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5 Startups From Moldova to Watch in 2023

Historical Arc, with cars passing by, in the city center of Chisinau, Republic of Moldova.
Image credit: Image credit: Marius Grigoriu via Pexels "Historical monument in Chisinau, Republic of Moldova"
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Romania’s small eastern neighbor, the Republic of Moldova has a mere population of 3.3 million people, and an emerging startup ecosystem. Moldova is ranked 88th worldwide in the Startup Blink global map, while Romania is far ahead on the 39th position. In 2021, the country’s GDP was 13.68 billion dollars with almost 40% attributed to agriculture.

However, Moldova is currently digitizing its public institutions as a part of an UNDP development program. The goal is to have any service accessed online from paying taxes to registering your car.

The country is closely cooperating in this field with Romania, as the Romanian Minister of Digitalization Sebastian Burudja recently shared in an interview with The Recursive, introducing the idea of a single digital space.

According to the Startup Blink ranking, the most developed tech verticals in the country are Fintech, e-commerce and retail, and data and software. All of the startups are located in the capital, Chisinau, which ranks 654th globally. Take a look at some of the most interesting startups in Moldova building global solutions from the country.

Startups from Moldova and their solutions

Name: INDRIVO

Location: The company was established in 2012 in Chisinau.

Founder and CEO’s: Eugen Lupusor

Vertical: Business Technology

Solution: Indrivo provides IT consulting services helping businesses with their digital strategy and reshaping their business models to fit into the digital economy. The company is privately held and is certified in Quality Management Systems, Information Security Systems, and Technology Service Management.

Impact: The company has between 50 and 200 employees and has expanded to Sweden, Luxembourg, Romania and Canada, helping small and medium companies rethink their business strategy and model.

 

Name: Fagura

Location: Fagura was founded in 2017 in Chisinau.

Founders: The CEO of Fagura is Tudor Darie

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Vertical: Fintech

Solution: Fagura is a P2P lending marketplace, which allows its customers to loan money from other people, rather than getting loans from banks. Those people are referred to as “Investors”, thus making the loans that they offer have a much lower interest rate than those offered from banks. The vision that Fagura has is to become a digital bank enabling people to manage all of their finances online. And their goal in the next two to three years is to make that number rise to 20 million euro. The founder of Fagura Tudor Darie is a serial IT entrepreneur with presence in online media besides fintech and with his several successful exits. According to Crunchbase, so far the company has attracted nearly $800K investments via crowdfunding on Seedrs and grants from InnovX.

Impact: Fagura is aiming to become a digital bank in the long term, managing all aspects of people’s financial activities. It is an Estonian registered company with headquarters in Moldova. The company is operating in Romania, where there is a market size of 20 million people, who are going to be able to get loans faster and easier using Fagura.

Name: XOR AI RECRUITER

Location: HQ in Chisinau, it has offices in San Francisco, California and Austin, Texas.

Founders: The founders of the company and acting CEO and CTO are Aida Frazylova and Nikolay Manolov.

Vertical: HR Tech

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, quicker and sort out the best blue-collar candidates. It specializes in manual labor, technical and operations segment of candidates.
Impact: It was founded in 2016 and since then it has helped a lot of employers find the best match for their businesses. It is trusted by companies like Pizza Hut, HR Maximizer and Hudson Pro. So far, the company has attracted more than $9.3M investments. They raised Series A in Oct. 2022 with The Garage Syndicate being the lead investor. Their previous four fundings come from Twin Ventures, SignalFire, Gurdin Ventures and Capital Factory, totaling 8.4 million dollars.

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Name: LABS42

Location: Founded in 2016 in Chisinau.

Founders: One of the founders of Labs42 is Alexandru Asimionese and he is the Managing Director of the company.

Vertical: IT consulting

Solution: Lab42 is a digital IT consulting company, helping companies build scalable technological products.. They offer custom software, web development services, maintaining open-source projects, etc. .

Impact: Some of the large corporations that use their resources are Renault, Heineken and Total.

 

Name: Planable

Location: Founded in 2015 in Chisinau but the HQ is in London.

Founders: Vlad Calus, Xenia Muntean and Nicolae Gudumac

Vertical: Marketing Tech

Solution: Planable is a platform that connects agencies and marketers that use social media. Their tool allows teams to collaborate on multiple-client digital campaigns by planning, visualizing, and approving posts. It saves a lot of time because marketers can communicate in real time with their clients and get their approval. Planablehas established partnerships withMeta, TechStars, Fribourg Capital, Angular Ventures and Gapminder. So far they have raised nearly $1Mas pre-seed funding from four investors.

Impact: The platform has more than 50 thousand users worldwide and more than 1 million posts have been shared through Planable. Among the 5 thousand teams who are using the platform areRakuten Viber, SocialFly, Olympus, and Untapped. Watch The Recursive podcast with Xenia Muntean to learn more about Planable’s journey from post-Soviet Moldova to building a global business.

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