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Turkey-based Startup Cerebrum Tech Secures $1.8 Million Investment Led by Bogazici Ventures VC



Cerebrum funding

Cerebrum Tech, a pioneering technology company, celebrated for its recent innovations such as Cere and Cere Insight in the field of generative artificial intelligence, has successfully secured a substantial investment of $1.8 million, valuing the company at $15 million. This achievement was made possible through the collective support of individual and institutional investors, under the leadership of Boğaziçi Ventures, one of Türkiye’s foremost Venture Capital companies. This investment not only signifies a substantial vote of confidence in Cerebrum Tech’s endeavors but also positions the company for further growth and innovation in the dynamic realm of generative artificial intelligence.

Cerebrum Tech, a visionary venture studio recognized for its outstanding products and solutions across diverse sectors, including artificial intelligence, finance, industry, e-commerce, and Web3, has successfully secured a noteworthy investment of $1.8 million. This investment was led by Boğaziçi Ventures, a leading name in Türkiye’s technology-focused venture capital landscape. The valuation of this achievement stands at an impressive $15 million.

The investment process was realized with the enthusiastic participation of both individual and institutional investors, marking an important milestone for Cerebrum Tech. This strategic collaboration will see Cerebrum Tech become an integral part of the BV Growth Venture Capital Investment Fund’s portfolio, which boasts participation from a range of forward-thinking investors, both individual and institutional alike.

In March, Cerebrum Tech unveiled Cere, a groundbreaking artificial intelligence application. Available in both personal and corporate versions, Cere is one of the first AI applications to leverage 3D avatars, offering a dynamic and immersive experience. Following this remarkable launch, September witnessed the introduction of Cere Insight, an innovative addition to the realm of artificial intelligence. Cere Insight stands out with its unique capabilities, allowing users to efficiently summarize extensive documents with multi-file support, and extract valuable insights from large datasets. Notably, it accomplishes this without necessitating coding expertise, thanks to its advanced LLM technology. Moreover, it empowers users to effortlessly create customizable chatbots with seamless web integration, delivering a transformative experience.

Cerebrum Tech has consistently championed pioneering initiatives across various sectors. From artificial intelligence and internet of things to finance and the dynamic Web3 sphere, Cerebrum Tech continues to make indelible contributions to the evolving technology landscape.

“Our aspiration is to fortify our presence in the global market through the international investments we’ve garnered from day one”

“Our aspiration is to fortify our presence in the global market through the international investments we’ve garnered from day one,” affirmed Dr. Erdem Erkul, Founder and Chairman of the Board of Directors at Cerebrum Tech, an esteemed leader in Türkiye’s artificial intelligence landscape. He elaborated on the company’s journey, stating, “When Cerebrum Tech set its course in 2021, we committed to fostering the growth of the technology entrepreneurship ecosystem in our homeland and establishing ourselves as a distinguished new-generation technology firm on the global stage. The partnership with Boğaziçi Ventures, I believe, is a pivotal step towards achieving our ambitious goals. We will persistently innovate and scale our existing products to cater to the evolving landscape of new-generation technologies, including artificial intelligence, which is already shaping the future, for the global audience.”

In addition to Boğaziçi Ventures, a prominent investment company in Türkiye, and a group of international investors, Cerebrum Tech has garnered support from Inveo Ventures Coinvestment Venture Capital Investment Fund. This forward-thinking fund specializes in investing in future technologies, aligning seamlessly with Cerebrum Tech’s commitment to innovation.

Furthermore, Cerebrum Tech remains bolstered by individual investors, notably including Faruk Eczacıbaşı, one of the company’s early backers. His continued involvement in this investment round underscores the unwavering commitment to Cerebrum Tech’s growth and success among individual investors.

“Cerebrum Tech is set to assume a pivotal role within our portfolio”

“Cerebrum Tech is set to assume a pivotal role within our portfolio,” declared Barış Özistek, Managing Partner of Boğaziçi Ventures. Boğaziçi Ventures, renowned for its unwavering focus on innovative technologies and disruptive innovation, has added Cerebrum Tech to its roster of investments. Cerebrum Tech, one of Türkiye’s standout success stories in the fields of artificial intelligence and Web 3.0, has exhibited remarkable growth and potential in recent years.

“In 2023, Boğaziçi Ventures maintains its steadfast commitment to investing in visionary projects driven by technology. This approach, rooted in constructive disruption, is instrumental in shaping the future. Cerebrum Tech, now a proud member of our BV Growth Venture Capital Investment Fund, has rapidly ascended to become one of the flagship projects within our expansive portfolio.”

“An Investment Paving the Way for a Bright Future”

Boğaziçi Ventures, a trailblazing name in Türkiye’s alternative asset management sector, is on a mission to invest in the future by emphasizing projects that bring intrinsic value, distinct from the conventional investment management approach. Boğaziçi Ventures wholeheartedly believes in the potential of technology and technology entrepreneurs in our homeland. In each of our investments, we go beyond mere financial contributions, standing shoulder-to-shoulder with our portfolio companies throughout their journey as a dedicated team. We bolster them with our wealth of knowledge, experience, and an extensive network of resources.

As we embark on the shared journey of fostering Cerebrum Tech’s growth, we take immense pride in the opportunity to co-author a new chapter of success within the vibrant entrepreneurship ecosystem of our nation. This investment embodies our unwavering commitment to catalyze innovation and pave the way for a brighter future.”

About Cerebrum Tech:

Established in 2021, Cerebrum Tech is a forward-thinking venture studio dedicated to pioneering solutions in key sectors like Artificial Intelligence, the Internet of Things, finance, e-commerce, and Web3. Fueled by a team of experts, Cerebrum Tech excels in driving digital transformation, developing innovative, globally recognized applications in artificial intelligence, Web3, data security, consultancy, as well as smart cities and sustainability. At the heart of Cerebrum Tech’s mission is a vision to be a trusted leader in next-generation technology operating from strategic locations, including Silicon Valley, Istanbul, Seoul, Ankara, the Netherlands, Malta, and London, It’s a venture studio firmly rooted in its belief in harnessing the potential of young talent.

About Boğaziçi Ventures:

Boğaziçi Ventures stands as a preeminent alternative investment firm, specializing in the conception and management of funds dedicated to technology companies across various sectors and global territories. Their commitment lies in generating substantial added value for the companies they invest in.

With a distinguished history of investment decisions that have impacted over 100 technology companies, Boğaziçi Ventures takes an active role in nurturing technology startups. The firm’s partners and team actively engage with entrepreneurs, providing guidance, mentorship, and invaluable knowledge transfer to steer them toward international success.

Boğaziçi Ventures encompasses a group of companies that establish and oversee specialized funds tailored to the unique requirements of investors. Additionally, the firm offers secure custody services for digital currencies, catering to the evolving needs of the digital economy.

A subsidiary of Boğaziçi Ventures, BV Asset Management, plays a pivotal role in assisting both individual and institutional investors in establishing and managing mutual funds, in accordance with the regulations of the Capital Markets Law.

Distinguished by its innovative approach, BV Asset Management establishes and oversees funds that are intricately tied to technology, providing opportunities to invest in publicly traded technology companies.


Climate tech Startup Bio-Logical raises $1m Seed round: Kenya’s Agricultural Sector to Get a Boost from Bio-Logicals Landmark Biochar Carbon Removal Facility



Climate tech

Climate tech company Bio-Logical has raised a $1m seed round to scale up its operations in Kenya, facilitating its mission to build climate resilient communities of smallholder farmers around the world.

Smallholder farmers are facing a dire outlook with faltering harvests, increasingly extreme weather and skyrocketing fertiliser prices becoming increasingly common due to climate change. Bio-Logical addresses this challenge through a circular economy, transforming waste into biochar, a super material that sequesters carbon for millenia and regenerates degraded soil. Their biochar is then incorporated into an organic fertiliser which is distributed to smallholder farmers in the region, regenerating land, increasing crop drought resistance and boosting yields by over 50%.

“Bio-Logical was founded on the belief that Smallholder farmers should not suffer at the hands of a climate crisis they have played no part in. At present, soil degradation and changing weather patterns due to climate change is directly threatening the livelihoods of 500 million smallholder farmers around the world.” Rory Buckworth, Co-Founder

Utilising its innovative technology, Bio-Logical’s first site will be the largest biochar production facility in Africa. It will transform over 30,000 tonnes of agricultural waste a year into biochar, sequestering 25,000 tonnes of CO2. This process will generate carbon credits, the revenue from which will be used to subsidise its resilience building fertiliser for smallholder farmers, boosting yields and reducing fertiliser costs.

We believe carbon credits should do more than simply remove carbon from the atmosphere and instead should be used to build the resilience of climate vulnerable communities” Philip Hunter, Co-Founder

The funding round is led by the Steyn Group alongside Angel Investors Rob Konterman, Luke Calcott-Stevens and Jochem Wieringa. The round will go towards the development of Bio-Logical’s first Kenya site which will pave the way for its expansion throughout the region that will see the company scale to support 1 million smallholders and sequester 1 million tonnes of CO2 annually by 2030.

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According to setscale, More than 50% of US Small Businesses are Unaware of Federal Government Contracts, Losing $84 Billion a Year in Valuable Deals



Setscale, a purchase order financing company, reports on small business financing, highlighting the lack of access to US government contracts

Setscale, the purchase order financing company, released today its first-ever report on US small business financing. The report surveyed US small business owners to better understand some of the financial barriers to small business ownership, including their awareness of federal government contracts for small businesses.

69% of US small businesses struggle with cash flow, preventing them from meeting the demand of government contracts.

More than half (52%) of all surveyed small business owners revealed that they aren’t aware of the specific contracts the US federal government awards to small businesses each year, missing out on approximately $84 billion* per year.

Government contracts are well-valued and often serve as a gateway to a steady source of income and small business growth. More than 70% (71%) of surveyed US small businesses say that they’re aware of lucrative and reliable government contracts, but more than half (52%) say they don’t know what specific contracts are available to them. And over a quarter of US small businesses (29%) are completely unaware that the federal government awards contracts to small businesses.

This report highlights that the federal government is investing in small businesses in record-high amounts, but business owners are still struggling to fill open government purchase orders. Almost 70% (69%) of US small businesses struggle with cash flow and working capital, preventing them from meeting the demand of a government contract. Many businesses pursue lines of credit from a bank or financial institution to fulfill purchase orders, but these are costly and hard to obtain. Alternative finance like purchase order financing can help these businesses secure and fulfill valuable government contracts.

Moreover, US small business owners say that a lack of cash flow and working capital prevents them from securing government contracts. At 22%, a lack of cash flow or capital is the second most popular reason that prevents US small business owners from securing a government contract. The most popular reason they aren’t securing government contracts is due to a lack of time and resources (25%).

“Our small business financing report sheds light on an issue that more than half of surveyed business owners know all too well – that even though the US federal government is awarding a record number of contracts to our small businesses, they’re still struggling financially to fulfill open purchase orders, potentially losing out on more than $80 billion each fiscal year,” comments Daniel Fine, Founder and CEO of Setscale.

“Government contracts are fierce competition for US small business owners for a reason. They’re reliable, well-valued, and often lead to steady sources of income. However, due to a lack of knowledge of the specific government contract awarding process, business owners are unsure if they can fulfill the government’s open purchase orders without pursuing a line of credit from a bank or financial institution,” elaborates Fine. “With interest rates at an all-time high, it’s an incredibly bad time to be a borrower. PO financing allows a small business to quickly bid on a contract, finance the full transaction, and scale operations to meet the size of the order.”

*In Fiscal Year 2022, the US federal government awarded $162.9B in federal contracting opportunities to small businesses. 52% of surveyed US small business owners reported that they aren’t aware of the specific contracts the US federal government awards to small businesses * $162.9B = $84B in lost opportunities.

Survey Methodology
Setscale designed and executed research for this report in collaboration with Censuswide. 251 US small business owners in companies with less than 50 employees (aged 18+) were surveyed online in October 2023. Censuswide abides by and employs members of the Market Research Society which is based on the ESOMAR principles.

About Setscale
Setscale is a fintech startup solving the trade financing dilemma for small businesses. Small businesses frequently get purchase orders, but don’t have the money to fill them. Through its PO financing technology, Setscale finances the cost of those goods, allowing small businesses to focus on product and sales, enabling them to scale. Setscale is an ideal partner for SMBs, coming in where traditional financial institutions won’t, enabling SMB’s to finance their growth. Setscale funds supply. You meet demand.

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Monsha'at leads delegation of Saudi startups at Web Summit 2023



As part of its work to showcase the growth of the Kingdom’s SME sector, Monsha’at, the Small and Medium Enterprises General Authority of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, took part in Web Summit 2023: one of the world’s leading technology conferences.

Held from 13 to 16 November 2023 — in Lisbon, Portugal — the event provided Monsha’at the opportunity to spotlight Saudi Arabia’s most innovative SMEs. The authority led a delegation of Saudi start-ups, calling attention to their success and contributions to the national economy. Moreover, the event provided a platform for industry leaders, including policymakers, heads of state, and tech CEOs and founders, to address global challenges.

Sami Al Hussaini, Governor of Monsha’at, said: “2023 has been a landmark year for Monsha’at and the Saudi SME sector, with the number of start-ups in the Kingdom growing to over 1.2 million. While we have made a great deal of progress, we can achieve more. Launching innovative partnerships with businesses and entities around the world is essential. Events such as Web Summit 2023 enable us to do that, immersing some of our leading start-ups in an energized environment conducive to collaboration, innovation and growth.”

Saudi Arabia’s start-up ecosystem is currently undergoing a period of rapid growth. Amid the continued expansion of its non-oil sector, the Kingdom achieved one of the highest economic growth rates in the world last year and has been recognized as one of the best-performing countries in terms of leveraging reforms to improve its business environment. In Q2 2023, the Kingdom led the region in VC funding and capital raised, accounting for 42% of MENA funding at a value of $446 million.

Among the Saudi start-ups participating in Web Summit 2023 were: Zid, Lendo, Nuqtah, Syarah, Asasat Advanced Systems, Wosul, Kabi, Master Works, resal, WhiteHelmet, Mustadem, and Tachyon.

Monsha’at’s participation at WebSummit follows its recent participation in other world-class conferences, including SWITCH Singapore, and ComeUp Korea, where it has helped connect some of the Kingdom’s leading start-ups with the international business and investment communities.

About Monsha’at:

Monsha’at was established in 2016 with the aim of regulating, supporting, developing, and sponsoring the SME sector in the Kingdom in accordance with global best practices, in order to increase the productivity of SMEs and their contribution to GDP.

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