After years of outsourcing contact centers, software development and even research and development, Romania is now transforming its communist legacy of excellence in science, mathematics, and technical education into a tech hub of their own.
Startups putting down roots in the Romanian startup scene can expect thousands of monthly meetups, new private and public funding initiatives, startup conferences like Techsylvania, and dynamic coworking spaces. And consequently, the Silicon Valley of Transylvania, as Techcrunch called it a while back, is already producing success stories. From adtech startup LiveRail being acquired by Facebook, to Bucharest-based startup UiPath becoming Romania’s first unicorn, there is no shortage of inspiration. If you’re left wondering what else it has to offer, just check out our guide to the Romania startup ecosystem.
So without further ado, here are 10 Romanian startups to watch out for in 2020. They were all founded in the last few years, are early-stage, fast growing teams, and have some cool projects that we think could take off this year.
Druid – Named the ‘Best Startup of the Year’ in Central Europe during the Central European Startup Awards in 2019, Druid has developed a “no-code” chatbot design platform to help any organisation with planning, developing and deploying chatbots. From Banking to Healthcare, Druid chatbots are equipped with over 250 built-in skills for every industry and any role. Founded in 2018, the startup has raised €2.7 million in three financing rounds so far.
Instant Factoring – Instant Factoring, founded in 2018, is a fintech platform providing flexible working capital financing for SMEs. Through Instant Factoring, SMEs can turn their invoices into cash, allowing them to access the money they are due more quickly, helping to avoid avoid a financial bottleneck. Their secret ingredient? A response time of 2 hours and funding granted within 24 hours from the approval. In 2019, the startup closed a pre-Series A capital investment round amounting to €500K.
Jobful – Jobful turns the recruiting experience into a game for future employees. The recruitment gamification platform asks users to fill in a short bio, date of birth, contact details, foreign languages, experience and education, and then takes them into the challenge area, where they need to complete various gamified tasks. Launched in May 2018, Jobful already attracted attention when its founder Mihai Cepoi, was selected for the Forbes 30 under 30 list in 2019, and received a financing of €100K from three investors.
Medicai – Medicai is a tech startup that allows multidisciplinary collaboration between doctors and patients. Its product is a collaborative online medical portal for MRI, CT and PET-CT imaging investigations, enabling patients to store their images long term, and providing doctors with a communication channel of communication to send the imaging analyses to patients or other clinics. Founded in 2018, the startup attracted attention with an investment of €500K in December 2019.
Milluu – Milluu, founded in 2017, is a real estate platform, offering all the necessary tools to digitize and simplify the process of renting. Starting from matching the rental requests to the available properties and presenting the most suitable recommendations, to signing the digital contract and the recurring management of the rent. Moreover, users benefit from an in-app communication channel, open 24/7. Just follow the rules and rent away.
Oncochain – OncoChain, founded in 2019, provides an innovative web-based oncology EHR (electronic health record). This software connects the patient with care providers, CROs (contract research organizations), pharmaceutical companies and research centres. Using blockchain and cognitive solutions, OncoChain personalises health services for patients, supports medical research by reducing patient enrollment times in clinical trials, and facilitates real-world data collection in oncology.
Pago – Recommended by Visa, Pago is the first mobile app in Romania for managing and paying all utility bills in one place. Through the app, users can connect all their bills in one account, receive the bills as they are issued, pay multiple bills with one confirmation and have a consolidated payment history in one screen. The app was launched in September 2017 and it encompasses now over 290 service providers, 2 million paid invoices and over 135,000 users in Romania.
Symphopay – Symphopay is a solution designed for retailers who want to integrate all partner banks into one single payment terminal. Their point-of-sale payments platform offers traders and banks real-time access to payment terminals and integrates transactions with marketing or loyalty platforms. Founded in 2015 in Bucharest, Symphipay has so far received funding of €1.4 million and is currently aiming to expand to Greece, Bulgaria and Poland.
Beez – The Beez app is providing shoppers an alternative “buy now, pay later” model, with no interest, no late fees and no commission. Besides financing their purchase, the benefits for users also include cashback, sweet deals and other rewards. Beez, which has over 160,000 users and more than €2.5 million in transactions completed through the platform to date, just closed a new venture capital financing round totalling €1.2 million in March 2020.
Bunnyshell – Bunnyshell, founded in 2018, will save you a lot of time. Put simply, it automates all the manual, repetitive tasks required for provisioning, deployment and maintaining software stacks. It increases speed, performance, and scalability and works on the most popular major clouds, like AWS, Google Cloud, Digital Ocean, Azure, Azure Stack. No specialized sys admins, testing, or hidden costs required. In one word, no headache. In 2019, the startup raised a seed round of €750K by Early Game Ventures.
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