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Ondrej Bartos, Founder of Credo on Building A Venture Firm with A Lasting Legacy

Ondrej Bartos, Founder of Credo on Building A Venture Firm with A Lasting Legacy

On success, collaboration, competition, a constant appetite for experimentation and how to build a firm that will endure.
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Today we have Ondrej Bartos with us. Ondrej is a Founding GP at Credo Ventures, a 75m€ Seed stage venture fund in Prague (and a bit elsewhere!) to back Central Eastern European Tech Startups.

Credo are investing out of Fund 4 with a total 250M€ AUM and an established portfolio of 60 companies and notable investments including UI Path, ProductBoard, PriceFX, Resistant AI, and Eleven Labs.

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00:00:00 - Ondrej & Credo Bio
00:00:41 - Announcing Roundtable on The Evolution of European Venture
00:04:06 - How Ondrej Got Into Venture
00:06:34 - Pivotal Moments in Venture Investing
00:09:18 - The Challenges of Being an Entrepreneur and VC
00:12:07 - Struggling with Success and Collaboration vs Competition Among VCs
00:14:31 - Maintaining a Calm & Collaborative Approach in Competitive Deals
00:16:58 - The Transformative Power of Success
00:19:34 - Managing Expectations and Transparency
00:22:17 - Collaborative Competitive Rivalry
00:24:44 - The Meaning of Credo
00:27:15 - Supporting Entrepreneurs
00:29:32 - The Importance of Passion and Hard Work
00:32:15 - Respecting Reshma and Co-Investing
00:34:44 - Staying as a Seed and Pre-Seed Fund
00:37:13 - Building Towards a Franchise
00:39:53 - The Logic Behind the Crossover Fund Experiment
00:42:26 - Creating Relationships with Late Stage Investors
00:45:08 - Failure in Internships and Startups

There’s a certain unfair advantage to picking one here, ‘cos we’ve had numerous co-investments with Seedcamp, and if I have to highlight one, it's definitely Reshma from SeedCamp.

I first met Reshma around 2008 or 2009, at the onset of SeedCamp, and we quickly became friends. I invited her to join the advisory board of Credo in its early days, around 2010. Seedcamp was our first Western European co-investor in our portfolio companies, and they've been incredibly supportive and helpful.

Reshma was one of the pioneering Western investors to pay attention to Central and Eastern Europe (CEE). My experience working with Seedcamp and Reshma has always been positive. I greatly respect and enjoy collaborating with them.

This respect was a key reason why we presented the UiPath Seed Round to Seedcamp. We valued their insight as a co-investor, and Reshma immediately recognized its potential and joined us. This only added to my admiration for her.

Q: What advice would you give your 10 year younger self?

  • Be patient & work hard - work harder! And remember that if you keep doing what you're doing, the results will come - just a bit later than what you expected.

Q: What are your top tips for emerging VCs across Europe who are fundraising?

  • My top tip is: Don't do it.

  • Second tip is: Be different, stand out. Nobody needs just another VC, be something, build an expertise or have a unique insight. Then you will raise and you will be successful.

Q: What’s the most counterintuitive thing you’ve learned in venture?

  • Charisma can be taught, so don't get overexcited about charismatic founders. They sometimes may be bad founders.

Q: What do you believe that most people around you disagree with?

  • I think warm intros are overrated. I hate warm intros. I feel like it puts an extra pressure on me to spend time with a founder and I feel like - at least with me - it almost has the opposite effect. I don’t like them. I love cold emails.

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GITEX Europe 2025 | 📆 23 - 25 May 2025 | 🌍 Berlin, Germany