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The new investment destination: Southeast Europe startups & scaleups have raised $2.5+ billion in 2021

The founders of best funded Southeast Europe Startups in 2021
Image credit: From upper left clockwise: Daniel Dines, UiPath; Alex Chatzieleftheriou, Blueground; Silvio Kutić, Infobip; Teo Blidarus and Sergiu Negut, FintechOS; Konstantin Djengozov, Hristo Borisov, CEO Boyko Karadzhov, Payhawk; Ivan Osmak, Gtmhub;

As we wrap up 2021, it’s time to look at all the funding rounds in Southeast Europe that were closed during the past 12 months. When it comes to tech investments, we are saying goodbye to the strongest year in the history of the region – The Recursive team counted more than 210 deals of total value of over $2.55B (€2.25B). The number is likely higher knowing that multiple transactions have not been disclosed yet.

One of the most positive trends is that the number of businesses reaching later growth stages is increasing. While UiPath’s $750M Series F holds the crown for biggest round in Southeast Europe for 2021, we can see 25 other companies closing an investment larger than $10M. In previous years, Series B, Series C and Growth rounds were mostly exceptions, now we can see 16 of them. Next to 25 new Series A rounds.  

Enterprise software, martech, and fintech remain leading verticals with companies operating in these sectors gathering $925M (mostly UiPath and Gtmhub), $520M (mostly Infobip), and $379M respectively. It’s worth noting that the fintech industry seems the most mature one with six representatives among the top 15 best funded in 2021. Proptech has also been on the rise with over $204M raised whereas healthtech solutions have been backed with close to $50M. On the not so positive side, none of the really big funding rounds have gone to companies with female founders.

For the purposes of this summary, we are considering only companies that have been founded and grown in Southeast Europe. Therefore, the $150M round of Romanian-founded Proportunity, the $100M round of US-Bulgarian Hyperscience, the $60M round of UK-Greek Lifebit and similar are not included. 

Funding rounds in Southeast Europe in 2021

You can click on the links to learn more about the companies and their latest funding rounds.

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Company nameTotal investments in 2021: USDCountryIndustryFunding type
UiPath$750MRomaniaEnterprise softwareSeries F
Blueground$180MGreeceProptechSeries C
Gtmhub$150MBulgariaEnterprise SoftwareSeries B + C
Payhawk$132MBulgariaFintechSeries A + B
Rimac Automobili$85MCroatiaAutomotiveGrowth equity
Viva Wallet$80MGreeceFintechGrowth equity
FintechOS$60MRomaniaFintechSeries B
Flexcar$59MGreeceAutomotiveSeries B
ReversingLabs$56MCroatiaCybersecuritySeries B
Hellas Direct$38MGreeceFintechGrowth equity + Debt
LearnWorlds$32MGreeceEdtechGrowth equity
Gideon Brothers$31MCroatiaShipping and logisticsSeries A
Fonoa$25MCroatiaFintechSeries A
Plum$24MGreeceFintechSeries A
Photomath$23MCroatiaEdtechSeries B
Byrd$19MGreeceShipping and logisticsSeries B
Causaly$17MGreeceHealthtech and life sciencesSeries A
Tenderly$15.3MSerbiaDev Tools, BlockchainSeries A
TileDB$14.6M+ (undisclosed)GreeceDev Tools,Growth Equity
EnduroSat$14.1MBulgariaDeep tech and spaceSeries A + Debt
Cognism$12.5MNorth MacedoniaMartechSeries B
Intelligencia$12MGreeceHealthtech and life sciencesSeries A
Hack the box$10.6MGreeceCybersecuritySeries A
.lumen$10.1MRomaniaHealthtech and life sciencesGrant
OfficeRnD$10MBulgariaProptechSeries A
Humans$9.6MRomaniaDigital mediaCrypto sale
Memgraph$9MCroatiaDev ToolsSeed$8.5MRomaniaEnterprise SoftwareSeed
Cube RM$8MGreeceEnterprise SoftwareSeries A
Augmenta$8MGreeceAgritechSeries A
Instant Factoring$7.1MRomaniaFintechSeries A
BoBConcierge$6.8MRomaniaProptechSeries A
Dronamics$6.8MBulgariaDeep tech and spaceBeam market + Crowdfunding
Deep Sea$5.7MGreeceShipping and logisticsSeries A
Orgnostic$5MSerbiaHR techSeed
Anodyne Nanotech$4.2MGreeceHealthtech and life sciencesSeed
Locktrip$4.1MBulgariaTraveltechGrowth equity
Seedblink$3.6MRomaniaFintechSeries A
Pop Market$3.4MGreeceRetail and eCommerceSeed
Scaleflex$3MBulgariaDev tools, MartechSeries A
Better Origin$3MGreeceAgritechSeed
Leanpay$2.8MSloveniaFintechSeries A
Druid AI$2.6MRomaniaEnterprise SoftwareSeries A
Perceptual Robotics$2.2MGreeceCleantech and green energySeed
Ariadne Maps$2.2MGreeceRetail and eCommerceSeed
Frisbo$2MRomaniaShipping and logisticsSeed
Kinderpedia$2MRomaniaEdtechSeries A
Anari$2MSerbiaDev toolsSeed
Code of Talent$1.9MRomaniaEdtechSeries A
Econic One$1.9MBulgariaTransportation and mobilitySeed
Rolla$1.8MBosnia and HerzegovinaSportstechSeries A
Bright Spaces$1.7MRomaniaProptechSeed
Biopix-t$1.7MGreeceHealthtech and life sciencesSeed
Orqa$1.7MCroatiaDeep tech and spaceSeed
CodeBGP$1.5MGreeceDev Tools, CybersecuritySeed
Global Database$1.5MRomaniaEnterprise SoftwareSeed
Wasp$1.4MCroatiaDev ToolsSeed
Mindsmiths$1.3MCroatiaEnterprise SoftwareSeed
Bunnyshell$1.3MRomaniaDev ToolsSeed
Stailer$1.2MRomaniaBeauty techPre-Seed
Bespot$1.2MGreeceRetail and eCommerceSeed
ZenArt$1.2MBulgariaDigital mediaSeed$1.1MCroatiaEnterprise SoftwareSeed
Daibau$1M+ (undisclosed)SloveniaConstructionSeries A
Coursedot$1MBulgariaEdtechSeries A
Klear Lending$0.95MBulgariaFintech
Petmall$0.95MBulgariaRetail and eCommerce
Cleantech and renewable energy
SanoPass$0.9MRomaniaHealthtech and life sciencesSeed
Quendoo$0.89MBulgariaTraveltechSeries A
Plant an app$0.86MRomaniaDev ToolsSeed$0.8475MBulgariaHealthtech and life sciencesPre-seed
Avrio$0.83MCyprusEnterprise SoftwarePre-seed
Telios Care$0.73MRomaniaHealthtech and life sciencesSeed
Processio$0.73MRomaniaEnterprise SoftwareSeed
Assen Aero$0.7MBulgariaDeep tech and space$0.63MBulgariaRetail and eCommerceSeed
Storis (Voxa)$0.63MRomaniaDigital mediaSeed
Healthtech and life sciences
Vital Concept$0.6MBulgariaFood & Beverage
Sypher$0.5MRomaniaEnterprise SoftwareSeed
EcoTree$0.5MRomaniaCleantech and renewable energySeed
Upgrade Academy$0.47MRomaniaEdtechSeed
Yload$0.43MRomaniaShipping and logisticsSeed
Rush$0.3MBulgariaRetail and eCommercePre-seed
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On top of those we can add ~70 investments of total value around $9M made by Bulgarian pre-seed fund Innovation Capital; 4 investments made by Morningside Hill totaling $3.6M; 17 investments of total value of $2.7M made by Vitosha Venture Partners, and 4 small funding rounds facilitated via Seedblink’s crowdinvesting platform, which put together add up to $1.09M.

+++To stay up-to-date with the 2022 investments in Southeast Europe, be sure to subscribe for The Recursive newsletter.

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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.