The Czech Republic is known for its solid infrastructure, highly educated skilled workforce, and relatively low cost of living – the a great combination for startups. The Czech startup ecosystem got some momentum already back in 2010 when many new projects and accelerators started popping up. Now, the country is not only a gateway to other European hubs like Berlin and Vienna, but also has a healthy and strong presence of innovation hubs, incubators and accelerators itself.
The capital city, Prague, is now a flourishing startup city. Last year there were some notable announcements, such as when online grocery startup Rohlik raised $100 million, becoming a Czech unicorn. In addition, Prague-based SaaS startup Rossum announced $100 million, one of the largest ever Series A rounds to come out of Eastern Europe.
We wanted to put a spotlight on early-stage startups coming from this city, reflecting the growing startup ecosystem here and the growth of eastern European innovation. So, here are ten super exciting startups, all based in Prague, and all formed post-2019:
Founded in 2019, Resistant AI is a startup on a mission to protect automated financial systems from manipulation and attack. Today, consumers expect financial services to be frictionless and fully digital. Automation makes this possible and makes online purchases and online finances work, however, taking humans out of the equation and prioritizing speed leaves some risks and loopholes that criminals are exploiting. Resistant AI is addressing this. The startup is helping banks, insurers and fintech’s protect against financial crime and add an extra layer of reinforcement to existing checks and monitoring systems. Using sophisticated statistical modelling and machine learning, it supports clients across the whole customer lifecycle. In 2021, the startup picked up over €14 million and is now operating internationally, with offices in Prague, London and New York.
Ecommerce is undoubtedly one of the biggest and fastest-growing markets at the moment. Lemonero is an AI-driven digital lending platform for merchants in this space – tapping into a big market. Founded in 2019, the fintech startup provides fast and flexible revenue-based financing for small and medium business owners and merchants, giving them funding from €1k to €200k with an automatic repayment process set up based on a fixed percentage of daily sales. It takes a data-driven approach to finance, empowering SMBs to grow their ecommerce activities. The startup has now raised around €14 million and is scaling fast.
The accounting world might not immediately jump out as an exciting space, but there’s plenty of interesting innovation going on making processes for accountants a little less cumbersome. Digitoo is one of these disruptive startups. Founded in 2019, Digitoo aims to free accountants of the manual and repetitive work they go through on a daily basis, in turn helping them to focus on more creative projects that have a business impact. Accounting is something every business has to do, with Digtioo it becomes something that is sleek and smooth, and much more approachable. In the accounting space, there have been huge gaps left with regard to integrating and automating workflows with innovative tech, and this is what Digitoo are now providing. The startup has now raised around €1.3 million.
Founded in 2020, Choice is an all-in-one solution for communication between restaurants and their guests. Restaurants have had a turbulent couple of years, suffering during the pandemic, rollercoaster lockdown policies, changes to socializing habits, and increased demands from consumers. Helping to build strong relationships between restaurants and consumers, and in turn, helping to bring restaurants more success, Choice is empowering better communications and easier interactions. The startup offers restaurants tech to develop QR payments, table ordering, digital menus, online takeaways and deliveries, table reservations and a guest CRM. Consumers expect these things from restaurants in today’s post-pandemic world, and Choice is helping restaurateurs adapt. The startup has now raised about €2.5 million.
Born in 2020, Superface is building the future of APIs. The startup’s low-code solution aims to replace what usually takes months of tedious work with autonomous integrations. As a result, it connects businesses almost instantaneously. Autonomous APIs, decoupled components and self-driving clients are the foundation for voice interfaces and artificial intelligence. Superface uses super interface components that enable plug-and-play usage of data and services provided by companies using their API. In 2021, the young company picked up €1.2 million and revealed its plans to become an autonomous marketplace for AI. It’s since launched new features and recorded more than 20 million executions with over 50 API Providers.
Also making its way onto our list of 10 Czech startups to watch this year, tech-enabled real estate operator Accomango is building a SaaS-enabled, curated B2B marketplace between companies with manual workers and accommodation providers. Launched in 2020, the startup is disrupting an industry with digital tech that has been lagging behind in digital transformation. Accomango offers accommodation booking and people management for industrial, construction and automotive companies, alongside hostel management SaaS for accommodation providers to achieve a seamless booking process. It’s an area that’s been underserved so far, and the quality of living conditions of many of these workers is questionable at best in many situations. The team is growing fast and has now raised over €2.2 million
Founded in 2019, Readmio is a mobile app that is bringing fairytales to life. Reading to children before they go to bed is a beautiful tradition that has been handed down for generations. Now, with Readmio, it has a 21st-century twist, with additional benefits for children and parents alike. As a child is read to, the app uses voice recognition technology to add fitting sounds. It has been downloaded by over 140k people and offers stories in English, Czech and Slovak. It’s helping parents and carers spend quality time with children, reading engaging stories that ultimately support mental development, foster imagination and instil humanity.
Fintech startup Flowpay was founded last year (2021) to provide small and medium-size businesses with short and medium-term financing opportunities – helping them flow a little easier. It offers a white-label API solution for Payment Service Providers (PSP), Point of Sale Systems (POS) and ecommerce platforms to help expand their financial capabilities. It gives SMEs more transparent cash flow management, helping them better understand and track customer activities and also supports the development of alternative revenues. Europe’s small and medium-sized businesses are the foundation of economic activity, but managing processes financially isn’t always easy – it can be costly. Time-consuming and requires technical knowledge. With Flowpay it’s simple and we’re impressed by their interface, tech development and fast-paced growth.
Hedepy simplifies the path to psychotherapy for everyone, through video calls. It makes psychotherapy accessible and free of prejudice. Hedepy has to date booked over 13,000 sessions and expanded to Poland, Italy and Romania last year. Founded in 2020, the company has been growing fast and is making a difference to many with its mental health services. It’s estimated that over 3 million people in the Czech Republic suffer from mental health problems, and Hedepy is on a mission to give them the support they need. With technology, Hedepy enables patients to access quality and certified experts in a convenient service that is accessible and anonymous. The startup has now raised about €1.2 million.
HRtech startup Nelisa was founded in 2021 as a recruitment platform enabling companies to find talent effectively – saving time and money. The global talent shortage is no secret and increasingly companies are finding it difficult to find the right talent, attract them, and retain them. Likewise, workers are struggling to find the right companies – often crowded out by roles with hundreds if not thousands of applicants and ineffective hiring processes. Nelisa acts as a career partner, helping applicants find a job that feels right and helping companies find the talents to help the business grow. The aim is to use tech to transform the job market for good. The team already has more than 20 members and has raised about €600k.
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