“Hunting” for unicorns isn’t an easy job. Nevertheless, they are not as rare as they once seemed, despite the obstacles startups are facing nowadays.
Just two weeks ago, we shared with you our CEE VC Investors Playbook for 2024, based on a survey we conducted. Undoubtedly, this year is going to be crucial for startups, after the optimistic 2021 and early 2022, when fundraising wasn’t that of a challenge.
On the other hand, the majority of the surveyed investors expressed optimism towards emerging unicorns.
We gathered a list featuring some of the mentioned companies to share our latest compilation of soonicorns for 2024. It’s important to highlight that Eleven Labs, one of the startups pointed out by the investors in our survey, already achieved unicorn status this week!
Tatum, a blockchain development platform, closed their last funding round in 2022. They secured $41.5 M in Series C, with leading investors Evolution Equity Partners, as well as Octopus Ventures, 3VC, Tensor Ventures, Depo Ventures, Leadblock Fund, Circle Holdings, and founders of Bitpanda.
The Czech-founded startup was established in 2018 by Jiri Kobelka and Samuel Šramko. The main focus of the platform is to assist developers in building applications on the blockchain, simplifying the development of over 40 blockchain protocols.
The company has over 90K customers with offices in the UK and the US, according to their data.
Mews, a startup with Czech-born co-founder and CEO Richard Valtr, is a cloud-based hotel property management system. Both of the founders, ex-hoteliers, were striving for a tool, that simplifies operations and therefore got together as a team to create one. Currently, Mews serves over 1,700 properties across more than 60 countries.
The company’s last funding round was back in 2022, securing $185M with Series C. The lead investors were Kinnevik and Goldman Sachs Asset Management, accompanied by Revaia, Derive Ventures and Orbit Capital.
The company is currently working on market expansion and further product development.
The US-Bulgarian cloud storage startup LucidLink develops a collaboration platform to connect businessteams working on shared data sets. Founded in 2016 by George Dochev and Peter Thompson, the company is just one step away from reaching unicorn status. In November, last year, they managed to raise $75M Series C, the biggest round in Bulgaria in 2023. It was led by US investment firm Brighton Park Capital, with existing investors, including Headline, Baseline Ventures, and Adobe Ventures. LucidLink has been supported supported by the Bulgarian VC fund Bright Cap Ventures since the start of their journey.
Their plans include accelerating LucidLink’s product and engineering development, customer acquisition efforts, and expansion into new verticals and geographies.
According to their data, LucidLink customers are collaborating on over one billion files across 40 countries, with customers such as Adobe, A&E Networks, Whirlpool, Shopify, Buzzfeed, and Spotify.
Cognism, established in 2015, is a B2B sales software company, which provides a marketing and sales acceleration solution.
The SaaS platform aims to enhance CRM records, and channel leads into the sales pipeline, using AI to identify opportunities and recognize patterns in customer behavior.
The company now has offices in the US, UK, Macedonia and Croatia. Cognism’s co-founder and CTO, Stjepan Buljat comes from Croatia, while their North Macedonian team is engaged in the company’s research and engineering activities.
In their last Series C funding they secured $87.5M. The round was led by new investors Viking Global Investors and Blue Cloud Ventures, together with follow-on investors AXA Venture Partners, Swisscom Ventures, and Volution.
Currently, one of their goals includes broader EU expansion.
Tenderly is a Serbian blockchain development tool. It facilitates the entire lifecycle of smart contracts, including their creation, testing, monitoring, and execution by Web3 developers, ultimately achieving widespread adoption on the Solidity-based Ethereum platform.
With predictions to reach a unicorn status last year, Tenderly secured a $40M Series B investment round, back in 2022, led by Spark Capital, and with participation from both new and existing investors Accel, PointNine Capital, Abstract Ventures, Coinbase Ventures, Uniswap Labs, and Daedalus.
The founders, Andrej Bencic, Bogdan Habic, Miljan Tekic, Nebojsa Urosevic, aim to be the starting place for developers considering building a product on top of a blockchain or mainstream blockchain applications.