Medium: The startup scene in Romania: €11.3m raised & €72m in exits, in 2016 alone

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This analysis of the Romanian startup ecosystem showcases investments, exits, key startups, founders and important actors that you need to know if you are or if you are planning to become a startup founder.

The Romanian tech ecosystem is growing. Our analysis shows that in Romania 20 startups raised €11.3m in total in 2016. Comparatively 15 deals with a value of €10.7m were concluded in 2015. To put it in perspective, European startups raised €16.2b last year — an increase of 12% in terms of capital and 32% in terms of rounds over the previous year.

Investments

Companies that received capital last year in Romania include:

  • Elefant, €5.5m
    Elefant.ro is your family online mall.
  • Omniconvert, €1m
    Omniconvert is a CRO software that can be used for A/B testing, online surveys, traffic segmentation and web personalization.
  • SmartBill, €1m
    SmartBill is a cloud invoicing software.
  • Smartdreamers, €700k
    SmartDreamers is a recruitment platform that simplifies the connection between growing companies and candidates.
  • SymphoPay, €600k
    SymphoPay connects all payments terminals of a merchant to a central platform transforming them in smart marketing machines.
  • FashionUp, €500k
    FashionUp is an online fashion retailer.
  • €500k
    Wizmo is a new online property platform open to both residential and business segments.
  • Cyberfog, €500k
    Cyberfog is a hardware & software deception technology in the cybersecurity space.
  • Urby, €300k
    Urby delivers you suggestions on a daily basis, with stuff to do and places to go in your city.
  • Calendis, €300k
    Calendis is an appointment scheduling tool.
  • ReFlex Help, €200k
    Reflex.help helps patients be healthier with a mobile app dealing with motion detection technology for physiotherapy.
  • ENTy, €50k
    ENTy is a high-tech wearable device that tracks the balance of the internal ear and checks the spine posture in real time. They are the winners of 2016 Microsoft Imagine Cup competition.
  • InnerTrends, €50k
    InnerTrends is a data analytics tool that helps SaaS companies improve the onboarding experience for new users.
  • uRADMonitor, $33k
    uRADMonitor is a pollution measuring device.
  • 101Trandafiri, $10k
    101Trandafiri focuses on orders of flowers online.
  • TypingDNA, undisclosed
    TypingDNA specializes in typing biometrics research and 2nd-factor authentication.

Besides the above mentioned local companies, here are some startups with Romanian founders launched abroad:

  • Databrics [US], $60m
    Databrics is a cloud-based big data processing using Spark.
  • Branch Metrics [US], $35m
    Branch is a deep linking and business analytics platform.
  • Knotch [US], $10m
    Knotch provides real-time intelligence on branded content.
  • Vector Watch [UK], $5M
    Vector Watch designs and develops wearable technology to simplify lifestyles.
  • BigStep [UK], $2.2m
    Bigstep is a big data platform.
  • Tidemark [US], undisclosed round.
    Tidemark focuses on corporate performance management software.

The number of tech companies will grow as the possibilities to self-learn how to start a startup, build an app, or a game, while dealing with marketing, computer science, machine learning, electronics, cryptography, self-driving cars or deep natural language processing are improving. Also it is much easier than a decade ago to connecting with the ever growing number of investors and founders that are defining future industries.

As key industries, there is solid activity in eCommerce, cyber security, hardware, games, and marketing. A new wave of startups are entering the SAAS, fintech, healthcare, agritech, consumer apps, big data, HR and artificial intelligence industries.

Market

Romania has a market that is difficult to ignore. It is the seventh most populated country from the EU with 19.760m people that is 3.9% of the total population of the EU, after DE, FR, UK, IT, ES & PL. It has 426.000 active businesses that employ 2.71m professionals. IT firms account for more than 6% of Romania’s GDP. There are 100.000 engineers working in outsourcing, 11m internet users, 7.93m smartphone users plus the internet speed ranks #9 in the world. On top of these, there are 17.000 startup fans on the Romanian Startups group.

                    

There are more than 7000 computer scientists that speak English graduating every year from the Romanian universities. Romanian students rank very high at international math, science or IT Olympiads, however you will not hear about university endowment funds or venture funds yet.

As the number of startups in these ecosystems grows, so does their ability to gain bigger market share. The concentration of talent, capital, startups, companies and events around these hubs are increasing. These are clear signals of success.

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