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15+ blockchain startups from SEE you should know

Blockchain, Canva
Image credit: Canva

By maintaining a secure and decentralized record of transactions through its technology, blockchain has revolutionized many industries. Its applications are countless, as many industries have been trying to cut on the need for a middleman to prevent fraudulent gains and reduce costs. Blockchain startups are now popping in areas such as travel, marketing and advertising, supply chain management, events management, and even HR.

The Recursive mapped some of the key blockchain startups based in Southeast Europe, or with founders and operating teams in the region.

Top blockchain startups in Southeast Europe

 

Blockchain startups and projects with Romanian DNA

 

Company: Elrond

Founders: Beniamin Mincu, Lucian Todea, Lucian Mincu

Based in: Malta, with founding and development teams from Romania

Application: Financial Services

Solution: A blockchain platform launched in 2017. The Elrond network uses a sharding mechanism that helps transactions achieve better scalability and energy efficiency. After its eGold cryptocoin exploded in 2020, Elrond became the second unicorn emerging from the Romanian startup ecosystem after UiPath. Recently, Elrond acquired Utrust, looking to start a Web3 payments revolution through a payments processing solution that can provide yields to merchants.

 

Company: Ronin

Founders: Ovidiu Ghiman, Bogdan Almasi

Based in: Bucharest, Romania

Application: Financial Services

Solution: A blockchain crowdfunding platform launched in 2021. Aside from access to investors, they offer businesses looking to fundraise communication tools, marketing campaigns, and business matching. They opened their digital accounts in December, after an initial investment of €500K.

 

Company: Coreto

Founders: Iustina Faraon, Vlad Faraon

Based in: Estonia, with founder and team from Romania

Application: Social Media

Solution: A social media platform with a twist, aiming to create a secure environment for cryptocurrency and blockchain investors with a reputation-based mechanism. The fuel of the platform is the $COR token. Coreto offers verified crowdsourced information, as well as gamification elements, such as tasks, rankings, and leaderboards.

Read more:  Romanian spin-off Recycllux is deploying ML and blockchain for marine plastic recycling

 

Company: Modex

Founders: Dragos Rautu, Alin Daniel Iftemi

Based in: UK, with founder and team from Romania

Application: Enterprise solutions, data management, data security

Solution: Initially designed as a smart contract marketplace in 2017, the company later developed the Modex Blockchain Database (BCDB), aiming to help companies deploy their first blockchain projects quickly and safely. The database connects legacy data systems to a blockchain engine. This ecosystem is governed through the MODEX utility token. The company has key partnerships with global tech companies such as Microsoft and UiPath.

 

Company: Humans

Founders: Sabin Dima

Based in: Bucharest, Romania

Application: AI/ Synthetic media, NFTs

Solution: Humans combines blockchain technology and AI to enable users to create a digital DNA, which can be turned into NFTs, managed, and traded for various uses. In November, they launched the $HEART token, aiming to raise around €1M after previously raising €7.6M in crypto. Recently, they partnered with their investor Next Chymia Consulting, the Japanese group that also invested in Cardano.

 

Company: Restart Energy

CEO: Armand Domuta

Based in: Bucharest, Romania

Application: Energy

Solution: Launched by electricity and gas supplier Restart Energy, Restart Energy Democracy (RED) is a platform using blockchain technology to facilitate carbon offsets. Businesses and individuals can calculate their CO2 emissions and purchase carbon credits in the form of green energy certificates, sold by renewable energy producers. RED also offers users the possibility to purchase a tokenized franchise using its proprietary cryptocurrency, and offer services through NFT creation.

 

Blockchain startups and projects with Bulgarian DNA

 

Company: LimeChain

Founders: Vladislav Ivanov, George Spasov

Based in: UK, with founder, team, and offices in Bulgaria

Application: Digital transformation, supply chain, EPR integration 

Solution: LimeChain was founded in 2019, and have since been recognized by the European Commission as an expert on blockchain issues, as well as trusted as a partner to work on a single EU blockchain-based identity. They build decentralized applications, blockchain networks, and consult enterprise clients on how to use blockchain effectively. Part of the team including the founder further launched EnterDAO, the first decentralized autonomous organization developed by a Bulgarian team. Built on the Ethereum blockchain, it aims to develop products for the Web 3.0 metaverse gaming space.

Read more:  Preventive tech can minimize the harm of wildfires. Why is mass adoption so slow?

 

Company: Ispolink

Founders: Emanuil Pavlov

Based in: Sofia, Bulgaria

Application: HR

Solution: Ispolink is breaking the barriers of traditional HR with an AI-enabled, blockchain-based platform for talent management. The platform uses the Ethereum blockchain, the Binance Smart Chain and Polygon’s layer 2 scaling technology to manage candidate information, match-making, and hiring processes. Last year, they raised $1.6M through the sale of the Ispolink token where leading blockchain VCs participated.

 

Company: LockTrip

Founders: Hristo Enchev

Based in: Sofia, Bulgaria

Application: Leisure, travel, and tourism

Solution: LockTrip brings the advantages of blockchain to the travel industry. The blockchain-based platform claims to help users save up to 60% of their bookings by removing the middlemen. Another advantage is that customer information is better protected from malware attack and data leakages.In March 2021, LockTrip raised $4.1M investment from accommodation provider Webjet for 25% of its stake.

 

Company: hack 

Founders: Milen Radkov

Based in: Sofia, Bulgaria

Application: DeFi, NFTs, manufacturing, charity

Solution: hack is a software development company that specializes in blockchain and DLT development and consulting services, after initially launching as an eCommerce solution company. They help customers in adding blockchain technology to their enterprise software stack, as well as develop smart contracts, tokens, NFTs, and decentralized applications.

 

Company: Ambire 

Founders: Dimo Stoyanov, Ivo Georgiev

Based in: Sofia, Bulgaria

Application: Digital advertising, DeFi

Solution: In 2017, the company built Ambire AdEx as a decentralized ad exchange for digital advertising. This later became a full protocol that manages the interactions between publishers, advertisers, and end users with peer-to-peer technology and blockchain. With real-time tracking and reporting, and reducing the number of intermediaries, they aim to improve data security throughout the exchange process.

 

Blockchain startups and projects with Greek DNA

 

Company: ComeTogether

Founders: Lazaros Penteridis, Stavros Antoniadis, Nikos Chatzivasileiadis, Stathis Mitskas

Based in: Thessaloniki, Greece

Read more:  EnterDAO raised $1.8M to build the market infrastructure for metaverse gaming

Application: Events industry

Solution: ComeTogether developed a blockchain-based infrastructure offered as a white label solution aimed to help event managers better trace and manage tickets along their lifecycle. The embedded traceability helps organizers eliminate fraud and get a fair share from resale. 

 

Company: Metrika

Founders: Nikos Andrikogiannopoulos, Christopher Fergus

Based in: US, with founders and team from Greece

Application: Blockchain operations improvement

Solution: Metrika offers tools for operational intelligence monitoring in order to make blockchain applications and networks reliable. B2B subscribers receive insights and data about their networks’ performance and indicate issues that need to be solved. In December 2021, the startup raised €12M in a Series A round.

 

Company: Bcash

Founders: Dimitrios Tsangalidis, Giannis Tsolaridis

Based in: Athens, Greece

Application: Financial Services, Cryptocurrency ATM

Solution: Bcash develops ATMs and sales points for purchasing and selling cryptocurrency. So far, they have installed ATMs in 23 locations across Greece. The company is also selling cryptocoins via their website.

 

Company: GX Blocks Energy

Founders: Tasos Oureilidis, Thodoris K.

Based in: Athens, Greece

Application: Financial Services, Energy

Solution: The company wants to power the blockchain with green energy by connecting blockchain mining processes, which require high amounts of energy to renewable sources. The platform offers green bitcoin mining contracts, crypto assets trading services, as well as blockchain research and project reports.

. . .

This list is not exhaustive. If you know a blockchain-related company based in Southeast Europe (or with founders and teams from the region) that should be on the list, send us an email at [email protected]

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Antoanela is an Innovation Reporter at The Recursive with a knack for sustainability and environment protection. She is on a mission to communicate and celebrate innovative ideas and solutions that improve our ability to thrive together on this planet.
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