, CRANE made 20-30 investments, averaging EUR 2 million per year. Since 2019, their activities slowed down and less business angels investments have been done.

In 2019-2021, there was an attempt action to establish a parallel BAN supported by the World Business Angels Forum. Although this initiative had potential, many factors contributed that it was not successful in establishing a new or alternative BAN with active business angels and investment process.

Keymon angels, a global women BAN also attempted to structure local women BAN in 2020 by implementing the Business angels academy for 12 potential women business angels.

Business Angels Impact Fund BAIF, VS/2020/0329, an EASI funded project was implemented in Croatia from 2020-2022. by the Krapina-zagorje county, Feelsgood Capital Partners and Croatian Employers Association resulting in building of the pipeline of 100 trained and investment ready startups to receive business angels investments.

At the moment, Croatia does not have an active BAN.

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