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Interview with Angel Hadjiev, our newly appointed Country Manager for Bulgaria

Angel Hadjiev has more than 15 years of international experience in the financial services industry, with a focus on M&A, capital raising, and restructuring.

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Angel Hadjiev, our newly appointed Country Manager for Bulgaria, has more than 15 years of international experience in the financial services industry, with a focus on M&A, capital raising, and restructuring. Prior to joining SeedBlink, he worked as Assistant Director in Deloitte's Corporate Finance Department and Fund Manager at Capital Investments Fund.

How did you get to the world of startups and VC?

I have been involved in M&A and capital raising deals as a financial consultant, and have always been intrigued to understand what happens next after the negotiations are done and dusted; what are factors determine the execution success of a strategy of expansion into new markets? I mean, the factors beyond the purely financial component. Thus, stepping into the VC world was a natural “next step” and an amazing challenge, as well as an opportunity to meet exceptionally driven entrepreneurs and be part of their journey.

Can you tell us about your greatest success and failure in the investment world, i.e. the lessons you learned?

To misquote a famous entrepreneur & investor: “(…) _entrepreneurs selling the newest startup to “disrupt” an old industry would do well to learn some intellectual humility_”. Learning this lesson fairly soon in my career has been extremely helpful and I keep it in mind whenever I’m assessing a new investment opportunity.

Why did you decide to join the SeedBlink team and what role will you play in the organization?

The natural “no-BS” vibe in the team appealed very much to me right from the beginning, so it was a no-brainer decision to join SeedBlink and be part of their ambitious, yet very well-thought & thorough plans.

The key challenge awaiting me is to try to replicate the success the company has had over the past couple of years, here in Bulgaria, both in terms of building and establishing the brand, but also in regards to raising the ecosystem’s awareness about this fabulous opportunity to reach a new, alternative asset class (for investors), but also to raise capital and benefiting from a network of investors (if you are a tech startup).

What European industry trends will impact your role as a manager? How do you think the Bulgarian market will develop in the coming years and how does SeedBlink fit into this market context?

In a recent study by Endeavor, founders reported that the second most cited challenge is to get access to follow-on capital beyond the seed and early stages (the first challenge being to find technically savvy staff). With the current macroeconomic and geopolitical situation, the tech industry may find it increasingly difficult to secure later-stage financing for their growth, facing extra scrutiny when addressing foreign VCs, due to the geography.

These factors require careful structuring of each round with built-in buffers and well-justified assumptions, at fair valuations.

Why is SeedBlink expanding to Bulgaria and why now?

Our founders were quick to understand the message coming from the market: in order to build your strong brand, as a trustworthy partner, you need to be in the market physically. Also, currently, there is no alternative on the Bulgarian market, and our digital solution can fill a niche, by playing a complementary role to any VC or business angels club.

How can Bulgarian investors and startups get the most out of SeedBlink?

Investors need to realize that they should construct their portfolio strategy based on their own risk appetite. Our platform facilitates access to an otherwise restricted-access asset class, i.e. private companies, for those that are not LPs in a venture fund (of course). In order to get a better understanding of each opportunity, the investors will need to actively engage even before the actual round launch.

Startups, on the other hand, must first and foremost reflect on the following question: “What is it that we are trying to achieve strategically through raising capital via SeedBlink’s network of investors, apart from mere access to cash?”

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By Bianca Iulia Simion

PublishedApril 04, 2022


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