12. August 2021

Interview with Martin Skaba

Martin Skaba is a finance and investment professional with a strong track record in various financial projects such as private equity, risk finance, M&A or project finance. He successfully obtained two Masters’ degrees (Finance and Law) and is a member of CFA Society Slovakia.

1. Please, can you tell us a bit about yourself and about your journey to becoming an investment manager?
I started my career at the international audit and consulting company KPMG while still studying at the Faculty of Economics at Mendel University and the Faculty of Law at Masaryk University in Brno. Prior to joining Sandberg Capital, I worked as a manager in the fund structure of Slovak Investment Holding. I became an investment manager this year after investing in Daktela – the leader in the Czech market of cloud solutions for contact centers and communication with customers.

2. When it comes to investment, what kind of ideas/deals catch your attention?
It depends, it could be technology, a strong team or an interesting sector.

3. And how do you usually source prospects?
Most of our deals/prospects are sourced internally – we search for topics/ideas with potential and then look for companies that could fulfill it. Anyhow, we are open to external sources too, whether it is an approach by a sell-side consultant or by the company itself.
4. Sandberg Capital acquired a minority stake in Czech group Daktela, a leading provider of Cloud Contact Centre Software for Customer Care. Please tell us more about this investment.
There is an awesome team of people in Daktela and they have a great product, which we have known for a long time through our other investment in the telco sector – Swan. We believe in a modern form of communication. Whether a company is an e-shop, travel agency or corporation, it needs contact with customers to be as effective as possible. The purpose of our entry into Daktela is to help the company to move from the position of leader in the Czech market to the leader in the wider region and at the same time, we want the company to maintain its great energy and ability to provide excellent customer service.
5. What are the hot sectors in the economy at the moment when it comes to investment?
The TMT and especially technology companies have been “hot” sectors for a long time. They are also the strongest areas in Sandberg. However, I am convinced that in every sector it’s possible to find good companies with great potential. In Sandberg we are open to opportunities from every economic area.
6. Is expansion outside of Europe something you consider at Sandberg Capital or do you aim to keep focusing mainly on the Europe region in the future?
Europe/EU is our home and we do have considerable know-how valued by our investors. We surely intend to support the expansion of our portfolio companies.

Sandberg Capital is a private equity management company founded in 2014 and focusing on investing in smaller and medium-sized companies in Slovakia and the CEE region. In January 2021, Sandberg opened its second investment fund, which was launched with EUR 109 million of committed capital and invested primarily by institutional investors, including one of Europe’s largest investors – the European Investment Fund. In Sandberg´s first fund, assets with a value of more than EUR 250 million are managed and invested in the IT, telecommunications, agriculture, education and retail sectors. Domestic and foreign alternative investment funds are established and managed with authorisation from the National Bank of Slovakia.