On August 5, 2020, CEE Legal Matters reported that the Aksan Law Firm had advised Albaraka Asset Management on its investment in Clotie, an e-commerce company that provides personalized clothing services. CEEIHM talked to Albaraka Asset Management General Manager Emin Ozer to learn more about the deal.
CEEIHM: To start, please tell us about Albaraka Asset Management.
Emin: Albaraka Asset Management Company is wholly subsidized by the Albaraka Turk Participation Bank. We have a Portfolio Management Activity Authorization Certificate from the Capital Markets Board. We are specialized in real estate, securities, and venture capital investment funds but we are a full-service asset management company.
Currently, we run five different VC investment funds — in total 12 funds with approximately TRY 2 billion AUM. All funds are issued based on the Turkish Capital Markets Board Regulations.
With the Startup VC Investment Fund, which was founded in May 2020, our aim is to invest in Turkish startups in various stages, from pre-seed to pre-series A. Our ticket size varies according to the stage of the startup.
CEEIHM: Why Clotie? What was it about the company that sparked your interest?
Emin: Albaraka Turk Participation Bank runs a startup acceleration program, Albaraka Garage. Clotie participated in a previous Albaraka Garage acceleration program and we have been following Clotie since then. Over the duration of the program, we held many meetings and discussions about Clotie’s business model, metrics, and expansion strategy. Over time we saw the improvements they made and the successes that they have achieved and we were impressed by the team and their abilities. We knew that they were the right team to invest in.
CEEIHM: How does this acquisition fit within your general investment strategy and what are the next steps with this asset?
Emin: Our investment strategy is to invest in Turkish startups which demonstrate product-market fit, high growth potential, and the ability to scale globally. Clotie has solid proof of all three aspects. Our next step is to polish the product and the business model and expand it to another country in the upcoming year.
CEEIHM: At what stage of the deal did you involve the Aksan Law Firm? Where they active participants in the negotiations or where they brought in to conclude the contract side of things?
Emin: The Aksan Law Firm is a partner of Albaraka Asset Management, and we work with the firm on many different levels. Aksan worked on the Clotie deal in order to conclude the contract side of things and helped us with the documentation process.
CEEIHM: And, while on the subject, why did you choose the Aksan Law firm specifically for this matter?
Emin: Aksan is a well-known Turkish law firm focused on startup investments. We are really happy to be working with Aksan Law Firm on our investments. They are a true strategic partner.