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New Vision 3 Invests in Four Bulgarian Startups, Fueling the Local Innovation Engine

We’re happy to announce that New Vision 3 (NV3) has recently invested in four promising local companies, marking a robust start autumn period. NV3 is investing capital into Mindset Design, Pleggi, Relaxify, and FinBiz Technologies, all part of the seed-stage cohort that demonstrates a blend of innovation, scalability, and potential to disrupt their respective sectors. The total sum of the investment exceeds €800K.


Mindset Design


Mindset Design is taking mental training for athletes in individual sports into the digital realm. Their unique application offers a gamified process for coaches and young athletes, blending physical with mental exercises. The app offers a structured training methodology, learning journeys, and a suite of tools, covering all the key mental skills required to become a champion. Mental performance is monitored and the most mentally fit players can get a wild card to play at the biggest tennis tournaments in the world. Another impressive fact is that the former manager of Daniil Medvedev and Ons Jabeur - Stephane Gurov - has joined as an angel investor and advisor of the company.


"We're currently focusing on product development aiming to have the official launch in January 2024 at "Let petits as" (the most prestigious tennis tournament for players under 14 in the world). With this round of investment, we will release the official first version of the app and will work to ensure high engagement rates. By the end of 2024, we plan to hit a major sales milestone - having 10% market penetration in our priority markets in Europe - UK, France, and Spain. Our long-term mission is to become the top-of-mind product for mental training for junior athletes in individual sports", Karina Karagaeva, CEO and Founder of Mindset Design, shares with us about the startup’s future plans.

Pleggi


In the evolving HR tech space, Pleggi is driving a distinct approach to recruitment. Their platform leverages a series of online games to discern the cognitive and personal traits of job applicants, a marked departure from conventional CV-based assessments. By prioritizing actual skills and potential over documented qualifications, Pleggi's objective is to streamline recruitment processes and enhance the accuracy of candidate-employer matches. Pleggi's primary target audience is the Gen Z talent pool. To date, it has forged partnerships with over 30 Bulgarian companies actively seeking to expand their teams.


Upon the platform's launch, Pleggi swiftly undertook customer surveys, the key findings of which include:

  • Pleggi streamlines the recruitment process, yielding a 30% reduction in time spent.

  • Respondents highly value Pleggi’s unique recruitment approach, which emphasizes behavioral patterns and personal values, with 80% recognizing it as the most critical factor in hiring a junior professional.

"Following our recent funding round, we've pinpointed several key objectives for the upcoming year," shares Yonko Minev, co-founder of Pleggi. "Firstly, we aim to attract university students and early-career professionals to our platform and engage them with our assessment tests. This will enable us to refine our offerings and provide greater value to our partners.


Secondly, we're setting our sights on international expansion. We've already initiated market research in several countries with large populations and a high volume of job applications - prime territories where our platform can significantly streamline the pre-selection process.


Lastly, product development remains at the forefront of our agenda. We're in the process of testing two new games that assess additional character traits, enabling our platform to offer a more comprehensive picture of candidates' strengths. Meanwhile, our team is developing functionalities designed to assist recruiters with administrative tasks. These strides will ensure our platform remains at the cutting edge of recruitment technology", Minev explains.


Relaxify


RelaxifyApp presents a unique proposition within the digital wellness sphere. Instead of solely focusing on traditional wellness practices such as meditation and breathing, RelaxifyApp brings an innovative perspective to mental health. Led by a team of psychologists, the platform leverages principles of general psychological theory to create a scientifically validated and evidence-based solution aimed at enhancing mental health. This distinctive methodology sets RelaxifyApp apart within the crowded mobile wellness app market.


Established two and a half years ago, RelaxifyApp has been on a mission to carve out a niche within the market and fine-tune its offerings. Currently, the platform boasts over 20,000 active users, primarily spanning the UK, the USA, and South East Europe. Since the onset of 2023, RelaxifyApp has concentrated its efforts on working together with corporate clients to support its employees' mental health improvement initiatives. Clients have reported three main benefits from using RelaxifyApp: a decrease in sick days taken for mental health reasons, enhanced team productivity, and improved employee retention.


"With the recent funding secured, our plan is to further our mission of enhancing employee well-being in the workplace and helping companies create a healthier environment for their teams. The funding will primarily be used to bolster our operations, sales, and marketing strategies to attract new customers and establish a solid market presence. Additionally, our solution assists companies in adhering to the latest mandates by the European Commission, which require companies to prioritize the welfare of employees, stakeholders, and the community," shares Yoan Petrov, co-founder and CTO of Relaxify.


FinBiz Technologies


In the fintech sector, FinBiz Technologies is the latest addition to NV3's investments. Born from a deep understanding of the challenges in the Micro and Small Enterprises (MSE) lending and microcredit sectors, FinBiz Technologies emerged as a solution to the inefficiencies in traditional lending norms. The founders, with their extensive experience in the financial sector, identified the disconnect between lenders and MSEs, seeing a vast opportunity to integrate innovative software solutions with platforms seeking embedded finance options.


The core issue FinBiz addresses is the disconnect between traditional lending practices and the needs of MSEs. Recognizing the inefficiencies in the lending landscape, the team at FinBiz set out to create a software solution that would transform the sector.


FinBiz's approach is holistic. They provide lenders with a comprehensive software solution that streamlines loan origination and management, catering to various loan types and integrating seamlessly with platforms serving MSEs. Their business model is based on a fee structure for lenders using the software, sharing a portion of these fees with integrated platforms. This not only empowers lenders but also creates a beneficial ecosystem for all, especially MSEs.


What sets FinBiz apart is its comprehensive nature. Unlike other solutions, FinBiz offers a platform that streamlines loan processes and facilitates the efficient transfer of financial assets to investors. Their strategic integration with platforms servicing MSEs, coupled with their expertise in the South Eastern European region, uniquely positions them in the market.


The decision to collaborate with New Vision 3 (NV3) for their investment round was a strategic one. NV3's focus on early-stage startups in sectors like FinTech and AI, combined with their commitment to innovation, aligned perfectly with FinBiz's vision. The investment will be channeled into refining their technical solution and expanding their market presence. Over the next 12-18 months, FinBiz plans to hire more personnel, launch its product, and establish partnerships with financial institutions.


Long-term, FinBiz envisions a harmonized ecosystem that serves the interests of MSEs, lenders, and platforms. Their ambition is to capture a significant share of the MSE loan market in countries like Bulgaria, Romania, and Greece, aiming to be industry leaders in the process.


New Vision 3's recent investments in Mindset Design, Pleggi, Relaxify, and FinBiz Technologies reflect the venture capital fund's strategy to back innovative startups at the seed stage. These investments continue to diversify NV3's portfolio, which is already strong in AI, IoT, shared economy, decentralized platforms, and fintech sectors.


By investing in these four companies, NV3 is not only fueling their growth but also contributing significantly to the dynamism and diversity of the Bulgarian startup ecosystem. These investments are expected to stimulate further innovation, attract more venture capital, and create a ripple effect of growth and development throughout the local digital economy.


Each of these startups has a unique value proposition and the potential to disrupt their respective markets. With NV3's financial backing and strategic support, they are well-positioned to scale their operations, refine their offerings, and expand their market reach.


The impact of NV3's investments extends beyond these individual companies. By fostering a vibrant and thriving startup scene, NV3 is helping to put Bulgaria on the global map as a hub for technological innovation and entrepreneurship.

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