Foreign Investors Council
47, Gospodar Jevremova Street, IV Floor, 11000 Belgrade, Serbia
Phone: +381 11 3281 958, 3281 965

Member News

Živković Samardžić Advises Credo Ventures on Investment in Startup Trickest

Živković Samardžić has advised Credo Ventures on its investment in Trickest, a Belgrade-based startup building a workflow automation and orchestration tool for bug bounty hunters, penetration testers, and enterprise security teams. Trickest has raised a EUR 1.4 million seed round and the round is led by Credo Ventures, with participation from Earlybird Digital East Fund, with Daniel Dines and Marius Tirca, CEO and CTO of UiPath also participating as angel investors. Proceeds from the round will be used to accelerate hiring and support the company’s early access launch.

Credo Ventures is a venture capital company focused on early stage investments in Central and Eastern Europe. It is on a mission to identify and back the most interesting early stage companies in the region, support them in their growth plans (including expansion to the U.S. / global market), and help to achieve their objectives. Credo Ventures is looking for opportunities to invest in high-growth potential companies with international ambitions and competence to execute and deliver, while its industry focus is IT, Internet, and health.

Trickest’s co-founders combined their security and data backgrounds to start Trickest in late 2019. The company’s cloud-based workflow editor makes it easy to build and automate tests in a drag-and-drop way, and while the platform supports starting from scratch, Trickest makes the best crowdsourced knowledge available to everyone thanks to a library of 100+ open-source tools. Additionally, more advanced users can also drop in their custom scripts for maximum flexibility and control. The company also takes care of infrastructure management – workflows can be run in the cloud with one click and are designed to support features like auto-scaling and cost controls out of the box.

Živković Samardžić’s scope of work consisted of performing due diligence of Trickest, drafting and negotiating of transactional documentation, structuring the transaction, as well as all-encompassing legal advisory regarding post-closing activities for Credo Ventures. The Živković Samardžić team that has advised Credo Ventures on this deal was led by Partner Igor Živkovski and included Partners Slobodan Kremenjak, who advised on intellectual property matters and Ana Popović, who advised on employment matters.

Živković Samardžić Advises Joberty on Angel Investment for Entering Global Market

Živković Samardžić has advised Joberty, an online IT business platform that connects employers and candidates into a transparent ecosystem, on early-stage investment by angel investor, Kroog Ventures. With the investment of USD 350,000, this high-potential project has reached a value of as much as USD 3.3 million.

The initial capital will be used to expand Joberty platform in the region, the European market and beyond. Since its inception, the platform has numbered over 27,000 IT professionals and 600 companies, despite the many problems caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Joberty is an online platform founded in August 2019, created as a startup. The purpose of the platform is to enable employees in IT companies to share their work experiences, candidates to find jobs in the IT industry, and IT companies to find relevant candidates for their jobs. With this approach, Joberty provides the wider community with the opportunity to gain additional insight into the work ethic and culture of IT companies, thus increasing the transparency of the rapidly evolving IT community. The goal of the platform is to expand throughout the region, but also throughout other continents, especially throughout the US markets.

Kroog Ventures is an investment platform focused on European technology startup projects. It was founded in early 2021 and is investing in the early stages of development. It consists of entrepreneurs, technology seniors and experienced businessmen. Kroog Ventures supports startups not only financially, but also with strategic and operational support, as well as the access to the international network and capital markets.

Živković Samardžić acted as legal adviser to Joberty on all aspects of the deal, including structuring the transaction, drafting and negotiating of transactional documentation, as well as assisting with the preparation and execution of the closing process. The Živković Samardžić team that has advised Joberty on this deal was led by Partner Igor Živkovski.

Živkovic Samardžić Advises on Eurobank Merger with Direktna Bank

Živković Samardžić, one of Serbia’s leading full-service independent law firms, has advised on the merger of Eurobank a.d. Beograd (“Eurobank Serbia”), a Serbian subsidiary of Eurobank S.A. (“Eurobank”), subsidiary of “Eurobank Ergasias Services and Holdings S.A.” (Eurobank Holdings), with Direktna Banka a.d. Kragujevac (“Direktna”), with absorption of Direktna by Eurobank Serbia (the “Transaction”).

The Eurobank Group is a dynamic banking group active in six countries, with total assets of €67.7 billion and 11,394 employees. Established in 1990, the Group expanded through organic growth to become a leading force in Greek banking sector. In Serbia, Eurobank (after two successful acquisitions – Poštanska banka and Nacionalna štedionica) is today among the leading foreign investors and financial institutions.

Direktna is a modern, domestic and universal bank, whose business strategy is focused on business with the population and the economy. It was created by the purchase of KBM Bank, then Findomestic BNP Paribas and Piraeus Bank a.d. Beograd, which formed a strong and stable financial institution.

The combined bank (“Eurobank Direktna”) will have total assets in excess of €2bn, total equity above €300m and, accounting for the expected fully-phased synergies, pre-provision income and net income in excess of €50m and €35m respectively.

The combined bank’s market share will exceed 6.5%, in terms of total loans, making the bank the seventh largest in Serbia.

After the completion of the Transaction, Eurobank will control c. 70% of the combined bank while Direktna’s shareholders will own the remaining 30%. Both parties have committed to a growth-oriented business plan, incorporating ambitious expansion targets that will allow the combined bank to finance the Serbian economy and grow profitably in the next few years. Part of the Transaction is the payment of a dividend/capital return to Eurobank. The Transaction is capital neutral for Eurobank and earnings per share (EPS) accretive by 3% post synergies.

Completion of the Transaction is subject to customary approvals by the competent regulatory and supervisory authorities and is expected to take place during the last quarter of 2021. The Živković Samardžić team provided legal assistance and advice both involved banks on the Transaction. This deal was led by Partners Branislav Živković, Uroš Đorđević, Igor Živkovski and Sava Pavlović.

Živković Samardžić Advises on the Sale of Eurobank Direktna to AIK Banka

Serbian banking market continues with consolidation and Živković Samardžić is again on the spot. Živković Samardžić, one of Serbia’s leading full-service independent law firms, has advised the shareholders of Eurobank Direktna a.d. Beograd (“Eurobank Direktna”) on the sale of the entire stake of 100% in Eurobank Direktna to AIK Banka a.d. Beograd(“AIK Banka”). Eurobank Direktna is headquartered in Belgrade and operates through 4 primary segments: Retail Banking, Corporate Banking, Small Business Banking & Digital Banking, and holds a market share of 6% in terms of total assets. It currently employs c. 1,600 employees, operates 98 branches and has a balance sheet size of €2.4bn. Eurobank Direktna is majority owned by Eurobank Holdings (70%) and former Direktna Banka shareholders (30%).

Eurobank Direktna has developed its banking business since entering the market in 2003 as Eurobank EFG Serbia. Following the merger with Direktna Banka, it has become number 8 in the market with market share of 5.5% in assets, loan portfolio of 1.7 billion euro and 1.5 billion euro deposits (as of September 2022). Through a wide network of branches and online platform, Eurobank Direktna provides a high-quality service to its clients.

Thanks to the complementarity of the activities of the two banks, the combined bank would have attained an over 13% market share in total assets, with over 4 billion euro deposits and strong capital base of more than 800 million euros (as of September 2022).

Completion of the transaction is subject to customary approvals by the competent regulatory and supervisory authorities and is expected to take place during the third quarter of 2023.

Živković Samardžić team that acted as local legal counsel to the shareholders of Eurobank Direktna on all aspects of this process consisted of Partners Branislav ŽivkovićIgor ŽivkovskiSava Pavlović and Uroš Đorđević.

Živković Samardžić Advises Serbian Bookers on Legal Aspects of its Evolving into a Global Brand OTA Sync

Živković Samardžić has advised Serbian Bookers, a Belgrade-based startup developing the first cloud software for hotels and private accommodation in Serbia, on legal aspects of its evolving into a global brand OTA Sync. The aim of this restructuring is to expand the opportunity for global expansion and access to investment opportunities.

Serbian Bookers is software company offering complete web & mobile solutions for hotels and private accommodation. With this evolving into a global brand OTA Sync (Online Travel Agencies Synchronization) it will continue to expand and develop globally, while its team will remain local. Currently, the system is used by users from 14 countries, and the team continues to work on new functions, modernization of the system and the success of its clients. The introduction of new functions will further facilitate the business of users and will help them to analyze their strategy in more detail and improve communication with guests.

OTA Sync is a full cloud-based hotel & property management system with integrated channel manager and booking engine system, ideal for any type of rentals. Its goal is to offer only the best quality software solution on the market. OTA Sync has already recorded great success in the tourism market, and in the coming period it is expected that the customer base of this service will be increased.

Živković Samardžić acted as legal adviser to Serbian Bookers on all aspects of the deal, including structuring the transaction, drafting of transactional documentation, as well as assisting with the implementation of the transaction. The Živković Samardžić team that has advised Serbian Bookers on this deal was led by Partner Igor Živkovski.

Živković Samardžić Advises Trigal on Its First Investment in Serbia

Živković Samardžić has advised Trigal on its investment in 5 urban lighting regeneration public-private partnership projects in Serbia. Projects are led by Resalta, the provider of energy services in the region, and include installation of new LED lights in 5 municipalities, which will bring significant savings. Lifetime of the projects is 13 years remaining.

This ESCO projects portfolio is the latest one in Trigal’s infrastructure portfolio and comes after implementation of this kind of projects in North Macedonia and Croatia. The term ESCO stands for energy service company and the model allows those companies to carry out energy services without the clients having to invest their own capital in the projects.

Trigal is a joint venture founded by KGAL Gmbh & CO. KG and Zavarovalnica Triglav d.d., combines investment, operational and asset management expertise providing tailored made solutions to a diverse client base; insurance companies, pension funds, family offices.

KGAL and Triglav insurance combine over EUR 23.2 billion of assets under management and joined forces to create Trigal, with a goal to become the leading real asset investment management platform for the Adriatic region.

Živković Samardžić acted as legal adviser to Trigal on all aspects of the deal, including the legal due diligence exercise, structuring the transaction, drafting and negotiating of transactional documentation, assisting with the preparation and execution of the closing process and all-encompassing legal advisory regarding post-closing activities.

The Živković Samardžić team that has advised Trigal on this deal was led by Partners Igor Živkovski and Sava Pavlović.