212 Capital Partners, one of Turkey’s leading
early stage venture capital funds, has announced its first
investment of the year in Solvoyo, a software as a service (SaaS) company based
in Boston and Istanbul.
The $1 million in investment is a first for Solvoyo, which was founded by Turkish entrepreneurs in 2008, and has risen to profitability by providing supply chain optimization software to leading companies around the globe. Most recently, the company won a contract with Home Depot, beating out some of the biggest global names in its sector, says Dilek Dayinlarli, VP at 212 Ltd., which manages 212 Capital Partners.
The investment will help Solvoyo expand its marketing and scale its flagship product, PlanLM, by developing an out-of-the-box version to cater to startups and small businesses, says Dayinlarli. Gartner estimates the Global Supply Chain Management (SCM) software market will expand at a compound annual growth rate of 9% from 2011-2015; Solvoyo is likely betting that startups will comprise a large part of that growth.
For Turkey, this funding is yet another confirmation, following General Atlantic’s investment in Yemeksepeti, that its domestic market can produce viable global and regional players. For the Middle East, it’s a promise of what’s to come as the Arab market continues to mature; while the two markets are very different, Turkish players have estimated that the Turkish scene is only about 3-5 years ahead of the Levant startup environment.
For 212 Ltd., making Solvoyo its 7th portfolio company continues a trend of funding startups that can scale internationally. “We really want to invest in technology in Turkey, especially companies that create global products, ” says Dayinlarli. “We believe that SaaS companies are going to be big in the coming decade.”
Many of the fund’s other investments, including Butigo, ArcadeMonk, and HemenKiralik, will be entering the Arab world this year, as others, like Cloudarena, serve a global market.
For Middle East entrepreneurs looking to go global, Solvoyo’s example offers three main tips: get the best education you can (the two founders have PhDs from Georgia Tech), obsess about your technology (Diyanlarli credits the company’s mathematical algorithm with its success), and take advantage of your small initial size by knowing how to serve startups- a booming B2B market- better than the big guys.