Nestled at the crossroads of central and southeast Europe, Croatia is a country made famous for its crystal waters, beautiful architecture, and rich cultural history. The Balkan state joined the European Union in 2013 and has developed a strong entrepreneurial spirit in recent years. The diverse nation has a lot to offer to visitors – aside from stunning nature, heritage and gastronomy, it’s quickly becoming a hotspot for business ventures and has been the birthplace of two unicorns so far (Infobip and Rimac).
In 2022, Croatian startups collectively received $845.5 million in investment, with a year-on-year increase, despite economic turmoil collectively hitting both American and European markets.
Croatia’s startup scene has grown significantly in recent years, attracting investors due to lower labour costs and a skilled workforce. The country has also endeavoured to support startup ambitions and foreign investment through different bodies like CroStartup which aims to strengthen the startup community and put Croatia on the global startup map with a strong and vibrant ecosystem.
Croatia is increasingly on our radar and the outlook for growth in 2023 looks promising. so, we decided to take a closer look at the country’s startup ecosystem, taking time and research to identify 10 early-stage startups (all founded post-2019) that we believe will have a super promising year ahead.
Revuto: Zagreb-based Revuto is a mobile application designed to help users manage their subscriptions while saving and earning money. The app supports both debit cards and cryptocurrencies. It is built on Cardano, a decentralized platform, and operates as part of the RealFi ecosystem. Through the use of fintech and crypto products, Revuto aims to eliminate the challenges that can arise when bridging the gap between crypto liquidity and real-world economic activities. Founded in 2021, it has already raised a total funding amount of $20 million.
Wasp: Zagreb-based Wasp is a software development tool that simplifies building full-stack web apps by using concise language and declarative DSL. It unifies frontend, backend, and deployment using modern web dev stacks without writing boilerplate code. Wasp is designed to be zero-configuration and follows best practices, making it easier for developers to focus on building their applications. Founded in 2020 it has raised $1.5 million in total.
Codemap.io: Talent marketplace Codemap.io provides access to pre-vetted no-code experts. It helps businesses launch digital products quickly, automate workflows, and boost team productivity. In our increasingly digital world, there is an urgent need for skilled workers capable of keeping up with tech development and pushing digital transformation forward. There’s a global shortage of programmers, and Codemap aims to help connect talent with the right companies. Founded in 2021, it has raised $250k.
Gepek: Based in Zagreb, Gepek is a platform for package delivery that uses a carpooling model, exclusively for package transportation. It’s safer for contactless deliveries, provides extra income and flexible time management, and is convenient for fast cross-country package delivery. Gepek also has security features like driver ratings and identity checks for safe delivery. Founded in 2021, the startup is tapping into a growing market and taking an interesting sustainability-led spin.
PitchSee: Founded in 2021, PitchSee is a marketplace for startups and investors that brings different investment opportunities into one place. Startups can showcase their projects free of charge and connect directly with potential investors worldwide. At the same time, it offers a fast and easy way for investors to browse projects through straight-to-the-point video pitches – saving time and money. Based in Zagreb, the platform aims to be a place where passion meets support, providing a convenient space for startups and investors to connect. So far, it has raised €500 k.
TABU: Based in Zagreb, TABU is an online platform that offers insight into tech salaries for the Croatian tech market. Currently, it counts 19k users, covering 65% of the market. Individual users can compare their salaries with others in the same position and seniority, while business users can get an idea of the market situation for all positions and departments they’re interested in. It also serves to avoid payment disparities and ensure workers are correctly reimbursed for their efforts. Founded in 2022 it has raised €100k.
Spotsie: Founded in Zagreb, Spotsie is an energy-efficient positioning solution based on the Internet of Things (IoT) technologies. It provides detailed location data on static and moving objects in indoor and outdoor environments – helping optimise work operations and give managers better oversight. Digitalizing processes with Spotsie also helps companies to improve production, refine processes, transportation and the safety of workers and equipment, whilst also reducing their carbon footprint. Founded in 2019, the startup is proving influential in the oil industry, helping bring it to a low-carbon position.
Elevien: Zagreb-based Elevien Sports is a smartphone application that connects gymnasts from around the world, creating a global gymnastics network. It allows users to remotely assess and observe live training sessions, meets, and competitions. Elevien is designed for gymnasts, coaches, judges, organizers, and spectators. With it, they can connect with fellow gymnasts, as well as organize and participate in events. Founded in 2020 it has raised €2 million.
Mindsmiths:This AI startup is on a mission to bridge the gap between organic and synthetic intelligence. The focus is on linking technology and human behaviour, using tools from the field of AI to deliver a human level of care and attention to millions of people. Mindsmith’s aim is to transform various areas of life and work by considering human fears, motivations, emotions, skills, and capabilities. Founded in 2019, it has raised a total of €1.2 million.
SWEN: Founded in 2020, SWEN is a property management software that specializes in campsites. The platform includes a property management system (PMS) with automated processes to reduce administrative work and increase visitor satisfaction from booking to check-out. Camping is an increasingly popular vacation style across Europe but for many providers, keeping up with digitisation has been a struggle. SWEN aims to make it simple. Based in Zagreb the traveltech has been able to raise €1.6 million so far.
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