Deeply seeded into our society and economy, AI is transforming the world, one industry at a time. From identifying early signs of cancer to self-driving cars and many other AI applications, the power of artificial intelligence to make optimal, real-time decisions is mapping the way to a more effective world where humans are effectively assisted in decision making and resource use.
Today, we explore how AI is particularly benefitting different industries, with insights from local tech ecosystem leaders and examples of solutions from Southeast Europe. We include startups and companies either founded in the region or with substantial local teams.
When it comes to improving enterprise processes, companies in the region offer solutions in areas ranging from revenue management, to customer service, employee communication, team productivity, and HR management.
“With the increased disconnect generated by the hybrid work, overseeing employee management based on continuous feedback plays a central role in HR strategies as part of retention and growth plans. But making decisions with regards to each individual (Ed.note especially in larger companies) would be almost impossible with no extra help from a predictive system. Predictive systems are able to collect, organize and correlate data coming from multiple sources and present them back so that anyone can understand them. The result is that HR becomes a strategic partner and is able to address almost real-time competency gaps, turnover risks, and business opportunities,” Bogdan Apostol adds.
To improve decision-making, AI was introduced next to RPA by one of the global RPA leaders, Romanian-American company UiPath. “When software robots can reason over data and use artificial intelligence to make decisions, you unlock new possibilities that transform RPA – and entire industries. You can reach new levels of productivity and expand automation into all sorts of new areas. We believe in the power of AI to transform,” the company says.
Nestor, based in California, US, with Romanian team: The Nestor AI coach assistant helps organizations to nurture a coaching culture through AI technology, coaching knowledge and leadership tools.
Latest: A Y Combinator graduate , the company is pursuing the growth of the team, product features, and client base.
Flowx.AI, based in San Francisco, with Romanian team: A development platform that allows financial institutions and other enterprises to build digital apps in just 10 weeks, while reviving their legacy infrastructure, without deep code expertise.
Latest: They recently received $8.5M in seed money.
Cube RM, based in Athens, Greece: An AI revenue management software that aims to simplify processes for global pharmaceutical and medical equipment companies.
Latest: They raised an $8M Series A to scale the solution globally, targeting industries like manufacturing, hi-tech, and chemicals.
EmailTree AI, based in Luxembourg, with Romanian team: Automates the work of the customer service departments to increase productivity.
Latest: The team has raised €2.5M to develop their solution, integrate CRM and email applications, among others, and to increase sales and marketing efforts.
Druid AI, based in Bucharest, Romania: An intelligent chat bot that helps employees, customers and partners to digitally communicate with the business and enterprise systems in an efficient and human-like way.
Latest: Received a €2M Series A investment at the beginning of 2021 to expand internationally.
UiPath, based in New York, US, with Romanian team: Offers an end-to-end platform for automation, combining the leading Robotic Process Automation (RPA) solution with technologies such as AI, process mining, and cloud.
Pliant, based in the US, with Bulgarian team: A unified platform for infrastructure automation, which simplifies how ITOps, DevOps and SecOps teams develop and deploy workflow automation. Transforms API code into low-code building blocks.
Latest: They closed a $10M Series A round to boost sales and marketing efforts.
Other companies in the space: software solution for workflow planning Shiftin by Htss, Munich-based AI platform for workplace collaboration Mentessa, recruitment marketing automation platform SmartDreamers, RPA consulting, a provider of cross-platform RPA, Tailent, another provider of scalable robotic process automation, Soleadify, offering business data enrichment with coverage of SMEs, and ThinkOut, helping entrepreneurs analyze and forecast receipts and payments based on their banking history.
AI has vast applications in healthcare, from an assistant in consumer health applications, to enabling early and accurate detection of diseases such as cancer, enhancing diagnosis with machine learning and systems neuroscience, using pattern recognition to identify the risk of developing a condition, coordinate care plans better over long period, as well as assisting drug research and discovery.
CoLumbo, based in Varna, Bulgaria: A software for analysis of lumbar spine images obtained with MRI, aimed to help radiologists worldwide provide patients with reliable and low-cost diagnosis of back pain problems. Developed by Smart Soft Healthcare.
CEO: Nedelcho Georgiev
Latest: Closed a €2.1M seed round in February 2022 to further develop the product and expand into new markets.
Kelvin Health, based in Sofia, Bulgaria: A non-invasive, intelligent solution for detection and monitoring of medical abnormalities such as cancer using thermal imaging AI.
CEO & Founder: Georgi Kadrev
Latest: Joined HealthCareLab as one of the 9 startups selected to collaborate with Roche and EIT Health in a 4-month long program run by CIVITTA.
Causaly, based in London, UK, with a team in Greece: An AI and ML-based tool that goes through existing scientific literature and clinical trial documents, to shorten and simplify the R&D process of finding new drugs.
Latest: The team raised $17M to help medical experts get through mountains of data.
Intelligencia, based in New York, US, with a Greek team: AI software platform that helps pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies reduce drug development risks and introduce new drugs to market faster.
Latest: They raised $12M in a Series A round for product development, the expansion of its Greek R&D team, as well as the sales and customers success teams.
Woom, based in Madrid, Spain, with a tech team in Bulgaria: A women health app that covers all different cycles and stages of women’s reproductive life, offering fertility calendars and other tools.
Latest: They raised $4.4M so far, and have had more than 100 million clients so far.
Lifebit, based in London, UK, with a team in Greece: A cloud software genomics platform for unified, secure research over distributed big data, democratizing access to biomedical data for governments, healthcare providers, and research teams.
Latest: In September 2021, the team raised ~€52M to continue expanding its global presence and growing the team.
VoxiKids, based in Bucharest, Romania: A digital clinic offering tools for speech therapy for children, to prepare them for pre-school and school environments.
Latest: They received 100K euros in a bridge financing round to be invested in sales, communication, and marketing.
Synaptiq, based in Cluj-Napoca, Romania: Offers AI-based contouring for radiotherapy, separating cancerous tumors and organs at risk with the help of AI.
Latest: In October 2021, they raised a €250K round to continue their R&D activity and finalize the Mediq platform.
Medicai, headquartered in Delaware, US, with offices in Bucharest, Romania: An AI-powered medical imaging platform that facilitates communication between doctors, patients, and multidisciplinary teams.
Latest: They raised two bridge rounds in 2021, bringing the company’s total funding to €1.2 million.
Other companies in the space: oncology data research platform OncoChain, wearable device for children with ADHD Tully, children nutrition app Wello, AIMINDED, an AI-automation software for high-precision radiotherapy, and MediNav, the medical assistant that learns and reduces the patient documentation time. For more healthcare startups in Romania, many which are using AI at the core of their solutions, check out this local map by Activize and FreshBlood.
In Southeast Europe, Romanian startup Code of Talent, for instance, is planning to add automation to assist trainers, L&D specialists, and HR managers in automatically generating learning sequences based on any existing content. Machine learning modules will further improve student experience and training effectiveness.
Code of Talent, based in Bucharest, Romania: A SaaS platform dedicated for employee training that uses microlearning, personalized learning experiences, and gamification.
Founder: Vlad Grigoriu
Latest: They raised a €1.7M Series A round to expand in other key markets, and enhance the platform with machine learning modules and automation
In Southeast Europe, we’ve further seen applications of AI and machine learning, from providing sales intelligence to automating marketing campaigns and content generation.
Humans, based in Bucharest, Romania: Offers a platform for AI and blockchain ethical creation of synthetic media with various applications. One solution, Tovid.ai, allows transforming anything into video through a SaaS platform that produces high-quality video content at scale.
CEO & Founder: Sabin Dima
Latest: They launched a public token sale on Polkastarter in December 2021 aiming to raise €1M, after previously raising €7.6 million in crypto.
Cognism, based in London, UK, with North Macedonian team: Sales intelligence provider that provides premium company and contact information, including firmographics, technographics, and sales trigger events.
Latest: The team raised a $87.5M Series C investment round to expand across Europe and strengthen its position in the US.
Innoship, based in Bucharest, Romania: A multi-carrier and delivery software that helps retail and ecommerce businesses select a suitable courier for each delivery, and further manage, track, monitor, and analyze the shippings.
Co-founders: Andrei Paul, Daniel Nicolae, Robert Tanase, Dan Ungureanu.
Latest: The team raised a € 550K seed investment in 2020 to accelerate growth.
Frisbo, based in Bucharest, Romania: An e-fulfillment startup that matches online stores with a network of fulfillment operators and smart logistics providers.
Co-founders: Bogdan Colceriu, Laura Frincu
Latest: In December 2021, they raised a $2M investment round to expand its European fulfillment network and help more regional stores to scale online
He goes on to add: “The transition to low-carbon energy systems is driving the rapid growth of distributed power generation, distributed storage and advanced demand-response capabilities, which need to be orchestrated and integrated through more networked, transactional power grids. Even though these trends present a huge strategic and operational challenge to the energy system and to energy-intensive industries, this is where AI comes into play: by creating an intelligent coordination layer across the generation, transmission and use of energy, AI can help energy-system stakeholders identify patterns and insights in data, learn from experience, improve system performance over time, as well as predict and model possible outcomes of complex, multivariate situations.”
Ogre AI, based in Bucharest, Romania: Automated B2B platform that uses AI and machine learning to help energy and utility businesses digitalize operations, forecast, and plan effectively.
Founder & CEO: Matei Stratan
Latest: They raised a €2M seed round to finish the development of a forecast system and scale globally.
Perceptual Robotics, based in Bristol, UK, with a team in Greece: They provide autonomous drone inspection for wind turbines.
Latest: They raised €1.87M in September 2021 to increase headcount, continue to develop the technology and drive marketing and sales at scale.
Another use case are autonomous vehicles. In the logistics industry, AI helps automate vehicles for transporting goods and performing single tasks. Meanwhile, on the roads, vehicle automation is believed to have the potential to help reduce the number of accidents.
Gideon Brothers, based in Zagreb, Croatia: AI-based mobile robots that rely on 3D cameras and utilize deep learning algorithms to gather data about the environment and self-localize, naviate, and perform simple tasks, which makes them useful in logistics. Co-founders: Edin Kočo, Josip Ćesić, Kruno Stražanac, Matija Kopić
Latest: They raised a $31 million Series A to expand across key markets in the EU and US, and grow the team.
AirportLabs, based in London, UK, with Romanian team: Combines airport knowledge, science, design, technology, and engineering to craft cloud solutions that consistently improve the performance in airport operations.
Founding Director: Ligiu Uiorean
Latest: Works with big airports around the world that make up 20% of all global air traffic. The team is working on a new generation of products and expanding the team.
Machine Can See, based in Novi Sad, Serbia: Developing a surveillance camera technology that relies on AI to make smart predictions and generate data analytics for use cases such as safety and parking.
Latest: The company’s plans include launching a surveillance camera prototype, installing their first pilot, and starting fundraising in the US.
Transmetrics, based in Sofia, Bulgaria: Offers predictive optimization SaaS based on AI for the cargo transport industry, rationalizing capacity planning and making it predictive.
Founder: Asparuh Koev
Latest: After receiving a €1.67 million EU grant, they launched an AI-driven logistics project backed by the EU’s Horizon 2020.
Recycllux, based in Brussels, Belgium, with Romanian team: The solution makes use of the collected satellite Earth Observation data and applies ML algorithms to identify the marine plastic litter problem spots, where actions need to be taken.
CEO: Alexandra Cernian
Latest: It was recently recognized for its ambitious goals at Innovation Labs 2021 with three prizes and is working on finalizing their MVP.
PolyMore, based in Timisoara, Romania: A solution that automatically detects wrongly sorted waste, addressing the waste collection problem at the roots.
Latest: They recently started the second pilot project in partnership with a waste management company in Sibiu.
Ogor, based in Bucharest, Romania: Satellite-based field monitoring service for farmers to improve agricultural practices.
Co-founders: Andrei Duhnea, Dafina Maria Jeaca
Latest: They won in the Best Business Award category at the 2020 edition of Innovation Labs.
Apiary Book, based in London, UK, with Romanian team: Solution for beekeepers for the management, monitoring and analysis of bee colonies data and environmental factors that affect their health.
Founder & CEO: Bogdan Iordache
Latest: Back in 2020, they raised €200K to develop a hive monitoring system to track bee health.
Coda Intelligence, Boston, US, with Romanian team: Automated cybersecurity solutions with proprietary technologies such as vulnerability management and contextual risk scoring for risk insights and remediation solutions.
CEO & Founder: Cristian Sandescu
Latest: Raised €800K in 2020 to expand in the US.
Other companies in the space: managed detection and response company CyBourn, Cyber Swarm, specializing in developing meristor technology for AI and cybersecurity applications, and SecurifAI, delivering end-to-end AI-based systems to automate the processing of standard video CCTV streams.
He goes on to explain that consumers can benefit from having extra time for critical thinking and creativity, as AI automates routine decision-making, while enjoying greater personalization. Furthermore, AI is increasingly integrated into content creation, allowing creators to focus on other parts of their work.
Audiomodern, based in Sofia, Bulgaria: Music software that is available in a wide range of formats and platforms and helps creatives like musicians, composers, and producers in working smarter.
Founder & CEO: Max P. Maximilianos
Sounder, based in New York, US, with Serbian team: A platform that uses AI, ML and Natural language processing (NLP) technologies to help audio creators manage, market, and measure their audio content.
Latest: They raised a $7.7M Series A to build audio intelligence tools at scale.
Machinations.io, based in Luxembourg, with a team in Romania: With Machinations, game development studios can map any gameplay system using a Turing-complete language in an interactive diagram; then forecast the future using Monte Carlo simulations to predict emergence.
Latest: In 2020, they closed a €580K seed round for further product development.
TypingDNA, based in New York, with Romanian team: Solutions to protect user accounts with powerful typing biometrics analysis, accurately and passively, with a flexible API and low-code integration.
Latest: They received a $7M Series A funding in 2020 to advance the R&D of innovative typing biometrics technology.
iFactor, based in Bucharest, Romania: An online platform that brings together liquidy-seeking SMEs and investors to finance the SMEs’ cash needs by buying their outstanding customer invoices.
Founder & CEO: Cosmin Curticapean
Latest: At the beginning of 2021, the company raised €700K in a crowdfunding campaign to scale up its operations and expand to new markets.
LatticeFlow, based in Zurich, Switzerland, with a team in Bulgaria: A deep tech spin-off from ETH Zurich and creator of the world’s first platform for robust and reliable AI models.
Latest: Recently expanded to Bulgaria and plans to grow the local team, initially with engineering positions.
Neurolabs, based in Edinburgh, Scotland, with Romania team: The team develops Synthetic Computer Vision models that can accurately identify and classify objects of interest in a cheaper and faster way than traditional approaches.
Latest: In 2020, the team raised a pre-seed fundraising round of €1M, as well as won the start-up category of the UiPath Automation Awards CEE & Turkey.c
Vatis Tech, based in Bucharest, Romania: Provides an audio and video search and transcription infrastructure solution in the speech recognition market.
Latest: In 2021, they raised €200K to extend the development, sales, and data validators teams, and accelerate the development process.
Childish, based in Sofia, Bulgaria: A software development company specializing in AI technology solutions and everything related to Python – data science, machine learning, computer vision, and bioinformatics.
CEO: Blagovesta Pugyova
Latest: They joined Dare to Scale, the growth accelerator program of Endeavor Bulgaria, and plan to expand to the US.
Lummetry.AI, based in Bucharest, Romania: A traditional software development company until 2015, they then specialized in AI powered predictive analytics and video analytics, with applications across industries, from retail, to healthcare, banking, and logistics.
Latest: In September 2021, the company was acquired by GTS Global Intelligence to upgrade physical security products.