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Bulgarian-led Pliant Moves Forward with IBM’s Strategic Acquisition

Two men on a dark background, (left to right) Pliant CTO Dimitar Blagoev and CEO Vess Bakalov
Image credit: Pliant founders (left to right): CTO Dimitar Blagoev & CEO Vess Bakalov
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In a nutshell:

  • Bulgarian-led Pliant, an IT infrastructure automation company, was acquired by IBM.
  • The acquisition of Pliant will support the IBM software portfolio and automate customers’ network and IT infrastructures.
  • The amount of the deal remains undisclosed.


Get the details:

Founded in 2017 by two Bulgarians, Vess Bakalov and Dimitar Blagoev, Pliant’s platform for infrastructure automation simplifies how ITOps, DevOps and SecOps teams develop and deploy workflow automations. Pliant is able to Automate, Secure and Transform all of the business’ digital processes, by transforming API code into low-code building blocks.

Pliant’s customers include enterprises and service providers in addition to companies in verticals such as education, healthcare and retail.

IBM’s current focus is innovating through a combination of R&D and strategic acquisitions to deliver the data, AI, and automation solutions that businesses need.

The acquisition of Pliant aims to support IBM’s current software portfolio. That includes SevOne, Cloud Pak for Network Automation (CP4NA), Hybrid Cloud Mesh (HCM), IBM NS1 Connect and Edge Application Manager. According to IBM, it will provide enterprise clients with additional connectivity, control and automation options in their network infrastructure.


In their own words:

“As enterprise network environments become increasingly dynamic, complex, and disparate, IT teams need automation tools to maximize value throughout their technology stack. With the acquisition of Pliant, IBM will provide clients the ability to radically simplify the automation of their infrastructure and network with a tool that securely automates, integrates, and connects the platforms, services, and applications within their environments,” said Andrew Coward, GM for software-defined networking for IBM.

“Our journey has been incredible thus far, and I am confident that as part of IBM, we will continue to innovate, grow, and lead in our industry. The opportunity to further develop our technology and impact on a larger scale is exhilarating,” shared Vess Bakalov, co-founder and CPO, in a Linkedin post.

Read more:, Bulgarian School Management Software Platform, Acquired by UK's Juniper Education


Why it Matters:

As an early investor in Pliant, this is a major exit for the Bulgarian VC BrightCap Ventures that has been instrumental in supporting the growth and the development of the company. It marks their fifth exit in five years. 

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Teodora Atanasova is a News Editor at The Recursive. She covers everything around funding rounds, exits, startups expanding to international markets, big tech opening R&D in CEE, meaningful for the ecosystem partnerships.