A lot of water has flowed under the Bosphorus Bridge since my last post. I feel I may have left some of you in a quandary (or not) as to my whereabouts or as to the status of Grandstanding Traction. Let us just say that children have an interesting way of slowing down your life and its direction, in addition to a move State-side - the bay area of San Francisco.
Needless to say, I never felt like I needed to shut down the blog, as I still feel that some of the links to various Turkish VC and Private Equity organizations are in dire need from outside Turkish borders and to be located in one place with pivotal news of the region. In addition, most of my posts attempted to accumulate as much factual evidence in the news concerning the particular PE/VC event of the day, and is still a useful resource for the proper timeline of history and for posterity.
So, in this post, I turn to you - the reader. I need your help in updating Grandstanding Traction. Since my last post, I'm sure a lot has changed, improved, been built, or failed during my hiatus. Consider this a sort of wiki. I ask you to fill me in. If you know of any organization that should be listed here or should no longer be listed here, I urge you write in, leave a comment in the comment thread, and help me update the site. What Turkish VC funds have been established? What conferences are soon to be held in Turkey or neighboring countries? What vast private equity deal, VC funding or fund establishment has changed the landscape of the Turkish entrepreneurial environment? What of the Technoparks? How has the Turkish economy changed in the last decade, or has it?
For a quick refresher, see Grandstanding Traction's original thesis - my first post. Also, for a quick history lesson, a quick Google search reveals this essay by Venturing Mind.
Once again, please let me know of any changes and updates of VC/PE firms in Turkey to the current Turkish environment. Please let me know if you have an upcoming event, business idea, or partnership idea that you would like to see posted live. As well, if you would like to get in touch, my usual contact information is in the right sidebar. Many best regards towards the future.
Finally pulling together all the major players in the Turkish private equity space last year (as reported on this site), it appears that EMPEA and PEI are doing it again - The 2nd Annual PEI Turkey Forum. This is really the largest "who's who" event that has ever happened in Turkey for this high potential space. (Dimiter, hope it worked out well for you last year.) I mean, look at this list of speakers:
- Amjad Ahmad, Senior Managing Director, Alternative Investments, NBK Capital
- Meltem Akol, Partner, White & Case
- Sarah Alexander, President, EMPEA
- Ozgur Altan, Investment Manager, European Investment Fund (EIF)
- Meltem Ankara, Senior Banker, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD)
- Isak Antika, Co-Founder & Managing Partner, Actera Group
- Kathleen Bacon, Managing Director, HarbourVest
- Jean-Philippe Burcklen, Head of Lower Mid-Market, European Investment Fund (EIF)
- Dr. Mete Çakmakcı, Secretary General, Technology Development Foundation of Turkey
- Jennifer Choi, Director of Research, EMPEA
- Serkan Elden, Managing Director & CEO - Eurasia, PineBridge Investments
- Ercan Ergul, Managing Director, Bedminster Capital Management
- Mete Ikiz, Investment Director, NBGI Private Equity
- Tolga Işmen, Managing Partner, Ismen
- Ralph Jaeger, Senior Research Consultant, Cambridge Associates
- Amanda Janis, Senior Editor, Private Equity, PEI Media
- Yalin Karadogan, Principal, Cinven
- David Nieuwendijk, Senior Investment Officer Private Equity, FMO
- Murat Özgen, Chief Executive Officer, İş Private Equity
- Frank Roccogrande, Partner, Bilgili Holding
- Mehmet Sami, Executive Board Member, ATA Invest
- Selim Selimata, Manager - Project & Acquisition Finance, Garanti Bank
- Onur Takmak, Principal, RHEA Investments
- Seymur Tari, Managing Director, Turkven
- Sasha van de Water, Managing Director, Keyhaven Capital Partners
- Memet Yazıcı, Managing Director, Private Equity, Rhea Asset Management
- Selcuk Yorgancioglu, Executive Director & Turkey Country Head, Abraaj Capital
- Can Yucaoglu, Director, Turkven Real Estate
Incredible! Truly, what a great event this will be. While I can't imagine there is really that much to say about Turkey, the presence of such brain power and "pro-invest-Turkey" spirit will certainly be there. And it should be, because all tickets for institutional investors are FREE! (As is always the case at such events). Just curious, would anyone like to sponsor me to go to this event? I'd like to go. Maybe I could get a press pass? Hmmm....well anyway, let's hope this means that more inflow of private equity is able to enter Turkey and continue to grow this country to its potential.
To finish the trio of investments for RHEA Investments so far in 2010, RHEA acquires a 33% stake in Turkey’s first fully integrated solid waste and energy company, Envitec Ltd. Envitec has a 25-year Build-Operate-Transfer concession in a 27 municipality region on the Mediterranean Coast of Turkey. The investment will reach $7 Million in 2010.
Onur Takmak, Chairman of the Board for Vakıf Girisim and Chief Executive Officer of RHEA Investments stated "Natural resources, clean infrastructure and energy are focal points of our investment targets. Vakıf VCIT will continue investing in leaders with the right technologies and with the right implementation projects in Turkey. We are excited to work with partners including Enviro Metall GmbH, Kanyol Construction and Biodegma GmbH to leverage their extensive experience in environmental technologies and projects. Envitec will build a strong brand and become a regional leader in waste management."
Ali Rıza Serter, Chairman of the Board for Envitec, expressed that Iskenderun Area Municipal Solid Waste Project will be the first project in Turkey designed single-handedly end-to-end with a clean environment and European Union guidelines in mind. Serter said "We will be proud to serve a very fast growing population of more than half a million residents for 25 years. Envitec is excited to partner with RHEA and Vakıf Girisim to complete this showcase project and expand to other regional municipalities."
Memet Yazici, Head of Asset Management, RHEA Investments and Board Member for Vakif Girisim commented "With our partnership, Envitec will complete a $35 Million infrastructure investment in the first phase. This investment will cover the daily collection of 600 tons of solid waste per day; separation of recyclables; sterilization and elimination of medical waste; production of organic compost material; flash-drying of municipal waste water treatment products; and managing the landfill for the remaining solid waste. The second phase will also add one of Turkey’s largest organic fertilizer plants and an energy production plant from landfill methane. This is a showcase project focused on maximizing the solid waste re-use and finding the cleanest waste management solutions."
Cem Baytok, Director of Energy Investments for RHEA, mentioned that Envitec has been managing a profitable waste collection operation in the region. Following the investment period the project will generate cash flow equivalent to a 100 MW wind energy generation plant. Baytok added that the clean energy production of the project will be enhanced with additional follow-on investments.
Envitec was founded in 2009 after winning the tender for the Build-Operate-Transfer Solid Waste Management and Energy Generation project for the Iskenderun Region of Turkey consisting of 27 municipalities. Founding partners of Envitec include Enviro Metall GmbH, a Stuttgart-Germany firm focused on clean environment projects; Kanyol Construction Inc of Turkey, and Biodegma GmbH of Germany.
The second of three investments in 2010 for RHEA Investments, RHEA announced that they had acquired a 60% stake in Netsafe Information Technologies of Istanbul, Turkey. Netsafe is Turkey’s fastest growing Network Security Unified Threat Management (UTM) appliance manufacturer. The proposed transaction values Netsafe at approximately $1 Million US Dollars.
Netsafe, based in Istanbul, Turkey, serves more than 150 small to medium enterprises in Turkey and exports its products to the Middle Eastern and Eastern European countries. Netsafe was founded by Cüneyt Kalpakoglu, an experienced information security expert and former veteran of IBM in Turkey.
Onur Takmak, Chairman of the Board for Vakıf Girisim and Chief Executive Officer of RHEA Investments added "We selected Netsafe as our initial investment in information security. We will be looking to expand our investments in products and business in telecommunications, information technology and internet applications with a global vision".