The Renaissance Group has been active in Central Europe since 1994. Its roots, however, are much deeper and date back to 1950, when Franklin Pitch Johnson, as one of the pioneers, was defining a new asset class called Venture Capital in his investment activities. After the transformation of Central Europe to a free market economy, with his support a group of experienced businessmen brought European Renaissance Capital to life. Together with associated companies they were among pioneers of Venture Capital investment activities in Poland, the Czech Republic, and Slovakia.
The launch of the second fund, European Renaissance Capital II, in 2000 marks the next milestone in the Renaissance Group’s development.
European Renaissance Capital was raised from funds entrusted by such reputable financial institutions as the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), ABN AMRO Bank, Asset Management Partners, and foreign pension funds.
In their recent history, Renaissance Funds have invested in 29 projects in Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Poland accounts for most of the investment allocation and brings the best results. Teaming up investment and support from Renaissance with business ideas and entrepreneurial effort have resulted in achieving overwhelming success.
Here are some examples of investments in Poland:
HTL Strefa – world-leading manufacturer of single use needles for diabetics, exporting over 90% of its production. Its market success was recognized by stock market investors who accepted the company’s valuation of 1 billion PLN during the 2006 IPO.
Techmex – public company, one of the leaders on the Polish IT market. Its current business strategy is focused on developing Geographic Information Systems (GIS).
Communication One – group of associated companies led by Call Center Poland, a leading provider of Business Process Outsourcing servicing both to businesses and their customers.
In the Czech Republic, Renaissance successfully acquired, restructured, and sold the portfolio of the Czech-American Enterprise Fund.
Since the beginning of operation, Renaissance Funds have invested in more than 30 private companies operating in Poland, the Czech Republic and Slovakia. Below are a few examples of the Fund’s investment.
Bielsko Business Center – the developer and operator of the third generation “Sfera” shopping and entertainment center. The facility which is approximately 130,000 square meters is located in the center of Bielsko Biała. Aside from the rich commercial offer, services of well known operators and the hotel, it has become the regional entertainment center, where on the top floor is located residential housing together with a garden.
Pirios – a leading manufacturer and integrator, customer service support centers and info-line alarm systems providing comprehensive communication solutions (Contact Center systems) based on artificial intelligence, ASR technology and IVR with TTS, adapted to various customer needs as well as the specifications of public and administration sectors.
Solgaz – the company is a producer of ceramic, radiant gas hobs for built-in stoves constructed on the base of its own patented technology. The main advantages of the hobs are: energy savings, clean emissions and user safety. The company’s products are installed in apartments and homes as well as on yachts and campers.
Slovpack Bratislava – manufacturer of films and packages, one of the market leaders in Slovakia exporting almost 50% of its production. It is a prime example of MBO, where the management team supported by the Renaissance Fund purchased the company from the previous shareholders.
Ticketstream – distributor of tickets for all kind of sports and cultural events, co-organizer, having a leading position in the Czech Republic and a presence in Russia and Ukraine. The company sells tickets through a network of its representatives and the Internet.