At Digital Spring Ventures we are passionate about three things: the huge talent and potential we see in fast growing emerging tech ecosystems; the asymmetric role tech can play in less developed economies; and working with inspiring founders to help scale their businesses to their full potential.
It’s because of this that we founded DSV. And why we focus every drop of our energy and skill on being what we set out to be: the best emerging markets growth-stage venture investor in the world.
We support emerging market entrepreneurs to build regional champions and global leaders.
We are your partner for growth.
At what stage and how much does DSV typically invest?
When we invest, we usually come in at later rounds to support a company’s growth. The company has already raised a series A round, and sometimes even series B. It has proven its business model, is producing meaningful revenue and is ready to scale. We call this the growth stage.
Our usual cheques range between US$3 to US$15 million.
We will be with the company for the long run – securing, and frequently participating in, follow-on rounds.
Partner at DSV
“In our experience, it can take some disruptive start-ups up to 15 years to reach their full potential in emerging markets. As your long-term partner for growth, we will be there for as long as it takes to put your company on the right track.”
We are emerging markets:
We are based in the Abu Dhabi Global Market, the top financial and tech innovation hub in the Middle East. From our home base we continuously travel to each of the most exciting emerging tech regions in the world.
We have deep networks across Eastern Europe, the CIS, South East Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa and broader MENA. The businesses we are invested in in those regions are present in almost every large market in the world.
We invest in targeted emerging markets that have the necessary factors in place to grow an internet economy of adequate scale to support the evolution of US$500 million+ local champions.
We also invest in markets whose features support the production of robust ‘export’ business models.
Partner at DSV
“We believe that certain emerging economies, due to factors including relatively small addressable domestic markets and high concentrations of technical talent, are predisposed to foster the growth of high-quality, globally orientated start-ups.
These ‘export’ businesses are designed from inception to capture market share in larger international markets. Increasingly, they are able to leverage being HQ’ed in Minsk, Kiev or similar as a competitive advantage on the global stage.”
Our favourite sectors:
We have investments across a range of sectors from Fintech to Edtech, Classifieds to Online Marketplaces, SaaS analytics to New Media. That’s not to say we are sector agnostic. Rather, we believe there are a number of sectors that will thrive in fast growing emerging internet economies.
We are focused on robust business models, large addressable markets, and defensible barriers to entry. Although exceptional, tenacious entrepreneurs – usually seasoned through both prior success and failure – are essential to the long-term success of any emerging market tech business.
Partner at DSV
“At DSV we believe that the continued march of tech is inevitable and that online businesses are changing the world. While different models will thrive and be innovated at different times in different markets, this theme is every bit as true in emerging economies as developed ones.”
The DSV philosophy and what working with us is like:
We believe you have love what you do, and have fun doing it. Enjoyment breeds success (and anyway life is too short to not enjoy what you’re doing).
We therefore love working with brilliant companies that excite us, and with founders and teams that inspire and teach us new things. We also favour founders who share our passionate beliefs as to the correlation between success and hard work, and the value of creative and collaborative team playing.
We are, we admit, a little different from a typically ‘VC’. We do the things that all good investors do (making potential customer introductions, bringing later round investors, etc.). But we also are on hand to be a proactive, value creating partner.
We’ll take the time to get to know you well, travelling to visit and spend time with you frequently, not just at the outset. In our experience, strong communication builds trust, allowing greater collaboration and collective success.
How DSV can help your business:
In many of the markets in which we operate, ‘growth stage’ capital provided by sophisticated, long-term minded professional investors is in short supply. We recognize the need not only to provide enough capital, but also on reasonable terms, aligning our success with the founders we support. We also know that Rome wasn’t built in a day - especially in emerging internet economies. The best investors are those who set out with realistic expectations of when liquidity events might materialize in newer, less liquid markets.
We also measure our success in how much we are able to support our founders. With an extensive track record of scaling businesses across mobile, internet, software and telecoms, our international team also has vast investment banking, corporate legal, financial control and c-level corporate management experience. We leverage this to help our companies in whichever way is needed. Whether its leading on a transformative M&A process, helping meet crucial HR needs, or expansion into new markets through negotiating new partnerships, we are there by your side.
Partner at DSV
“We provide the capital and support to take your business further. We like to think it’s at least part of the reason why companies from our current portfolio have raised over $250 million from follow on investors and grown up to 30 times since our initial investment.”