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1. Romania Tech Ecosystem: Introduction

The Romania tech ecosystem has been growing rapidly, with the startup scene experiencing significant growth in recent years. This article discusses the recent developments, investment trends, and key industry sectors in the Romanian tech ecosystem.

2. Growth of Romanian Startup Scene

2.1. Increase in Venture Capital Deals

The volume of venture deals involving Romanian startups increased from €8.2M in 2017 to €101.7M in 2022, representing a 12x increase over the course of 5 years. This growth in venture capital deals showcases the success and growth of the Romanian tech ecosystem.

2.2 Position in CEE’s VC Funding Rank

Romania secured the fifth position in Central and Eastern Europe’s (CEE) VC funding rank in 2022, with a total of 73 deals. The CEE region is currently one of the fastest-growing regions for VC funding in Europe, with a 7.6x growth since 2017.

Deals in Romania in 2023 graphic
Chart 2 – Transactions & Volumes (€M) – 2021-2022; source: The Romanian Venture Report

2.3 Investment Rounds in 2022

2.3.1 Series A Transactions

2022 was a record year for Series A transactions in Romania, with the volume of deals tripling from €15.3M in 2021 to €63M in 2022. The number of Series A deals also more than tripled, from 3 in 2021 to 10 in 2022.

2.3.2 Pre-Seed and Seed Transactions

The volume of pre-seed transactions decreased by 13.2% in 2022, reaching €2.8M compared to €3.3M in 2021. Meanwhile, the volume of seed transactions decreased by 4.3%, reaching €45.3M compared to €47.4M in 2021.

2.3.3 First Round and Follow-On Rounds

The volume of first-round transactions doubled in 2022, while the volume of follow-on rounds increased by 36% compared to the previous year. The growth in first-round transactions is indicative of the increasing interest from investors in early-stage Romanian startups.

2.4 Top Deals and Stars in 2022

Some of the top deals in 2022 included Druid, Digitail, OutThink, Bware Labs, Sessions, Bunnyshell, Machinations, and NeuroLabs, which collectively raised €54M, representing almost half (48.6%) of the total transaction volume of 2022. Other notable transactions involved Cyscale, AdServio, evoMAG, Ogre AI, and YAROOMS, adding another €11M in volume.

2.5 Leading Industries for Romanian software

The leading industries represented by top deals in 2022 were diverse and showcased great potential for future growth. These industries included Robotic Process Automation (RPA), Cybersecurity, Health, Dev tools, Productivity tools, Gaming, HR, E-commerce, Energy, and Education.

Top software industries in Romania for 2022
Source: The Romanian Venture Report

2.6 Acquisitions

In 2022, notable acquisitions included the purchase of Adore Me by Victoria’s Secret for $400M and a €20.5M investment in Amber Labs by Emona Capital. These transactions highlight the growing maturity of the Romanian tech ecosystem and its attractiveness to international investors.

3. Romanian software and tech events in 2023

3.1. Bucharest Tech Week

  • ”’Date:”’ May 22-28, 2023
  • ”’Location:”’ Bucharest, Romania

Bucharest Tech Week is the largest urban tech festival in Romania, annually bringing together technology enthusiasts and industry leaders for a week of gatherings throughout the city. With over 1,500 expected attendees, the event serves as a networking and lead generation platform for experts, founders, and tech enthusiasts seeking individual or business growth opportunities.

3.2. Techsylvania

  • ”’Date:”’ June 7-8, 2023
  • ”’Location:”’ Cluj-Napoca, Romania

Techsylvania is an annual technology conference aimed at uniting the global tech community to share ideas, network, and learn about the latest advancements in the industry. The event features keynote speeches, panel discussions, workshops, pitch competitions, and more. With over 5,000 participants, attendees can expect to connect with leading experts, promising startups, and investors, as well as gain valuable insights for fundraising, networking, and lead generation.

3.3. How to Web

  • ”’Date:”’ October 4-5, 2023
  • ”’Location:”’ Bucharest, Romania

As a leading Eastern European conference on entrepreneurship and innovation, How to Web serves as a meeting point for founders, investors, and tech executives to network and boost their lead generation. In 2022, the event hosted more than 2,000 attendees and 200+ startups. How to Web features a lineup of expert speakers sharing their knowledge and insights on a wide range of web development, design, and entrepreneurship topics.

How to Web 2022
How to Web 2022

4. Romanian Government Initiatives

Sebastian Burduja, Romania’s Minister of Innovation since May 2022, has highlighted several initiatives aimed at supporting the Romanian tech ecosystem. These include:

  • Improving legislation to provide startups with a special status, offering more flexibility compared to ordinary SMEs.
  • Establishing a Romanian Innovation Fund, in which the government matches funding by angel investors and venture capital funds to help businesses overcome initial hurdles.
  • Allocating a €500 million fund under the European Investment Fund (EIF) to support startups in the early stages of their development.

Other innovation plans for the next few years include:

  • Developing a government cloud project to ensure citizens have access to data.
  • Implementing digital identities for Romanians to access government platforms through facial recognition.
  • Providing digital skills education to over 100,000 Romanians from small, rural communities.
  • Enabling the online launch and closure of businesses.

5. Who are The Recursive journalist writing about Romania?

The Recursive journalist covering the Romanian tech and startup ecosystem is Antoanela Ionita.