Life at Vestberry
Jun 16, 2022

Slovaks’ Idea Is Used by Giants Who Manage Billions of Euros

Vestberry wants to change the world of investors; it will replace their Excel spreadsheets.

We caught up with the founder and CEO of Vestberry, Marek Zámečník, in Malaysia (we connected through a video conference via Teams). He says there is a bit of nostalgia in it. Nine years ago, he worked there in the startup investment fund Nova Founders. Now, he returned to his former colleague and offered his own invention – portfolio management software.

Vestberry was founded by Marek Zámečník with a pair of partners, Ján Káčer and Matej Pavlanský (all relatively young thirtysomethings), in 2018. A few months after writing the first line of software code, they got their first customer. Surprisingly (and maybe not), he was not from Slovakia but from London.

The company has grown since then. It employs thirty people in Bratislava, and its software is used by venture capital funds managing investments in over a thousand startups in the amount of six billion euros. Among them are well-known companies such as Wolt or eToro.

Several Slovak technology entrepreneurs also believed in Marek Zámečnik’s vision. Šimon Šicko (Pixel Federation) and František Krivda (Slido) have invested in it, and thanks to them, Vestberry is expanding to Southeast Asia.

Vestberry business card

  • Year of establishment: 2018
  • Headquarters: Bratislava
  • Innovation: Cloud software for data analysis and investment portfolio management
  • Founders: Marek Zámečník, Ján Káčer and Matej Pavlacký
  • Revenue (2021): 270 thousand euros
  • Number of employees: 30
  • Investors: Ján Kmeťo (KB- Soft Holding), Martin Hauge (Haflo), Šimon Šicko, Andrej Kiska, František Krivda

For Those Who Struggle With Excel 

Vestberry software aims to improve and automate internal processes in venture capital funds. In principle, it should replace the performance and key indicators (KPI) analysis, which these companies have to create in Excel for their investments manually.

Marek Zámečník says that he himself is a fan of Excel, but according to him, it only brings value to investment analysts up to a certain point. “If you have more than thirty companies in your portfolio, you are already in trouble. You spend more time consolidating your excel and looking for errors than on the longer analysis you need for your investment decisions,” he explains.

Vestberry founders.

According to him, more than two-thirds of investment funds still run in Excel, which indicates the considerable market potential of Vestberry-type tools. The fact that the market has been changing in recent years is also playing into their cards.

More and more investors are coming to the private equity and risk venture capital sector, which deals with the search and financing of innovative companies. And increasingly, are among them also large pension funds or institutional investors who push for access to data about their investments on a relatively frequent, regular basis.

They don’t just want an annual audit. Quarterly reports are more or less a necessity. In the future, there may also be requests for immediate reports in real-time,” says Marek Zámečník.

According to him, large investors are used to this in companies whose shares are publicly traded on the stock exchange: “For example, with Facebook or Google, they can quickly and easily see how they are doing. However, Excel is not enough for that. You need more complex tools so that you don’t have to painstakingly edit what you are interested in but can just click on it.”

In the Swiss Accelerator 

Vestberry is not Marek Zámečník’s first startup project. He is part of the group that founded the 0100 Ventures platform five years ago (including, for example, the son of Eset cofounder Peter, Paška Michal).

The group ran coworking spaces (in two locations in Bratislava), launched investor events, and manages part of the state’s startup funds (through Zero Gravity Capital).

With 0100 Ventures, we wanted to create a startup ecosystem in Slovakia. Actually, also for ourselves, because each of the partners came up with a project they would fully devote themselves to if it started to succeed,” recalls Marek Zámečník. It is clear what his project was.

The startup community bore fruit when he was looking for a designer in Vestberry and found Matej Pavlanský, now the company’s chief product officer.

Well, and when we started to think about the fact that we also need someone to program the first version of our software, I remembered that I knew a brilliant guy who was dedicated to programming back in high school,” he recalls the arrival of another cofounder, Ján Káčer. At the time, he was working in a multinational corporation, but the idea of an innovative startup attracted him more: “In short, it was good timing.”

By the way, Vestberry was initially supposed to be a closed social network where investors would meet and share their deals. As often happens in startups, the project’s content has changed quickly and fundamentally. In the industry, it’s called a pivot. “Somehow, we ended up with the decision to create a tool for reporting and monitoring investment portfolio,” summarizes Marek Zámečník.

That such a product can be viable was confirmed by the trio of Slovaks in the fintech startup accelerator F10, which they took part in 2018 in Zurich, Switzerland.

Just the fact that they got in is considered a success by the head of Vestberry: “They had 450 applications, ten got selected.” According to him, the fact that it was an exclusive event is also evidenced by the fact that the accelerator does not take an equity stake in the companies, which is otherwise quite common.

It was even more important that the sponsors of the F10 are large financial institutions, private banks, insurance companies and auditing firms.

We were able to talk to the biggest players in the investment business to confirm their interest in data analytics tools. It helped us direct our product even better and essentially materialize it,” recalls Marek Zámečník.

F10 alumni logos

They Adapted to the Coronavirus

F10 helped Vestberry get its first paying customer, the British fintech investment company Anthemis. 

They watched the events in the accelerator from afar. A few months later, they contacted us. They were interested in how far we were with the product. And then the whole thing somehow fell into place,” recalls Marek Zámečník.

We acquired Anthemis just eight months into our company’s existence. I think this was a good achievement since the first line of code was created only when the company was founded,” he adds.

Marek Zamecnik & Andrej Wallo visiting Anthemis office in London – November 2022

Were they not looking for the first customers on the domestic market – in Slovakia? “Of course, we also knew the local investment funds. But we knew that our product is more suitable for somewhat larger companies because a smaller portfolio can still be managed with Excel,” replies CEO Vestberry.

Although they have cooperated with Slovak funds such as Sandberg Capital* or Neulogy Ventures from the beginning, the result was mainly their feedback on the software. Today, however, they actually use it.

*Sandberg Capital is no longer Vestberry client

At the turn of 2019/2020, when the vestberrians began to go around clients, networking (i.e. cultivating contacts) proved to be an essential business channel.

Everything worked through references,” says Marek Zámečník and explains: “Because people in the sector know each other, they started talking about our system.” From there, it’s just a step to being invited to a personal presentation. Soon, Vestberry’s boss started flying to London at least once a month.

In the spring of 2020, the coronavirus pandemic also affected the life of the Slovak startup. Fortunately for Vestberry, business communication adapted very quickly to the new reality.

Personal presentations and meetings had their pluses. But when covid came, even bigger funds suddenly didn’t need them; they got replaced by Zoom without any problems,” recalls Marek Zámečník.

Even the cardinal catch – Atomico, the company of Skype cofounder Niklas Zennström – was acquired by Vestberry during the toughest covid lockdown. It is the second largest venture capital fund in Europe, which manages investments in companies such as Klarna, Supercell, Telegram, Wolt and Pipedrive.

Asian Expansion

Pandemic measures and how businesses adapted to them are also why Marek Zámečník has not yet created another team in London. He claims that even though Vestberry currently has 80 per cent of its business in the United Kingdom, it can be handled from Slovakia.

Of course, it’s still worth going to big customers in person, and we’re also planning to start physical meetings again, but it’s not necessary to have a branch in London yet,” he thinks.

According to him, this is a fundamental difference compared to Southeast Asia, where Vestberry is planning to expand its business soon: “This is an entirely different time zone; someone has to be on the spot here – first the salespeople, then client support.”

Why did Vestberry choose Asia and not the USA, the global mecca of investment funds? That there are several reasons for this. For example, Marek Zámečník himself has professional experience in this region, and one of Vestberry’s investors is from Malaysia: “So we have some background and network here.”

However, the most important argument is that they do not feel as intense competition in this region as in Europe and the USA, where suppliers of analytical tools concentrate. According to Marek Zámečnik, entry into Southeast Asia is thus more cost-effective.

“This region is a bit undervalued by the competition, which I see as an opportunity,” he says. If he looks at the entire time zone, that is, not only at Hong Kong, Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Bangkok but also at South Korea, Japan and Australia, two thousand investment funds come into the crosshairs.

He sees his current tour as testing the hypothesis that Asian investors are essentially the same as European and American investors, having similar reporting requirements. Therefore, Vestberry could be a great fit for them.

However, they certainly don’t want to leave America out of their plans. It is a top market for analysis software like Vestberry. “To grow into a global company, we simply have to get there,” adds Marek Zámečník.

However, the entry into the American market will probably be only in the second half of next year. “There is a stronger competitive environment, so we will need a bigger marketing budget. The whole thing will be more complicated and therefore more expensive,” the head of Vestberry repeats, indicating that they will ask for additional money from investors for the American episode.

Another Five Million

By now, Vestberry has collected roughly two million euros from investors. So far, only so-called angel investors, i.e. natural persons, have put money into it. Most recently, at the beginning of this year, it was Šimon Šicko from the game development company Pixel Federation, František Krivda from the event platform Slido and Andrej Kiska Jr. from the investment company Credo Ventures.

Panel discussion on Founders becoming Angel investors. Organized by Vestberry in Campus Cowork. June 2022.

“It gives us a great deal of freedom because angel investors or family offices don’t have demanding governance requirements,” says Marek Zámečník.

In the next investment round (Series A), which they are planning for the second half of this year, they would like to raise at least another five million euros. A venture capital fund, or a consortium of funds, ideally with a leader from the United Kingdom, could also join the project. “The advantage is that our customers are also potential investors,” says CEO Vestberry.

According to him, the new money should enable the company to maintain a fast 15 per cent month-on-month growth for the next year or two, which is “a better average” among startups. Vestberry grew at this rate until last year when it reached 270,000 euros in sales and approached the 400,000 level in the first four months. By the end of 2022, the startup could jump over the million mark.

What’s Next

It is clear that to maintain solid growth even with higher sales, Vestberry will have to score in the Asian markets and later in the US. Whether it succeeds also depends on how it stands up to the competition.

The biggest one, understandably, remains Excel. When it comes to specialized analytical tools, Marek Zámečník divides them into two categories. According to him, “older” competitors with a 15- or 20-year history suffer from the fact that their software is no longer technologically advanced as required by the times.

He obviously has more respect for younger players with the same approach to investment portfolio management as Vestberry. But even compared to them, they have a significant competitive advantage.

“The data structure in our system is unique, detailed, and thus allows for more advanced analyses. This is also thanks to the fact that we created our product together with the first customers, and we also cover many challenging cases that occur when investing in startups or technology companies,” says Marek Zámečník.

Will Vestberry’s global expansion require moving its headquarters to the US or “at least” to London?

“Since we are in the European Union, we are seen as a European company. If the future investor didn’t have such a requirement, then we don’t have to move our headquarters,” replies the founder of Vestberry. However, as he adds, when such a request comes, they will have to respond to it.

Disclaimer: This is an interview written by Jozef Andracky for Dennik SME. The text was translated into English & edited by Adam Petrek. Original interview is available on



Vestberry is building a fintech analytical platform helping Venture Capital and Private Equity investors manage their capital smarter, allowing them to invest in companies who strive to solve the world’s most pressing challenges, from climate change to mental health. With Vestberry, our clients increase team productivity significantly, streamline internal processes, and can make better investment decisions faster. As a result, Vestberry brings clients a competitive advantage, both in terms of speed & quality of investment decisions and also the potential to attract increasingly data-oriented investors.

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