About me

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I started my career in entrepreneurship in my last year of college (1992), when I negotiated with professor Stancescu, my Manufacturing Technology professor, the sale of my diploma project – a library of machine parts on a CAD platform – this was actually the only software I wrote with my own hands.

The negotiation eventually led to my first exit and to understanding the business of intellectual property: it’s great to work once and be able to sell multiple times after that. 🙂

In 1992, I set up the first GECAD company and in 1994 we began developing RAV antivirus, as well as 3 other software products that weren’t so successful. Well, actually those were failures. This was another entrepreneurship lesson learned: not all projects have the same chances to succeed. With RAV, however, we struck gold. 🙂 In 2003, we had more than 150 resellers in 60 countries and, that same year, this technology attracted Microsoft’s attention, company with which I eventually negotiated the sale of RAV.

I kept GECAD and the management team, after each of us refused some very important job positions at Microsoft. Why didn’t I go to Redmond as a security VP? Because I am an entrepreneur at heart and I really don’t see myself doing anything else. So I stayed to start again. From the beginning.

In 2004, GECAD Group was born and back then it incorporated 5 companies. We started developing 3 new software programs: an email server – Axigen, an online payment platform – ePayment, an ESD (Electronic Software Distribution) platform – Avangate and a security solution (non-antivirus) – Sentinet.

In 2010 was bought by Allegro/Naspers, marking a major step forward towards regional development. For me this was a very successful exit for two reasons: a) the company we started in 2004 from scratch practically built an entire industry in Romania: the industry of electronic commerce and b) it showed that RAV was not a one-time lucky shot.

In 2013, Avangate was 100% acquired by Francisco Partners, one of the largest private equity companies in Silicon Valley, marking thus the third international exit for GECAD Group. In 2014 Axigen was acquired by a group of enthusiast professionals that believed so much in the technology that they wanted to get involved.  In 2015 Coinzone, a Bitcoin platform, was acquired by Coinify. The most recent international exit was marked by the takeover of the intellectual property and team of Vector Watch by Fitbit.

The show is now going on…. one more ten year cycle started with exciting new startups, this time to invest in.

After almost 25 years since I set up Gecad, we succeeded in bringing it to another stage in 2016 when it became Gecad Ventures, thus officially a venture capital firm that is investing in a broad range of companies with high growth potential, with the ability to innovate and deliver new ideas and products in their market.

In 2016, Gecad Ventures’ portfolio was enlarged with 3 new investments in companies such as SmartBill which is the leading SaaS for invoicing and inventory management in Romania, having over 40 000 clients, Symphopay which is a solution designed for retailers who want to integrate all partner banks into one single payment terminal, last but not least TypingDNA which is a security SaaS that uses AI algorithms to identify and authenticate individuals based on typing biometrics.

As a conclusion I’ll say this: I enjoy what I do tremendously – I love being an entrepreneur, I like having new ideas to put into practice or at least to try to put them into practice; I like sharing my ideas with the others even if these ideas are good or bad; I like encouraging entrepreneurship especially among young people; I like sharing the experience I’ve gathered so far, hoping to give back to new generations what life as an entrepreneur has taught me over the years. I like learning every day and from everybody; maybe that is why I start loving to be an investor, I like scouting startups with potential; I like motivated entrepreneurs with dedicated teams, I like projects daring the future. And most of all I like being part of a statistic and not being forced to censor myself. Take only what you like from me; the rest is only an opinion.

This is why I decided to start this blog that I hope you’ll enjoy reading and possibly find it useful.

Radu

 

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Radu Georgescu
GECAD Group