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VOTE the ‘Female-founded startup of the year’

Female-founded startup of the year
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It’s almost the end of the year and what better way to reach the finish line than to look at the most promising female-founded tech startups in Southeast Europe of 2021 or with founders born in our region. While we are preparing an update on the Who are Romanian Women in Tech piece, you can also read the stories of 60+ women in tech from  across the region.

Let’s take a look at the milestones entrepreneurs reached and do a round-up of the solutions we’ll be hearing more about in 2022.

Below you will see 10 startups founded or co-founded by savvy business ladies that showed traction this year in verticals like delivery, software, AI, digital insurance, EdTech, MedTech, and sustainability. If you do not know which one to choose, under the poll you can read about their fundraising, development phases, and 2022 goals. 

You have until December 22nd to support your favorite female-founded startup with a vote in our survey, and until December 10th to nominate others.

The winners of the 1st and 2nd spot will receive prizes consisting in:

>>> #1st spot – 1-year free access to all premium functionalities of The Recursive’s Growth Club (worth €220+)

>> #2nd spot – Architect of Change T-shirt and a Google Call with us.




*Organized alphabetically by startup name*

Claudia Stroe – BeeFast

Founded: 2019

Based in: Bucharest, Romania

Industry: Delivery

What they are building: A delivery service that offers a fast 24h offline-to-online transition solution.

Milestones in 2021: They raised €500K investment in July, scaled their services in other Romanian cities – Brasov, with plans for next year to add more cities, go international, and launch a B2C delivery app.

Alina Vandenberghe – Chili Piper 

Founded: 2016

Based in: US-based (Romanian co-founder and Romanian employees in product, sales, and support)

Industry: Software

What they are building: A B2B schedule automation software for teams to save time and bandwidth with no emails going back and forth. 

Read more:  Czech Daytrip Secured а $10M Series B Investment For Strengthening Its Position In the Online Travel Industry

Milestones in 2021: They have raised an investment of €27M in a Series B in May to speed up product development, sales, marketing, and are looking for more team members in SEE, especially Romania. 

Andreea Pleasea – Druid AI

Founded: 2018

Based in: Bucharest, Romania

Industry: AI

What they are building: An intelligent chatbot that aids employees in communicating efficiently, saving time, increasing quality, and lowering costs. 

Milestones in 2021: Received a €2M Series A investment at the beginning of the year, announced revenue of over €2M, a five-times growth than the previous year, and was classified as a conversational AI Innovator by IDC.

Snejina Zacharia – Insurify 

Founded: 2013

Based in: Cambridge, Massachusetts, US (Bulgarian founder and R&D team in Sofia)

Industry: Digital Insurance

What they are building: A virtual insurance agent powered by AI and predictive analytics. 

Milestones in 2021: Raised a $100M Series B funding to develop their product and the team, but also to scale their operations. 

Evelina Necula – Kinderpedia

Founded: 2014

Based in: Bucharest and Cluj, Romania

Industry: EdTech

What they are building: A smart educational management tool targeting schools to save time and bridge communication between parents, teachers, and students. 

Milestones in 2021: Raised €1.8M to scale its education management platform and won first place at the InnovX-BCR accelerator

Arta Zaimi – Labbox

Founded: 2017

Based in: Kosovo

Industry: EdTech

What they are building: A platform that offers a subscription service for educational engineering kits for children to practice at home. 

Milestones in 2021: Reached €400K on SeedBlink to set up a production line in Kosovo.

Maria Chatzou Dunford – Lifebit 

Founded: 2017

Based in: London, England (Greek-born founder)

Industry: MedTech

What they are building: A cloud genomics platform for big data research with open-source tools, marketplace, browser, and AI functionality. 

Milestones in 2021: Lifebit raised $60M to accelerate biomedical research and innovation. 

Bilyana Freye – Orbiit 

Read more:  Romanian Bunnyshell raises over €3.5M to help developers simplify their workflow

Founded: 2018

Based in: New York, US(Bulgarian founder and Bulgarian team)

Industry: Software

What they are building: A networking platform for managers to connect members, schedule online meetings, and collect feedback. 

Milestones in 2021: They have raised $2.7M to expand their product and engineering teams. 

Lubomila Jordanova – Plan A

Founded: 2017

Based in: Berlin, Germany (Bulgarian-born founder)

Industry: Sustainability

What they are building: A SaaS platform for carbon accounting, decarbonization, ESG management, and reporting to serve users worldwide. 

Milestones in 2021: Raised ~€8.6M Series A in November, and around €2.6M in March to expand its carbon accounting platform internationally. 

Elitza Stoilova –

Founded: 2017

Based in: Sofia, Bulgaria

Industry: AI

What they are building: A no-code platform for AI digital assistant management. 

Milestones in 2021: Raised undisclosed funding round to develop their solution, build the team, and expand the market reach. 


Enjoyed doing this? Go and vote in our other polls: 

Young Entrepreneur of the Year 

Newcomer of the Year

Fintech of the Year

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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