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Voting for ‘Newcomer of the Year’ is now open: Which is the next superstar tech company in Southeast Europe?

The Recursive Startup Tech Company of the year newcomer cover

Exits, new VC funds, IPOs on the New York Stock Exchange, record-breaking funding rounds – 2021 has been exciting from start to finish. We’ve had an increasing number of companies from Southeast Europe leaving a mark on the global tech map and reaching Series A and B rounds.

Yet, it’s time we put our attention to the future and start exploring who are the next tech stars in the region. Since we launched The Recursive, we managed to meet with lots of promising young ventures – and some of them are already making significant waves. So, our team shortlisted 21 names and we would like to see what our audience (that counts many VCs and angels) thinks about them, too. 

The minimal requirements: 

  • The company should have launched in the past two years (2019 or later)
  • Must have achieved a significant milestone in 2021 – funding round, significant user growth, meaningful revenue.
  • There should also be a big market opportunity and a strong, dedicated team behind the startup.

You have 21 days to vote

Now, it’s up to you. You can vote until December 22nd, 2021. Then, the big winner will be announced and we’ve prepared some cool prizes as well:

  • 1-year free access to all premium functionalities of The Recursive’s Growth Club  (worth 220+ euro)
  • 1 content marketing campaign of total value up to 900 euro as per our pricing list, delivered by The Recursive Content Production & Promotion Agency (the specific communication angle and format- article, interview, social media, ads, etc – to be decided based on the company’s top business goal – hiring, product adoption, fundraising, brand visibility, etc.)
  • 1 Unicorn DNA T-shirt

 

Pick one of the tech companies in the survey below and in case you’re not familiar with what they’re doing check the short descriptions that follow.

Oh, and in case we missed an important name, be sure to nominate it – as long as it fits the requirements listed above, we’d be happy to add it to the list by December 5th.

Who are the next tech stars in Southeast Europe?

Avrio

Founded: 2021

Based in: Nicosia, Cyprus

Industry: Enterprise Software, Productivity

What they are building: A platform to make the sharing of data and user research less messy, helping teams improve alignment.

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Milestones in 2021: $830k pre-seed round from Greek Marathon VC and business angels.

Bright Spaces

Founded: 2019

Based in: Bucharest, Romania

Industry: Proptech

What they are building: End-to-end digital solution to streamline the leasing process for landlords, agents and tenants.

Milestones in 2021: Multiple projects with big-name customers – SKANSKA, One United Properties, Brickfield Business Center, next to a €1.5M funding round from Axeleo Capital, Pi Labs, Sparking Capital, and Growceanu.

BeMe

Founded: 2020

Based in: Sofia, Bulgaria

Industry: Healthtech

What they are building: AI-powered insights hub to improve the lives of people diagnosed with autism

Milestones in 2021:  €750K funding round from Eleven Ventures and angels; team growth from 2 to well-balanced mix of 10 employees; planned App Store launch for Q1 of 2022. 

Biopix-T

Founded: 2019

Based in: Heraklion, Greece

Industry: Healthtech

What they are building: Portable diagnostic devices for Point-of-Care molecular testing.

Milestones in 2021:  €1.45M funding round from Metavallon VC and Eleven Ventures; commercial launch of point-of-care testing for Covid-19; ISO 13485:2016 and ISO/IEC 27001:2013 certifications.

EcoTree

Founded: 2019

Based in: Bucharest, Romania

Industry: Cleantech, Smart Cities

What they are building: A platform to simplify recycling and waste management processes.

Milestones in 2021: $500k funding round led by Sparking Capital; 60+ waste producer representatives and 40+ waste collection companies registered; claims to have saved about 2940 tons of CO2 from recycled waste facilitated by the platform, up until October 2021.

Finloup

Founded: 2020

Based in: Athens, Greece

Industry: Fintech

What they are building: A BNPL platform for no-interest instalment plans at any checkout, powered by Open Banking.

Milestones in 2021: €1M funding round led by Velocity Partners; partnerships with 21 merchants in Greece, including one of the biggest fashion brands in the country.

FLOWX.ai

Founded: 2020

Based in: Bucharest Romania

Industry: Enterprise Software, Fintech

What they are building: A platform to help banks and other financial institutions modernize enterprise legacy systems.

Milestones in 2021: $8.5M seed round led by PortfoLion; Already used by Banca Transilvania, the biggest bank in Southeast Europe, Vienna Insurance Group, as well as  enterprises in the energy and utility sectors, such as OMV.

Health in box

Founded: 2020

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Based in: Sofia, Bulgaria

Industry: Retail, Food and Nutrition, Fintech

What they are building: A system of vending machines focused on healthy food and self-checkout micro markets powered by contactless payments.

Milestones in 2021: Already available in nearly all major coworking spaces in Sofia, next to one of the largest shopping malls in the city.

Humans

Founded: 2019

Based in: Bucharest, Romania

Industry: Digital media

What they are building: AI-based platform for creation and governance of synthetic media.

Milestones in 2021: €7.6M crypto funding round from Elrond Research and Morningstar Ventures; well-balanced development team.

Howitzer

Founded: 2021

Based in: Skopje, North Macedonia

Industry: MarTech

What they are building: Reddit marketing automation tool to help entrepreneurs and growth hackers find and engage potential business leads.

Milestones in 2021: €400K pre-seed funding round led by Day One Capital; Product already on the market, with 550+ users.

Kelvin Health

Founded: 2020

Based in: Sofia, Bulgaria

Industry: Healthtech

What they are building: Thermal imaging AI for  detection and monitoring of medical abnormalities – e.g. breast cancer or Covid-19. 

Milestones in 2021: Won the BIOME Summit Cardiovascular Innovation Challenge in Montreal and the Global Initiative of Novartis Oncology “Breaking Barriers Health Systems Strengthening (HSS) Challenge”; Arranged a data collection partnership with First Gynecological Hospital “St. Sofia”.

MetaSim

Founded: 2021

Based in: Sofia, Bulgaria

Industry: Enterprise Software, EdTech

What they are building: Virtual Reality (VR) training solution for managers who want to improve their soft skills. 

Milestones in 2021: €500K funding round from Eleven Ventures; successful pilot projects with a couple of customers; planned commercial launch for the beginning of 2022. 

Ondo Smart Farming Solutions

Founded: 2019

Based in: Sofia, Bulgaria

Industry: Agritech

What they are building: End-to-end farming automation solution for precise irrigation, fertigation and climate control.

Milestones in 2021: €1M funding round from Eleven Ventures; BrightCap Ventures, Sofia Angels Ventures, and others; successfully installed in 15+ farms.

Orgnostic

Founded: 2019

Based in: Belgrade, Serbia

Industry: HR Tech

What they are building: People analytics platform for data-backed HR practices.

Milestones in 2021: €5M seed round led by Earlybird Venture Capital; dozens of clients onboarded.

Pop Market

Founded: 2021

Based in: Athens, Greece

Industry: Retail and eCommerce

What they are building: Online grocery market, promising deliveries within 15 minutes – powered by a hyper local network of dark stores.

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Milestones in 2021: $3.5M seed round; expanding rapidly in Athens.

Prosperty

Founded: 2020

Based in: Athens, Greece

Industry: Proptech

What they are building: Digital-first, all-in-one solution for the buying, selling, renting and management of properties.

Milestones in 2021: €3.3M seed round from Velocity.Partners, Metavallon, and BigPi Ventures; 1500+ property owners on the platform; team growth to 35 people.

Rush

Founded: 2020

Based in: Sofia, Bulgaria

Industry: eCommerce

What they are building: Automated shipment tracking and post-purchase experience management.

Milestones in 2021:  $300K pre-seed round from LAUNCHub Ventures and SMSBump founders; servicing more than 500 customers. More big news to follow by the end of the year.

Quendoo

Founded: 2020

Based in: Sofia, Bulgaria

Industry: Traveltech, Proptech

What they are building: PaaS platform enabling property owners and hoteliers to manage bookings, payments, and marketing.

Milestones in 2021:  €750K funding round from Vitosha Venture Partners; currently powering booking platform Arendoo.

Seedblink

Founded: 2019

Based in: Bucharest, Romania

Industry: Fintech

What they are building:  Crowdinvesting platform specialized in sourcing, vetting, financing and scaling of tech startups in Europe.

Milestones in 2021:  €3M Series A round led by Catalyst Romania Fund II, with a big part of the rest crowdfunded from angels through..well, Seedblink. So far the company has attracted over 8000 investors, while facilitating over 60 crowdfunding campaigns for startups and helping them raise close to €40M. 

The Outfit

Founded: 2021

Based in: Bucharest, Romania

Industry: FashionTech; Retail and eCommerce

What they are building:  A platform to bring mass personalization in the fashion shopping experience.

Milestones in 2021:  €300K pre-seed round by angels, including Sergiu Negut, the co-founder of FintechOS; had completed over 1000 orders back in June, with the goal to have at least 10, 000 by the end of the year.

Voxa (formerly Storis)

Founded: 2021

Based in: Bucharest, Romania

Industry: Digital media

What they are building:  A digital streaming app for audio books, e-books and podcasts.

Milestones in 2021:  Raised over €540k via a Seedblink campaign; launched apps for both Android(over 1000 installs) and iOS; has been producing 50+ audiobooks per month (helping publishers digitalise their catalogues)

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https://therecursive.com/author/etienyovchev/

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.
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