$66 million fund seeks to support growing startups


Achieving successful sales deals, global entrepreneurs continue to invest in the venture ecosystem with mutual funds.

One of these funds is ScaleX Ventures, which embarked on a journey to find and support enterprises with global potential in Turkey and Eastern Europe.

Unlike other venture capital funds, it not only makes financial investments but also provides operational support to high-tech startups, actively supporting the companies it invests in to find customers, financing, marketing, sales and employment under the mentorship of very important names in its field.

Founded under the leadership of Dilek Dayınlarlı, ScaleX is expected to reach a size of TL 500 million ($66.2 million) in the first half of 2021.

“We have invested in four companies so far and announced three of these, namely Invidyo, Hipporello and Locomation. We will disclose our fourth investment in the coming days,” the fund’s founder and managing partner Dayınarlı said.

“We are planning to invest in more than 10 companies in the next three years. Meanwhile, our investments will continue to be on the agenda as we take an active role in the next investment rounds of the companies we have invested in,” she said.

Autonomous trucks

Speaking of their long-term investments, Dayınlarlı stressed that technologies such as autonomous vehicles and quantum processors will come to the fore in the long run, touching upon Locomation, which recently received an investment in the U.S. in self-driving trucks.

“Production, health and agriculture will have an impact on all areas. With the introduction of 5G into our lives, we will encounter many applications due to the increasing data power and accessible prices,” she said.

“In addition, blockchain technology will become more common and its applications will increase. Additionally, there are important developments in the Decentralized Finance (DeFi) trend, which shows that this area will attract more investors in the long run,” Dayınlarlı said.

ScaleX Ventures founder and Managing Partner Dilek Dayınlarlı.

Dayınlarlı emphasized that ScaleX closely follows the areas that will affect people’s lives and continues its investments in this direction – which is why it chose to invest in Locomation.

“To give an example, we have recently invested in the Pittsburgh-based autonomous truck startup Locomation, which was established by Tekin Meriçli and Çetin Meriçli, who are operating in the autonomous truck field, which is regarded as one of the technologies of the future,” she noted.

The startups specializing in artificial intelligence (AI), artificial learning and 5G will have higher chances, she said.

“With COVID-19, the field of human resources has entered into a rapid transformation. Beyond innovative applications that only allow remote work, analytical applications to increase employee engagement and health by paying attention to employee privacy also draw attention,” Dayınlarlı added.

Continuous growth formula

The ScaleX managing partner said there has been a great change in sales all over the world and mentioned the new-generation sales.

“We define the sales strategy as product-led growth. Product-led growth (PLG) is a business methodology and growth strategy where user acquisition, expanding the user base and retaining users are primarily driven by the product itself,” Dayınlarlı noted.

“Make a great product, without making a whitepaper; let people try all (or some) of it before paying, and watch the product’s viral experience story. Startups that follow this strategy do not need to hire local sales representatives when they start doing global business,” she said.

In fact, Dayınlarlı continued, entrepreneurs pursuing this strategy can focus on improving their recruitment processes to serve more customers around the world in a very short time while their competitors are busy recruiting new sales representatives for each region under the sun.

“If the business model requires hiring sales representatives, it is important to be simple, fast and standardized,” she said.

Startups that make a difference

Noting that the first thing they look at in a startup as ScaleX is the team they have, Dayınlarlı explained the details they pay attention to in the startups with growth potential.

“The backgrounds and experiences of the founding partners and employees are very important to us. The second issue we look at is the benefit that the startup will create, meaning the problem and the size of the problem in that area,” she said.

“It is very difficult for us to move forward in the process with companies when we are not convinced of why a solution or innovation is needed in the field where the startup is located. In addition, we do research on who are the current and potential competitors of each company that applies to us and what distinguishes the startup from its competitors,” she said.

During this study, the ScaleX team is trying to answer the question of how the startup candidate for investment will compete with other companies.

“Of course, the number of customers of the company, the trend in the revenue and revenue figures it has created so far, and the number of pilot applications performed are also very critical metrics for us. Finally, we analyze the potential of the market. When calculating the size of the market, we include who will buy the product or use the service and how much they are willing to pay for it,” Dayınlarlı explained.


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