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The fastest-growing tech verticals in SEE

The fastest-growing tech verticals in SEE
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As the end of the year approaches, many research and consulting companies worldwide announced their 2022 predictions reports. 

Global researches show that we will all look for ways to keep connected, on more devices at the same time. It appears that we will keep working remotely, at least part-time, and that we will strive to do it safely, sustainably, while also aiming to be healthy and happy. These are a few of the highlights you will read more about below. 

Growth is brought by a diversity of factors, from the global pandemic to technological evolution, as well as different groups of people. Take for example the Gen Zs. They will most likely shift the gears of B2C solutions towards Mental Health, EdTech, and Fashion Tech, and the B2B ones towards building communities of influencers, and RPAs, as it is the fastest-growing segment of enterprise software worldwide

‘Why are Gen Zs important?’, you might ask. There are over 2B of them in a world of almost 8B people. 

Global tech trends for 2022

In the Technology, Media, and Telecommunications 2022 Predictions report, Deloitte’s team, the multinational professional services network, points out that the world needs chips and connectivity. The report also shows a higher interest in smartphone sustainability due to the environmental impact, and in regulating AI. They think that the demand for wearable wellness technology will continue to rise, as will mental health applications

While Gartner, the American technology research and consulting company, in the top strategic technology trends for 2022 report, depicts that offering data (e.g. cloud), especially in the FinTech department, and protecting it accordingly (e.g. cybersecurity meshes) will act as global growth drivers in the next 3-5 years. The team also believes that using and reusing code, AI support to enhance human decisions, and hyper-automation will push the digital businesses of tomorrow. 

Read more:  Do startuppers and big business employees come from different planets?

Therefore, we have MedTech, AI, and Sustainability as three major global trends to look forward to next year. With telemedicine, blockchain, and circular economy as verticals most likely to draw our attention in the following 12 months.

Local SEE trends

“The startups we see most frequently and those who show maturity often come from Medtech, are regularly augmented or sometimes driven by AI, though Edtech and Proptech aren’t far behind,” Ciprian Man, co-founder of Growceanu, shares with The Recursive.

Nearing the local zip code, Atomico’s annual State of European Tech Report presents Europe as the second region in the world when it comes to early-stage investments, following the US. The report highlights that FinTech and Sustainability are growing faster than ever.

The Recursive analyzed the first half of 2021 and SEE startups have raised over $1.2B with more rounds following, €250M in October, and the historic $112M Series B round that Bulgarian Payhawk raised at the end of November. 

Looking at the numbers, the markets that stand out are Fintech, Proptech, AI, MedTech, EdTech, and verticals like database companies, automated residential tech units or self-service solutions, management options for different niches, like maritime, analytics platforms, delivery, open-source tools, to name a few. 

Dealroom, a global provider of innovative companies data, shows that in our region – Bulgaria, Croatia, Greece, North Macedonia, Romania, and Serbia, there are over 7000 startups and scaleups. Out of these, around 115 are in robotics, 200 are in the real estate vertical, 220 are in the educational sector, almost 280 in healthcare, around 420 in the financial niche, almost 600 in enterprise software, over 655 are in the marketplace, and eCommerce industry. 

Let’s take a look at some of the verticals with the biggest funding rounds in 2021, over 150 of them. We have researched the Dealroom platform for the funding rounds of the tech startups with headquarters and founders in the SEE countries above. These are not all the rounds, but a few major ones that made international news. 

  • Enterprise software in SEE >>> over €1.3B in big rounds – There have been over 24 rounds. Fonoa Technologies,, Documaster AS, Bunnyshell, Gtmhub are some of the names on the list. 
  • Fintech in SEE >>> over €383M in big rounds – The platform shows there have been 25 big funding rounds in all the countries. Finloup, Payhawk, Phos Cloud, FintechOS, Tenderly are some of the leading names. The verticals these startups are developing are payments, banking, crypto, funding, insurance, and management solutions.  
  • PropTech in SEE >>> over €135M in big rounds – The platform shows over 5 rounds in the real estate field. Greek Blueground and Prosperity took the lead, followed by Romanian Bright Spaces and Milluu, and Bulgarian LockTrip. The verticals these are proposing are management software to search, buy, and rent. 
  • Transportation in SEE >>> over €72M in big rounds – This vertical shows 8 funding rounds. Frisbo, Dronamics, and Rimac Automobili are some of the names. The verticals these are developing in are logistics and delivery, energy, sensor tech, vehicle production, amongst others. 
  • Robotics in SEE >>> over €38M in big seeds – There have been 5 important funding rounds. Bulgarian Endurosat with over €10M and Croatian Gideon Brothers with over €27M, joined by smaller seeds. 
  • EdTech in SEE >>> over €24M in big rounds – There have been 7 big rounds. Romanian kids education solution Kinderpedia takes the lead with over €1.8M, followed by Softbinator, and Bulgarian CourseDot, and Worddio. 
  • Marketing in SEE >>> over €24M in big rounds – There have been over 9 funding rounds in this market. Croatian AdScanner, Romanian iFactor, and North Macedonian Howitzer are on the list. 
  • MedTech in SEE >>> over €18M in big rounds – Dealroom shows that there have been 11 rounds in 2021, most of them in Romania and Croatia. Croatian Mindsmiths raised €1.2M in November; while Romanian Xvision, Telios Care, and SanoPass raised over €1.7M. These proposed solutions are in verticals like AI and telemedicine
  • Travel in SEE >>> over €3.5M in big rounds – The vertical presents 6 rounds. Romania takes the lead with Framey and Questo‘s rounds which add up to €2.2M, followed by Bulgarian Fantasticstay with €1.3M. 
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Elena is an Innovation Reporter at The Recursive with 10+ years of experience as a freelance writer based in Bucharest, Romania. Her mission is to report internationally on the amazing progress of the local startup ecosystem while bringing into focus topics such as diversity in business cultures and women in tech; mental health, work-life balance, and the future. Of what? Everything! As a former solopreneur and a full-time mom, she strives to learn something new every day to share with the world. #nevernotlearning