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13 CEE Startups That Support Us To Work From Anywhere

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Over the past few years, our journey to remote work has become inevitable. The COVID-19 pandemic could be the one to blame, but it gave us a way, where work could be done from anywhere anytime. Since the restrictions, especially in 2021, a lot of companies have been forced to shut down their offices and move to remote work mode with their employees. 

Even now, when the measures against the disease have loosened up notably, 16% of worldwide companies are continuing to allow their employees to work remotely. 88% of those people report being happier that they can work from home. 

Remote work has taken an upturn of 44% in the past ten years, with around 75% of all employees worldwide believing that working remotely is the future and should be considered normal. And more and more countries are starting to adopt regulations about working from home to aid HRs and companies in managing the shift. This huge transition is enhanced by many solutions helping teams to communicate asynchronously and be even more productive and efficient. 

The Recursive has prepared a list of 15 startups from CEE that are making the life of hybrid and remote workers easier or are helping companies adjust their office spaces to their new roles within the working processes.

 

Startups that help transform the office spaces 

 

  1.     Yarooms

Headquarters: Bucharest, Romania

Founders: Dragos Badea, Emil Muhtu, Marcel Preda

Solution: Yarooms is a hybrid workplace software suite, which consists of room booking, desk booking, work planning, digital signage, and visitor management solutions that are fitted for all business needs. 

Stage: They received a 2-million-euro seed round, with Gapminder VC as the leading investor, and the rest came from the SeedBlink investment platform.

Highlights: “Our customers report significant savings on real estate costs and employee time while experiencing a boost in scheduling efficiency and employee satisfaction”, says Dragos Bades, co-founder and CEO of Yarooms. 

 

  1. Pluria

Headquarters: Bucharest, Romania

Founders: Andrei Cretu, Gabriela Draghia

Solution: Pluria’s work-from-anywhere solution allows companies and their employees to access office spaces or meeting rooms on demand and save resources by paying only when they actually use the space. Their subscription-based mobile app helps companies recruit teams, expand their businesses between borders and adjust to a more flexible way of working.  

Highlights: One year, since Pluria launched in Latin America, Columbia in 2021, they have been expanding the company in Mexico, Brazil, and Peru. “Don’t design following a one-size-fits-all formula. Give choice and decisional autonomy at individual and team levels to exercise the choice”, says Andrei Cretu, co-founder of Pluria

Read more:  Reaching new heights, faster: CEE startups with combined value of €186B

 

  1.     OfficeRnD

 

Location: Sofia, Bulgaria

Founders: Miroslav Miroslavov, Miroslav Nedyalkov

Solution: Office RnD is a coworking and community management software that automates administrative processes. It was founded in 2015 in Sofia to provide a flexible service to office spaces and businesses and help them scale their operations. Today it serves more than 2000 working spaces in over 60 countries and has employees on 3 different continents. The company also enables people that have chosen to work in shared spaces to access all the services offered by the venue and keep track of their membership plan.

 Funding: In 2019, OfficeRnD recorded a $3M financial round, led by Flashpoint Venture Capital, and Bulgarian VC LAUNCHub Ventures. Also in 2021, they raised $10M with the lead investor being the Aamerican based Runa Capital.

Highlights: Currently, it continues scaling its operations and client portfolio. Listen to the co-founder of OfficeRnD Miroslav Miroslavov on what it takes to build a global company in The Recursive podcast.

 

  1.   SpotUS.space

Headquarters: Bucharest, Romania

Founders: Ovidiu Ciurte

  Solution: SpotUs Space has committed to bringing complete digital interaction between the office building and their tenant companies, in relation to tenant employees and visitors. It is a self-service mobile app for parking or reservation of office desks, offering digital access to the workplace.

Highlights: SpotUS is trying to remove the wait time for finding a parking space, thus allowing employees to have the freedom of parking near their office building.

 

  1.     BOX2M

 

Headquarters: Bucharest, Romania

Founders: Alexandru Gliga, Marian Macoveanu

Solution: BOX2M’s solution is a SaaS and industrial IoT tool, both hardware, and software, for office buildings to decrease energy and utility bills and maintenance costs. 

 Funding: In 2019, BOX2M received a grant from InnovX

Highlights: Helping real estate and office spaces reduce their expenses and help reduce the carbon footprint they have on the world.

 

  1.     Cowork7/24

 

Location: Sofia, Bulgaria, and Istanbul, Turkey

Founders: Serkan Kurtulus

Solution: Cowork7/24 is a company that offers access to digital nomads, remotely working professionals, and traveling people to the most suitable coworking space among 261 flexible offices on two continents.

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Highlights: The specially designed city coworking pass of the company gives access to users to all the coworking spaces without having to pay extra. The city pass comes with three variations: Fan, Regular, and Ultimate, depending on how many hours of credit a user will get.

 

  1. Bright Spaces

 

Location: Bucharest, Romania

Founders: Bogdan-Adrian Nicoara, Andrei Constantin, and Ciprian Pasca.

Solution: Bright Spaces’ solution is an interactive platform for clients to showcase office spaces digitally, aided by three design templates.

Funding: In July 2021, the startup raised $1.5M to accelerate real estate digitalization in CEE. 

Highlights: Find out more about Bright spaces’ global vision in our conversation with Bogdan Nicoara in The Recursive podcast. 

 

Startups that smooth remote work 

  1. Native Teams

 

Location: Based in London, but originated from North Macedonia

Founders: Jack Thorogood, Aleksandra Mitrevska

Solution: Native Teams offers a plan-based approach to contractors, remote workers, their employees, and clients based on individual needs. Some of the features include sending or requesting payments, looking for employed status and client payments services, paying international freelancers and flexible workers, and managing employment and payments to employees.

Funding: Native Teams has raised $2M from investors, led by Eleven Ventures, in one of the largest seed rounds in North Macedonia.

Highlights: It offers its services to more than 30 countries and it will use the funds raised for furthering its global expansion.

 

 

  1. Motion Software

 

Location: Started in Sofia, Bulgaria but got acquired by Exadel to increase its presence in Europe.

Founder: Christo Peev

Solution: Motion software was founded in 2015, and it allows its employees to work completely remotely. It essentially makes them like freelancers, but gives them a sense of security, by being full-time employees.

Funding: Motion Software got acquired by Exadel for an undisclosed amount. Exadel is a California-based company, which makes up to 160M in revenue each year.

 

  1. LucidLink

 

Location: San Francisco, California, and Sofia, Bulgaria.

Founders: Peter Thompson, Georgi Dochev

Solution: Founded in 2016, LucidLink provides its users with fast and secure remote access to large files and datasets that perform like a local disk. The SaaS solution of LucidLink allows remote work teams to have access to data across the globe, as an extension of their local drive.

Funding: They secured a $20M Series B round, which was led by BrightCap Ventures and Baseline Ventures.

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 Highlights: LucidLinks connects creative teams around the world and is based on the pay-as-you-go model.

 

  1. Panther

 

Location: Skopje, North Macedonia, and Tampa

Founders: Vasil Popovski, Matt Redler

Solution: Panther is an all-in-one platform that employs and pays global teams. They help companies with the difficult process of international hiring, payroll, benefits, and compliance, so companies can employ the best candidates around the world.

Funding: Panther has raised $2.5M, from eight investors in total, mainly from Seed Rounds.

Highlights: Panther is trusted by companies such as truevo, Angellist, Draftbit, CLEARCO, and many more. It makes it easy to onboard and pay your global workforce.

  1. Sessions

Location: Bucharest, Romania

Founders: Radu Negulescu, Radu Tintescu

Solution: Sessions’ mission is to solve the problem of unproductive meetings and help teams communicate more effectively. Dan Lupu, a partner at Earlybird Digital Fund said: “Sessions offers a unified platform that can efficiently address the communication issues while providing an engaging experience. Their unique mechanic allows companies to digitally engage with their customers in fluid, meaningful interactions no matter the complexity.”

Funding: In July 2022, Sessions raised a $4.5M seed round from Earlybird, Stride.VC and LAUNCHub Ventures, which will be used for new product development, optimizing their product, and recruiting more people for their crew.

Highlights: Sessions won Product Hunt’s 2021 Work from Anywhere Product of the Year and helped 2000 marketing, sales, and customer success teams to level up their video conferencing game. Meet with Sessions’ co-founder Radu Negulescu in The Recursive podcast. 

13.  XOR AI Recruiter

 

Headquarters: HQ in Chisinau, but it has offices in San Francisco, California, and Austin, Texas

Founders: Aida Frazylova, Nikolay Manolov

Solution: XOR AI Recruiter is a company that helps businesses with their talent acquisition processes. It uses AI and chatbots to make the recruitment process easier, and quicker and sort out the best blue-collar candidates. It specializes in manual labor, technical and operations segments of candidates.

Funding: So far, the company has attracted more than $9.3M in investments.

Highlights: It was founded in 2016 and since then it has helped a lot of employers to find the best match for their business. It is trusted by companies like Pizza Hut, HR Maximizer, and Hudson Pro.

 

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