Czech web portal and search engine Seznam.cz has decided to become one of the five investors of Prague-based StartupYard, according to a press release by the seed accelerator last week. Seznam has acquired a 10% share, and has therefore also become a strategic partner of the project.
As the newest shareholder of StartupYard, the web portal will spend the next half year working with its now-partners on mentoring startups, and providing them with relevant know-how and expertise. The co-investees include Credo Ventures, Michal Illich, and Petr Ocasek – all onboard as of November 2011 – and since recently, Robin Raszka, according to the release.
Seznam, founded back in the late 1990s, is a major player on the country’s internet market, as it offers a number of internet services such as search, news, and email, among others. “Last year, our support to StartupYard was through sharing our know-how and offering free ads in our Sklik system to individual teams,” said Pavel Zima, CEO of Seznam. “This year we decided to take on the role of the investor as well.” The company’s goal is thus to work closely with the up-and-coming entrepreneurs, and to offer them their knowledge on the Czech online business scene.
Last month, StartupYard closed its third window of applications, and in March, it will start its six-month acceleration programme for up to 10 selected startups. Over the course of the last two years, the accelerator has mentored 17 companies, 15 of which are reportedly still active. More information on StartupYard and their offerings is available here.