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Bulgarian-led Pliant closes a $10M Series A round – to grow in the low-code automation market

Pliant team - Vess Bakalov, Dimitar Blagoev and Nadia Terzieva
Image credit: Private Archives: Pliant CEO Vess Bakalov at the center, CTO Dimitar Blagoev on the left, and the manager at the Sofia office Nadia Terzieva on the right
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With two Bulgarian founders at the wheel, Vess Bakalov and Dimitar Blagoev, US-based IT automation and orchestration startup Pliant has closed a $10M Series A round. The lead investor is Osage Venture Partners, with a plethora of previous investors joining again, including Sofia-based VC BrightCap Ventures

With the new capital, Pliant intends to boost sales and marketing efforts, accelerating its growth in the booming low-code automation market. 

The company also has an expanding tech hub in Bulgaria with about 10 engineers and product managers. “We do want to develop in Bulgaria. To be honest, we hope that one day the country is not only part of our development center, but also of our market. Automation can really help smaller companies, and even smaller countries like Bulgaria be more competitive and outperform bigger players by being more efficient,” Pliant CEO Vess Bakalov told Etien Yovchev, co-founder at The Recursive, in a conversation several months ago. 

Large enterprises from sectors like telco and financial services are the main target customers of Pliant. That said, there have been plans to make the startup’s platform accessible to SMEs as well. 

Faster time to automation

In a nutshell, Pliant’s platform makes it easier for DevSecOps teams and citizen developers to automate complex business processes. For enterprises, this speeding up of otherwise manual and time-consuming functions means lower costs, faster time to market, and ultimately better customer experience. 

From simple low-code automated actions to more complex cross-domain, cross-platform orchestration, Pliant aggregates workflows into one unified platform. 

Pliant focuses on back-end automation at the API level, which puts it in a different niche from Romanian UiPath, whose products are built to mimic human actions and complete a given task multiple times.

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Etien Yovchev is a co-founder and Chief Editor at The Recursive, online media dedicated to the emerging tech and startup ecosystems in Southeast Europe. He has told the stories of over 200 ventures from the region and aims to provide high-quality constructive reporting on the progress of the SEE innovation ecosystem, making sure that the stories of promising local founders reach global audiences. Etien holds a MSc degree in Innovation Management from RSM, Erasmus University Rotterdam and has more than 4 years of experience in the commercialization of new products, having worked with many early-stage companies and a few corporate innovation departments across Bulgaria, The Netherlands, and the USA.