On May 2, CEE Legal Matters reported that Zivkovic Samardzic has advised Fifth Quarter Ventures on the legal process for becoming an alternative investment fund in Serbia. CEE In-House Matters spoke with Pedja Predin, Co-Founder & General Partner at Fifth Quarter Ventures, to learn more about the matter.
CEEIHM: To start, tell us a bit about Fifth Quarter Ventures and its operations.
Predin: Fifth Quarter Ventures is an early-stage venture capital fund focused on Southeast Europe. We are focused on identifying the most talented entrepreneurs and supporting their startups on the commercial side to help them build global stories from the region. General partners are Tihomir Bajic and myself, Pedja Predin, and we cumulatively bring 30+ years of experience building and investing in startups worldwide. The fund is headquartered in Serbia, registered as an alternative investment fund, and regulated by the Serbian Securities Commission.
CEEIHM: What was the rationale for applying to become an alternative investment fund in Serbia?
Predin: Our strategy from the beginning was to raise money from local/regional investors to support local startups. This way once the company exits or conducts an IPO, we would have a flywheel effect where the returns for the ecosystem are being compounded. We consulted with Zivkovic Samardzic lawyers to ensure there were no downsides to this strategy and our belief is that we made the right choice.
CEEIHM: What can we expect next, now that this process is concluded?
Predin: We view this milestone just as a beginning, as we are now officially starting the operations as a fund. In the previous period, we have been scanning the market, and selecting the startups that are fit for our investment strategy. We expect to close our first investments in the coming months.
CEEIHM: What was the most complex aspect of the process from a legal perspective?
Predin: The most complex aspect was definitely around setting up the rules of the fund which had to take into consideration global standards in the venture capital industry with the local legal system regulations. After conducting deep research and consultations, we managed to find an effective solution for this which we hope we can replicate in the future.
CEEIHM: And why did you pick Zivkovic Samardzic as your advisor on this matter?
Predin: Prior to establishing Fifth Quarter Ventures, I was collaborating on various investments with the Zivkovic Samardzic team and especially with Igor Zivkovski who is Partner in their Belgrade office. I have been continuously impressed with their expertise and professionalism as they have successfully completed all of the previous projects. We established a close working relationship over time, which made this decision quite easy and we hope to maintain it this way.